Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance
Advice for schools and childcare settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including operating guidance and emergency contacts.
- Letter to parents from Judith Finlay: congestion outside schools and public health messages (pdf)
Letter also available to download in Arabic, Polish, Punjabi, Somali, Tamil and Urdu.
- September reopening: a letter from Judith Finlay (pdf)
- September opening overview (pptx) 1 September
- Provision of children’s services: A letter from Judith Finlay (pdf) August 2020
DfE helpline: 0800 046 8687 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, weekends 10am to 4pm)
School operating guidance
Guidance for schools and early years providers during the pandemic.
- Early years providers
- Educational psychology
- Emergency contacts
- Facilities, buildings and cleaning
- Financial support
- Free school meals
- Home working
- Planning and risk assessment
- Protective measures and equipment
- Remote education
- School governance
- Symptoms and testing
- Vulnerable groups
- Wellbeing and mental health
Read the attendance guidance for schools.
Schools should be taking an attendance register and using the codes suggested on this page to record attendance and absence. All settings should submit daily attendance figures using the educational setting status form by midday every day.
During the pandemic, schools may have to deal with the death of a member of staff as a result of the coronavirus or for other reasons. Read about what you should do when an employee dies and use our letter template to correspond with the next of kin in these circumstances.
Early years providers
- Early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term: translations for parents and carers (GOV.UK)
- Managing the return to early years settings
- Managing cases of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in early years settings
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance for early years providers (news 8 June)
- COVID-19 Risk assessment for schools and childcare settings
Recovery, Re-introduction and Renewal: Safe and Successful Returns to School (a handbook by the Association of Educational Psychologists)
Emergency contacts and support
Local authority and Ealing Learning Partnership teams will do all they can to support schools. For urgent support, please refer to the emergency contact list. For other support requests, please contact Julie Lewis or Gary Redhead.
There are tactical groups in place to plan and communicate back to the emergency management response team to keep schools open and in relation to short and long term school recovery issues arising from COVID-19.
Facilities, buildings and cleaning
Schools should follow government advice on cleaning and waste disposal in non-healthcare settings. Cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance. The same cleaning advice is reiterated in the full guidance to educational settings about COVID-19.
- Self-isolation payments (Ealing Council)
- Schools and academies can claim exceptional costs relating to coronavirus (GOV.UK)
- COVID-19 financial implications and most recent DfE guidance 15 June (pdf)
- Funding support for schools - guidance from DfE (GOV.UK)
- Closing of accounts and new year budget setting during COVID-19 (PDF)
DfE guidance on furloughing staff now takes into account the sums you receive from government free entitlement payments and other sources of income you receive, including parental fees. Refer to the coronavirus job retention scheme guidance sheet (pdf). The income percentage calculator (xlsx) can help you work out the percentage you can claim through the coronavirus job retention scheme.
Free school meals
Government has advised that they expect catering providers to support pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals who have to be at home for reasons relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) by providing food parcels. There is no requirement to provide universal infant free school meals to infant pupils who are not in school.
Read more about free schools meals for pupils at home due to coronavirus related reasons (news 16 September).
ELP home learning recommendations and support (PDF) - includes videos and other resources.
Supporting your children's education during coronavirus (COVID-19) - Information, guidance and support for parents and carers of children who are learning at home. GOV.UK
Home working guidance
DSE workstation checklist (word)
Working at home safely (pdf)
Planning and risk assessment
- Risk assessment tool (choice of formats):
- Individual risk assessment and support plan template (doc)
- Arrangements for the provision of children’s services from September
- TfL travel guidance for schools (TfL website)
- Health improvement recovery curriculum
- Guidance for professionals working with parents to support children’s return to school (ppt)
- Supporting your child's return to school booklet (Ealing Familes directory)
- Coronavirus planning framework (doc)
- List of suppliers for cleaning products, protective equipment, non contact thermometers, social distancing signs and more.
- Ealing COVID-19 outbreak prevention and control plan (Ealing Council)
- Download our example COVID-19 emergency plan checklist (DOCX)
Protective measures and equipment
List of PPE suppliers including protective wear, social distancing signs, non-contact forehead thermometers.
COVID-19 safeguarding toolkit for school DSLs (doc) Updated 22 May
This is an updated resource to guide and support your DSL role in carrying out safeguarding duties both for children in school and those who are learning at home. It also provides contact details for professional support service.
Online safety advice for parents (news 14 May)
If any board members do decide to meet in person, then they would need to comply with social distancing, any local health and safety measures and the school’s risk assessment. Our advice is that whilst social distancing rules remain, boards should continue to adopt alternative arrangements for holding meetings.
Sample autumn (1) 2020 agenda for full GB meeting (doc) EGfL log in required.
Staff attendance and absence (doc) 16 October
Staff absences - Coronavirus (news 26 March) - government advice on social distancing, particularly those who are at increased risk of severe illness.
The coronavirus job retention scheme is a government scheme under which an employer can furlough its employees if it needs them to stop work by reason of circumstances arising as a consequence of coronavirus (news updated 11 May).
Symptoms and testing
- Flowchart on what to do if there is a suspected or confirmed case (pdf)
- Flowchart on what to do if there is a suspected or confirmed case (doc)
To report a positive COVID-19 test result, the school must:
- Inform DfE on 0800 046 8687 and select the option for reporting a positive case. Open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. New DfE contact number for reporting confirmed COVID-19 cases. News item 17 September.
- Contact Public Health England if you have more than one case in a 14 day period, eg cluster or outbreak on 0300 303 0450
- Inform Steve Dunham DunhamS@ealing.gov.uk, 07940 546 263 or Raj Chowdhury ChowdhuryR@ealing.gov.uk 07568 130165
- Inform the Council’s public health team firstname.lastname@example.org
How schools can inform close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case
Includes template letter to parents of confirmed case of COVID-19
Testing kits for schools: delivery, instructions and support (docx) - from Department of Health and Social Care
Guidance for anyone who thinks they may have symptoms, please see: Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection For the Department of Health and Social Care, and Public Health England
Ask for a test to check if you have coronavirus (NHS website): who is eligible and how to get tested.
How schools are working to overcome the challenges facing vulnerable groups of pupils during the pandemic:
Where schools have concerns including not have a designated safeguarding lead (DSL) they should contact ECIRS. Emergency contact list
Keeping in touch guidance for DSLs (word)
Please use this guidance to support members of staff keeping in touch by phone with parents of vulnerable children.
Guidance: keeping in touch calls for children with an EHCP (word)
To support members of staff keeping in touch by phone with parents of children with EHC plans.
Support to improve attendance of the most vulnerable children during COVID-19 (news item 22 May)
There are two new resources to guide and support your school's response if you have low attendance of vulnerable pupils.
- Ealing Safeguarding process to help increase attendance of vulnerable children during COVID-19
- Ealing Safeguarding guidance – Frequently asked questions COVID-19
Children and young people, social care
- Virtual child protection conference guidance effective 6 May 2020 - Social workers and child protection advisors (pdf)
Wellbeing and mental health
Wellbeing and mental health support for you, your colleagues and your family.