The government has announced that schools will be eligible for extra funding of up to £75,000 per school to help them cover additional costs from the coronavirus outbreak.
In guidance published today, the Department for Education said that in the coming weeks, some schools that remain open would face "additional costs as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak".
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Where schools cannot cover these costs from their existing resources, the DfE has said it will cover these for maintained schools, academies and free schools, as well as state-funded special schools and alternative provision.
Extra funding for schools in coronavirus crisis
Schools can access funding for additional costs, such as cleaning to keep their premises hygienic, if they remain open over the Easter holidays, as well as additional cleaning costs required due to suspected coronavirus cases.
Schools will also receive extra funding for support for pupils eligible for free school meals who are not attending school and who are not covered by the existing voucher scheme. This includes costs incurred by schools before the voucher scheme was introduced, and costs for schools providing free school meals for pupils who are not covered by the voucher scheme, for example where there are no local participating supermarkets or where schools are providing meals directly.
The guidance states that schools should keep a record of all expenditure related to the coronavirus outbreak.
Schools with over 1,000 pupils are eligible for up to £75,000 to cover extra costs, while those with between 500 and 1,000 pupils are eligible for £50,000. All special schools and alternative-provision schools are eligible for £50,000.
The guidance added that the additional funding would not cover costs that are "part of schools’ expected expenditure for the year but that will not provide a benefit to the school or its pupils (such as exam fees, where exams will not now take place)".
The DfE also published a range of educational resources online today, which parents and schools could use to support learning at home.
Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Schools across the country are going above and beyond to support children during this hugely challenging period.
“We must support them every step of the way, which is why we are making extra funding available, on top of existing budgets, to any school facing unavoidable costs incurred due to the coronavirus crisis.
“We are also ensuring parents and schools are able to access high-quality resources to support children to continue learning while they stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.”