Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated 05/03/21

We know that members are seeking the most up-to-date advice on how to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak and the aim of this page of the HMC website is to provide links to the latest information and guidance. The associations are coordinating closely and using our particular expertise, including in finance, risk, academic policy, boarding and mental health, to help the sector through this most challenging time. HMC is sitting on the ISC Coronavirus Advisory Group and will continue to update members with our own briefings and those from other associations as they become available.

We are also keen to facilitate the sharing of specific concerns, documents and contingency plans between members and would encourage colleagues to send these to the General Secretary at [email protected]. These will be hosted in the HMC member zone and updated regularly.  Please note that none of the associations are medical, statutory or legal authorities and it is important for the advice contained in the links below to be read in this context.


Latest guidance for schools

The DfE has published a collection of the latest guidance for schools, see here.

Testing checklist compiled at HMC Head Office

Please see attached a summary of information available to date and a coronavirus testing checklist which we hope schools may find useful. Please find attached document here (member zone access required). 

Covid-19 – further key announcements/news

  • Open consultation: Ofqual consultation on the general qualifications alternative awarding framework, see here. (Consultation closes on 11.03.2021)
  • DfE press release: Teacher assessed grades for students, see here. (25.02.2021)
  • To view HMC General Secretary, Dr Simon Hyde's blog titled 'Serenity Prayer', see here. (25.02.2021)
  • HMC General Secretary welcomes full return to school on March 8th, see here. (22.02.2021)
  • DfE press release: Mass testing for secondary pupils as all schools and colleges fully reopen from 8 March, see here. (22.02.2021)
  • Schools as teacher and community vaccination hubs: ongoing offer letter from HMC and its partners dated 05.02.21, see here. (05.02.2021)
  • Updated DfE guidance on running holiday and after-school clubs, see here. (02.02.2021)
  • Education secretary Gavin Williamson has announced the pausing of lateral flow testing in secondary schools for daily contact testing. You can read the full message from the education secretary. There is also an accompanying statement about this change from Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Test and Trace. Testing of staff is being rolled out to primary schools. See ISC update here (20.01.20) HMC Member Zone access required.
  • Consultation outcome on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021, see here. (15.01.2021)
  • Consultation on alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021. See here. (15.01.2021)
  • For the HMC, Cognita, Academies Enterprise Trust and Ormiston Academies Trust co-signed vaccination plan letter to the Prime Minister, see here. (10.01.2021)
  • DfE guidance: Children of critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings. See here. (Updated 08.01.2021)
  • See the statement from HMC on on iGCSE exams here. (08.01.2021)
  • DfE guidance: Critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings, see here. Updated (08.01.21)
  • See a blog from HMC General Secretary, Dr Simon Hyde, titled 'Passing the buck' here. (06.01.2021)
  • See the statement from HMC on iGCSE examinations here. (06.01.2021)
  • DfE update: Oral statement to Parliament - Education Secretary statement to Parliament on national lockdown , please see here. (06.01.2021)
  • Ofqual news story: A message from Simon Lebus, Chief Regulator, on exams in 2021, please see here. (06.01.2021)
  • See the statement from HMC on Public Exams here. (05.01.2021)
  • See the HMC statement calling on the DfE urgently to clarify its response on the opening of primary schools here. (02.01.21)
  • For government guidance on administering Covid-19 tests, see here. (31.12.20)
  • A schools and colleges handbook to support the Test and Trace programme from NHS Test and Trace is available here. (15.12.20)
  • DfE announcement on extra measures to support students ahead of the summer exams, see here. (03.12.20)


HMC member resources

Further resources can be accessed here (Member Zone access required).