The current COVID-19 operational guidance for schools sets out the best way to deliver face-to-face high-quality education to all pupils while also helping reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. The evidence is clear that being out of education causes significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, mental and physical health. The contingency framework describes the types of measures that nurseries, schools and colleges should be prepared for, who can recommend them and where, when measures should be lifted and how decisions are made. The department has worked with the UK Health Security Agency to develop the thresholds outlined in the contingency framework. The thresholds are designed as a guide to differentiate between isolated cases as a result of community transmission and transmission occurring within the school, and to help the school identify when it might be sensible to seek public health advice.
Alongside Step 4 of the government’s roadmap in July 2021, the department published a summary of the evidence regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and children, young people, and in nurseries, schools and colleges: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/evidence-summary-covid-19-children-young-people-and-education-settings.