For the latest medical advice, visit NHS.uk/Coronavirus.
The Department for Education COVID-19 guidance for educational settings
Schools, colleges and universities remain open. The Government will continue to prioritise the wellbeing and long-term futures of our young people and will not be closing core educational facilities, like early years settings, schools, colleges, universities and vocational training centres.
For those who are home-schooled, pupils can still access education and training in community settings where needed to receive a suitable full-time education.
On 6th January 2021 the government confirmed that all students taking GCSE, AS and A Levels regulated by Ofqual should be awarded grades based on assessments by their teachers. This decision was reached following a consultation and it was decided that due to the time spent outside of the classroom this was the fairest option for students. Students will have the right to appeal their grade should they wish to.
Universities have welcomed back students in the Spring 2021 term and the government have published guidance advising universities on reopening to ensure they have safety measures in place to minimise the spread of the virus. Following the recent review of the Roadmap from lockdown it is expected that no earlier than May 17th all students will be able to return to in person teaching.
In the meantime, Universities should not ask students to return to their term time accommodation until they are able to return to in-person teaching.
The following guidance is available for a return to campus:
- Students are encouraged to take a test before they travel back to university. This can be done by either home testing or at a community testing facility.
- Once students have returned to their term time accommodation, they should follow the broader national guidance and should only return to their family or another household when they are legally permitted to do so.
Face coverings should continue to be worn by students and staff in secondary schools and further education colleges in communal spaces, outside of classrooms, where social distancing cannot be maintained.
The guidance is clear that primary school children do not need to wear face coverings, and older children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities may be exempt from wearing them, depending on their need. No one should be excluded from education for not having a face covering.
Primary schools continue to have discretion to recommend staff and visitors wear face coverings in communal spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained, but this is not a requirement and it is for individual schools to make these decisions locally.
There is a dedicated helpline number for educational settings – please call 0800 046 8687 for any specific question not covered on this page.
Public Health England has created resource materials that contain public health advice about how you can help stop the spread of viruses, like those that cause coronavirus (COVID-19), by practising good respiratory and hand hygiene. To access, download and share this information, you will need to register for an account which only takes a couple of minutes.
Use e-Bug resources to teach pupils about hygiene.