Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated 15/07/20

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 Membership 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 news as of 15.07.2020:

See here for news links.

We are compiling examples of the excellent work being carried out by HMC schools support the NHS, other key workers and their local communities during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

HMC Chair Fiona Boulton has thanked members for their efforts in this most difficult time for their own schools. See here for a press notice containing her comments and examples of dozens of schools making and distributing protective face masks free of charge for front-line NHS staff.  See here, here and here for case studies about how schools are supporting the NHS and local communities.

 

Useful links and information:   

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has announced the timing of the autumn term series of exams for students in England. AS and A levels will take place from October 5 to 23, and GCSEs between November 2 and 23. See here for more information. (09.07.2020)

DfE speech: Education Secretary's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 02 July 2020. See here

Ofqual has launched (on 02.07.2020) a consultation on next summer’s GCSE, AS-level and  A-levels exams. The consultation is only open for two weeks and closes on 16 July. All schools are urged to respond as the arrangements will impact all Year 11 and 13 teaching next year.

DfE press release: Schools and colleges to reopen in full in September. See here

DfE guidance: Guidance for full opening - schools. See here.

DfE checklist for school leaders to support full opening: behaviour and attendance. See here

DfE guidance: Managing school premises during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here

DfE guidance: Guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings. See here.

DfE guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here

DfE guidance: Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak. See here

DfE guidance: Taking exams during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here

DfE guidance: Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here. 

DfE guidance: COVID Summer Food Fund. See here

DfE guidance: School funding: exceptional costs associated with coronavirus (COVID-19). See here

DfE guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on the phased return of sport and recreation. See here

DfE guidance on intial teacher training (ITT): see here

DfE guidance on financial support for education, early years and children’s social care: see here.

DfE guidance: Changes to the law on education, health and care needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus. See here

DfE guidance: Protective measures for out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here

DfE guidance: Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here

DfE guidance: Local lockdowns: guidance for education and childcare settings. See here

DfE guidance: Higher education: reopening buildings and campuses. See here

DfE guidance: What FE colleges and providers will need to do from the start of the 2020 autumn term. See here

DfE news story: Ofqual launches consultation on 2021 exams and assessments (02.07.2020). See here

DfE news story: Ofqual publishes more details on appeals and confirms autumn exam arrangements (30.06.2020). See here.

DfE news story: Self-isolation lifted for lower risk countries in time for holidays this summer (03.07.2020). See here.

DfE guidance: Teaching mathematics in primary schools. See here

DfE press release: Plans to ease guidance for over 2 million shielding. See here.

DfE guidance: Keeping children safe in education statutory guidance for schools and colleges. This guidance will come into force on 1 September 2020 and at that point KCSIE 2019 will be withdrawn. Until then schools and colleges must continue to use KCSIE 2019. See here.

DfE speech: Education Secretary's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 19 June 2020. See here

DfE press release: Billion pound Covid catch-up plan to tackle impact of lost teaching time: See here. (19.06.2020)

Education secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed there will not be a return to school for all primary children before the summer holidays, although there will be some scope for primary schools to bring back more children if they have the capacity. See here for more information. (HMC Member Zone access required)

DfE press release: Primary schools to be given flexibility to bring back more pupils. See here. (15.06.2020)

DfE guidance: Planning guide for primary schools: see here. - The guidance has been updated to provide information on how primary schools can use flexibility to welcome back additional pupils this term, where they have capacity. (15.06.2020)

DfE guidance for secondary school provision from 15.06.2020: see here. - Updated guidance highlights that no further year groups in secondary schools – other than Year 10 and 12 – can return this term. However, pupils from other secondary year groups can be invited back for a face-to-face meeting before the end of term provided schools follow wider guidance on protective measures.

DfE guidance: Planning a curriculum to teach at school and at home: see here

DfE guidance: Supporting staff in curriculum planning for a phased return: see here

Study launched to monitor prevalence of COVID-19 in schools (09.06.2020)

The new voluntary coronavirus (COVID-19) study will assess and monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 among pre-school, primary and secondary school pupils and teachers. See here.

Schools reopening in Wales   

Operational guidance for schools and settings: Keep Education Safe (COVID-19) from the Welsh government: see here

Schools reopening in Scotland

Schools in Scotland will return in a “safe, phased opening” from 11 August. See here for the re-opening schools guide from the Scottish government. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 2: Scotland’s route map update. See here

Schools reopening in Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland schools will reopen for Primary 7 and Years 12 and 14 on August 24. The advice is available here.

DfE article: Weir sets out plans for the reopening of schools (18.06.2020). See here

English Boarding update

DfE guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK. See here

Quarantine form for boarders: all arrivals to the UK must provide information regarding their quarantine arrangements. Please ensure your boarders are familiar with this form when communicating details about returning to school.

For an update on boarding houses from BSA (30.05.20) see here. (HMC Member Zone log-in required).

NHS Test and Trace

The Test and Trace service will help to manage the risk of the virus re-emerging as restrictions on everyday life are eased. Employers will play their part by making their workplace COVID-secure and encourage workers to follow any notifications to self-isolate. 

DfE press release: Government launches NHS Test and Trace service: see here

DfE guidance: NHS test and trace: workplace guidance: see here

Secondary school provision 

DfE guidance for secondary school provision from 15.06.2020: see here. Updated guidance highlights that no further year groups in secondary schools – other than Year 10 and 12 – can return this term. However, pupils from other secondary year groups can be invited back for a face-to-face meeting before the end of term provided schools follow wider guidance on protective measures.

Ofqual latest

Ofqual has launched (on 02.07.2020) a consultation on next summer’s GCSE, AS-level and  A-levels exams. The consultation is only open for two weeks and closes on 16 July. All schools are urged to respond as the arrangements will impact all Year 11 and 13 teaching next year.

DfE news story: Ofqual launches consultation on 2021 exams and assessments (02.07.2020). See here

DfE news story: Ofqual publishes more details on appeals and confirms autumn exam arrangements (30.06.2020). See here.

Ofqual (22.05.2020) confirms students will be awarded calculated grades, publishes consultation decisions, a new interactive qualifications tool and a new consultation on arrangements for an autumn exam series for GSCEs, AS and A-levels and more: here 

Ofqual’s statement, analysis and decisions in response to our consultation on exceptional arrangements for awarding GCSEs, AS, A levels, Extended Project Qualification and Advanced Extension Award in maths. It has also published an infographic on the process for awarding GCSEs, AS and A levels summer 2020 and updated our information for students and schools and colleges films.

Ofqual autumn series consultation outcome (30.06.2020).

It has also updated its Guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers document and Information for Heads of Centre, Heads of Department and teachers on the submission of Centre assessment grades document.

It has also published the consultation decisions on the assessment and grading of vocational, technical and other general qualifications.

Scientific advice

Evidence on the safety and impact of reopening schools has been published by the government's scientific advisory group, Sage: here.

Research and analysis: Department for Education explanatory note on SAGE modelling. See here.

See BBC News story: here.

HMC Briefing for Members

HMC Member Zone – ensure you’re logged-in to the HMC Member Zone first, then find HMC Briefing for Members documents here (log-in required).

Reopening schools

DfE speech: Education Secretary's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 02 July 2020. See here

DfE press release: Schools and colleges to reopen in full in September. See here

DfE guidance: Guidance for full opening - schools. See here.

DfE guidance: Guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings. See here.

DfE checklist for school leaders to support full opening: behaviour and attendance. See here

DfE guidance: Managing school premises during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here

DfE guidance: Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak. See here

DfE guidance: Taking exams during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here

DfE guidance: Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here. 

DfE guidance: COVID Summer Food Fund. See here

DfE guidance: School funding: exceptional costs associated with coronavirus (COVID-19). See here

DfE guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on the phased return of sport and recreation. See here

DfE guidance: Protective measures for out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here

DfE guidance: Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here

DfE guidance: Local lockdowns: guidance for education and childcare settings. See here

DfE guidance: Teaching mathematics in primary schools. See here

DfE press release: Plans to ease guidance for over 2 million shielding. See here.

DfE guidance: Keeping children safe in education statutory guidance for schools and colleges. This guidance will come into force on 1 September 2020 and at that point KCSIE 2019 will be withdrawn. Until then schools and colleges must continue to use KCSIE 2019. See here.

COV-19 space planning for Boarding schools from the architects Squires and Brown. See here.

