We recognise that this is a challenging time for schools worldwide. We want to facilitate the sharing of best-practice resources and trusted information around managing the impact of school closures. Here you will find advice on:

· providing continuity of education

· developing online learning

· delivering effective communications

· signposting trusted and informed health and travel guidance

· supporting the well-being of school communities 

· reducing the impact and spread of misinformation

This guidance comes from trusted sources all over the world, from WHO, the FCO, the DfE and from schoolteachers worldwide. 

We have created a forum for sharing advice and support, in the form of a LinkedIn group for educators based in international schools. Please join this group if you wish to share any insights or knowledge you have, or to gain some advice from others in similar positions. 

We have also curated a list of resources available for schools and teachers, at a free or discounted rate, helpfully offered by our Supporting Members. Have a look here.

 

The World Health Organisation has daily updates on COVID-19 here

The UK Government has issued guidance on a COVID-19 action plan, and guidance for educational settings. You can read the UK Government response to the crisis here.

The Department for Education has a helpline for staff, parents and students. You can contact them on 0800 046 8687, from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. You can also email them at DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk. Note, this applies to those based in the UK only. 

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has updated travel advice on their website.

International GCSE and A Level examinations: Following the UK Government announcement (18/03/2020) about the cancellation of examinations in the UK, all international Summer exams have been cancelled in 2020. To read the statement from Pearson/Edexcel, please click here. To read the statement from Cambridge Assessment International Education, please click here. For the latest updates from the IBO, please click here. OxfordAQA's statement can be read here.

NQT Induction and Covid-19: For those new teachers who are completing their NQT induction year, Appropriate Bodies for NQT Induction such have sought clarification from the DfE. Although NQTs can only be ‘absent’ for up to 29.5 days, school closure does not constitute absence and induction outcomes are unlikely to be affected by school closures. Please click here to read an update from ISTip.

Safeguarding / Safe Remote Learning: SWGfL have published a support page on Safeguarding and Planning for School Closure including resources and policy templates. You can also download the flyer on Safe Remote Learning here.

EduCare have a news page dedicated to Safeguarding and Duty of Care specifically. Keep an eye out for updates.

 

We know it can feel isolating when dealing with a closure. We've reached out to schools that have been dealing with closures for a number of weeks, and asked them to share their insights and advice, what to expect and how to cope. This will be updated regularly, so do check back in.

Fiona Cottam, Principal of Hartland International in Dubai, has written a blog for us detailing their experience of closing the school within 5 days. She's shared some great advice on communicating with parents, making the most of leadership within your school and some challenges they faced.

Learn about some basic principles of e-learning, from Ahmed Hussain at Wellington College China.

In Rome, David Tongue, the Principal of St. George's International School, has shared how his school prepared as quickly as they could for their school closure, and the steps they took to equip their staff and students with everything they needed.

From Hong Kong, we hosted a live webinar with Brian Cooklin, Principal of Nord Anglia International School, discussing his experience of closure, and how to make the most out of a difficult situation. Have a listen here.

Educational Psychologist Angie Wigford, from Dover Court International School, has written an excellent piece on developing emotional resilience during difficult times, useful for both students and staff. She's also written a piece with advice on how to speak to children of different ages about the virus.

The Principal of Kellett School in Hong Kong, Mark Steed, has written an article on communicating with staff, students and parents, with advice on answering questions, dealing with the media and being responsive.

In Milan, John Nicolls has written about preparing for an incoming shutdown and how to prepare the school community.

Check out this article from Matt Seddon, also of the Kellett School in Hong Kong, sharing the lessons they've learned from a long-term closure. 

TES has a number of articles on various topics, such as crisis planning, the impact of COVID-19 on international teachers, safeguarding children from COVID-19, how to keep teaching when schools are closed and what it's like for teachers doing their jobs from overseas.

Cambridge International Education Assessment has written a best-practice guide for distance learning, with tools and advice to support teachers. It will be updated regularly, so read it here and check back when you can.

 

The Lancet have published an article advising on how to mitigate the effects of home confinement on children during the crisis, noting that children can often suffer from stressors such as fears of infection, frustration and boredom, inadequate information, and lack of in-person contact with classmates, friends, and teachers.

The NASWUT has offered advice on how to deal with racism and abuse around the virus in a school setting. 

Get a parental perspective, with this piece from a mother whose children are learning from home in Hong Kong, and see the impact school closures have had on home life.

The Independent Schools Council's Digital Strategy Group has created an online hub of information and resources on COVID-19 and e-learning, which you can view here.

ISC Research has created a coronavirus hub, which will be updated every Friday. 

This hub will be updated regularly, so do check back for more information as the situation develops.

For enquiries, contact us at comms@cobis.org.uk.