Updated guidance on providing school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated our guidance on providing school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to include information on the Covid Winter Grant Scheme and the expansion of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme.

We have also provided information on the provision of free school meals to pupils who are clinically extremely vulnerable. Where a pupil is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical or public health advice, we expect schools to be able to provide food parcels for pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals during term-time.

Home Office campaign launched to protect victims of child abuse

The Home Office has joined forces with charities including Childline, Barnardo’s and The Children’s Society to launch a new campaign to protect victims of child abuse.

The month-long campaign, ‘Something’s Not Right’, encourages young people to recognise different forms of abuse, including sexual and physical abuse, report it and receive help. The campaign will see animated adverts aimed at secondary school aged pupils aged 13 and over, running across Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Young people will be directed to a dedicated page on the Childline website where they can access information and seek support.

The campaign has been introduced in response to evidence that suggested young people faced a greater risk of sexual abuse, criminal exploitation and domestic abuse due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). The monthly average number of Childline counselling sessions about domestic abuse and abuse increased by 20% and 22% respectively in April to July 2020, compared to pre-lockdown levels.

The campaign will help victims understand what may be happening to them and provide age-appropriate advice on how to report concerns to a trusted adult such as a teacher.


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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