Schools to reopen in Wales on 29 June 2020. See BBC News story here

Schools in Scotland will return in a “safe, phased opening” from 11 August. See here for the re-opening schools guide from the Scottish government. 

In Northern Ireland, Education Minister Peter Weir has announced that pupils in primary seven, and in the key GCSE and A Level years would return to school on Monday, August 17, with other groups to follow in September.

DfE guidance for secondary school provision from 15.06.2020: see here. Updated guidance highlights that no further year groups in secondary schools – other than Year 10 and 12 – can return this term. However, pupils from other secondary year groups can be invited back for a face-to-face meeting before the end of term provided schools follow wider guidance on protective measures.

DfE guidance: Preparing for wider opening of schools from June 1st. See here.

DfE press release: PM confirms schools, colleges and nurseries on track to begin phased reopening. See here

DfE policy paper: Actions for educational and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020. See here.

Evidence on the safety and impact of reopening schools has been published by the government's scientific advisory group, Sage: here.  See BBC News story: here.

Sage: Modelling and behavioural science responses to scenarios for relaxing school closures: see here

DfE overview of scientific advice: here.

ISBA risk assessment for re-opening schools (login required): see here

ISBA planning guide for re-opening schools (login required): see here. 

ISBA risk assessment for staff returning to school (login required): see here

DfE's Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for educational settings: here.

DfE guidance: Making the most of reduced classroom time: See here

DfE guidance: Critical workers who can access schools or educational settings. See here

DfE guidance: Changes to the law on education, health and care needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus. See here

DfE guidance: School attendance: guidance for schools. See here

DfE guidance: Opening schools for more children and young people: initial planning framework for schools in England: see here.

DfE guidance: Actions for educational and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020: see here

DfE guidance: Planning guide for early years and childcare settings: see here

DfE guidance: Planning a curriculum to teach at school and at home: see here.

DfE guidance: Supporting staff in curriculum planning for a phased return: see here.

DfE guidance: Planning guide for primary schools: see here

DfE advice for attendance recording in educational settings: see here.

DfE guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings: see here.

DfE guidance: Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE): see here

DfE guidance: Supporting children and young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening: see here

DfE guidance on opening schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June 2020: guidance for parents and carers: see here

DfE guidance on examples of teaching practice during coronavirus (COVID-19): see here

DfE guidance on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19): see here

DfE guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers: see here

The Department for Transport has issued advice on how parents and pupils can travel to school safely as part of the #TravelSafely campaign. Resources have been developed to help parents, pupils and staff to stay safe on the public transport network. This includes information on how to cycle and walk safely, where possible. See here

Financial and legal

Important changes to the Government's furlough scheme as at 03.06.2020. See here. (HMC Member Zone access required)

Links to advice and guidance can be found on the Messages to Members and Coronavirus (COVID-19) sections of the HMC Member Zone homepage: see here.

Further Government announcements

DfE press release: Billion pound Covid catch-up plan to tackle impact of lost teaching time: See here. (19.06.2020)

DfE guidance for secondary school provision from 15.06.2020: see here.

Evidence on the safety and impact of reopening schools has been published by the government's scientific advisory group, Sage: here.  See BBC News story: here.

Government guidance for schools and other educational settings.  See here.

The UK Government released its document “Our Plan to Rebuild”, although this only applies currently to England. Page 26 relates to schools. 

Government guidance - Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do: see here

Government guidance for employers to get back up and running and operating safely: see here.

COVID-19 essential worker testing

DfE guidance guidance on getting tested: see here. Includes guidance on arranging a test through self-referral and employer referral methods. 

DfE press release - Coronavirus testing extended to all essential workers in England who have symptoms: see here

Exams

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has announced the timing of the autumn term series of exams for students in England. AS and A levels will take place from October 5 to 23, and GCSEs between November 2 and 23. See here for more information. (09.07.2020)

Ofqual has launched (on 02.07.2020) a consultation on next summer’s GCSE, AS-level and  A-levels exams. The consultation is only open for two weeks and closes on 16 July. All schools are urged to respond as the arrangements will impact all Year 11 and 13 teaching next year.

DfE news story: Ofqual publishes more details on appeals and confirms autumn exam arrangements (30.06.2020). See here.

Ofqual (22.05.2020) confirms students will be awarded calculated grades, publishes consultation decisions, a new interactive qualifications tool and a new consultation on arrangements for an autumn exam series for GSCEs, AS and A-levels and more: here 

DfE guidance: Centre responsibility for autumn GCSE, AS and A level exam series: guidance. See here.

Ofqual’s statement, analysis and decisions in response to our consultation on exceptional arrangements for awarding GCSEs, AS, A levels, Extended Project Qualification and Advanced Extension Award in maths. It has also published an infographic on the process for awarding GCSEs, AS and A levels summer 2020 and updated our information for students and schools and colleges films.

It is launching an autumn series consultation today (22.05.20) and the closing date will be 8 June. If you wish to provide a response to the consultation, please do so using the online response form.

It has also updated its Guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers document and Information for Heads of Centre, Heads of Department and teachers on the submission of Centre assessment grades document.

It has also published the consultation decisions on the assessment and grading of vocational, technical and other general qualifications.

Cambridge Assessment International Education update on submitting grades: see here.

Ofqual publishes initial decisions on GCSE and A level grading proposals for 2020 (5th May 2020): see here.

Ofqual statement on 30th April 2020 about their updated guidance for private candidates: see here

JCQ has published supplementary information on validation of evidence by centres for private candidates: see here

JCQ issued a statement on 28 April, which gives clarity about the deadline for submitting centre assessed grades for this summer’s GCSEs and A-levels: see here

Ofqual open consultation on exceptional arrangements for exam grading and assessment in 2020: see here. The consultation is on grading specified general qualifications in 2020: GCSEs, AS, A levels, Extended Project Qualifications and Advanced Extension Award. This consultation has now closed.

DfE guidance on awarding qualifications in summer 2020: see here.

DfE guidance on the cancellation of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2020: see here.

Ofqual has published a blog on arrangements for summer 2020. It has also published a short film for teachers and another for students which it says are to help everyone understand the process better.

Ofqual Summer 2020 grading guidance. See here.

HMC Chair Fiona Boulton responds to Ofqual guidance on grade assessments. See here

DfE direction issued to the Chief Regulator of Ofqual. See here.

ISEB has issued an updated statement on Common Entrance, confirming its position remains "that we seek to ensure that where schools wish their pupils to take CE, they may do so". See here

DfE/Public Health England advice and guidance

Central page for all DfE COVID-19 guidance, see here.

DfE guidance: Guidance for full opening - schools. See here.

DfE guidance: Guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings. See here.

DfE guidance: Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak. See here

DfE guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here

DfE guidance: Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here. 

DfE guidance: Protective measures for out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here

DfE guidance: Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See here

DfE guidance - School funding: exceptional costs associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) for the period from March to July 2020. See here.

DfE guidance - Claiming exceptional costs associated with coronavirus (COVID-19). See here.

DfE guidance for secondary school provision from 15.06.2020: see here. Updated guidance highlights that no further year groups in secondary schools – other than Year 10 and 12 – can return this term. However, pupils from other secondary year groups can be invited back for a face-to-face meeting before the end of term provided schools follow wider guidance on protective measures.

DfE guidance: Preparing for wider opening of schools from June 1st : here.

DfE's Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for educational settings: here.

DfE overview of scientific advice: here.

DfE guidance on safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers: see here

DfE advice for educational settings: see here

DfE guidance on financial support for education, early years and children’s social care: see here.

DfE guidance on closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers: see here.

DfE guidance on implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings: see here

DfE guidance on supporting vulnerable children and young people: see here.

DfE guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Keeping children safe from abuse and harm: see here

DfE guidance on key workers: see here.

DfE guidance on isolation for residential educational settings: see here.

DfE guidance for schools about temporarily closing: see here

DfE guidance on managing school premises during the coronavirus outbreak: see here

DfE guidance on reducing burdens on educational and care settings: see here

DfE guidance on free school meals for schools: see here

DfE guidance on COVID Summer Food Fund: see here.

DfE guidance on travel advice for educational settings: see here

DfE guidance on online education resources: see here.

DfE guidance on staying safe online: see here.

DfE guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): keeping children safe online: see here

DfE guidance on examples of teaching practice during coronavirus (COVID-19): see here

DfE guidance on remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19): see here

DfE guidance on remote education practice for schools during coronavirus (COVID-19): see here

DfE guidance on safeguarding and remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19): see here.

