COVID-19 Updates

August 3, 2020

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

27/07/2020

Guidance for schools on the winter flu programme

On Friday, the Department for Health and Social Care announced details of its expanded winter flu programme to protect vulnerable people and support the NHS, which includes:

  • a free vaccine to be made available for people aged 50 – 64 later in the year
  • households of those on the Shielded Patient List becoming eligible for free flu vaccinations
  • the school programme expanded to the first year of secondary schools for the first time

Public Health England has published guidance on the expansion of the school programme and what this means in practice. This guidance has been produced to assist all school staff and headteachers with any questions about the nasal spray flu vaccination being offered to children during the autumn term 2020 and includes frequently asked questions. It is for school teaching and support staff and headteachers. It is not intended for children, parents or guardians, who will receive their own dedicated information at the appropriate time.

Guidance on the coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium

In June, we announced a £1 billion catch-up package to support pupils who may have fallen behind due to lost teaching time as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This package includes:

  • a one-off universal £650 million catch-up premium for the 2020-21 academic year to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time. This funding will be available for all state-funded mainstream and special schools, and alternative provision.
  • a £350 million National Tutoring Programme to provide additional, targeted support for those children and young people who need the most help.

Full details on eligibility, funding allocation, payments and use of the funds can be found in the guidance on the coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium.

Guidance on the 16 to 19 tuition fund

As part of the National Tutoring Programme, the Education and Skills Funding Agency have published guidance on the 16 to 19 tuition fund available for schools, colleges and other 16 to 19 providers during the 2020-21 academic year. This additional funding is available for one-year and is to be used to support tuition activity above and beyond the programmes of education already planned for the 2020-21 academic year.

Local lockdowns: guidance for education and childcare settings

On 18 July, all additional lockdown restrictions were lifted in areas outside of Leicester City, Oadby and Wigston. This includes Charnwood and Blaby which are no longer in the local lockdown zone. Those areas outside of Leicester City, Oadby and Wigston will now return to national social distancing guidelines and educational and childcare settings in these areas that would normally be open over the summer period can continue to operate in line with national guidance.

From 24 July, some relaxation of restrictions will be allowed in Leicester City, Oadby and Wigston. We have updated our guidance for nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges in light of these continued restrictions.

Use of free early education entitlements funding during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated the guidance on the use of free early education entitlements funding during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to provide information on funding for local authorities and early years providers in the autumn term 2020 and when to use funding flexibility.

Until the start of the autumn term 2020, our guidance to local authorities continues to be that, in exceptional circumstances and as a last resort, they may choose to redirect early years dedicated schools grant (DSG) funding from providers that are closed, in order to ensure provision of childcare for vulnerable children and children of critical workers. However, in the autumn term 2020, we expect the demand for childcare to increase. Our advice on how local authorities should use their existing powers to distribute early years DSG funding will therefore change for the autumn term 2020.

Guidance on assessment processes for selective school admissions

We have published guidance on the assessment processes for selective school admissions for the 2021-22 school year. This guidance is for state-funded selective schools and recommends approaches to conducting aptitude and ability tests whilst following coronavirus (COVID-19) protective measures.

Guidance for admission authorities on faith school admission arrangements

We have published guidance for admission authorities on faith school admission arrangements for the 2021-22 school year. This guidance sets out how schools with a religious character can change their admission arrangements to account for the period where access to places of worship and/or to communal worship has been restricted as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Updated guidance on awarding qualifications in summer 2020

Ofqual has updated their guidance on awarding qualifications in the summer 2020 to include content from Ofqual’s Summer Symposium, held on Tuesday 21 July 2020 and a factsheet and video for centres on awarding grades in summer 2020.

Prepare for the return to school with Mentally Healthy Schools

Although some children have returned to school already, for many, the new autumn term will be their first time stepping into a classroom since lockdown began. Understandably, this may be a strange or worrying time for some children, parents and carers, and schools.

Mentally Healthy Schools is a primary school website that has produced a new toolkit of resources for schools and families, all focused on making sure the return to classrooms in the autumn is a mentally healthy one.

Covid Summer Food Fund

The Covid Summer Food Fund will enable children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals to be supported over the summer holiday period. Schools were asked to place their orders at least a week before their summer term finished.

This is the final chance to check that orders have been processed correctly – please look out for emails from Edenred with further advice.

Feedback survey on the coronavirus (COVID-19) update emails now closed

Thank you to all those who completed our feedback survey. We received a huge number of responses and are grateful for your feedback. We will be looking closely at your responses and use them to improve future updates.

Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline

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:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm


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: