Education advice

From the Prime Minister:

After schools shut their gates from Friday (20th March) afternoon, they will remain closed for most pupils – for the vast majority of pupils- until further notice. 

The objective is to slow the spread of the virus and we judge it is the right moment to do that. We also need to keep the NHS going and to treat the number of rising cases. So we need health workers who are also parents to continue to go to work. 

And we need other critical workers with children to keep doing their jobs too – from police officers who are keeping us safe to the supermarket delivery drivers, social care workers who look after the elderly and who are so vital. We will be setting out more details shortly about who we mean in these groups.

So we therefore need schools to make provision for the children of these key workers who would otherwise be forced to stay home. And they will also need to look after the most vulnerable children.

This will mean there will of course be are far fewer children in schools and that will help us to slow the spread of the disease. And these measures are crucial to make sure the critical parts of the economy keep functioning and public services keep functioning.

So we are simultaneously asking nurseries and private schools to do the same, and we are providing financial support where it is needed. We are making provisions to supply meals and vouchers for children eligible for free school meals. And where some schools are already doing this, I want to make it clear we will reimburse the cost. And of course this does mean that exams will not take place as planned in May and June. Though we will make sure that pupils get the qualifications they need and deserve for their academic career.

Read the whole statement here: 


Click here for a definition of "critical sector workers" and "vulnerable children"

Click here for guidance for parents and carers


Helpful resources:


Beginning with a 19-day campaign COFIGHT-19 offers expert advice for parents, support for pupils and innovative and creative activities for families. Visit HERE 


OpenLearn is the OU’s free to use learning platform with over 15,000 hours of online courses and content available to all.  Around 10 million people visit this site every year. 

With over 950 short courses (varying from 1-1000 hours of study), learners can explore a vast array of subjects, get inspiration, build skills and confidence and earn recognition if they wish (via badged open courses), all for free.  Added to that there are thousands of articles, quizzes and interactive games. 

Specifically on Coronavirus, they have a dedicated page which contains information links to UK government advice as well as a dedicated section on supporting mental health and free courses on infectious disease .    This will be kept updated, with new content being developed aimed at the elderly (over 70s) on staying well in the event of needing to self-isolate. 

For more information:



FutureLearn, founded by the OU in 2012, is now Europe’s largest social learning platform delivering short massive open online courses (known as MOOCs) as well as a range of other learning options such as microcredentials to help people up-skill and re skill and fully online degrees.  It partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities as well as a range of organisations such as the British Council and Health Education England.  For more information:

It has launched a Free online course on understanding and preventing the spread of coronavirusCOVID-19: Tackling the Novel Coronavirus” from experts at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, a renowned institute of public health. Designed to help learners better understand the epidemic and how to prevent its spread, the course is an accessible and practical resource for anyone from medical experts to members of the general public.

The course is currently open for enrolment and begins on 23 March. To date over 46,000 learners from almost 200 different countries have signed up for the course in just under a month (44 % of these are based in the UK).


Family Zone

Family Zone is a one-stop shop for families. Drawing on their expertise and partnerships with teachers, authors, publishers, educational organisations and corporates, Family Zone brings together some of the UK’s most exciting literacy resources and activities in one place. Family Zone is curated for early years to early teens and is full of engaging activities for families to do together.


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Information about free STEM Education resources 103.77 KB
Children's Guide to the Coronavirus 1.06 MB