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Coronavirus - updated advice 8th September 2020

The Department for Education (DfE) is continuing to update on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

 

What to do if a pupil is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have published a list of actions that early years, schools and further education colleges must follow in the event that a child or young person displays symptoms or if they confirm they have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The action lists are sector specific and print friendly. They can be accessed using these links:

·         action list for schools

·         action list for early years and childcare providers

·         action list for further education colleges

If anyone in your early years setting, school or college confirms to you a positive test for coronavirus (COVID-19), you should notify your local health protection team immediately. The health protection team will work with you to carry out a rapid risk assessment and identify the appropriate next steps.

The Joint Biosecurity Centre has also published Action Cards to provide the latest instructions for anyone responsible for businesses or organisations on how to identify, report and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. This includes action cards for the education sector, with more detail about what information your local health protection team may ask you.

Department of Health and Social Care webinars on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing

This week, the Department of Health and Social Care is hosting webinars that will focus on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing, specifically the testing routes available, when to allocate home testing kits and how these should be used. These sessions are available to all schools and further education colleges and can be booked through this online portal.

Schools and further education colleges have been receiving an initial supply of 10 home test kits in line with the commitment we made in July. Deliveries, which began on 26 August, have been made by Royal Mail. Email notifications were sent two days before delivery.

If schools or further education colleges have not received their test kits by the start of their term, they should contact the NHS Test and Trace helpdesk on 119.

You should only offer a home test kit to individuals who have developed symptoms while at school or college (or to their parent or carer if the child is under 18) in the exceptional circumstance that you believe they may have barriers to accessing a test elsewhere, and that giving them a home test kit directly will therefore significantly increase the likelihood of them getting tested. This will help you to take swift action to protect students and staff in the event of a positive test result

Further information on when to provide a test kit can be found in the guidance on home test kits for schools and further education providers.

Reminder to submit the daily online educational settings status form to the Department for Education

We would like to thank those schools and colleges that have completed the daily return to date and ask you to please continue to provide information on your educational setting’s status. Please complete the educational setting status form by 12 noon daily.

Further guidance on completing the educational setting status form can be found in the guidance on recording attendance during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Ofqual announces changes to the assessment and awarding of Vocational, Technical and other General Qualifications in 2020 to 2021

Yesterday, Ofqual confirmed the changes awarding organisations will be required to make to assessment and awarding of Vocational, Technical and other General Qualifications in 2020 to 2021.

The Government’s expectation is that assessments will take place during 2020 to 2021. Awarding organisations are therefore being allowed to adapt assessments to enable them to better cater for any disruption. It is therefore not necessary to permit awarding organisations to offer calculated results for assessments taken in 2020 to 2021.

Full details of the changes that will be made can be found in Ofqual’s consultation decisions on the assessment and awarding of Vocational, Technical and other General Qualifications in 2020 to 2021.

The information below hasn’t changed since our last update.

Exam Results Helpline now available until 18 September

The Exam Results Helpline, delivered by the National Careers Service, has been extended and will now be available until 18 September to provide additional support to students and their parents as they consider their next steps. Callers to the helpline will have direct access to experienced careers advisers who can advise on the different options available to them including T levels, A levels, GCSEs, BTECs, apprenticeships and other vocational options. Support will also be available on topics such as clearing, university, gap years and the autumn exam series.

Phone: 0800 100 900

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 8am to 10pm

Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline is available to answer questions about coronavirus (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