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13th May 2020

Opening schools for more children and young people: initial planning framework for schools in England

All schools are different, and it is not possible for government to set specific national guidelines that could be universally applicable. Instead, we have created a framework to help school leaders and academy trusts to start thinking through the steps they might need to take to enable them to open their schools for more pupils. The framework is designed for schools. Further guidance for childcare providers and colleges will be published shortly.

The framework can be found here:

Guidance on the wider opening of early years settings

Our published guidance sets out that, subject to conditions, childminders and all early years settings can open to more children from 1 June.

In line with the Prime Minister’s roadmap of the COVID-19 recovery strategy, encouraging people who cannot work from home to return to work where possible, and to align with the Government’s position on nannies, we will be updating our guidance for early years settings to confirm that paid childcare can be provided to the children of one household from Wednesday 13 May.

This includes childminders, who may choose to look after the children of one household if they are not already looking after vulnerable children or those of critical workers.

Update on the national voucher scheme for free school meals (FSM)

On Tuesday 12 May our national voucher scheme supplier, Edenred, reported that voucher codes totalling more than £70m have been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families. To ensure that your orders are processed effectively, please order multiple eCodes together wherever possible.

Full details of the scheme can be found here: