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Schools: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 68378, tabled on 2 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to ensure that schools have the capacity to provide additional cleaning services due to the covid-19 outbreak from September 2020; and whether he plans to allocate addition funding to schools for those services.

Answered on

16 July 2020

The Government has been clear that our plan is for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term and on 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for this.

Schools are required to put in place a cleaning schedule that ensures cleaning is generally enhanced, including more frequent cleaning of shared areas and frequently touched surfaces being cleaned more often than normal. The guidance for full opening of schools can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Public Health England have provided guidance for cleaning non-healthcare settings in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19. By the end of the summer term, new advice will be published on the general cleaning required when all pupils return. The existing guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings.

Schools have 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

As stated in our guidance, schools should use their existing resources when making arrangements to welcome all children back for the autumn. There are no plans at present to reimburse additional costs incurred as part of that process.