Coronavirus information (updated)

Guidance for schools, colleges, nurseries and other education and early years settings on the coronavirus, COVID-19, and information for members.

Updates 20 October 2021:

Welsh Government: Further education: coronavirus: Changes to learning, exams, and attending schools and colleges during the coronavirus pandemic. Detailed guide

Updates 19 October 2021:

Scottish Government:

COVID-19 safety in schools:  Mitigations to be extended

England (DfE):  Latest DfE updated guidance and information

Updates October 2021: 

Welsh Government: 

Carbon dioxide monitors in education settings: guidance

Update on Schools and Colleges (14 October 2021) written Cabinet statement  

Funding to improve ventilation in schools and learning environments 

Wales: Voice Community Cymru:  Education unions webinar report (updated)

Voice Community: Latest COVID-19 FAQs

Information for Voice Community members:

Click here for government guidance for each UK country.

Social media: Follow Voice Community on Facebook and Twitter (@Voicetheunion, @VoiceCymru, @VoiceScotland) for news, shared content and resources.

Voice Community resources:

Latest FAQs

COVID-19 - Staying safe at work: This booklet is to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. (17 June 2020)

Learning and Activity Resources (last updated 17 April 2020)  

Useful contacts/websites/help for self-employed

Safe Return to Work (TUC):

Further TUC information and resources

Community: Returning to work after furlough

Voice Community Cymru:


Voice Community statements and comments:

October 2021: Voice Community Cymru:  

Update on close contacts guidance in Wales

Local Government Hardship Fund - update

England (Wales and Northern Ireland):  Adaptations to GCSE, AS and A level exams in England for summer 2022, arrangements for vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) and joint exam system contingency plan: England, Wales and Northern Ireland

29 September 2021: Voice Community Education Policy Podcast 7: September 2021

28 September 2021: Statement on vaccination of children

14 September 2021: Comment on the proposed vaccination of 12-16 year olds

31 August 2021: 

Education Policy Podcast 6 (England): August 2021

Wales: return to settings, September 2021

27 July 2021: Education Policy Podcast 5: July 2021

6 July 2021:  Voice Community comments on lifting of COVID restrictions

Archive of Voice statements and comments and resources on COVID-19

Government Coronavirus/COVID-19 guidance:

Scroll down for each UK country, or click here: England, ScotlandWales, Northern Ireland, UK Government/Treasury

Archive of informattion from JCQ, SAGE,  UK Chief Medical Officers, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Department of Health and Social Care



Ofqual, Ofsted etc  DfE

Cabinet Office

COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021  Guidance


13/14 September 2021  

Prime Minister to set out autumn and winter plan for COVID

Young people aged 12 to 15 to be offered a COVID-19 vaccine 

Department for Education (DfE)

Helpline: Phone: 0800 046 8687  (Opening hours: 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday,  10am to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday)

Teaching Blog: "For teachers by teachers"

Every Mind Matters: Looking after a child or young person's mental health 

Events: Senior mental health lead training for schools and colleges (DfE)

Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic Updated: 
Find out how apprenticeships will continue during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Priority appeals centre payments  Updated: 
Guidance on priority appeal payments, eligibility and making a claim for schools, colleges and other exam centres.

Managing coronavirus (COVID-19) in education and childcare settings Updated: 
What measures education and childcare settings should be prepared to introduce to manage coronavirus (COVID-19).

Senior mental health lead training Updated: 
Find out how to apply for a grant and access DfE quality assured training to help develop a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing.

Recovery premium funding Updated: 
Additional funding in the 2021 to 2022 academic year to support schools with education recovery following COVID-19.

Higher education restructuring regime guidance for applicants Updated: 
Details of the restructuring regime for higher education providers in England facing financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Higher education restructuring regime (HERR)  Updated: 
A scheme for higher education providers in England facing financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Providing school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Updated: 
Guidance for schools and local authorities on school meals arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Guidance for schools: coronavirus (COVID-19)  Updated: 
What school leaders, teachers and school staff need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for children's social care services  Updated: 
Advice about coronavirus (COVID-19) for local authorities and their partners to help support and protect vulnerable children.

30 September 2021:

Changes to the admission appeals regulations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
The guidance is non-statutory and explains the temporary arrangements put…

Awarding qualifications in summer 2022 Updated: 
What schools and colleges need to know about the contingency arrangements for awarding VTQs and other general qualifications in summer 2022.

Adaptations in 2022 summer exams to ensure fairness for students Updated: 
Students will sit GCSE, A and AS level exams next year with adaptations to recognise the disruption to their education.

Proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2022 Updated: 
A joint consultation published by Ofqual and the Department for Education on proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2022.

Contingency arrangements: GCSE, AS, A level, Project and AEA  Updated: 
Consultation proposals for contingency arrangements for the award of GCSE, AS, A level, Project and AEA qualifications in 2022.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) National Testing Programme: conditions of grant from August 2021 Updated: 
Conditions of grant funding from August 2021 for the national roll-out of rapid mass testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) in schools and colleges.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi explains the importance of vaccines for pupils aged 12 and up and condemns those "spreading conspiracy theories and targeting teachers and pupils at the school gates" (27 September 2021)

School attendance: guidance for schools Updated: 
Covers registers and attendance codes (including circumstances due to coronavirus (COVID-19)), school hours and term dates and improving school attendance.

Actions for FE colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak  Updated: 
Find out what you'll need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to maintain provision.

Further education COVID-19 operational guidance  Updated: 
Introduction This guidance sets out what FE and skills providers need to…

Coronavirus (COVID-19): test kits for schools and FE providers  Updated: 
Guidance for schools and further education (FE) providers on the initial supply of coronavirus (COVID-19) home testing kits for pupils, teachers and staff.

Higher education providers: coronavirus (COVID-19)  Updated: 
Coronavirus (COVID-19) operational guidance for higher education providers.

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19 Updated: 
Information for parents and carers about attending schools, nurseries and colleges in 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for children's social care services  Updated: 
Advice about coronavirus (COVID-19) for local authorities and their partners to help support and protect vulnerable children.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) test kits for children's homes  Updated: 
Guidance on when to test children and staff, type of test that should be used, and how to order more tests.

Special schools and other specialist settings: coronavirus (COVID-19)  Updated: 
What all special schools and other specialist settings will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): assessment processes for selective school admissions Updated: 
Guidance on entry testing for admission to state-funded selective schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responsibility for exams Updated: 
Guidance for schools, colleges and exam centres on who should enter students for exams, the health arrangements for exams and the support DfE is providing.

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Updated: 
What childcare services early years settings, childminders and local authorities need to provide during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Updated: 
Protective measures for providers of community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings offering provision to children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Updated: 
Guidance for parents and carers of children attending community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings.

Transport to schools and colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic Updated: 
What those responsible for transport to schools and colleges will need to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak Updated: 
What all schools will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

17 September 2021:

NHS to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to 12- to 15-year-olds: your questions answered.

COVID-19 vaccination programme for young people: guidance for parents (UK Health Security Agency) 

COVID-19 vaccination: resources for children and young people (Public Health England) 

    Click here for Archive of earlier DfE updates


    30 September 2021:

    Adaptations in 2022 summer exams to ensure fairness for students
    Students will sit GCSE, A and AS level exams next year with adaptations to recognise the disruption to their education.

    DfE guidance on vocational contingencies published 
    Exams and other formal assessments will go ahead for vocational and technical qualifications and other general qualifications

    Ofqual’s approach to grading exams and assessments in summer 2022 and autumn 2021
    Ofqual’s approach to grading for GCSE, AS and A levels to be fair to students: a transition year in 2022.

    Exam system contingency plan: England, Wales and Northern Ireland 
    This joint contingency plan is in place to deal with any major disruption that may affect exam candidates.

    Proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2022
    A joint consultation published by Ofqual and the Department for Education on proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2022.

    Contingency arrangements: GCSE, AS, A level, Project and AEA
    Consultation proposals for contingency arrangements for the award of GCSE, AS, A level, Project and AEA qualifications in 2022.

    Click here for Archive of earlier Ofqual updates


    Ofsted to review two education catch-up reforms  Updated: 
    Ofsted has been asked by the government to carry out an independent review of two key catch-up reforms: tutoring and teachers’ professional development.

    Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update  Detailed guide  (updated 3 June 2021)

    Education inspections in the summer term: Ofsted will not return to a full programme of graded inspections until September.  Updated: 

    Area SEND inspections to restart Updated: 
    Revisits to areas with a written statement of action will start from April 2021. Full inspection will resume from June 2021.

    Ofsted inspections to be done remotely Updated: 
    All planned inspection activity will be carried out remotely until 8 March at the earliest.

    Ofsted publishes short guide to what works well in remote education: 11 January 2021:
    Ofsted has published some advice to help school and college leaders and teachers develop their remote education offer.

