Covid-19 – updated 13/10/20

Please click here to access our updated risk assessment.

Main changes since this guidance was last updated

The following information has been updated:

  • managing confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community
  • the framework for supporting transport to and from schools
  • pupils who are shielding or self-isolating
  • use of face coverings in schools
  • actions for all schools and local authorities with regards to recording attendance and absence
  • employer health and safety and equalities duties
  • support available for schools with regard to supply teachers
  • performance management and appraisal for teachers
  • music, dance and drama in school
  • wraparound provision and extra-curricular activity
  • physical activity in schools
  • new resources available for pupil wellbeing and support
  • behaviour expectations
  • primary assessment
  • additional resources available for delivering remote education
  • changes to SEND legislation

Please click here to read further information from the government regarding the full opening of schools.

Opening schools for more children and young people: initial planning framework for schools in England

All schools are different, and it is not possible for government to set specific national guidelines that could be universally applicable. Instead, we have created a framework to help school leaders and academy trusts to start thinking through the steps they might need to take to enable them to open their schools for more pupils. The framework is designed for schools. Further guidance for childcare providers and colleges will be published shortly.

The framework can be found here:

Guidance on the wider opening of early years settings

Our published guidance sets out that, subject to conditions, childminders and all early years settings can open to more children from 1 June.

In line with the Prime Minister’s roadmap of the COVID-19 recovery strategy, encouraging people who cannot work from home to return to work where possible, and to align with the Government’s position on nannies, we will be updating our guidance for early years settings to confirm that paid childcare can be provided to the children of one household from Wednesday 13 May.

This includes childminders, who may choose to look after the children of one household if they are not already looking after vulnerable children or those of critical workers.

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours:

8am to 6pm – Monday to Friday
10am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the helpline

Handwashing advice

It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found at:

The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene.

Resources are currently available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and can be used in various settings including schools and at home:

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.​UK at:

Our main schools guidance, the ‘actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak’ will be regularly kept up to date. Any new advice for schools on specific issues, such as food, exams or safeguarding, will be linked from:

Covid-19 – updated 23/03/20


Further to the government’s decision to close schools at the end of the school day on Friday, Holy Cross Prep will switch to online home schooling from Monday 23rd March 2020. Please refer to the latest letters and guidance from the school sent to all parents yesterday.

Should you have any queries during the home schooling period, please do not hesitate to contact your class teacher.


Further to the PM’s announcement yesterday, we will be following the new government advice to delay the spread of the virus. Please see the government advice below, paying particular attention to the bold text.

If your family are affected you and your daughter can move to the home schooling service which is already in operation.

Currently the school is operating a combined schooling approach:
1) normal classes in school – provided by class teacher
2) electronic home schooling – provided by class teacher via their email account. Please appreciate class teachers will be occupied teaching their classes on a normal timetable as a priority and may not be able to reply to your email immediately.

Should the school close and move to whole school Home Schooling, this will be provided differently via the website parent portal.

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
• new continuous cough and/or
• high temperature
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. 

• if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation section below for more information)
• if you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
• it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. (See ending isolation section below for more information)
• if you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
• if you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
• if you have coronavirus symptoms:
• do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
• you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
• testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home
• plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household
• ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
• wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
• if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999

16/03/20 The government has updated its guidance to educational settings (see information in Italics below or click on the link).

GOV guidance Covid-19: Guidance for education settings

What you need to know:

Staff, young people and children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others. Otherwise they should attend education or work as normal.
If staff, young people or children become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they should be sent home.
Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces more often than usual using your standard cleaning products.
Supervise young children to ensure they wash their hands for 20 seconds more often than usual with soap and water or hand sanitiser and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues.
Unless you have been directly advised to close by the local Public Health England Health Protection Team, we recommend all education settings remain open.

This guidance will assist staff in addressing coronavirus (COVID-19) in educational settings. This includes childcare, schools, further and higher educational institutions.
This guidance may be updated in line with the changing situation.

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough or a high temperature.
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.

