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19th March 2020

COVID-19 – Guidance For Educational Settings

Educational settings have a vital role to play in the management of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The government announced on 18th March that schools would close countrywide to almost all children as of 20th March. 

Children of key workers and those considered vulnerable or who come under an EHC plan will continue to have access to school-based learning for the time being. This measure is designed to ensure that the country’s most vital services are able to continue to function even when a large percentage of the population is in quarantine. 

The government has released a full list of Key Workers that the shutdown does not apply to at this time.  The full list of eligible jobs is covered on the government website here.

It covers:

  • Health and Social care
  • Education and childcare
  • Key public services such as justice or religious staff
  • Local and national government
  • Food and neccesary goods supply chain
  • Public safety and national security
  • Transport
  • Utilities, communications and financial services

Engage will continue to provide updates relevant to the education sector via our blog and through our Facebook page. In the meantime, for our teachers and support staff that are continuing to provide educational provision in these difficult times, we recommend stringently following advice provided by the NHS and Public Health England.  This advice includes:


If you show symptoms including a new, persistent cough or a temperature of over 37.8° then you should stay at home to avoid the possibility of spreading an infection to others
Staff or children who become unwell whilst on site, either with a new cough or with a temperature should be isolated and if possible, sent home.
Isolating students who develop symptoms whilst on site could mean using separate rooms and toilet facilities which should be cleaned and disinfected after each use. If separate rooms are not available then children displaying symptoms should be kept 2 meters from other individuals
Surfaces and objects that are touched on a regular basis by more than one individual should be disinfected much more often than they would normally be cleaned
Young children or children with special education needs should be supervised to ensure they are wash their hands more often than usual and for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important when when moving between activities and rooms
Implement posters or lesson plans focusing on hand hygiene and general health. This will help to reduce fear and provide children with the correct information in what could be a very confusing time. PHE has provided classroom resources on their website


For  comprehensive information covering all the recommendations from the NHS and PHE, please visit the government’s dedicated page for limiting the spread of COVID-19 in an educational setting. We strongly recommend that all individuals who plan to continue working in schools throughout the shutdown review the information available on the NHS website and apply it indiscriminately.

Engage continues to work behind the scenes to ensure that schools have an appropriate provision of staff during this difficult time. All of our business functions will continue to function during a potential lockdown and we endeavor to bring you updates as we receive them.

Contact your local Engage office if you have questions or concerns – all contact details are available on our Contact Us page. 



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