Student and Parent Support - 30th March 2020

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Student and parent support

Find out more about COVID-19 guidance for educational settings.

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education has set up a school helpline to answer questions from staff, parents and young people about

coronavirus issues related to education.

  • Tel: 0800 046 8687

  • email:

  • open from 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

School closure

Schools, nurseries, child minders and colleges closed on Friday 20 March - except for those looking after children of 'key workers' and vulnerable children.


This academic years' exams will not go ahead in England and Wales. There's information about exams and grades.

Support for children to continue learning at home

We’re working with schools across the authority to ensure children who are not in school have the resources they need to continue their learning at home until they can return to classes.

Mental health support available

We know that the closure of schools and the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to be an anxious and uncertain time for parents and carers.

Free online counselling to support mental health and wellbeing, without the need for a referral, is available from Kooth and Qwell services.

  • Kooth is for children and young people aged 11 to 18 years, and up to 25 years for children in care

  • Qwell service is for parents and carers whose children are under 18 years.

The services provide access to text-based counselling support from 12pm until 10pm on weekdays and 6pm until 10pm on weekends, and 24/7 access to online forums where concerns and relevant articles can be shared and discussed.

How to talk to your child about coronavirus

We appreciate some parents and children may be worried about themselves, members of their family, or their friends becoming ill.

There’s lots of advice about how to talk to your child about coronavirus.

The BBC's Newsround has published a useful video for children called Coronavirus: Why it might not be as scary as it sounds

National Autistic Society

The National Autistic Society have advice, guidance and a helpline for parents’, young people and staff.


Mencap offers an easy read guide to Coronavirus.


Place2be has produced a guide to helping parents answer questions from their children and to support family wellbeing.

Young Minds

Young Minds offers advice about talking to your child about Coronavirus and 10 tips from their Parents Helpline to support family wellbeing.


Amaze is an information pack for parents that offers lots of information about how to tell your child about coronavirus.

Some further useful links:

NHS advice:

Talking to children about Coronavirus

How to talk to your child about coronavirus, by Unicef:

Child-friendly explanation of Coronavirus for Primary age students:

Information video on Coronavirus for Primary age children (KS2), by Brainpop:

Child friendly explanations of the Coronavirus from CBBC’s Newsround:

Information video on Coronavirus for older children/adults, by WHO:

Your wellbeing

Coronavirus and your wellbeing, by Mind UK:

5 ways to wellbeing, by Mindkit:

Supporting children’s wellbeing in times of disruption by the Anna Freud Centre:

Note: as the situation and sources of information are developing, the above tips and links may be updated.