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https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/03/03/coronavirus-helpline/

Coronavirus helpline

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Admissions, school admissions, School places

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Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the launch of a helpline for advice on Coronavirus and Secondary School Offer Day.

Coronavirus information and advice

On Monday 2 March, the Department for Education opened a call centre for schools, parents and pupils to get the latest information and advice.

The helpline will support the work the Government is already doing to keep the public up to date with the latest health and travel advice, including the launch of a widespread public awareness campaign in January and weekly updates to the education sector over the past month.

The Department for Education has notified all educational settings that the helpline is available and open to provide support.

Public Health England advice remains that no school should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case, unless advised to do so.

The TES and Schools Week both reported specifically on the helpline the department has set up.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We have set up a dedicated helpline for parents, teaching staff and education leaders to provide advice and support on Coronavirus.

This line complements the advice being provided by Public Health England and the regular updates we have been sending to all educational settings since the start of February.

Secondary school offer day

Yesterday, Monday 2 March, was secondary school offer day – the day that parents are notified of the secondary school that has offered their child a place for September.

The vast majority of parents will be offered a place at one of their preferred schools, with most offered their top preference.

The offer day was reported on by the i and Independent.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:

Last year more than nine in ten pupils received a place at one of their top three preferences of secondary school, with the majority offered their top preference. Pupils are also significantly more likely to be receiving a place at a good school than they were 10 years ago – with 86% of schools rated good or outstanding now compared to 68% in 2010.

“Delivering good school places is a priority for this Government and we are on track to create one million between 2010 and 2020, the largest increase in at least two generations, and we use councils’ own population forecasts to make sure these places are provided where they are needed.

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