Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance

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

Briefings and letters

Government guidance

Department for Education (DfE) guidance for full schools opening (GOV.UK)

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.


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.

Guidance for off rolling for children gone abroad


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

    Educational psychology

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

    Educational psychology service delivery during autumn 2020

    Advice for schools: Transition and back to school during COVID 19

    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

    Ventilation planning strategy

    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.

    Financial support

    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

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

    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).

    Home learning

    For pupils

    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 learning 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

    Planning and risk assessment

    Protective measures and equipment

    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.

    Examples of protective measures (pdf)


    DSL guidance for pupils returning to primary school (pdf)

    DSL guidance for pupils returning to high school (pdf)

    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.

    Private fostering during COVID-19 (pdf)

    Online safety advice for parents (news 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

    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.

    Read the latest Ealing Governance update.

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

    DfE school governance: COVID-19 update 8 October (GOV.UK)

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


    Revised joint guidance on the conduct of schools on professional matters in light of the covid-19 pandemic (NAHT)

    Staff attendance and absence (doc) 19 November

    Extension of furlough scheme (news item 9 November)

    Addressing individual staff concerns (pdf)

    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 31 March)

    Staff absences - Coronavirus (news 26 March) - 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 updated 11 May).

    Symptoms and testing

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

    PHE London Coronavirus Response Cell (LCRC) schools resource pack (pdf)

    LCRC schools resource pack documents:

    Parents' flowchart: What to do if someone has COVID-19 symptoms (word)
    Available to download in these languages: Arabic, Polish, Punjabi, Somali, Tamil, and Urdu

    Back to school poster for parents/carers (pdf)
    Highlights the importance of being in school with positive feedback from pupils, as well as key messages.

    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)

    COVID-19 confirmed cases: Template for notifications (news item 16 November)

    COVID-19 testing: Employer referral portal (news item 12 November)

    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.

    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: 27 Nov 2020