    Ofsted: phased return to inspections Press release, 3 December 2020

    Education plans from September 2020 Detailed guide, 3 December 2020

    Ofsted announces new early years inspection arrangements 12 November 2020 Press release

    Tell Ofsted if you have a COVID-19 incident at your childcare business 11 November 2020 Detailed guide

    Ofsted's second report on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic  10 November 2020  Press release

    Ofsted suspends all routine inspections  (17 March 2020)

    Routine Ofsted inspections suspended in response to coronavirus (17 March 2020)


    Helpline: Phone: 0800 046 8687  (Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday))

    Local Government Association

    Information for councils


    Scottish Government, SNCT, SQA, GTCS below


    Joint messaging for schools’ return 12 April onwards: A Safer Return - Leading by example (pdf)

    FACTS message (Scottish Government)

    25 August

    Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance on preparing for the start of the new school term in August 2020 - Version 2 (25 August)

    12 August 2020

    Health and Safety Executive (HSE) plan to carry out sample spot checks on schools from 13 August onward (12 August 2020)

    10 August 2020

    A note from the Chief Medical Officer on the latest scientific evidence on COVID-19 and reopening Scotland’s schools (pdf) (10 August 2020)

    26 June 2020

    Guidance for education and childcare settings on implementing physical distancing and the use of Personal Protective Equipment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (pdf) (14 May 2020)

    Scottish Government / COSLA: Supporting coronavirus key workers (24 March 2020)

    Workforce Issues Advisory Group

    Voice Scotland has accepted an invitation from COSLA to participate in a ‘Workforce Issues Advisory Group’, involving HR advisers and the trade unions, which provides a platform to discuss and agree appropriate and consistent approaches across councils on workforce issues arising as a consequence of the spread of coronavirus Covid-19. The work of the group will be advisory and it will be for each council to make decisions based on local circumstances and national advice as matters develop. (16 March 2020)


    Student Teacher Professional Placements: February 2021 update

    FAQs (19 March 2020)
    Update for probationer teachers on our position regarding Covid-19.   (16 March 2020)
    Joint statement from GTCS and the Scottish Council of Deans of Education on contingency plans in response to Covid-19. (16 March 2020)

    Scottish Parliament

    Scottish Government

    18+ adults in Scotland: Further information on Registering for a coronavirus vaccine (

    COVID-19 safety in schools:  Mitigations to be extended
    News, 19 October 2021

    Adult learners impacted by COVID-19 will be supported through a new £2 million fund: The Community Based Adult Learning Recovery Fund will support those who have faced barriers to learning and increased isolation as a result of the pandemic (7 October 2021)

    5 October 2021:

    Education recovery: Setting out the way forward.

    Question: To ask the Scottish Government what support will be available to senior phase learners, particularly those from the most deprived backgrounds, in relation to preparation for the sitting of examinations for SQA national qualifications in 2021-22. Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 5 October 2021 Scottish Parliament: Written question and answer: S6W-03503 | Scottish Parliament Website

    29/30 September 2021:

    Letter: Protecting schools and pupils from misleading information about the COVID vaccination programme (pdf)

    Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reducing the risks in schools (updated 30 September 2021)
    The guidance has been updated to enable more school visitors, including allowing spectators at outdoor sports events.

    Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare COVID-19 Update: September 2021 (pdf)

    Vaccination appointments for 12-15 year olds 
    Invitations being sent out by letter.

    Vaccinations for 12 -15 year olds 
    Health Secretary accepts CMO advice to proceed.

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: First Minister's statement – 14 September 2021
    …from Monday 20 September… drop in clinics will be open for any 12 - 15 year old who has read the information and – in discussion with parents and carers – decided that they do wish to be vaccinated…And then…week beginning 27 September – letters will be sent to all 12 to 15 year olds inviting them to an appointment at a drop-in centre or vaccination clinic.

    School safety  14 September 2021
    Safety mitigations to keep children, young people and staff safe in schools will be extended until at least the October holidays. Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville confirmed that all current mitigations, including the use of face coverings by pupils in secondary school classrooms, will still be required to help keep schools as safe as possible.

