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Coronavirus: current situation for schools
Stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 news that affects schools. (Checked daily and updated whenever there's a significant change.)
The latest news is:
- On reopening schools, the prime minister has confirmed that the government believes it is safe for primary schools in England to reopen for pupils in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 from 1 June, and for secondary schools to offer some face-to-face support for pupils in years 10 and 12, from 15 June
- In the meantime, schools in England remain closed for most pupils, but where possible they're staying open to look after the children of critical workers and vulnerable children
- Remote learning:
- Devices and access - the DfE is providing free laptops/tablets and 4G hotspot devices for some of the most disadvantaged children who wouldn't otherwise have access to technology and the internet to support learning at home
- Digital education platforms - the Department has also partnered with Google and Microsoft to provide funded support to help schools get set up on G Suite for Education or Office 365 Education. Use our digital education platform resource hub to decide on the right platform for you and apply directly for the DfE-funded support
- Coronavirus testing - antigen tests are now available for school staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 or are self-isolating
- Exams in May and June have been cancelled, including SATs, GCSEs, A-levels, BTECs and other technical and vocational qualifications, but pupils will still receive grades. Read about the grading process for GCSEs and A-levels, and for BTECs and other qualifications
- Performance tables won't be published for this academic year
- Children on free school meals should still receive meals, even if they're not in school. You can use the national voucher scheme to do this
- Safeguarding - the DfE has published interim safeguarding guidance and delayed its consultation on updates to Keeping Children Safe in Education from September 2020. It has also published suggestions for how to safeguard pupils during remote learning
- Inspection - Ofsted has ceased all routine inspections. Urgent inspections could still go ahead, but the threshold for triggering them will be "really high". Ofsted has also "paused" the publication of inspection reports, until further notice, but will continue to send these to providers. [Schools Week]
- Exclusions timeframes still apply, although the regulations allow for times when it may not be possible to meet them. The DfE advises that you consider whether you can hold exclusions panels virtually, if it's reasonable to do so
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