Coronavirus (COVID-19) – what you need to know

We know you’re worried about COVID-19 and its impact on pupils, staff and wider communities across your trust. This is your go-to hub for practical advice and resources to help you every step of the way as the situation evolves. Our content here is free to access, and we're updating it all the time.

For school-specific enquiries, call the DfE’s coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687.

If you, or a child or adult in your trust, may have symptoms, use NHS 111 online if at all possible, or call NHS 111.

Current situation

The latest news (last checked 5pm, 3 April 2020) is:

  • Lockdown is in place across the country, but schools will continue to stay open for select pupils (see below) and parents can continue to take these children into school if they cannot look after them safely at home [Schools Week]
  • Schools in England remain closed for most pupils until further notice, but where possible they're staying open (including during the Easter holidays) to look after:
    • Children of critical workers
    • Vulnerable children
  • Exams due to be held in May and June are cancelled, including SATs, GCSEs and A-levels, but pupils will still receive qualifications, calculated by exams boards based on teacher judgements and prior attainment
  • Performance tables won't be published for this academic year
  • Children on free school meals should still receive meals during term time, even if they're not in school. Schools can now use the national voucher system to do this
  • Safeguarding - the DfE has published new interim guidance and delayed its consultation on updates to Keeping Children Safe in Education from September 2020
  • Inspection - Ofsted has ceased all routine inspections. Urgent inspections could still go ahead, but the threshold for triggering them will be "really high". [Schools Week]. Ofsted has also "paused" the publication of inspection reports, until further notice, but will continue to send these to providers. [Schools Week]
We're updating this routinely.

Latest public health guidance

Support for your school leaders

Make sure your school leadership teams know they can use our coronavirus resource hub on The Key for School Leaders for the latest information on dealing with the challenges this situation presents.

This content is free to access (no subscription needed) and we're adding to it daily to support your school leaders with:

  • Managing skeleton staff and partial/full closure
  • Supporting remote learning
  • Supporting pupils with SEND
  • Communicating with parents
  • Managing 'regular' school business, like recruitment and finances, at this time 
  • And more

Support for your trustees

Your board of trustees and local governing bodies can also use our coronavirus resource hub on The Key for School Governors to help them fulfil their roles effectively right now.

This content is also free (no subscription needed) and updated daily.

Help us guide you and other trusts

Tell us what you need help with, or how you're working with your schools and LA(s) right now to overcome challenges, at We'll do our very best to support you and all schools in your trust. And we'll spread the best of how trusts are working under these difficult circumstances to help guide others.


The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides.