Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance

Guidance for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.



Schools do not need to take an attendance register. For administrative purposes Code # (planned whole or partial closure) should be used. Schools should submit a short daily return, reporting whether they are open and how many children and staff are in school. This will allow for a record of attendance for safeguarding purposes and allow schools to provide accurate, up to date data to the government. This will also help DfE to track capacity in the system, enabling the department to feed into wider tracking of the impact of the virus to support scientific advice.


Schools should follow government advice on cleaning and waste disposal in non-healthcare settings. Cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance

Cleaning an area with normal household detergent and disinfectant (at a dilution of 1,000 parts per million available chlorine) after someone with suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) has left, will reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people. There is no need for anything above and beyond this approach to cleaning environment.

Education psychology

The educational psychology service will continue to deliver a service to schools while adhering to current government advice to maintain ‘social distancing’. Read more about educational psychology support.

Emergency contacts

We are doing all we can to support schools in managing new expectations. If you or your school need urgent support, please use the emergency contacts list. For all other support requests, please contact Julie Lewis or Gary Redhead

Family information service (FIS) details for critical workers

Emergency plan checklist

Download our example COVID-19 emergency plan checklist (DOCX)

Family information service for key workers

School and childcare arrangements information for critical workers and vulnerable children.

Government guidance (collection)

Collection of government and Public Health England guidance and advice for educational settings.

Free school meals

Headteachers should decide which of the available options will be best for families in their area. Schools can provide food on site, arrange deliveries or purchase a voucher to be given to the family. More information on support for pupils eligible for school meals is available. If you have any further questions please contact the pupil support service at, 0208 825 5566.

Read more about free school meals guidance during COVID-19 (news item updated 27 March).

Referrals for pupils

The LA business continuity plan is being revised to include what will be needed to continue ongoing referrals.

Refuse and recycling collections

We know that schools have been closed until further notice, but that a number of you will remain open for children of key workers. Let us know if you are open. Read more about waste collections during COVID 19.

School governance

In line with the current Covid-19/Coronavirus situation and emergency legislation allowing council meetings to be held without any or all of the participants being in the same place, there should be no face to face governing board (GB) meetings until further notice.

For guidance on making urgent decisions during the lockdown period and alternative ways to meet remotely, please download our Ealing COVID-19 Governance Guidance (27 March) (pdf)

For any further advice please email

School provision: from 23 March 2020

As per Government advice, most school-based education provision will cease for the majority of pupils from Monday 23 March 2020. The government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and have asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

In Ealing, the majority of mainstream schools (and settings including children’s centres) will remain partially open for vulnerable children and for children of key workers where required. Read more about maintaining educational provision and key workers (GOV.UK). Schools are advised to have evidence of this provided by parents or carers. It is expected that schools will open as per the normal operating hours and offer extended provision where possible for children of key workers.

Provision in special schools, specialist provision and ARP should continue wherever it is practically possible and where this does not place pupils or staff at increased risk.

All schools should be revising their Business Continuity Plan and closure plan as appropriate.

The Headteacher and chair of governors should be working together on communication to parents and carers regarding new arrangements. Communications should reflect what schools can accommodate in the short term i.e. until Easter in the first instance.

If a school is unable to remain open for any reason eg staff absence due to COVID 19, please contact Gary Redhead at the local authority

School provision: next 12 weeks

Provision should be focused on care for children and young people rather than on education. However, pupils will be supported to access online and other educational resources.

Schools are encouraged to continue to provide extended provision for children of key workers. Where this is not possible, schools may wish to signpost parents to other providers in the area. The list of these providers will be coordinated by the LA and published on EGfL in due course.

If schools have concerns about being able to purchase necessary provisions (hand sanitiser, food), or have surplus to requirement and are willing to share this with a school in need, they can contact the Family Information Service

Staff who are not ill at home are expected to be doing work where practical. Schools should plan how they can support staff to work from home, and pupils to receive education at home wherever possible.

Schools to take practical measures to support pupils’ access to online resources and paper-based resources where possible. The scale of support for home learning is expected to be proportionate and in conjunction with public exams etc. Manage expectations of staff, pupils, parents. Provision of IT for FSM pupils a priority KS4 and P16.

If agency staff are no longer required, there is no expectation that they will be paid or not paid indefinitely. There may be more obligations for any agency staff member has worked 12 weeks + at the school. Schools should work with their HR provider on a case by case basis.

Staffing during closures

Staff absences - Coronavirus Latest government advice on social distancing, particularly those who are at increased risk of severe illness

Key roles in schools during the Coronavirus pandemic (pdf)

Staffing pool

Headteachers will be asked to keep a record of staff who are available to support other schools within the local authority especially in relation to SEND. Staff may be redeployed on a voluntary basis to support borough wide provision. Schools HR are working with schools to create a partnership-wide data base to support schools with staffng.

Symptoms: guidance for anyone with possible coronavirus

For the Department of Health and Social Care, and Public Health England guidance for anyone who thinks they may have symptoms, please see: Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

Support for schools

Local authority and ELP teams will be doing all they can to support schools in managing new expectations. If you or your school need urgent support, please us the emergency contact list. For all other support requests, please contact Julie Lewis or Gary Redhead

Transport (SEN)

Schools should remind parents to contact the Transport Hub regarding any children not attending school so we can notify providers accordingly. Similarly, parents need to inform the Hub when their child is due to return to school. Schools are keeping in regular contact with the hub, and providing information of those who are and are not expected to attend. Routes may be adapted to meet changing need.

Vulnerable groups - safeguarding

We are developing guidance and plans for vulnerable children on CP plans inline with national guidance. Where schools have concerns including not have a designated safeguarding lead (DSL) they should contact ECIRS. COVID 19 emergency contact list

Vulnerable groups, children and young people, Social care

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Last updated: 27 Mar 2020

Ealing Learning Partnership (ELP) directorate and associates

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