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.
The Government has been clear that exams will go ahead next summer, as they are the fairest and most accurate way to measure a pupil’s attainment. Students now have more time to prepare for their exams next year, as most AS, A levels and GCSEs will be held 3 weeks later to help address the disruption caused by the pandemic.
Universities have welcomed back students and we have published guidance advising universities on reopening to ensure they have safety measures in place to minimise the spread of the virus. Universities and adult education settings should consider moving to increased levels of online learning where possible.
There are further restrictions in place:
- If you live at university, you must not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time. You should only return home at the end of term. We will publish further guidance soon on how students can travel home safely at the end of term
- Training for extra-curricular purposes, for instance as part of clubs, should not take place. Facilitated activities for children where these provide a childcare function for working parents are allowed to continue
During the national restrictions, face coverings should 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.