Schools: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 18th September 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to allocate additional funding for schools to spend on overtime for staff for the implementation of covid-19 safety measures.

Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of whether additional funding is required for schools to implement deep cleaning of school facilities during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

On 2 July, the Government published guidance for the full opening of schools, including a Public Health England endorsed system of controls which, when implemented alongside the school’s own risk assessment, create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. This guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

As stated in the guidance, schools should make use of their existing resources when welcoming all children back for the autumn. Schools may need to alter the way in which they deploy their staff, and use existing staff more flexibly, to welcome back all pupils at the start of the autumn term. It is important that planning builds in the need to avoid unnecessary and unmanageable workload burdens.

We are providing additional funding to schools to cover unavoidable costs incurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak between March and July that cannot be met from their existing resources. Schools were eligible to claim for: increased premises related costs associated with keeping schools open over the Easter and summer half term holidays; support for free school meals for eligible children who are not in school, where schools are not using the national voucher scheme; and additional cleaning costs required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements.

Schools have also continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20.

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