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Plan B Measures

Department for Education


Plan B measures for all education and childcare settings and providers


On Wednesday 8 December, the Prime Minister announced the implementation of Plan B of the Covid-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan to reduce pressure on the NHS. Plan B sets out a number of additional measures across society to control transmission of Covid-19. The government is clear on the critical importance of not disrupting the education of children and young people and will prioritise keeping all education and childcare settings open. The measures set out below will support this.



  • School attendance remains mandatory, and all the usual rules continue to apply. However, schools are able to grant leaves of absence for pupils in exceptional circumstances.


Face coverings

  • Face coverings should be worn by all pupils and students in year 7 and above Should wear face coverings in classrooms, including staff and visitors, unless exempt. This is a temporary measure. It is not recommended that pupils and staff wear face coverings in classrooms unless advised by their Director of Public Health
  • When travelling on public transport or on dedicated transport to and from school, college, or higher education provider, pupils and students in year 7 and above must wear a face covering.


Wrap around provision

  • Schools and early years settings should continue to offer their usual before and after-school activities, including wraparound childcare.


Face-to-face teaching

  • All education and childcare settings including further and higher education providers are to continue to provide face-to-face teaching, and staff should continue to attend their place of work in order to deliver this. Teaching and learning should not be moved online as a result of the work from home guidance and higher education students (unless distance learners) are expected to receive an element of face-to-face tuition
  • Therapists and wider children’s service professionals should continue to be invited into education and childcare settings.


January return

  • All education and childcare settings should revisit their existing outbreak plans to ensure they are well prepared for any future changes and ensure they are familiar with the Contingency Framework Guidance
  • Exams and formal assessments timetabled for January will go ahead as planned.



  • The Secretary of State for Education and Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector have agreed that early years settings, schools, and colleges will not be inspected week commencing 13 December unless there are safeguarding concerns
  • Ofsted has already confirmed that secondary schools will not be inspected, unless there are urgent concerns, during the first week of schools’ return in January, in light of the onsite pupil testing that secondary schools will be undertaking that week
  • Ofsted visits for Children’s Social Care, local authority SEND services and joint targeted area inspections will continue.


The following DfE guidance is available to support education and childcare providers, local authorities, and parents during the Covid-19 pandemic: