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New dedicated helpline to report covid-19 in educational settings

@EducationGovUK launch a new service so that schools, colleges or early years settings can report any positive covid-19 cases. 

Today (17 Sept) there is be a new dedicated advice service available to advise nurseries, schools and colleges who have been informed of a confirmed case(s) of coronavirus in their setting (i.e. a pupil or staff member testing positive).

How to report a case of Coronavirus in an educational setting:

This new service can be accessed by calling DfE’s existing Education Coronavirus Helpline on 0800 046 8687 and selecting the option for reporting a positive Covid case.

This dedicated helpline has been set up by Public Health England, the Department for Education and NHS Business Services Authority.

A team of advisors will inform education settings what action is needed in response to a positive case based on the latest public health advice, and work through a risk assessment. Usually, full closure will not be necessary, but some individuals may need to self-isolate if they have had close contact with the confirmed case.

This new dedicated advice service replaces the requirement for schools, further education colleges and early years providers to contact the local health protection team to seek advice on a positive case. This new process will free up capacity of the PHE’s local health protection teams to deal with more complex cases, for example special schools and boarding schools, or outbreaks where there is more than one confirmed case. Advisors will be responsible for escalating these cases as necessary following a triaging of the circumstances in the school, college or early years setting.  

Schools will have better access to support in a timely manner where it is needed to ensure the right proportionate action is taken in asking close contacts of confirmed cases to self-isolate, while the remainder of the school can continue with minimum disruption.

The new advice service has been set up to advise the following education settings:

  • early years settings including nurseries,
  • schools including primary school,
  • infant or junior schools,
  • middle schools,
  • secondary schools,
  • boarding schools,
  • special schools, and
  • further education colleges.

Gavin Williamson 100x100Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson said:

“Schools, colleges and early years settings across the country have worked tremendously hard to put protective measures in place that are helping reduce the risk of the virus being transmitted. These measures have meant children and young people can continue with their education, with the latest data showing 99.9 per cent of schools open for the autumn term.

“The number of confirmed cases in schools remains low but to protect schools it is important head teachers continue to have access to timely support and advice. This new dedicated advice line will help schools, colleges or early years settings to implement the most appropriate public health measures, once a case is confirmed.”

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