Covid 19 Info - 16th March

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Webinar on qualifications

On Thursday 25 February, the Secretary of State for Education announced the package for alternative arrangements to exams for GCSEs, AS and A Levels, Vocational and Technical Qualifications and other general qualifications.

The Department for Education qualifications 2021 team is hosting a webinar on Wednesday 17 March from 1pm to 1:45pm to give you an opportunity to ask questions on the information that has been provided so far.

The webinar will involve a presentation from General Qualifications and Vocational and Technical Qualifications colleagues, followed by an opportunity for attendees on the call to participate in a question and answer session.

You can join the webinar using this link:

Qualifications webinar – Wednesday 17 March at 1pm.

Webinar on the testing programme for private, voluntary and independent nurseries

Nurseries in the private, voluntary, and independent (PVI) sector can now access an introduction to rapid testing webinar which provides information on how the testing programme should be managed by settings.

Further guidance on asymptomatic home testing is available for you to view on the primary schools and nurseries document sharing platform.

Test kit supplies for primary schools, school-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools

You will need to use the contact us form to place orders for additional test at home kits to enable twice-weekly testing of staff to continue over the Easter period.

Orders placed before 5pm on Wednesdays will arrive the following week, after this time orders will be processed and delivered the subsequent week. Therefore, we advise that you place an order no later than 5pm on Wednesday 17 March to ensure delivery in week commencing Monday 22 March.

Further information on how to order additional test at home kits and details on the national testing policy can be found on the primary schools and nurseries document sharing platform.

Support and guidance for those looking to return from overseas to teach in England

The Department for Education is supporting teachers currently overseas who are looking for new opportunities back home. We are running the second in a series of online events on Tuesday 23 March (10:00am to 11:15am GMT) where our panel of experts will cover topics such as how returners can best demonstrate the value they bring back to schools in England, remote interviewing tips, real life examples from teachers and school leaders who have recently returned as a result of the pandemic, as well as guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and the practical support available to you. You will also get a chance to ask questions, network with colleagues in a similar position and shape future sessions. Register online here for this free event.

An online information pack is also available and covers the key information teachers working overseas need as they consider a return to teach in England. Download the current information pack or visit us at Get into Teaching for further information.

Further personalised help and guidance is available including one-to-one support through the get an adviser service if you teach maths, physics or modern foreign languages. The teaching vacancies service can be used to browse by subject, role in school and full or part-time work, and to set up job alerts.

Information on the private candidate support grant

We have published new guidance on eligibility for exam centres to claim funding for assessing private candidates this summer. The announcement follows the government’s commitment to making sure that private candidates due to sit GCSEs, AS and A levels, and some vocational qualifications, will be able to receive a grade this summer at a similar cost to a normal year

Centres should work with private candidates to assess them on a range of evidence, which could include evidence from an established educational provider and the board-provided assessment materials. The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has also issued guidance for centres assessing private candidates, taking into account their different circumstances. These candidates should have the same opportunity as other students to be assessed on what they were taught, and centres can conduct assessments remotely if needed. Further guidance on assessing all candidates (including private candidates) will be published before the end of March.

To support centres with the particular additional requirements of assessing private candidates this year, especially given they will not have been taught alongside a wider cohort, and avoid the cost being passed on to candidates, we are providing additional funding for centres. Centres can claim £200 per private candidate entry and further detail is available in the private candidate support grant guidance. We encourage all available exams centres to help these candidates achieve their qualifications in this exceptional year.

JCQ will soon email all centres with a survey to express interest in supporting private candidates and will publish a list of available centres by the end of March. The exam boards have committed that private candidates or centres will not be charged late fees if entries are received by Monday 26 April.

Further Education guidance now available as HTML

We have published the actions for FE colleges and providers guidance in HTML format to make them more accessible for our audiences, compared to the original PDF format. We have also removed reference to 8 March where appropriate. There have been no policy changes as part of this process.

The schools coronavirus (COVID-19) operational guidance and Apprentices guidance will be converted to HTML shortly.

The information below has not changed since our last update

Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline and the PHE Advice Service (option 1)?is?available to answer any questions you have about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care.??

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours:?
Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm?
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm??

Please listen carefully to?all of? the available options before selecting the most appropriate option for your nursery, school, college or university.??

Look up your unique organisation number (UON)

If you have not received your unique organisation number (UON) for ordering new coronavirus (COVID-19) test kits you can look it up using your unique reference number (URN) or your UK provider reference number (UKPRN) or by calling the Test and Trace helpdesk on 119.

Department for Education guidance?

Our guidance to support education providers, local authorities and parents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be accessed using the links below:?? ?

·         guidance for early years and childcare providers

·         guidance for schools

·         guidance for further and higher education providers

·         guidance for local authority children’s services?