Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance

Advice for schools and childcare settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including operating guidance, emergency contacts and plans for reopening.

Briefings and letters

Guidance for schools

School operating guidance

Guidance for schools and early years providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:


Schools should resume taking an attendance register. Schools should use the codes suggested on this page to record attendance and absence in the attendance register. All settings should submit daily attendance figures using the educational setting status form by midday everyday.


In these difficult times schools may find themselves unfortunately dealing with the death of a member of staff either as a result of the coronavirus pandemic or 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.


Ventilation planning strategy (pdf)

Air conditioning and ventilation during the coronavirus (HSE)


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 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.

General cleaning and disinfecting of touched objects and surfaces is advised more often than usual using your standard cleaning products.

There is no need for anything above and beyond this approach to cleaning environment. In most cases, closure of the educational setting will not be needed, but this will be a local decision based on various factors such as establishment size and risk of further spread.

Directors' communications and news

Early years providers

Financial support for education, early years and children's social care

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) for further information. The income percentage calculator (xlsx) can help you work out the percentage you can claim through the coronavirus job retention scheme.

Educational psychology

Recovery, Re-introduction and Renewal: Safe and Successful Returns to School (a handbook by the Association of Educational Psychologists)

Advice for schools: Transition and back to school during COVID 19 May 2020 This guide outlines the psychological approaches and key principles that can be flexibly applied by schools to their own timescales and the measures governing their returns. It provides advice on how schools can support all their children and young people in managing this transition.

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 (updated 30 April).

A publication from the British psychological service on Teacher resilience during Coronavirus school closures

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

Emergency plan checklist

Ealing COVID-19 outbreak prevention and control plan (Ealing Council)

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


Free school meals

Coronavirus (COVID-19): free school meals guidance (GOV.UK)

The Government has advised that, from September 2020, 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 item 16 September)

Government guidance and advice

Collection of government guidance and advice for educational settings (includes cancellation of exams).

Guidance: implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

Telephone 0800 046 8687 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, weekends 10am to 4pm).

Home learning

For pupils

ELP home learning recommendations and support (PDF) - includes videos and other resources.

Educational resources for schools and parents to help children to learn at home, from DfE (GOV.UK)

Support pack for parents and pupils of English as an additional language (PDF)

For staff

Courses and other online learning for staff.

Home working guidance

DSE workstation checklist (word)

Working at home safely (pdf)

CIEHF Home working and staying healthy (pdf)

Advice from Posturite

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings guidance (GOV.UK)

List of PPE suppliers including protective wear, social distancing signs, non-contact forehead thermometers.


DSL guidance for pupils returnng to primary school (pdf)

DSL guidance for pupils returnng to high school (pdf)

COVID-19 safeguarding toolkit for school DSLs (Word) 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.

Private fostering during COVID-19 (pdf)

Online safety advice for parents (news item updated 14 May)

2020 Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE) consultation suspended due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) (GOV.UK)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers (GOV.UK).

School governance

In line with the current COVID-19 government advice there should be no face to face governing board (GB) meetings until further notice.

Read the latest Ealing Governance update.

Sample autumn (1) 2020 agenda for full GB meeting (word) EGfL log in required.

DfE school governance: COVID-19 update17 July (GOV.UK)

Read our previous Ealing governance news updates during COVID-19. For any further information or advice please email

School recovery

The council has put in place tactical groups (cells) to plan and communicate back to the emergency management response team around work to keep schools open and in relation to both short-term and longer-term school recovery issues arising from COVID 19.

Service arrangements

Arrangements for the provision of children’s services from September

Letter from Judith Finlay: Arrangements for the provision of children’s cervices from September Sent August 2020


Advice on staffing schools during the coronavirus pandemic was issued just days after the lockdown began in March. Attendance in Ealing and nationally has been low, while the vast majority of schools have remained open for critical workers, vulnerable children and young people. We have also seen a steady increase in attendance. We are grateful to schools and staff for making this happen.

We are mindful of the national considerations of a possible return to schools in the coming weeks, including discussions with headteacher and staff trades unions. We expect revised national guidance to be issued shortly and we will update our guidance in the light of these developments. As always the safety and welfare of staff and pupils will be paramount in drafting revised guidance.

Joint schools guidance on quarantine on entering or returning to the UK and self isolating before hospital admission 19 June (pdf)

Wellbeing guide for staff working in schools and trusts

All year round (AYR) support staff leave during the Covid-19 emergency (pdf)

Letter template - Informal warning for failure to maintain social distancing (doc)

Teachers and head teachers performance management during restricted opening (pdf)

Agency/supply staff and casual/AWR staff guidance (pdf)

Notice periods for teachers and school leaders during Covid-19 pandemic guidance (news item 31 March)

Staff absences - Coronavirus (news item updated 26 March) Latest government advice on social distancing, particularly those who are at increased risk of severe illness.

Key roles in schools during the coronavirus pandemic - updated 26 May (pdf)

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 item updated 11 May).


List of suppliers for cleaning products, protective equipment, non contact thermometres and social distancing signs and more.

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

Symptoms and testing

What to do if there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19

To report a positive COVID-19 test result, the school must:

Parents' flowchart: What to do if someone has COVID-19 symptoms (word)

How schools can inform close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case
Includes template letter to parents of confirmed case of COVID-19

Template letter to parents in case of confirmed case of COVID-19 in school (word)

Testing kits for schools: delivery, instructions and support (docx) - from Department of Health and Social Care

Coronavirus (COVID-19): test kits for schools and FE providers (GOV.UK)

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.


Transition to high schools

Transition for early years children

Vulnerable groups

How schools are working to overcome the challenges facing vulnerable groups of pupils during the pandemic:

Flyer to reassure and encourage parents to allow their child to attend school where appropriate (news item 15 June)

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.

Children and young people, social care

Wellbeing and mental health

Staff wellbeing - Support options available for employees during COVID-19 (pdf)

Wellbeing and mental health support for you, your colleagues and your family.

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Last updated: 30 Sep 2020

Ealing Learning Partnership (ELP) directorate and associates

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