Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announces the COVID-19 Winter Plan

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced the COVID-19 Winter Plan setting out how national restrictions will be lifted on Wednesday 2 December. On this date, England will move back into a regional, tiered approach. There will be 3 local tiers of restrictions:

·        Tier 1: Medium alert

·        Tier 2: High alert

·        Tier 3: Very High alert

These rules will apply from 00:01 on Wednesday 2 December. Current national restrictions must be followed until this time.

Since the summer, the government’s priority has been to ensure that education remains open and in England, education settings will continue to remain open in all tiers. Children’s life chances, as well as the long-term health of the economy, depend upon children and students continuing to learn and develop vital skills, and adults being able to train and retrain to meet the changing needs of industry and the economy.

Thanks to the enormous effort by early years practitioners, teachers, lecturers and support staff who have worked so hard to implement protective measures, 99% of schools have been open throughout the term so far, with millions of children and young people benefitting from attending their early years setting, school or college throughout the term.

We will be updating our guidance in the coming days to reflect how settings should operate under the Local Restriction Tiers.

Help with accessing and buying resources to deliver remote education

We have published guidance for schools on accessing and buying educational resources for remote education during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This guidance provides a list of resources and initiatives to support schools to plan and deliver remote education. This includes a range of DfE-funded curriculum support as well as a list of DfE-approved frameworks, which schools may find helpful.

The information below has not changed since our last update

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

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline is available to answer questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care.

Please listen carefully to all of the available options before selecting the most appropriate option for your nursery, school, college or university.

Please select option 1 or 2 if you require specific advice on the action to take to respond to a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your setting. 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.

Please select option 3 or 4 for any other questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care.

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm

Look up your unique organisation number (UON)

If you have not received your unique organisation number (UON) for ordering new coronavirus (COVID-19) test kits you can can look it up using your unique reference number (URN) or your UK provider reference number (UKPRN) or by calling the Test and Trace helpdesk on 119.

Department for Education guidance

Our guidance to support education providers, local authorities and parents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be accessed using the links below:

·        Guidance for early years and childcare providers

·        Guidance for schools

·        Guidance for further and higher education providers

·        Guidance for local authority children’s services

·        Guidance for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings

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