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. 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' updates

Key messages for schools from schools consultative group and ELP board.

Public Health update on cleaning, PPE, shielding (1 April 2020)

COVID-19 update for schools (27 March 2020)

COVID-19 upate for schools ( 24 March 2020)

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.


Closing of accounts and new year budget setting during COVID-19 (PDF)

Free school meals

Coronavirus (COVID-19): free school meals guidance (GOV.UK - updated 31 March)

Read more about free school meals guidance during COVID-19 (news item updated 3 April)

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. If you have any further questions please contact the pupil support service at, 0208 825 5566.

COVID-19: Free school meals national voucher scheme (news item 31 March).

Government guidance and advice

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

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

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

Refuse and recycling collections

Collections of recycling and food will now be collected on request only, food waste will continue to be removed weekly. D10 cleaning supplies urgently needed to keep vehicles sanitised.

Read more about Waste collection changes and request for supplies COVID-19 .


We have developed this toolkit for you, your governors and head teacher to use when reviewing your safeguarding school closure or partial closure, distance learning and vulnerable children. It also includes a list of questions and answers: COVID-19 safeguarding toolkit for school DSLs (Word)

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/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.


Security advice and closedown checklist for school managers during closures (news item 3 April)

Arrangements for unexpected school closures (PDF)

Partner schools (proposed) during unexpected closure (PDF)

Staffing during closures

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.

Staffing guidance for schools - Coronavirus - revised 25 March (pdf)

Key roles in schools during the Coronavirus pandemic - updated 3 April (pdf)

Volunteer database

Schools HR now have a database of staff from within Ealing schools who have registered as volunteers to work in other Ealing schools. This list is currently updated daily. Please contact schools HR, either Jackie Bourchier ( or Mark Nelson ( to request a copy of the database and password.

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 children

Where schools have concerns including not have a designated safeguarding lead (DSL) they should contact ECIRS. Emergency contact list

Please use this guidance to support members of staff keeping in touch by phone with parents of vulnerable children: Keeping in touch guidance for DSLs (PDF)

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.

Vulnerable groups, children and young people, Social care

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Last updated: 03 Apr 2020

Ealing Learning Partnership (ELP) directorate and associates

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