    Study shows teachers not at an increased risk of hospitalisation with COVID-19 than the general population (Public Health Scotland) (2 Septembe 2021)

    Scottish Government / COSLA letter: Keeping schools and childcare settings in Scotland safe (3 September 2021)
    The letter asks education teams to pay particular attention to:

    • promotion of asymptomatic testing
    • consistent implementation of the latest guidance for contact tracing
    • ensuring that strengthened guidance on CO2 monitoring is implemented effectively

    Whole School Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing

      Click here for Archive of earlier Scottish Government updates

      Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT)

      SNCT 21/83 Sabbaticals (pdf) (30 September 2021)

      SNCT Teachers' Panel letter: COVID-19 Absence of effective mitigations in schools, February 2021 (pdf)
      Letter from members of the Teachers’ Panel (which includes Voice Community Scotland) highlighting our concerns and discontent regarding the failures in implementation of mitigation measures that should already be in place in schools.

      Latest circulars (February 2021):

      Remote Schools Allowance SNCT-21-77 (pdf)

      Distant Isles Allowance SNCT-21-78 (pdf)

      JS/20/81 CORONAVIRUS - COVID–19 Quarantine Arrangements – Letter of Advice (pdf)  (11 September 2020)
      Following from the provisions set out in SNCT 20/76, paragraph 4, the Joint Secretaries’ advice regarding school holidays is as follows (pdf)

      Glasgow LNCT  Joint Secretaries Advice note – 10 September 2020 (pdf)

      SNCT 20/76: Arrangements for Re-opening Schools August 2020, CORONAVIRUS (COVID – 19) (pdf) (4 June 2020)
      The Strategic Framework for the Reopening of Schools and ELC Provision confirms that the start date of the new term is standardised to 11 August 2020 on an exceptional basis for the purposes of managing COVID-19. This requires LNCTs to take decisions regarding the following issues....

      SNCT Supply Teachers Job Retention Payment Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs (pdf) (28 May 2020)

      Joint letter to John Swinney
      Letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills from the Teachers’ Side of the SNCT, including Voice Scotland, urging the Scottish Government to continue to exercise the greatest caution regarding the reopening of schools. (15 May 2020)

      SNCT Advice on Working Time Agreements Session 2020-21 CORONAVIRUS - COVID–19 (pdf) (12 May 2020)

      SNCT Teachers' Side letter to COSLA (6 May 2020)

      SNCT JS/20/78 Supply Teachers Job Retention Scheme (pdf) (3 April 2020)
      The SNCT has now given details regarding how the issue of payment for supply teachers not in a contract as at 20 March 2020 should be administered in all councils

      SNCT 20/75 SNCT School Closures Coronavirus (COVID-19)  (pdf) (26 March 2020)

      SNCT 20-74 Coronavirus COVID-19  (pdf) (13 March 2020)

      SNCT update on COVID-19 and self-isolation  (3 March 2020)

      SNCT Emergency Provision: Maintaining Continuity of Education (16 March 2020)

      Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

      Latest updates

      National 5, Higher & Advanced Highers updates:

      2021 Appeals Service announced - SQA 2 June 2021

      The National Qualifications Group has confirmed the Alternative Certification Model that will be used to award this year's National 5, and Advanced Higher courses (17 March 2021)

      Revised model for delivering National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher results in 2021 16 February 2021

      SQA Update from the Higher National and Vocational Qualifications 2021 Group  21 January 2021

      Update from the National Qualifications 2021 Group - National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher 12 January 2021

      Update from the National Qualifications 2021 Group: Support and guidance for Higher and Advanced Higher in session 2020–21 16 December 2020

      Delivering National 5 results in 2020-21 8 December 2020

      Update from the National Qualifications 2021 Group (11 November 2020)

      2021 Higher and Advanced Higher Exam Timetable (5 November 2020)

      SQA National Courses – Delivering Results in 2020  (20 April 2020)

      Joint statement from SQA and Colleges Scotland - Update to colleges (3 April 2020)

      SQA update on arrangements for quality assurance and the certification of National Courses and Awards – a message to schools and colleges (2 April 2020)

      Joint statement from SQA and Colleges Scotland on Higher National certification (26 March 2020)

      SQA statement on coursework for National Courses (24 March 2020)

      Exams update (19 March 2020)

      Scottish Government and SQA joint statement on the Coronavirus, and impact on August 2020 certification (18 March 2020)

      SQA Statement on the Coronavirus, and impact on the National Qualifications 2020 Examinations Timetable (13 March 2020)

      Universities Scotland

      Scotland’s universities stay open and introduce measures to minimise impact of COVID-19 on students and staff (13 March 2020)


      Estyn, Qualifications Wales, and other bodies

      Coronavirus and Me survey results (Results of survey of children in Wales) (8 June 2020)


      Coronavirus timeline: the response in Wales (

      Welsh Government

      Further education: coronavirus: Changes to learning, exams, and attending schools and colleges during the coronavirus pandemic. 20 October 2021 Detailed guide

      Carbon dioxide monitors in education settings: guidance, 

      Written Statement: Update on Schools and Colleges (14 October 2021) Cabinet statement

      Vaccinated staff working in special schools who are a contact of someone with coronavirus need a negative PCR test before they can return to work. They will also be asked to take lateral flow tests for 10 days from their last contact with the confirmed case.

