Release date: 12/03/2020

Coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on the 11 March 2020 and is now a major concern for school leaders monitoring and dealing with the risks and implications in an evolving situation.

Today NGA has published an information sheet for governing boards that re-enforces the official advice given to education settings about how they should respond to the threat of the Coronavirus. The information sheet explains that the school’s response is an operational matter for school leaders to manage. The most appropriate way for governing boards to support their school leaders is to allow them to manage the response without the involvement of the board unless it is requested. School leaders themselves are guided by public health advice. They should maintain levels of communication with stakeholders, most notably parents and but also the governing board.

Crucially the information sheet is clear that closing the school due to the Coronavirus is also an operational decision taken by school leaders, although it is likely in most cases that a discussion with the chair of the governing board will have taken place before the decision is taken. The current advice from Public Health England is that no school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) case of Coronavirus unless directed to do so by Public Health England or under the advice of their local Public Health protection team.

The information sheet includes the DfE helpline number launched to answer questions about the Corona Virus. It will be updated in line with official advice and the evolving situation.

NGA has made its GOLDline advice service provided to governing boards that are GOLD members, available to all governing boards that have questions relating to the information sheet.  

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