Advice for School Closures

The Department for Education COVID-19 guidance for educational settings

-Last Updated 05/07/2020-

On the evening of the 18th March, Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education announced that from the end of Friday, the 20th schools would be closed, other than for the children of key workers. Further measures include:

  • schools being given provision to continue to offer meals to children who are eligible for free school meals.
  • cancellation of public exams this year
  • cessation of Ofsted inspections and there will be no publication of performance tables.
  • the Government working with exam boards, UCASA and Ofqual to make sure children are awarded qualifications

Further Details on Exams and Grades

On 20th March, the Department for Education published further details regarding exams and grades. You can find the complete departmental release here.

These measures include:

  • Working with universities to enable flexibility with grade boundaries
  • Grades will be awarded fairly to help those moving on to a career or high education
  • Possibility of sitting exams at the beginning of the next academic year

If you are expecting the school to provide free school meals normally please see this page for further information at this time. 

Exams in the 2020/21 Academic Year

On 18 June 2020 the Secretary of State for Education wrote to Sally Collier, Ofqual’s Chief Regulator, to set out his Department’s broad policy objectives in relation to exams and assessments in the 2020/21 academic year.

The letter outlines the Secretary of State’s determination that students sitting examinations or taking assessments next year should be able to progress to the next stage of their education or employment. It also notes his intention that the overall standard and rigour of examinations and assessments should be maintained wherever possible, given the current unique circumstances.

This letter can be found here

"I am taking concerns and issues raised by schools and colleges back to Ministers so that as policy is announced it is taking account of real issues on the ground.

I have been heartened by the resilience of our schools, and their can do attitude to helping fight this virus"

School Openings

From 1 June schools will begin reopening.To begin with this was limited to Primary schools, however, from June 15 it is expected that secondary schools can begin to reopen. 

I fully understand that parents are nervous about sending their children to school. It is absolutely natural to want to do everything possible to protect our children who are so very precious. I understand that and I know the Government understands that too. However, our children's mental health and development also needs protection and long term isolation is not good for them.

It is vital that schools are able to open safely and the Government has published updated advice for educational settings on how to prepare for wider opening of schools. This advice can be found here.

The Secretary of State recently outlined his plans to make it mandatory for parents to send their children back to school from September 2020. In order to prepare for this he has published extensive guidance and will continue to work with schools to prepare for the reopening. Further information can be found here.

Online Education Resources

The Government has published extensive resources for parents and households that are still home educating children during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

These resources can be found here.