COVID-19

Coronavirus guidance for teachers

The Department for Education (DfE) explains that all schools, colleges and other education settings will be closed from Friday 20th March, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children. This year’s summer exam series and SATs tests will also not go ahead, with ministers pledging to work with the exams regulator “to ensure children get the qualifications that they need”.

Coronavirus: can teachers refuse to attend school?

Some teachers might feel they do not want to attend school because of the risk of Coronavirus and potentially infecting family and friends. ACAS explains that employers should listen to any concerns staff may have. The organisation also explains that if an employee refuses to attend work, it could result in disciplinary action. 

Coronavirus: Easter holidays

Where possible, the Department encourage childcare providers, schools and colleges to continue to look after critical workers’ childcare and vulnerable children throughout the Easter holidays.

Coronavirus: exams and assessment

The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed it will use teacher assessments to provide calculated grades for pupils this year. The aim is to provide grades to students before the end of July. They will be “indistinguishable from those provided in other years”, and pupils will have a chance to resit an exam if they don’t think the grade is fair.

Coronavirus: meeting expectations set from school

If school staff have concerns about what is expected of them the first course of action is to speak to their line manager or headteacher and ascertain what is expected of them before taking the necessary steps to work out how that might be achieved.

Coronavirus: QTS and NQTs

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that trainee teachers who miss out on their full complement of school training hours because of school closures will still qualify as teachers. Mr Williamson said he would be prepared to waive normal requirements to gain QTS for trainees.

Coronavirus: school governors

The DfE advises against governing bodies meeting in person, and to instead adopt alternative arrangements, for example, by using video or teleconferencing applications. These may include but are not limited to: Skype, Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

Coronavirus: social distancing in schools

The Department for Education (DfE) has produced guidance on how to implement social distancing in schools. Ensure class sizes reflect the numbers of teaching staff available and are kept as small as possible.

Coronavirus: staffing and school opening hours

The Department for Education (DfE) has published guidance for schools about closing temporarily. It includes a range of FAQs which outline details on staffing and opening hours for schools. We expect more detailed guidance to be published soon and will update this article accordingly. 

Coronavirus: supply teachers

The Department explains that support available for supply teachers and other temporary workers will depend on their employment status and individual circumstances. 

Coronavirus: who are keyworkers?

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home.

COVID-19: Mental health support

Managing your mental health is important during the COVID-19 crisis. We know that this will be a worrying time and you will be concerned about your role, income as well as supporting your pupils and wider school community.