Skip to main content

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.

To find the latest health information on coronavirus please visit the NHS website 

Symptoms of coronavirus

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • high temperature
  • new,continuous cough
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

For more information visit NHS Choices

What to do if you need medical help

If you need medical help for any reason, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature , a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste ), use the 111 coronavirus service.

If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:

  • for health information and advice, use the NHS website or your GP surgery website
  • for urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you're unable to get help online
  • for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance

Read more advice about getting medical help at home.

When your child is ill or injured it is very difficult to decide if/when to call your child’s GP, NHS 111 or go the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E). During the current situation and while the government is asking everyone to stay at home, it can be confusing to know what to do. 

You can read the NHS Parent's Guide - COVID-19 for guidance. 

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have also produced further guidance for parents/carers on what to do what to do when your child is unwell or injured during this time- View this resource

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

Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

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. 

Update : reopening of schools and other educational settings 

From 1 June, at the earliest, primary schools in England may be able to welcome back children in key transition years – nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6.

Secondary schools, sixth forms and colleges will also be able to provide some face-to-face support with young people in year 10 and year 12 to help them prepare for exams next year. You can access more information on the opening of schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June for parents and carers 

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 children@ealing.gov.uk 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:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

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:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers#critical-workers

To keep up with important information you can also follow the FIS facebook page www.facebook.com/EalingFIS  

Annual Reviews (EHCP) update

Updated guidance from the Department of Education has informed Local Authorities and schools that Secretary of State for Education has maintained the requirement for annual reviews to be conducted during the COVID 19 pandemic. Therefore, the Local Authority is required to ask schools to ensure that Annual Reviews continue to go ahead as scheduled, using virtual or other means as required.

The Local Authority does however, recognise that within the current context of significantly reduced attendance and staffing, despite best endeavours, it may not always be possible or practical to hold annual reviews at the scheduled time.

The Department for Education has allowed for some flexibility with regards to the timing of those reviews where the incidence or transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) means that holding the review would be impossible or impractical. In these circumstances the decision may be taken to postpone the annual review. This decision is one that would always need to be made by the school in collaboration with the parent/carer/young person. However, if a review has been postponed then it should be rescheduled and completed as soon as reasonably practicable.

It is particularly important that reviews for the following groups of children go ahead as usual and therefore these groups should be prioritised if needed:

  • Children or young people approaching key transitions. This includes not both children in their final year at a setting and in their penultimate year. This will ensure that arrangements can be made and EHC plans can be updated in preparation for transition.
  • Children and young people with significant changes of need or circumstances.
  • Looked after children.
  • Children and people in residential provision.
  • Children and young people in out of area provision, especially independent and non-maintained provision.

As discussed, annual reviews will in most cases have to take a different form, and virtual or phone reviews are likely to be the most practical way forward. However, despite this, reviews should continue to be child centered and both the child and parent/carer should still be asked to contribute in a meaningful way. All relevant processionals should be invited as usual and make best endeavors to attend or contribute.

The Local Authority continue to have staff working to process annual reviews and they should be sent to EHCPReviews@ealing.gov.uk as usual. If schools or parents feel that their EHC Coordinator should attend the review, then they can contact EHCCOS to discuss their availability and EHCCOs will continue to attend through virtual means where possible.

If you have any concerns or queries about the annual review process and the advice given above, then please contact the Helen O’Brien (Annual Review Manager) at obrienh@ealing.gov.uk .

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

Information in other languages

All pages on this directory can be accessed in other languages using the Google Translate option on the top right hand side of this page (this does not include any downloadable attachments).

Doctors of the World have produced information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for patients in 60 languages, which were produced in partnership with the British Red Cross. 

COVID-19 Infographics-  infographics to help summarise key points about COVID-19 in a variety of languages to get the right information in an easy to understand format. Languages availableinclude Punjabi,Somali, Arabic, Polish and more. 

You may also find the information you are looking for on the Ealing Council website, also available in multiple languages 

Back to top