Letters

Government Coronavirus Exam preparation and Ofqual advice

We recognise that students, parents, schools and colleges will be concerned about the possible impact of coronavirus on the 2020 summer exam series. Ofqual’s advice at this time is to continue to prepare for exams and other assessments as normal.

Ofqual continues to work closely with exam boards, other regulators and the Department for Education to plan for a range of scenarios, as the public would expect. Our overriding priorities are fairness to students this summer and keeping disruption to a minimum.

It is still many weeks until exams start and we will issue updated advice if necessary, giving schools and colleges as much notice as possible.

The latest updates from Ofqual can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/updated-statement-on-coronavirus

This document sets out what the UK as a whole has done to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next.

The action plan can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

Action plan overview

The action plan sets out a four phased approach in response to the Coronavirus – Contain, Delay, Mitigate, and Research. An approach designed by world leading experts.

As there are already cases in the UK, the current emphasis is on the Contain and Research phases, but planning for Delay and Mitigation is already in train.

As part of the Contain phase, we have been providing advice about educational settings in England, which can be found on Public Health England’s website. We also launched a DfE helpline to manage the flow of increasing queries, from providers parents and young people.

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes – also help in delaying the peak of the infection.

The action plan is a framework that outlines the types of options open to government in each of these four phases. But this document is only a list of the types of measures we could consider – not those we are planning to implement.

Current advice remains in place: No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

The importance of hygiene

Yesterday, the Department of Health and Social Care launched a public information campaign that focuses on the importance of handwashing. Washing hands for 20 seconds is central to prevent and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-information-campaign-focuses-on-handwashing


Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline


We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Department for Education Coronavirus helpline

Today, we have launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:Phone: 0800 046 8687

Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.

The importance of hygiene. Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19.
Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages. Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at: https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources
Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available.New guidance for employers.

The Department for Business (BEIS) and Public Health England have issued guidance for employers, which you can find at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19
Where to find the latest informationUpdates on COVID-19:
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Guidance for educational settings:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus