11/09/2020 Government Advice

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 that they have had 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.

Updated guidance on providing free school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
In April, we temporarily extended free school meals eligibility to include some groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). This temporary extension will continue as schools return for the autumn term and covers both pupils who are attending school and who are unable to attend if they are required to self-isolate or if local lockdown arrangements are in place.

Further information on the eligibility criteria can be found in the guidance for the temporary extension of free school meals eligibility to NRPF groups.

Educational psychologists: support for coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery
We are inviting educational psychologists to express an interest in providing temporary support for children and young people returning to schools, colleges, and other educational settings. This opportunity is available to fully qualified educational psychologists and will last for up to 13 weeks.

To express an interest, contact the relevant local authority using the contact details listed in our guidance on how to express an interest in providing temporary support for coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery. The closing date for expressions of interest is 30 November 2020.

Public Health England launches Every Mind Matters campaign
Most families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the pandemic. With children and young people now back at school or college, the new Public Health England (PHE) Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign provides NHS-endorsed tips and advice to help children and young people’s mental wellbeing, and equip parents and carers with the knowledge to support them.

The new advice available on the Every Mind Matters website has been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities, including Young Minds, The Mix, Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre. It is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and support them, and also provides advice that can help maintain good mental wellbeing. The site also provides tools to help young people build resilience and equips them to look after their mental wellbeing.

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.


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