Coronovirus – update (12 March 2020)

Thursday 12 March 2020

We’re all aware of current concerns about coronavirus. We believe the right actions to take as a school are those that match the government’s advice based on scientific and medical evidence. We will continue to follow this. You’ll be aware that we’ve been communicating with you frequently about this. The Department for Education emails daily to schools with any new advice or other updates. Today’s email is below, in full.

This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Government coronavirus action plan
The government coronavirus action plan sets out what the UK has done to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), and what we plan to do next.

The situation is constantly reviewed and action informed by expert science and advice, guided by the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser.

The action plan can be found here.

Action plan recap
The action plan sets out a four-phased approach in response to coronavirus – Contain, Delay, Mitigate, and Research, based on the latest scientific evidence.

The current emphasis is on the Contain and Research phases, however planning for Delay and Mitigation is already in train.

As part of the Contain phase, we have been providing advice to educational settings in England. We also launched a DfE helpline to manage the flow of increasing queries, from providers parents and young people.

How to wash your hands properly
Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.
Watch this short NHS film for guidance.

Teach young children how to wash their hands with the NHS handwashing song.

Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls and apologise for any wait that you may experience. Your call will join a queue and we will answer as soon as possible.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the helpline.

Where to find the latest information

Educational resources

Latest Department for Education information

Finally, to reassure you, it’s worth remembering this, from the World Health Organization: ‘Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults.’