COVID-19 Updates

July 17, 2020

** This information is received from the Government and regularly updated

16/07/2020

Deadline for claiming exceptional costs associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak approaching

The deadline to submit an application form to claim for exceptional costs associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is 21 July 2020.

Please ensure all applications are received by this date as there will be no opportunity to request an extension to this deadline. For costs relating to the summer holidays that are not covered by the Covid Summer Food Fund, schools will be able to claim for this in the autumn.

Instructions on how to claim for exceptional costs, which include a short film, can be found in the guidance on claiming exceptional costs associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).

Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline – change to opening hours

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care.

Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline by calling 0800 046 8687.

From Monday 27 July, the helpline will be closed on weekends. We will continue to be available to answer your calls Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme

Today, the Government has confirmed that the school fruit and vegetable scheme, which was paused during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, will resume as normal in autumn when all children return to school. This scheme provides daily fresh produce for pupils in key stage 1 and helps every child have a healthy, happy start to life.

10 top tips to encourage children to read in support of Reading Together Day

To support the very first Reading Together Day, we have publishedtips for parents and carers of primary-aged children to help them encourage and support their children to read. They contain ideas on how to plan reading opportunities at home and make reading enjoyable and engaging, including during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Barnardo’s ‘See Hear Respond’ service

See Hear Respond is a service provided across England by Barnardo’s and other national and local community-based organisations in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The programme has been created to help children and young people in England who are experiencing harm and increased adversity during this period by providing support to those who are not being seen by social care or other key agencies.

Working with its partners, Barnardo’s aims to reduce the likelihood of harm and ensure other support and protective networks are in place.

See Hear Respond accept referrals from any source either through the Freephone number 0800 151 7015 and via theonline referral hub.

Information for schools and newly qualified teachers (NQT) preparing for NQT inductions from September 2020

We have published guidance for schools and newly qualified teachers (NQTs) who are preparing for NQT induction from September 2020. This guidance clarifies the expectations of schools and further education colleges when supporting the 2020-21 NQT cohort.


The information below has not changed since yesterday.


Plans for all children and young people to return to full-time education at the start of the autumn term

The guidance for the full opening of schools, early years and colleges at the start of the autumn can be found here:

Covid Summer Food Fund

The Covid Summer Food Fund will enable children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals (FSM) to be supported over the summer holiday period. All vouchers for the summer holidays must be ordered at least one week before your school’s summer term ends. The costs will be met centrally by the Department for Education.

Please read the guidance in full before ordering to ensure your orders are processed correctly.

Change in frequency of the coronavirus (COVID-19) email updates from Monday 20 July

From Monday 20 July, we will be reducing the frequency of email updates from every weekday, to one email per week which will be sent on a Monday for the duration of the summer holidays. We plan to resume sending daily updates from Monday 24 August in preparation for the start of the autumn term.

Feedback survey on the coronavirus (COVID-19) email updates from Department for Education (DfE)

We began sending a daily email update to schools and further education providers, and local authorities to cascade to early years providers and children’s social care providers, in March 2020 to share information on the Government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

We would be pleased to hear your feedback on the daily email update to help us improve it. Please spare 2 minutes to complete our short feedback survey.

Handwashing advice

It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.

Please see the latest guidance and video on handwashing from the NHS.

The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene. E-Bug has published posters on hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes, to display in bathrooms, classrooms and shared spaces.