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Updated 30th March 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap


From today, the rules on social contact, business and activities, and travel are changing as part of the coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap.


Outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the rule of 6) or 2 households will be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.


Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports. All children will be able to access any outdoor childcare and supervised activities. Parent and child groups, for the benefit of children aged under five years, can also take place outdoors with a limit of 15 attendees (children under five years of age and group facilitators do not count towards the attendee limit). Parent and child groups must be organised by a business, a charitable organisation or a public body.


The ‘stay at home’ rule will end, but many restrictions will remain in place.


Please see the guidance on the COVID-19 response – Spring 2021 (Roadmap) for further information.

Test and Trace support payment for parents


Parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate by their education setting or by NHS Test and Trace are now able to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment of £500, if they meet the eligibility criteria. The extension of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, which is administered by district and unitary local authorities in England, ensures that parents receive the financial support they need if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities.


Parents and carers should apply to their local authority to receive a payment. Applications for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme are made via the local authority in which the parent or carer resides, not the local authority where the setting is situated, if these are different.


To be eligible applicants must meet all of the criteria that:

  • they are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period
  • they are employed or self-employed
  • they cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result
  • they meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment

That their child or young person:

  • is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting
  • has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)

Households Testing


Find out who is eligible for twice-weekly testing and how to get tested if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). This guidance is for people without symptoms. 


New information explaining what ‘related occupations’ are to schools, nurseries and college staff and students. Added ‘early years education’ because the service includes childminders and childcare staff who do not work in nurseries.

COVID Self Isolation Period Shortened to 10 days


This press release explains the changes announced by Chief Medical Officers that self-isolation for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus will be shortened from 14 to 10 days across the UK from Monday 14th.


To confirm there is no firm guidance for Education yet. As soon as I have more information, we will update the website.

Changes to 2021 national curriculum assessments


The DfE have recognised the challenges that primary schools are facing in light of the ongoing disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) and as a result the 2021 national curriculum assessments will be more focused.


For 2021, they have removed:

  • all key stage 1 (KS1) tests
  • the key stage 2 (KS2) English grammar, punctuation and spelling test
  • the requirement to make and report teacher assessment judgements for science at KS1 and KS2


This means that the following statutory assessments will continue in 2021:

  • the phonics screening check for year 1 pupils (and year 2 pupils who have not met the expected standard previously)
  • KS2 English reading and mathematics tests
  • KS1 and KS2 teacher assessment (excluding science)

Updated guidance for parents and carers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak


The DfE have updated guidance for parents and carers to reflect the end of National Restrictions on 2 December and how these settings should operate under the local restriction tiers.


They have updated guidance on what parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges to clarify the position under the local restriction tiers for:

  • clinically extremely vulnerable children
  • face coverings
  • music, dance and drama performances
  • educational visits and trips
  • extra-curricular activities


They have updated guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings to clarify the position under the local restriction tiers for:

  • children with health care concerns
  • parent and child groups
  • music, dance and drama performances

Further Information is available at


School COVID-19 Information


Important information for parents which will guide the schools response to situations as they develop. Information includes:

  • Symptoms
  • Self-isolation
  • NHS Test and Trace
  • Getting your test results
  • Support bubbles


The DfE have also published a list of actions that schools must follow in the event that a child displays symptoms or if they confirm that there has been a member of the school community that has tested positive for coronavirus.

What school will do if a pupil is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

If anyone in school confirms that they have had a positive test for coronavirus (COVID-19), we will notify the DfE immediately. A dedicated NHS advice team will then work with us to carry out a rapid risk assessment and identify the appropriate next steps.

Letter from the Chief Nurse and Interim Chief Medical Officer of NHS Test and Trace on when parents and guardians should book a coronavirus (COVID-19) test for their child. 


Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline

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

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm

Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm


What parents and carers need to know about schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Information for parents and carers about going back to schools, nurseries and colleges in the autumn term.


Current dates and locations for mobile testing units



*Coronavirus testing for schools and colleges from January

From January, and starting with secondary schools, teachers and pupils will have access to rapid testing to help keep schools and colleges open throughout the spring term.


You can read the press notice and a detailed Q&A for parents, but here is a summary of the key details of the announcement:

  • Teachers and pupils will have access to rapid testing from January.
  • Staff who are in close contact with cases will be eligible for daily testing, eliminating the need for immediate self-isolation. Only if a daily test returns a positive result will the staff member need to isolate.
  • Testing will roll out as rapidly as possible from January, starting with staff and moving quickly on to serial testing of students.
  • It is the decision of the individual school or college when they would like to begin accessing this new dedicated testing capacity.


Local restriction tier posters

From Wednesday 2 December, England will move into local restriction tiers where different tiers of restrictions apply in different parts of the country. The Cabinet Office has published a series of posters that provide information about the local restriction tiers. The postcode checker can be used to find out the restrictions in your area or an area you plan to visit.


