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 Department For Education
 
 

24th September 2020 Update on the government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

NHS Test and Trace COVID-19 app – resources for schools, parents and young people

Today, NHS Test and Trace has launched the NHS COVID-19 app. The app has been launched to help control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It will do this by alerting people who may have been exposed to infection so that they can take action.

The app is available to download on smartphones for anyone aged 16 or over. This means that some students in year 11, students in years 12, 13 and in further education colleges will be eligible to use the app and benefit from its features. In addition to the guidance for schools and further education colleges which we published yesterday, NHS Test and Trace has published guidance and resources to support the use of the app which are available to download.

Schools and further education colleges may find the fact sheet for parents and the poster about storing phones in lockers useful.

 

Personal protective equipment deliveries to schools and further education colleges

Schools and further education colleges have been sent a small amount of personal protective equipment (PPE). This one-off distribution of PPE was provided free of charge by the Department of Health and Social Care to help build resilience across the education sector to respond to any suspected cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) arising in schools and colleges. The PPE should be used strictly in accordance with guidance on safe working in education, childcare and children's social care settings, and should not be re-purposed or used for non-coronavirus (COVID-19) related situations.

If your school or further education college has not received the PPE delivery, please check for undelivered parcels at your local Royal Mail depot. Following this, you can notify the Department using this online form. The online form will be available until 6pm on Wednesday 30 September.

 

Personal protective equipment available to children’s homes, secure children’s homes and residential special schools

Children’s homes, secure children’s homes and residential special schools are able to order personal protective equipment (PPE) free of charge from the Department of Health and Social Care PPE portal. The PPE should be used strictly in accordance with guidance on safe working in education, childcare and children's social care settings, and should not be re-purposed or used for non-coronavirus (COVID-19) related situations.

Eligible settings have been sent an email inviting them to register for the PPE portal. Emails have been sent to the address that we hold on Get Information About Schools (GIAS). Any setting that has not yet registered with the portal will receive a second invitation email in the next week.

From 2 October, if you have not received this invitation email, please contact the Department of Health and Social Care customer service support team:

Phone: 0800 876 6802

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 7am to 7pm

Callers will be asked to provide their Unique Reference Number (URN) when contacting the team to authenticate their eligibility.

Parents to receive letter from NHS on annual flu vaccinations

This week, parents and carers of children in years 7 and below will receive a letter from the NHS reminding them that it is time for their child to receive their annual flu vaccination. The letter also provides details of where the vaccinations will take place and the need for parents and carers to provide consent before the vaccination can be administered.


The information below hasn’t changed since our last update


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

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline remains available to answer questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education and children’s social care. Please listen carefully to the available options and select the most appropriate to your nursery, school, or college’s current situation.

Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline by calling:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm

Advice service for nurseries, schools and colleges to respond to a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Public Health England (PHE) has introduced a new dedicated advice service, delivered by NHS Business Services Authority, for nurseries, schools and colleges. The service is for those needing support on the action they should take when they have been informed of a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in their setting (i.e. a pupil or staff member testing positive).

It can be reached by calling the Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline on 0800 046 8687 and selecting option 1. This option will take you through to a dedicated team of NHS Business Services Authority advisors who will work through a risk assessment with you to identify close contacts, and will inform you what action is needed based on the latest public health advice. Advisors will be responsible for referring more complex cases to the PHE regional health protection team, as necessary, following a triaging of your circumstances during the call.

Phone: 0800 046 8687 – option 1

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm

Please keep your GIAS contacts up to date

Please take this opportunity to review all of your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS). Keeping your details up to date will ensure that you continue to receive the most up to date information from the Department for Education and from the Department of Health and Social Care who are providing schools and colleges with coronavirus (COVID-19) testing kits.

For academy trusts, this will also ensure compliance with the Academies Financial Handbook.

To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services.

 
 

Monday 14th September update on the government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Rule of six applies from Monday 14 September

From today, new laws prohibiting social gatherings of more than six people come into effect in England. The new ‘rule of six’ simplifies and strengthens the rules on social gatherings, making them easier to understand and easier for the police to enforce. It means that – apart from a set of limited exemptions including education and work – any social gatherings of more than six people indoors or outdoors will be against the law.

The approach schools, colleges and other educational settings should continue to follow is set out in our detailed guidance:

Responding to those with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms

It is vital that educational settings only ask children or staff to self-isolate and recommend they get a test if they develop symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those sent home to self-isolate, having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, should only get tested if they develop symptoms themselves. The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Testing capacity is the highest it has ever been, but there is a significant demand for tests. Booking is essential for drive in and walk in test sites, and under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

In line with our guidance, the home test kits supplied to schools and colleges must be reserved for those who face significant barriers to accessing a test and would not otherwise get tested. Schools and college can order additional test kits if they have run out, or are running out, of test kits. From 16 September, you can order additional tests kits via an online portal. Kits will be supplied in boxes of 10. The number of boxes available to each school or college will be proportionate to their size. You will be able to make a new order for test kits 21 days after you receive a delivery confirmation email telling you that your previous supply of test kits has been sent. You will need a Unique Organisation Number (UON) to place orders for test kits. This will be emailed to you by Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on, or before, 16 September. After this date, please call the Test and Trace helpdesk on 119 if you have not received your UON.

Guidance on the actions an early years provider, school or college should take when responding to a child with symptoms or a positive case can be found in:

Schools and further education institutions receiving a delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE)

Schools and further education colleges have received a delivery of a small amount of personal protective equipment (PPE). This one-off distribution of PPE contains clinical face masks, aprons, gloves and visors, as well as the hand sanitiser needed to put on and take off PPE. The PPE has been provided free of charge by the DHSC to help build resilience across the education sector to respond to any suspected cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) arising in schools and colleges. Deliveries, which began on 26 August, have been packaged by Clipper and delivered by Royal Mail. Visors have been sent as a separate delivery from the rest of the PPE.

Schools and colleges that have not received their deliveries of free PPE can notify the Department for Education using an online form. The form is available until 30 September. Before completing this form, we ask that you first contact your local Royal Mail office to check for any undelivered parcels.

As set out in our guidance on safe working in education, childcare and children's social care settings, PPE is only needed if a child, young person or other learner becomes ill with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms in school or college, and only then if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.


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


Exam Results Helpline available until 18 September

The Exam Results Helpline, delivered by the National Careers Service, has been extended and will 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

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