Chancellor’s, Rishi Sunak, Spending Review statement

Today, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, set out in his Spending Review statement how the UK Government will provide billions of pounds in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) and how the Government will deliver stronger public services.

As part of the spending review, the Chancellor confirmed a £2.2 billion uplift for the core schools’ budget in 2021-22 compared to 2020-21 levels of funding. In addition, the Spending Review will fund £291m to pay for more young people to go into further education, £375m for the National Skills Fund, and £44m for early years in 2021-22 to increase the hourly rate paid to childcare providers for the government’s free hours offers.

The spending review will also fund investment in the Holiday Activities and Food programme to provide enriching activities and a healthy meal for disadvantaged children in the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays in 2021.

Guidance on how settings should operate under the Local Restriction Tiers

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 23 November, England will move into a regional, tiered approach of restrictions on 2 December. This was set out in the COVID-19 Winter Plan. We will be updating our guidance in the coming days to reflect how education, childcare and children’s social care settings should operate under the Local Restriction Tiers.

These updates will include the latest advice for clinically extremely vulnerable children, young people and staff, advice on the use of face coverings in education settings, educational trips, performances, and the provision of wraparound care. We will communicate through this daily email once these updates are published.

We will also be publishing our contingency framework which applies in the exceptional circumstances in which further restrictions on education are required in any area. The government will, however, do everything possible to avoid enacting those contingency measures at any stage.

Updated guidance on university student movement plans for the end of the term

We recognise there are limited circumstances in which some university placements may need to continue beyond 9 December, and therefore students may be unable to travel home during the student travel window.

We have updated our guidance on student movement and plans for the end of term which sets out the student placement exemptions which can continue. This update covers health and social care students, key worker placements, postgraduate and final year undergraduate initial teacher training trainees and other exemptions, for example postgraduate research students.

New survey launches today looking at technology use in schools

Today, the Department for Education, in partnership with Cooper Gibson Research, is launching a new, vital survey to explore what and how technology is being used in schools across England. This will help us understand what schools need to better support them in their remote teaching and learning strategies as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Schools will be randomly selected to participate and will be contacted by email or phone by Cooper Gibson Research over the coming days.

If you would like any further information on this survey, please contact edtech.team@education.gov.uk

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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