Management Information Sheet

COVID Guildance & Support

MI Sheet TypeInformation
MI Number:66/21
Publication Date:30/04/2021 12:00:00
LA Contact:Mary Richards
Audience:Heads / Chair of Governors

COVID Guildance & Support

Managing expectations - roadmap of easements

We want to thank settings for retaining their focus while we all follow the governments Roadmap out of lockdown. Following a number of queries from you, it is important to remember that for now, all existing protective measures set out in your Risk Assessments and the guidance remain important and the need for these in your setting is not lessened.

Only when the government is sure that it is safe to move from one step on the roadmap to the next will the final decision be made to do this. These decisions are made one week before taking the next step on the roadmap, so the effect of the previous step is clear before further lifting restrictions. The Roadmap out of lockdown confirms that a series of reviews are planned, the outcomes of which will inform any changes in central and local government guidance for education settings. As you will be aware from the statement made on 6th April a review in to the use of face coverings in education is planned to coincide with step 3 of the roadmap. As soon as we are aware of any changes we will issue revised guidance but for now, as we move through each of these phases in the roadmap, we must all remember that COVID-19 remains a part of our lives and the likelihood is that measures will still be needed for the rest of the academic year. We must carry on with 'hands, face, space' and comply with the COVID-Secure measures that remain in place.

New Outbreak Management Centre (OMC) opening Hours from Saturday 1st May 2021

Please note that the opening hours for the Outbreak Management Centre are changing. The opening times from Saturday 1st May will be;

  • Monday to Friday – 08:00 to 17:00
  • Saturday and Sunday and Bank Holidays – 09:00 to 13:00

Please note it remains important that all positive COVID-19 cases in settings should continue to be reported to the Outbreak Management Centre via email at, you can also ask for advice on how to manage positive cases in your setting. If you have an urgent enquiry and need to speak to the Outbreak Management Team you can contact by telephone on 01603 223219.

New Orient Gene lateral flow device (LFD) tests for use at on-site asymptomatic testing sites (ATS)

From Monday 10 May, NHS Test and Trace are introducing a new type of LFD called Orient Gene. These new devices are for use at on-site ATS in secondary schools and colleges. These tests require double nasal swab samples only – a throat sample is not needed. The Orient Gene devices also return a positive or negative result in under 30 minutes. Some specialist settings testing predominantly on site may welcome this new innovation.

There is no change to the test kits used by staff and students at home, which require both a throat and nasal swab.

Any tests ordered for use on-site will be the new Orient Gene type of test. You should start using the new Orient Gene test kits for testing on-site only when your supply of Innova kits runs out. Guidance on how to use these tests will be published on the DfE Secondary Schools Document Sharing Platform shortly.