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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Latest information

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

• a cough

• a high temperature

• shortness of breath

But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness.

 The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.

For more information visit NHS Choices

Check if you need medical help

NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.

Use this service if:

• you think you might have coronavirus

• in the last 14 days you've been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus – see our coronavirus advice for travellers

• you've been in close contact with someone with coronavirus

Use the 111 coronavirus service

Department for Education Coronavirus helpline

The DfE have launched  a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687


Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

Please see below for most recent updates.

Educational Settings- Closure Updates

The government has announced that from Monday (23 March 2020) UK schools will close until further notice as part of ongoing measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

There will be spaces made available where possible for the children of key workers and vulnerable children to remain in school.  Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

Read our guidance below on accessing school and childcare arrangements for further information. 

COVID-19 School & Childcare Arrangements Information for Critical Workers and Vulnerable Children

Ealing’s Family Information Service (FIS) will be supporting parents whose jobs have been identified as being ‘Critical Workers’ and parents of vulnerable children; with information on which schools and childcare provisions remain open for their children to attend.

In the first instance please email with your enquiry.
If you need to speak to someone please call 020 8825 5588 (Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm)

The governments guidance on who is a critical worker can be found here:

Vulnerable children are currently defined by the government as those who have a social worker and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

Children who have a social worker include children in need, children who have a child protection plan and those who are looked after by the local authority.

The government have pledged to work with local authorities to help identify the children who most need support at this time. Full details on COVID-19 arrangements can be found here:

To keep up with important information you can also follow the FIS facebook page  

Annual Reviews (EHCP) update

The advice below refers to Annual reviews in the current situation. The situation is rapidly changing and we now have a COVID-19 resource page which is regularly updated to support communication:

Some schools have contacted the Local Authority asking for advice regarding Annual Reviews that they have scheduled for the next month. Schools have been asked to remain open where possible for children with ERSAs in progress, EHCPs, vulnerable students and keyworkers. The government is aiming to maintain essential services and  offer a safe space to more vulnerable children whilst balancing risk to the wider community. Given this national emergency despite best endeavour it is possible that not all the offer set out in the EHCP will be deliverable at all times and the staffing capacity might mean that in is not helpful to hold an Annual Review.

Schools should be reassured that the Local Authority will not be chasing them for these reviews and understand that some are very likely to be late due to the current circumstances. If schools already have a review scheduled and feel able to go ahead with it using virtual methods or otherwise then the Local Authority still have staff working to process these, so they can be sent to as usual. However, if schools are unable to complete these reviews in the next month then they should not worry about it and an arrangement can be made when the circumstances make this more feasible.

If anyone has any concerns regarding annual reviews or would like to discuss further then please contact the Helen O’Brien (Annual Review Manager) at

Resources for parents/carers

We have compiled some resources which you may find useful, including how you can speak to children about coronavirus , educational activities and more. Visit our Coronavirus- useful resources page. 

Updates to services and support during COVID-19

We have compiled all the information we've received about changes to services for children, young people and families during the COVID-19 situation. Visit our Updates to services and support during COVID-19 page.

Food Banks, Food Distribution Services & Food Bank Collections

We have compiled all the information we have on local food banks and food collections points. Visit the Food Banks, Food Distribution Services & Food Bank Collections page for more infomation.

Where to find latest information

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