These rules will apply from 00:01 on Wednesday 2 December. Current national restrictions must be followed until this time.


Prime Minister announces new local COVID Alert Levels

Yesterday, 12th October, the Prime Minister set out how the government will further simplify and standardise local rules by introducing a three-tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England – medium, high and very high. Further information on what you can and cannot do if you live, work or travel in each of the local COVID Alert Levels can be found using the links below:


These rules will apply from 00:01 on Wednesday 14 October. Current local guidance must be followed until this time.


The government has prioritised ensuring all children can attend school safely, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians. Decisions on any restrictions necessary in education settings are taken separately on a case-by-case basis in the light of local circumstances, including information about the incidence and transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).


New legal duty to self-isolate comes into force today

From today, 28th September, people in England will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace. This law has been introduced to ensure compliance with self-isolation rules and to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).


Fines will also be introduced from for those breaching self-isolation rules, starting at £1,000, in line with the existing penalty for breaking quarantine after international travel. This could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and the most serious breaches, including for those preventing others from self-isolating.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel corridors

Coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations mean that you must self-isolate for 10 days when you arrive in the UK. This applies to UK residents and visitors to the UK.

You do not have to self-isolate on arrival in England if, during the last 10 days, you have only been somewhere on the travel corridor exempt list, or in the UK.


Rule of six

From today, 14 September, new laws prohibiting social gatherings of more than six people come into effect in England. The new ‘rule of six’ simplifies and strengthens the rules on social gatherings, making them easier to understand and easier for the police to enforce. It means that – apart from a set of limited exemptions including education and work – any social gatherings of more than six people indoors or outdoors will be against the law.


Public Health England launches Every Mind Matters campaign

Most families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the pandemic. With children and young people now back at school or college, the new Public Health England (PHE) Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign provides NHS-endorsed tips and advice to help children and young people’s mental wellbeing, and equip parents and carers with the knowledge to support them.

The new advice available on the Every Mind Matters website has been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities, including Young MindsThe MixPlace2Be and The Anna Freud Centre. It is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and support them, and also provides advice that can help maintain good mental wellbeing. The site also provides tools to help young people build resilience and equips them to look after their mental wellbeing.



NHS Test and Trace COVID-19 app

On 24th September, NHS Test and Trace has launched the NHS COVID-19 app. The app has been launched to help control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It will do this by alerting people who may have been exposed to infection so that they can take action. Schools and FE providers are not expected to create NHS QR code posters for their normal day to day operations however these are now in place for our lettings and any visitor to the school.

The app is available to download on smartphones for anyone aged 16 or over. 


Hands Face Space - make it work in Essex

CORONAVIRUS IS STILL VERY MUCH WITH US IN ESSEX AND CASES ARE INCREASING - what you need to do to protect yourself, other staff and pupils, those around you and the NHS:   

MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY – this means keeping 2 metres apart from people not in your bubble, and wash hands regularly, use hand sanitiser and comply with guidance on wearing face coverings

COMMUNICATE THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL DISTANCING TO YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY AND WIDER COMMUNITY – many people are observing social distancing, but some are not, particularly some people in the 18-30 age group which appears to be driving the increase in cases. It is essential that everyone understands the importance of social distancing if we want to avoid more stringent measures being put in place again

IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS - SELF ISOLATE IMMEDIATELY - and get yourself tested through the national test and trace process. Public health organisations locally and nationally are doing their best to make tests as available as possible.  Good infection control and social distancing reduces the number of positive cases that need to be tested.


 Department for Education (DfE) Communications


Parents to receive letter from NHS on annual flu vaccinations

This week, parents and carers of children in years 7 and below will receive a letter from the NHS reminding them that it is time for their child to receive their annual flu vaccination. The letter also provides details of where the vaccinations will take place and the need for parents and carers to provide consent before the vaccination can be administered. 


Responding to those with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms

It is vital that educational settings only ask children or staff to self-isolate and recommend they get a test if they develop symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those sent home to self-isolate, having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, should only get tested if they develop symptoms themselves. The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Testing capacity is the highest it has ever been, but there is a significant demand for tests. Booking is essential for drive in and walk in test sites, and under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 


Barnardo’s ‘See, Hear, Respond’ service

See, Hear, Respond is a service provided across England by Barnardo’s and other national and local community-based organisations in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

See, Hear, Respond, provides support to children, young people and their families who aren’t currently seeing a social worker or other agency, and who are struggling to cope with the emotional impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). See, Hear, Respond will support from pre-birth up to 18 years of age and those with special educational needs under the age of 25.

See, Hear, Respond will contact every referral made, so no child is missed. Help is available in one or more of four ways:

  • an online hub of support and information
  • online counselling and therapy
  • face-to-face support for those most affected and at risk of some of today’s most pertinent issues, such as criminal exploitation
  • helping children and young people reintegrate back into school

You can access via the ‘See, Hear, Respond’ service self-referral webpage or Freephone 0800 151 7015.