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Covid-19 and School Operations – September 2020

This is a summary of financial and operational announcements/guidance for schools with a focus on the impact of COVID-19.

Academies Financial Handbook released

Academies Financial Handbook for September 2020 has been released

PM announces transformative school rebuilding programme

Prime Minister Boris Johnson sets out a transformative ten-year rebuilding programme for schools across England. This includes promises of

  • Over £1bn to fund the first 50 projects of a new, ten-year school rebuilding programme, starting from 2020-21. These projects will be confirmed in the autumn, and construction on the first sites will begin from September 2021.
  • £560m and £200m for repairs and upgrades to schools and FE colleges respectively this year.

ESFA updates for academies 

This Academies-specific update includes information on COVID-19 preparedness, Academies Accounts Direction 2019 to 2020 and updated information on T-Level provision criteria.

General COVID-19 related information and guidance

Dfe’s Guidance for Full School Reopening in September

DfE’s Guidance for full opening of special schools and other specialist institutions

DfE’s guidance and access to the claim form for claiming exceptional costs associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) for schools and academies.

DfE’s updated guidance for schools and local authorities on free school meals arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Exceptional Cost – How to submit a claim

DfE has issued instructions on how to claim exceptional costs related to COVID-19. You only have until 21 July 2020 to submit an application form. DfE has, unfortunately, said there will be no opportunity to request an extension to the deadline. DfE has also confirmed that it will not approve claims for costs associated with opening schools to more pupils from 1st June, additional staff costs and loss of self-generated income.

Summer Food Vouchers

Confederation of School Trusts

The Confederation of School Trusts (CST) has been advocating hard on behalf of school trusts and is offering guidance and advice on operational issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Some key items are highlighted below.

Leading ethically during Covid – CST CEO Leora Cruddas’ article in Trust

Lockdown lessons – How academies have risen to the Covid challenge – Oak National Academy example

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