School cleaning products "may be rationed" as deliveries are reduced in volume and frequency, the supply chain has warned.
Following conversations with public sector buying organisations and the Crown Commercial Service, the Department for Education (DfE) said state school suppliers are "seeking to find alternatives to any products which are out of stock", as deliveries are hit by the coronavirus crisis.
New guidance published today states: "DfE has been working with public sector buying organisations, and with Crown Commercial Service, to understand and address supply chain issues relating to hygiene and cleaning products for state-funded provision.
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"At this time, the supply chain has flagged that for some products there are reduced-volume deliveries, and less frequent deliveries, which means some items may be rationed.
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"They are seeking to find alternatives to any products which are out of stock."
It adds: "Should schools be short of cleaning product supplies, they should email DfE-CovidEnquiries.COMMERCIAL@education.gov.uk, providing details of the supplies they are short of, and where they have been trying to buy their supplies (for example, which supplier)."
Teachers previously called on the government to make schools a priority as they struggled to source soap, hand sanitiser and paper towels to curb the spread of the virus.
The DfE was urged to divert key supplies to schools, as staff reported that widespread panic-buying had made it difficult to buy everyday essentials.