What to do if someone develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) on site
If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in an education setting they should be sent home and advised to follow the staying at home guidance.
If a child is awaiting collection, they should be moved, if possible and if appropriate, to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door. Settings should be mindful of individual children’s needs – for example it would not be appropriate for younger children to be alone without adult supervision. Ideally, a window should be opened for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate them, move them to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people.
If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.
If they need clinical advice, they (or their teacher, parent or guardian) should go online to NHS 111 (or call 111 if they don’t have internet access). In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.
If a member of staff has helped someone who was taken unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell.
In most cases, closure of the educational setting will not be needed but this will be a local decision based on various factors such as establishment size and risk of further spread.
If there is an urgent public health action to take, the educational setting will be contacted by the local Public Health England Health Protection Team who will undertake a risk assessment and advise on any actions or precautions that should be taken. PHE will rarely advise a school to close but this may be necessary if there are so many staff being isolated that the school has operational issues. Your local authority will support you to make this assessment. PHE will work with the headteacher, principal or management team, and the Local Authority Public Health team, to advise on the management of children, pupils, students or staff.

Limiting spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in educational settings
Education settings can help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by reminding everyone of the public health advice.
Staff, children, pupils, students and families should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently than normal.
Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products. Posters, leaflets and other materials are available.

There is a dedicated helpline number for educational settings – please call 0800 046 8687 for any specific question not covered on this page.


The Government announced move from Contain to Delay phase

On 13th March the Government announced that we are moving from the Contain phase of the coronavirus action plan and into the Delay phase, in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

To support the delay of the spread of the virus, the Department for Health and Social Care has asked anyone who shows certain symptoms to stay at home for 7 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means people should stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection.

We request that any pupil suffering from a high temperature or continuous cough to stay at home for 7 days and not to attend school. Please inform the school if this affects you


NHS advice:

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (NHS consider a high temperature (fever) as generally to be 38C or over).
a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.

Read our advice about staying at home

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

• you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
• your condition gets worse
• your symptoms do not get better after 7 days


For the latest information and updates from the government, please follow the link:

For the latest information on travel, please follow the link:

The Department for Education has launched a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education.

Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687


Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)


At Holy Cross Prep, we understand the Coronavirus situation is unsettling for all and its unknown path can cause concern especially amongst parents of young children. I would like to assure you at Holy Cross we are aware of your anxieties regarding this and the importance of closely monitoring and implementing daily Government and Public Health England advice.

We have carefully considered the information provided by the Government and Public Health England (PHE), as well as key organisations in the education sector, and make decisions which prioritise the safety of our school community and the young children in our care. Consequently, we have decided to take a cautionary approach with regards to pupil and adult attendance in school, therefore no visitors or parents will be permitted on site. Whilst we cannot contain the spread of Covid-19, we are able to take precautions to slow the spread of this virus within our school community.

Please contact the school office if your daughter is affected. School work will then be sent home by the class teacher.

Thank you for your support and understanding as we work together on this matter.

Government advice specific to schools is found here:

Holy Cross produced risk assessments and action plans regarding Covid-19.

The plan includes:

  • Monitoring and implementation of Government and Public Health England advice
  • Keeping clear communication channels open with all Holy Cross community members to relay information regarding Government and Public Health England updates and any other local situation which may arise (via email, Yammer, ClarionCall)
  • An action plan for suspected cases of coronavirus within the school community (which may include a school closure).  Advice will be given by local Public Health England Health Protection Team)
  • An action plan for diagnosed cases of coronavirus within the school community (which may include school closure).  Advice will be given by local Public Health England Health Protection Team)
  • Action plans for disruption in school services and providers
  • Action plans to deliver education through an electronic home learning platform if necessary
  • Increased hygiene regimes for pupils, staff and visitors e.g. staff monitoring hand sanitisation, assemblies on germ spreading and hygiene, increased cleaning of work and learning spaces including keyboards and stopping handshaking
  • Checking travel and health of pupils, staff, parents and visitors e.g. via letter, verbally on entry to school (currently limiting school access of parents and visitors)
  • Managing associated negative behaviour e.g. bullying, isolation, cyber-bullying targeted at pupils, parents or staff