DfE case studies: remote education practice for schools during coronavirus (COVID-19): see here.

DfE guidance on what parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: see here

DfE guidance on school funding: exceptional costs associated with coronavirus (COVID-19): see here

DfE guidance on getting technology support for children and schools during coronavirus (COVID-19): see here

DfE guidance on intial teacher training (ITT): see here

DfE guidance on qualified teacher status (QTS): qualify to teach in England: see here

DfE guidance on teaching about mental wellbeing: see here.

DfE guidance on funding: ITT coronavirus (COVID-19) course extensions 2019 to 2020L: see here

DfE guidance on the assessment only route to QTS: criteria and supporting advice: see here.

DfE collection: Early career framework reforms: see here.

DfE guidance on school and college performance measures: see here.

DfE guidance on school admission appeals: see here.

DfE press release: Extra support for schools and parents to help cope with coronavirus: see here.

DfE press release: Covid-19 adoption support fund scheme to help vulnerable families: see here

DfE guidance: Higher education: reopening buildings and campuses. See here

DfE guidance: Higher education: reopening buildings and campuses. See here

DfE guidance: What FE colleges and providers will need to do from the start of the 2020 autumn term. See here

The Home Office has produced some new resources on safeguarding children and young people, including downloadable posters and guidance to parents and carers on keeping children safe from abuse and harm. (01.07.2020)

Public Health England/Government advice: see here.

The DfE coronavirus 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 as follows:

  • Phone: 0800 046 8687
  • Opening hours: 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday
  • If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

DfE temporary removals or relaxations of statutory requirements

From 1 June to 30 June 2020 (in the first instance at least):

DfE decision: Modification notice: school registration legislation changes, see here

Independent Sector

Independent Schools Council (ISC) information for schools: see here

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) has a coronavirus FAQs page for schools on the Member Zone of its website (login required), which continues to be updated.

Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) update for schools: see here.

For details of school closures by country from ISC Research.  See here

Government support for businesses

The Government has set-up a website explaining the different initiatives currently available to support business. See here

Further information on VAT deferrals can be read here.

Safeguarding pointers for remote teaching

ISI has a coronavirus page on its website (see here), which includes some safeguarding pointers for remote teaching (see here).

Digital learning support for schools

DfE guidance: list of online education resources for home education: see here.

Strategies for Teaching Online: see article here

Remote working & wellbeing guide - For school leaders & staff, see here. Tips for school leaders, see here. Tips for individuals, see here

Audio education service, Audiopi, is offering schools free access to its GCSE & A Level podcast tutorial service for two months to help them mitigate the possible impact of coronavirus.  Visit its website, here.

For the Infinity Global – Virtual Learning Platform: see here.

View online lectures on various teaching subjects as a resource for learning from home for Sixth Form students from Gresham's College. See here

Online webinars

To view recordings of Team ASCL webinars, see here

Teaching, school closures and inspections 

For ASCL's FAQ page: see here.

How to support pupil, staff and parental wellbeing when your school is closed - A Tes Webinar presented on 1st April 2020, drawing on the experience of Kellett School In Hong Kong during the closures because of Covid-19. See here.

ISI - deferral of all ISI scheduled inspections: see here.

UK quarantine

The requirement for quarantining travellers arriving in the UK begins on  8th June 2020. The policy will be first reviewed in three weeks, and there is no indication as yet whether the policy will still be in force at the beginning of the Autumn Term.  The DfE has confirmed that schools will be deemed as suitable accommodation for any quarantine requirement, and this has also been confirmed by the Scottish Government, subject to Home Office requirements being met.

Quarantine form for boarders: all arrivals to the UK must provide information regarding their quarantine arrangements. Please ensure your boarders are familiar with this form when communicating details about returning to school.

DfE guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK. See here

Immigration and Visas 

Government guidance - Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents. See here

Visa centres around the world are beginning to reopen. The Home Office has also issued the following documents:

Insurance

The Association of British Insurers has set-up a central page providing advice on different types of insurance during the current pandemic. See here.

A written parliamentary question submitted by Lord Lexden, president of the Independent Schools Association, about whether independent schools are eligible for compensation for business interruption has been answered by Lord Agnew of Oulton. Questions and answers are published in full online.

Further useful links: