Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance

Planning a phased return to school:

Guidance for schools and early years providers 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 Department for Education (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.

Read the school attendance services revised offer to primary and high school schools during coronavirus.


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.


Responsible Bodies and schools should note that it remains their responsibility to ensure that school buildings remain safe, healthy and well-maintained environments for staff and pupils during this period. To assist you in maintaining a safe environment read about Good estate management for schools (DfE)

Guidance on managing school premises, which are partially open, during the coronavirus outbreak (GOV.UK - 24 April)


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.

Provider portal funding

Guidance for early years settings adding claims to the provider portal (pdf)

Business support for childcare providers May 2020 with audio (pptx)

Educational psychology

COVID-19 related critical incident support in schools: Ealing educational psychology service April 2020 (pdf)

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

Family information service (FIS) details for critical workers

Emergency plan checklist

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


Food banks and distribution

Food poverty - One off emergency food deliveries for families without access to food or food banks via Ealing Together (news item 15 May).

Ealing Families Directory provides full details of local food banks and distribution services. To recommend other services please contact Jasmine Bellal by email, or telephone 020 8825 5605.

Free school meals

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

Read more about free school meals guidance during COVID-19 (news item updated 4 May)

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.

Free school meals eligibility for families with no recourse to public funds (news item 23 April)

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

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

Guidance about changes to newly qualified teacher (NQT) induction

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.

Newly qualified teachers (NQT)

Induction for newly qualified teachers during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Parents and key workers

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

Ealing Families Directory provides a range of useful advice and resources for parents. To recommend other resources please email

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment (PPE), is defined as equipment that workers can use or wear to guard against risks in the working environment.

Use of PPE is not routinely required for educational staff for protection against or spread of coronavirus, according to the guidance on implementing social distancing in schools

PPE poster advice for:

PPE should be disposed of in line with the guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings

Where a school needs PPE in line with the above guidance please contact the Family Information Service (FIS), email with details of what is required.

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

Guidance on managing shortages of PPE (GOV.UK - updated 27 April)

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)

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.

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)

Read our latest weekly Ealing governance COVID-19 update number seven (1 May)

For safeguarding guidance and advice for governing boards re new DfE requirements during Covid 19 to review and update school’s policies, please download our Ealing GB safeguarding COVID-19 update (9 April) (pdf)

Ealing sample agenda for full governing board meetings during COVID-19 meeting one (3 April) (word)

Support and online training/resources for Ealing governors 20 April (pdf)

Information for clerks who are AWR, agency or self employed (9 April) (pdf)
Please read this guidance together with the information in the staffing section


Ealing governance COVID-19 update number six (24 April)

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.


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.


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.

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).

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.


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

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

Getting tested for coronavirus: who is eligible, how to get tested and the different types of tests available (News: updated 19 May).


Transition to high schools

Transition for early years children

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.


Supporting social distancing for the school journey (pdf)
Suggestions from Ealing school travel team for schools and parents.

TfL travel advice for headteachers May 2020 (pdf)

TfL travel advice for parents, children and carers May 2020 (pdf)

TfL travel guidance (pdf)

Coronavirus - Check the latest travel information (TfL website)

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 (word)

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.

Vulnerable groups, 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 May 2020