Coronavirus (COVID-19) – what you need to know

We know you’re worried about COVID-19 and its impact on your pupils, staff and community. This is your go-to hub for practical advice and resources to help you every step of the way as the situation evolves. Our resources here are free to all schools, and we're adding more all the time.

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For school-specific enquiries, call the DfE’s coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687.

If a child or adult in school may have symptoms, use NHS 111 online if at all possible, or call 111.

Current situation

The latest news (last checked 5pm, 30 March 2020) is:

  • Lockdown is in place across the country, but schools will continue to stay open for select pupils (see below) and parents can continue to take these children into school if they cannot look after them safely at home [Schools Week]
  • Schools in England remain closed for most pupils until further notice, but where possible they're staying open (including during the Easter holidays) to look after:
    • Children of critical workers (e.g. NHS staff, police, delivery drivers)
    • Vulnerable children (e.g. children with a social worker or an EHC plan)
  • Full definitions for these two groups have now been released
  • Exams due to be held in May and June are cancelled, including SATs, GCSEs and A-levels, but pupils will still receive qualifications, calculated by exam boards based on teacher judgements and prior attainment
  • Performance tables won't be published for this academic year
  • Children on free school meals will get support from a national voucher system, which will be available as soon as possible. In the meantime, there are steps the DfE expects you to take

We're updating this routinely.

Support with immediate tasks this week

For support with other tasks, see links to more resources below.

Manage skeleton staff, pupil attendance and complete closure

Running your skeleton school

Staff sick pay and leave

How to record attendance

  • If your school is open for some children, you must complete the DfE's online form and submit this by midday, every day.
  • You do not need to take a normal attendance register at the moment. If you do, use code '#' (planned whole or partial closure) for administrative purposes
The DfE has also provided a spreadsheet to help you capture the information for the online form. You don't have to use this spreadsheet and you should not submit it to the DfE.
This is explained in the 'Attendance' section here and in more detailed instructions here.
Note: some MIS providers, including ScholarPack, are making updates to their registers to help you with this new system.

Ofsted inspection

As announced on 18 March, Ofsted has ceased all routine inspections "with immediate effect".
Urgent inspections could still go ahead, but the threshold for triggering them will be "really high". [Schools Week]
Ofsted has also "paused" the publication of inspection reports, until further notice, but will continue to send these to providers. [Schools Week]

School trips in the UK and abroad

Manage remote learning

Remote teaching and learning resources

Using online platforms for home learning:

Coming soon:

Using resource packs (see link above) will work fine as a way to support children's learning at the moment if you don’t already use a remote learning platform.

We'll soon be publishing more guidance on how to get started with more teacher-led forms of remote learning, which can help keep pupils engaged during a longer period of closure.

Also keep an eye on this resource hub for more on:

  • How to structure a remote curriculum
  • Tips on remote teaching
  • Help for parents, so they can support home learning

Remote learning policy

Coming soon:
  • Remote learning model policy

Advice for parents on home learning

Support and safeguard vulnerable pupils

Support children with SEND

Advice for special schools and SENCOs

  • Information and FAQs - advice from nasen on school closures, risk assessments, supporting complex needs, transport and more

Stay in touch with parents

Talking to pupils

Age-appropriate resources and tips

Follow the latest public health guidance

Do your bit to prevent the spread


Tell us what you need help with or how you're overcoming challenges right now, at We'll do our very best to support you. And we'll spread the best of what's happening every day in schools nationwide. 


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