This is your email to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19. If you have colleagues who would like to receive this email directly, please ask them to use this subscription form.
Today’s email includes:
- an update for education and childcare settings on the allocation of air cleaning units
- an update for schools on the funding available to support phase 2 of the 12 to 15 year old vaccination programme
- an update to the contingency framework for education and childcare settings following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the end of Plan B
Update on the allocation of air cleaning units
The window for applications for air cleaning units has closed, and today we have confirmed that we will fulfil all of the eligible applications we have received for classrooms and teaching spaces.
In addition to over 350,000 CO2 monitors already delivered to settings, up to 9,000 air cleaning units will now be provided to state-funded education and childcare settings for poorly ventilated classrooms or teaching spaces where there are no immediate solutions to otherwise improve ventilation.
This reflects the findings of a survey of education settings published today. 3% of settings using a CO2 monitor reported sustained high CO2 readings that could not be otherwise resolved.
Special schools and alternative provision settings have already received the air cleaning units which they applied for in the autumn term. We will be in touch with other settings with eligible applications to arrange delivery from the start of February.
Funding to support phase 2 of the 12 to 15 year old vaccination programme
Over 1.5 million young people aged 12 to 15 have had their first COVID-19 vaccine since rollout began in September, however there are still more than 1 million young people who are yet to receive their first dose. Children should receive their second dose from 12 weeks after their first dose.
At this critical point in the vaccine programme, it is particularly important that schools and immunisation teams work closely together to maximise effectiveness of the vaccination programme.
In support of this, we can now announce that secondary schools will be provided with a one-off payment of £1,000, with an additional uplift for larger schools based on pupil numbers. This funding is to support schools in hosting vaccinations and ensuring that the COVID-19 vaccine is accessible to pupils.
Further information on this funding is available on the secondary schools and colleges document sharing platform.
Information on how to work with and support your school age immunisation service (SAIS) teams can also be found in the “how to” guide for schools.
Payments to secondary schools will be made through the Education and Skills Funding Agency, commencing April 2022.
Update to the contingency framework for education and childcare settings
On Wednesday 19 January the Prime Minister announced that from Thursday 27 January, face coverings will no longer be recommended in communal areas for staff, and pupils and students in year 7 and above. Face coverings are already no longer recommended in classrooms and teaching spaces for staff, and pupils and students in year 7 and above. The contingency framework has been updated to reflect these changes.
All settings should continue to seek public health advice if they are concerned about transmission of COVID-19 in their setting and are considering additional measures, either by phoning the DfE COVID-19 helpline on 0800 046 8687 (option 1, then option 1 again) or in line with other local arrangements. The contingency framework gives more detail about when to seek public health advice.
The information below has not changed since our last update
Department for Education COVID-19 helpline
The Department for Education COVID-19 helpline and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) advice service are available to answer any questions you have about COVID-19 relating to education and childcare settings and children’s social care.