      Funding to improve ventilation in schools and learning environments  Press release

      Coronavirus control plan: autumn and winter 2021 update 

      Qualifications in Wales (QiW): changes to qualification performance information  Guidance

      School performance reporting arrangements: COVID-19 update  Guidance

      £36.6 million to support families and children recover from the pandemic 6 October 2021

      Written Statement: Future arrangements for COVID-19 Testing for children and young people and for staff working in special schools and colleges (5 October 2021)

      Written Statement: COVID-19 Vaccination – Progress against Strategy (5 October 2021)

      School admission appeals: coronavirus (COVID-19)  29 September 2021 Guidance

      Renew and reform: supporting learners' wellbeing and progression: Update, September 2021

      Written Statement: COVID-19 Vaccination – JCVI & Chief Medical Officers’ advice on vaccinating 12-15 year olds (14 September 2021)
      ‘Our NHS will work in the next couple of weeks to begin offering a dose of vaccine to all children and young people aged 12-15.’

      Fresh start to new term with investment to help improve air quality in schools, colleges and universities  
      As pupils and students are set to return for the new autumn term, the Welsh Government has announced a new investment in technology to improve air quality and quickly disinfect classrooms, lecture theatres and workshops.

      Local COVID-19 Infection Control Decision Frameworks for schools and colleges from autumn 2021 27 August 2021

      Take the steps needed to keep learners safe and learning 25 August 2021
      Ahead of the start of the new school year, the Welsh Government is asking families and learners to continue to follow guidance on isolating, testing and vaccination, to minimise the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in our education settings.

      Safeguarding poster (pdf)

      Changes to self-isolation for fully-vaccinated adults  
      All adults who have been fully-vaccinated will no longer have to self-isolate if they are identified as close contacts of someone with coronavirus from 7 August, the First Minister confirmed today. Children and young people under 18 will also be exempt from the need to self-isolate if they are also identified as close contacts of a positive case.

      Changes to keep schools safe and learners learning Press release 
      Education Minister Jeremy Miles has today written to all headteachers and principals in Wales to provide more clarity on how schools and colleges can continue to operate safely when they return in September:

      Click here for Archive of earlier Welsh Government updates


      Dull gweithredu cyffredin ar gyfer ailagor ysgolion ym mis Ionawr

      School return approach for January 2021    Thursday, 17 December 2020
      Following extensive discussions a common approach has been agreed by the Welsh Government and the Welsh Local Government Association for the return to school in January.

      Cytuno ar ddull Cymru gyfan i gadw ysgolion ar agor cyn y Nadolig

      All-Wales approach agreed to keep schools open in run-up to Christmas  Friday, 04 December 2020
      A common approach has been agreed by the Welsh Government and the WLGA for school arrangements at the end of the Christmas term, following extensive discussions to aim to ensure a consistent as possible level of provision across Wales in ongoing challenging circumstances.

      National Assembly for Wales

      Scrutiny of Covid-19 and its impact on children and young people (including students in further and higher education) (28 April 2020)


      Supporting continuity of learning for children and young people (29 July 2020)

      Community schools families and communities at the heart of school life  (7 July 2020)
      New report to help schools build community partnerships to support the learning and wellbeing of pupils and their families during this difficult time.

      Supporting continuity of learning for children and young people (23 April 2020)

      Estyn inspections and other visits suspended to support providers to stay open and reduce pressure – COVID-19  (16 March 2020)

      Qualifications Wales

      Latest updates



      Qualifications Wales confirms the summer 2022 grading approach (October 2021)

      Letter: update on exams (pdf) (27 March 2020)

      Updates on exams

      Work-based learning and apprenticeships: coronavirus (26 March 2020)

      Testing Times (23 March 2020)

      Issuing grades for qualifications summer 2020 and other updates (20 March 2020)

      Letter from Qualifications Wales (pdf) (20 March)

      • Grades for GCSE and A level qualifications in 2020 will be calculated using a range of evidence. They will be based on a combination of factors which may include marks for work completed to date, for example AS results for A level grades, and standardised teacher assessed grades.
      • Teacher assessed grades will be based on what teachers would expect a learner to achieve at the end of the course.  This will be a professional, holistic judgement based on the combined assessment information held for that learner.  They will not be target grades or related to performance measures (which are suspended for this year in any event).
      • Grades for AS Levels or for unit assessments taken by Year 10 learners will not be issued.  For those learners, the options are still being considered, including the opportunity to sit exams in subsequent exam series.
      • The options for issuing grades for vocational courses are also still being considered.

