Coronavirus (COVID-19) contingency framework for education and childcare settings

How settings can prepare for restrictions to help contain community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).



The restrictions described in this framework do not currently apply to any areas of England.

Different education restrictions apply during the national lockdown from 5 January 2021.

This document applies to:

  • early years providers
  • schools (including independent schools) and alternative provision
  • 16 to 18 academies
  • further education providers (FE)
  • breakfast clubs and after-school clubs
  • holiday clubs and other out-of-school settings

It does not apply to universities.

It sets out how restrictions on education would work in the rare circumstances they are needed. Any restrictions on education would only be as a last resort and may only be initiated following a ministerial decision.

Published 27 November 2020
Last updated 7 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated information for boarding schools, special schools and special post-16 institutions. Removed the implementation guidance as this no longer applies. Different education restrictions apply during the national lockdown.

  2. Updated list of areas which this guidance applies to.

  3. Added 'Contingency framework: implementation guidance'.

  4. First published.