Revised Guidance from the Department of Education (DfE)
The DfE has issued revised guidance today.
In summary the key changes/points are:
- The government will publish a plan for taking the country out of lockdown in the week commencing 22 February
- Confirmation that schools will not return to full on site provision before 8 March at the earliest and will be given at least 2 weeks notice of any return date
- Confirmation that staff in any setting should self-isolate following a positive LFD test.
- Staff in primary settings still need to arrange a PCR test to confirm a positive LFD test. The easiest and quickest way to do this is via the online portal. In the meantime, they, and their close contacts, should self-isolate.
- There may be individuals working in schools, such as supply staff, where when asked to self-isolate, are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating.
- These individuals may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500. More information can be found here.
- Schools should continue to encourage vulnerable children to attend and review whether there are other children and young people who might be newly vulnerable and benefit from on-site attendance.
- Schools should avoid face to face interviews when recruiting and offer alternative options if possible.
- Schools can open up or hire out their premises for use by external wraparound childcare providers, including for February half-term for children of critical workers and/or vulnerable children.
- Schools should also have in place procedures to check whether a vulnerable child is able to access remote education support, to support them to access it (as far as possible) and to regularly check if they are doing so.