      Update (19 March 2020)

      Guidance for schools and colleges

      Universities Wales

      Universities Wales statement on return to in person teaching (1 February 2021)



      WJEC exam materials 

      Statement on exams 20 January 2021

      Qualifications Wales confirms January GCSE unit exams will be cancelled, 24 November 2020

      WJEC: Summer 2021 adaptations (September 2020)

      Coronavirus FAQs - Non-Examination Assessment (NEA) (9 April 2020)

      Arrangement for awarding summer 2020 (4 April 2020)

      Update on exams (27 March 2020)

      Issuing graders for summer 2020 (20 March 2020)

      Cancellation of summer examination 2020 - Wales (18 March 2020)

      Northern Ireland

      Department of Education (Northern Ireland)

      Latest Department of Education updates in relation to COVID-19 (coronavirus) 

      Guidance note on use of face coverings in post-primary settings Published 08 October 2021 Guidance literature
      Coronavirus guidance note to all educational settings on use of face coverings in post-primary settings.

      Notice - Coronavirus Act 2020 Temporary Modification of Education Duties (No. 35) Notice (Northern Ireland) 2021   Published 06 October 2021 Notices
      The Department of Education has exercised the power provided under section 38(3)(c) and paragraph 17(1), (2)(a)(ii), (4)(a) and (7) of Schedule 17 to the Coronavirus Act 2020 to issue a Notice to temporarily modify Article 58 (1)(a) and (5)(a) of the Education and Libraries 

      PHA: Contact tracing in schools and other structured and supervised settings – Questions and Answers October 2021

      DoH: Guidance materials on school age vaccination published  06 October 2021

      Schools no longer required to undertake contact tracing 9 September 2021
      Education settings will no longer be asked to carry out contact tracing of pupils. 

      Statement from the Education Minister to the NI Assembly - 9 September 2021

      Revised arrangements for the identification of close contacts in schools - 9 September 2021 Correspondence

      Statement from Education Minister  07 September 2021
      Commenting on the current situation in relation to the impact of COVID-19 on schools Education Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “Detailed discussions are ongoing between my Department and the Department of Health on measures to alleviate current pressures facing our schools as a result of COVID-19.

      Management information on attendance of pupils in schools  07 September 2021  Statistical report
      To coincide with the commencement of the new academic year management information was collected from schools and educational settings to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on pupil attendance.

      Letter from the Minister to School Principals in relation to contact tracing – 3 September 2021

      Revised Covid guidance for new academic year published Published 18 August 2021   

      McIlveen welcomes further lifting of COVID restrictions on schools Published 12 August 2021

      Click here for Archive of DENI, CCEA and Education Authority updates and news


      UK Government

      Latest updates on furlough and other support schemes

      Chancellor extends furlough scheme until October  (12 May 2020)

      Chancellor announces help for self-employed (26 March 2020)

      The Chancellor's updated statement on coronavirus. (20 March 2020)
      The Chancellor unveiled today (20 March) a further series of measures to support people, jobs and businesses.

      COVID-19: guidance for employees (20 March 2020)

      COVID-19: Government announces moving out of contain phase and into delay 

      Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response

      Coronavirus action plan  (3 March 2020)

      National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC):
      How to make sure your organisation is prepared for an increase in home working, and advice on spotting coronavirus (COVID-19) scam emails.


      Useful contacts


      Guidance for employers and employees from Acas, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, an independent body funded by the Government, is available here:


      HMRC Guidance for employers on the coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme:

      BEIS guidance for employees:

      Guidance: Check if you could be covered by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:

      Covid-19: support for businesses:

      Covid-19: guidance for employees:

      Self-employment support

      Scheme link:
      FAQs link:


      NHS: Health-related guidance from the National Health Service is available here:

      For online NHS self-isolation sick notes: NHS 111 online

      Public Health Guidance

      Public Health England including, eg, specific guidance for employers, educational and health-related organisations, and an option to receive updates directly is available here:

      Public Health Wales:

      Health Protection Scotland:

      Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland:

      Page first published: 3 March 2020




      Press office

      01332 373 337

      Voice Scotland

      0131 220 8241