Coronavirus Updates for Education HR Teams
We have replicated the guidance and advice issued for schools on this page. We have also included some specific questions and answers relating to schools.
Questions & Answers
It is likely that schools will need to remain open during the Easter Break to continue to provide a service for critical workers. Can we ask teachers to continue to work?
- Last Reviewed: 1 April 2020
- Published: 26 March 2020
We are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of COVID-19. In these circumstances it is reasonable to ask school staff to be flexible and work through what would have been the Easter Holidays. You should consider the need to protect their leave entitlement so may need to stagger teachers having a two week break.
DfE have issued guidance on a range of areas relating to schools remaining open for children of critical workers and vulnerable children. This guidance includes a brief comment on the need for schools to remain open throughout the Easter period and how to manage staffing in the ‘Holiday’ section.
Please be aware that some Trade Unions are indicating that Teachers should not be asked to work Good Friday or Easter Monday. Careful consideration must be given to the impact on critical workers and the services they deliver.
Can teachers be asked to work at a different school if their school is not open?
- Last Reviewed: 27 March 2020
- Published: 27 March 2020
Once schools have assessed their demand and capacity, any schools experiencing high demand should liaise with their local authority to establish whether any pupils or teachers need to be moved to an alternative setting.
Any schools which are unable to stay open should liaise with their local authority about teachers providing support elsewhere.
Teachers and other school staff should continue to be paid by their school as normal, wherever they are working.
Can after school club staff be furloughed?
- Last Reviewed: 2 April 2020
- Published: 2 April 2020
While Public Sector organisation can access the furlough provisions, the Government has issued clear guidance that it does not expect Public Sector Employers to make use of these provisions where they are continuing to receive their normal public funding to cover salary costs.
However, if schools can clearly evidence that their after school provisions are funded entirely from the income generated, with no recourse to public funds, then the after school club staff can be furloughed. If the staff are on Green Book terms and conditions, you should continue to pay 100% of salary to furloughed employees as this will keep them in line with employees who are unable to work from home and are still being paid at full pay rates.
At present we have no information about how HMRC will ensure the furlough provisions are applied correctly. However, given the expressed expectation that public sector bodies would not ordinarily make a claim under these provisions, it is likely that HMRC will closely scrutinise any applications for reimbursement from public sector employers.
Updates and Guidance
LGA Communication – 2 April 2020
LGA Communication – 1 April 2020
LGA Communication – 31 March 2020
- Updated free schools meals DfE guidance for schools
- ASCL, LGA, NAHT, NASUWT NEU and NGA Statement on Burgundy Book notice periods for teachers and school leaders
LGA Communication – 26 March 2020
- Guidance on Vulnerable Children and Young People – Questions and answers about the provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people
- Travel Advice for Educational Settings – Advice for educational settings, and their students and staff, who are travelling or planning to travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
LGA Communication – 25 March 2020 – Updated Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) comment regarding Movement during ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions.
“More guidance is going out to police today about what they should and shouldn’t be doing so hopefully this will settle down. We have been really clear about the importance of social care. The PM mentioned it in his statement on Monday night and the SoS did at the press conference last night. But it is difficult to ensure there won’t be a few off-kilter decisions made by a few police officers across the country”
LGA Communication – 25 March 2020 – Further updates from Department for Education (DfE)
- Guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement social distancing: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings
- Updated Guidance for Schools on Temporarily Closing and the principles to follow: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures
- Guidance for further education providers on maintaining education and skills training provision: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision
- Guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response
- Guidance for early years and childcare providers: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures
- Attendance Recording for Educational Settings – link to the online form educational settings should use to submit their record of attendance to DfE: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-attendance-recording-for-educational-settings
LGA Communication – 24 March 2020 – Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) response regarding Movement during ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions.
“We’ve had some queries about whether now, given there are more stringent restrictions on movement, workers will be asked to provide proof of status to allow them to move freely to and from work and on public transport. Stakeholders have referred to documentation that has been issued centrally by governments in other countries.
I wanted to let you know that this is not currently part of the plan here, although clearly it may be something that is considered in future. If asked by police the purpose for their journey those working in eg. the social care sector should simply state they are travelling to carry out work that cannot be done at home, and explain their key worker status. If employers feel that their staff would feel reassured by it, we suggest they provide a hard or electronic copy of a letter from their employer explaining their key worker status and why travel to a place of work is essential”
LGA Communication – 23 March 2020 – sharing key links for new and updated DFE guidance:
- School Closures: It sets out the principles Government would like all schools to follow. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures
- This guidance covers children: supported by the child social care system, with education health and care (EHC) plans, in alternative provision (AP) settings. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people
- Updated FAQs for parents – simple explanation of education closures. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers
- Updated Travel Advice for schools: reflecting FCO travel ban, advising against all domestic and overseas trips, and advice for students and staff currently overseas. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-advice-for-educational-settings/coronavirus-travel-guidance-for-educational-settings
- New Q&A re exam cancellation: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020
New GOV.UK collection page – all our GOV.UK CoV content in one place: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings
LGA Communication – 20 March 2020 – sharing Government Information:
The LGA will be issuing further workforce guidance on school closures ASAP. In the meantime here is information from the Government on Critical Workers and Information for parents and carers.
- Critical workers doc www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision
- Information for parents and carers of children at registered childcare providers (including nurseries and childminders), primary and secondary schools and further education colleges. This is for both state-funded and independent schools. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers
LGPS Guidance – 19 March 2020 – Reemployment of Key Workers Guidance on impact of recently retired workers returning to work.