Coronavirus (Covid-19) FAQ’s

Where can I access the latest government advice and information?


Education FAQ’s

When will schools and colleges reopen in full? 

Plans have been unveiled for all children and young people to return to full-time education from September.

Current restrictions on group sizes will be lifted to allow schools, colleges and nurseries to fully reopen to all children and young people, as Covid-19 infection rates continue to fall.

Covid-19 secure measures will remain in place to reduce the risk of transmission, with schools being asked to keep children in class or year group sized ‘bubbles’ and encourage older children to keep their distance from each other and staff where possible. This is alongside protective measures such as regular cleaning and handwashing.

Guidance can be accessed here

Will pupils still gain GCSE and a-level qualifications now that the examinations have been cancelled? 

The Education secretary, Gavin Williamson, has said that whilst no GCSE  and a-level examinations will take place due to school closures, the aim will be for students to receive their results in August, as would normally be the case. 

Ofqual will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects their performance as fairly as possible, and will work with the exam boards to ensure this is consistently applied for all students. The exam boards will be asking teachers, who know their students well, to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead.

To produce this, teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment – clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly will be provided to schools and colleges. The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in.

Students will be able to appeal – through their school or college – if they believe the process this summer was not followed correctly in their case; and centres themselves can appeal if they believe something systemic has gone wrong in relation to their results.

Guidance can be accessed here.

Students who are not happy with the GCSE and A-level grades they are awarded this summer will be able to sit exams in all subjects in the autumn.

What duty does the LA have to children with EHC plans? 

The Coronavirus Act 2020 has temporarily amended the absolute duty to make the provision in an EHC plan (section 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014) to a ‘reasonable endeavours’ duty.  This means that during the specified period the LA needs to do whatever it reasonably can to put provision in place. 

Family law FAQ’s

Are the family courts closed? 

Current guidance can be accessed here for all court and tribunal users. 

The President of the Family Court has published guidance with respect to remote hearings. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, courts are experiencing significant delays. You are currently likely to have to wait more than 12 weeks for a first hearing.

We have published two individual information pages which go into more detail on domestic abuse and remote hearings in the context of the coronavirus crisis.