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14th July2020

Additional funding for free meals in further education

Due to the unprecedented nature of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we are providing additional funding to enable further education funded institutions to continue to provide meals over the 2020 summer holiday to students eligible for free meals in further education in the 2019/20 academic year.

Institutions should continue to provide meals using their existing arrangements over the summer for students who were eligible and claiming for free meals in further education during the summer term. Institutions need to confirm arrangements and support with eligible students before the end of the summer term.

Further information on this funding can be found in the guidance on free meals in further education funded institutions in 2019/20.

Guidance on taking exams during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We have updated the guidance on taking exams during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to include more information on the GCSE, AS and A level autumn exam series and a new section on the arrangements and timing of summer 2021 exams.

Funding available for expert help to get set up on a digital platform

We are offering free, expert technical support for schools to get set up on an accredited digital education platform. You can apply to get set up on one of two free-to-use digital education platforms: Google’s G Suite for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education.

Education platforms can support children at home, but also help you support children when they are attending school, for example by improving parent-teacher communications and making homework more interactive. The platforms are purpose-built for remote education. Adopting these platforms now will unlock new ways of working to enhance educational outcomes and school operational efficiencies.

Schools and trusts can apply via The Key, which also provides feature comparison and case studies on how schools are making the most of these platforms. It also provides impartial advice on which platform is right for your school.

Support with remote education

We have launched the EdTech Demonstrator programme, a network of schools and colleges funded to provide peer-to-peer support on making the best use of technology.

The EdTech Demonstrator programme provides advice, guidance and training on ways technology can be used effectively to support education, reduce teacher workload and improve communication. This includes training on how to use education platforms such as Google G Suite for Education and, Microsoft Office 365 effectively. Support can be tailored to the needs of your school or college and will be based on your start point, confidence in technology practices and the time available to senior leaders to engage in this continuing professional development offer.

You can find out more about the programme and register your interest in receiving free support.