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Useful Information for Businesses – Updates 28th to 2nd September

Daily update from GOV.​UK.

Covid19 Related Updates

Providing school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Page summary
Guidance for schools and local authorities on school meals arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Change made
Added link to guidance on free school meals from the Lead Association for Catering in Education.

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Green Homes Grant skills training competition

Page summary
This competition provides funding for programmes which can deliver a suite of training solutions to support the Green Homes Grant scheme.

First published.

PM: ‘Climate action cannot be another victim of coronavirus’

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PM Boris Johnson will address a UN Climate Action Roundtable hosted by the UN Secretary-General.

First published.

Department for Education

Direction: Nardeep Sharma barred from managing independent schools

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A decision from the Secretary of State to direct that Nardeep Sharma should be prohibited from the management of independent schools.

First published.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium

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What school leaders need to know about the catch-up premium and the National Tutoring Programme, including funding amounts and how funding should be spent.

Change made
Updated ‘Payments’ section to include further details about allocations and clarified the list of eligible settings.

Boosting children’s physical activity in school

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The Department for Education has launched new online resources to inspire children to get active to mark National Fitness Day 2020.

First published.

SLASC 2021: technical specification

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Technical specification and validation rules describing the requirements for the school-level annual school census (SLASC) 2021.

Change made
Updated ‘SLASC 2021: validation rules’, changes are described in the version history.

Package of support for students who have to defer their studies

Page summary
Details on a range of opportunities to gain new skills, undertake work placements, additional learning and career development support.

Change made
Updated document to explain that the virtual work experience opportunity is unavailable until further notice.

School teachers’ pay and conditions

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Statutory guidance on pay and conditions for teachers in England.

Change made
Updated with ‘School teachers’ pay and conditions document 2020 and guidance on school teachers’ pay and conditions (valid from 1 September 2020)’.

School resource management self-assessment tool

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This tool can be used to reassure trusts that they are managing resources effectively and to identify any adjustments they need to make.

Change made
Updated the school resource management self-assessment tool checklist support notes.

COLLECT guides for schools and local authorities

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Guides for schools and local authorities submitting data using COLLECT.

Change made
Added ‘COLLECT matching and reconciliation guidance for academies and free schools 2020’ and ‘COLLECT matching and reconciliation guidance for local authorities 2020’.

Unsubscribe from ‘Department for Education’

Department for International Trade

Liam Fox makes SMEs his priority as WTO contest continues

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Former UK International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox pledges to get small businesses trading across the globe

First published.

Trade barriers removed to boost business

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DIT has removed 175 barriers to trade across 61 countries worldwide, opening new global markets for British exporters.

First published.


Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled the government’s plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months, including a new Job Support scheme which will start in November.

Delivering a speech in Parliament, the Chancellor announced a package of measures including:

  • a new Jobs Support Scheme which will run for six months, during which time workers must do at least one third of their normal hours, and the government and employer will pay one-third each of the lost hours
  • an extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). An initial taxable grant will be provided to those who are currently eligible for SEISS. The initial lump sum will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January next year, worth 20% of average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875. An additional second grant may be made be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period to the end of April 2021
  • the cut in VAT to 5% for the tourism and hospitality sectors to be extended to the end of March next year
  • a new Payment Scheme for businesses who deferred their VAT bills, giving them the option to pay back in smaller instalments rather than a lump sum next March
  • a Pay as You Grow flexible repayment system for firms repaying a Bounce Back Loan
  • extended payment terms for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • extension to end of November for applications for the government’s coronavirus loan schemes
  • measures put in place to protect businesses from insolvency will also be extended

The announcement comes after the Prime Minister set out further measures to combat the spread of the virus over the winter.

The Chancellor said: “The resurgence of the virus, and the measures we need to take in response, pose a threat to our fragile economic recovery. Our approach to the next phase of support must be different to that which came before.

“The primary goal of our economic policy remains unchanged – to support people’s jobs – but the way we achieve that must evolve.”

Speaking to journalists this afternoon, Mr Sunak said: “From the beginning of this crisis I’ve been determined to try and protect as many people’s jobs as possible. That’s why we introduced the furlough scheme. That’s why in the summer as our economy was reopening I announced the £30bn plan for jobs to support create and protect jobs across the United Kingdom, particularly for young people with initiatives like our Kickstart scheme, which is getting going.. and that’s why today to help businesses get through the difficult winter period we’ve announced the job support scheme.

“All of this stuff put together shows you how committed I am and the government is trying to do everything we can to protect as many jobs as possible – especially now with what will be a difficult few months but I’m confident that we will get through it and that we’ll get through it together.”

For more detail on the announcement, go here and for the Chancellor’s full speech go here. You can read the Prime Minister’s statement to the House of Commons yesterday here.


The government has launched the NHS COVID-19 app alongside new legal requirement for certain venues to display official NHS QR code posters as part of the national coronavirus testing and contact tracing programme.

Displaying NHS QR code posters to support the NHS COVID-19 app will be a legal requirement from today, 24 September, for all venues open to the public which are already being asked to use a logbook for Test and Trace.

Businesses and venues which need to display an NHS QR code COVID-19 poster from 24 September are:

  • hospitality;
  • leisure and tourism;
  • close contact services;
  • places of worship; and
  • local authority venues

More information is available here.


Working safely during coronavirus

Guidance on the closure of certain businesses and venues in England as part of further social distancing measures has been updated to reflect changes in rules about social contact, and requirements for certain businesses and venues to collect data for test and trace.

Guidance for the performing arts has been updated with priority actions to take to protect staff and customers; guidance on social gatherings of more than six people; and mandatory test and trace requirements.

Guidance for vehicles has been updated with priority actions to take to protect staff and customers.

Government extends support to stop business evictions this year

Commercial tenants will be protected from the risk of eviction until the end of 2020 helping businesses to protect jobs. Find out more here.

Transport-Technology Research and Innovation Grants

Innovative transport start-ups with a focus on decarbonisation or COVID-19 recovery can bid for a share of more than £1million in Department for Transport funding. The latest round of Transport Technology Research and Innovation Grant funding is open to entrepreneurs and innovators looking to create a better transport system. More here.

Green Homes Grant skills training competition

A competition which provides funding for programmes which can deliver a suite of training solutions to support the Green Homes Grant scheme is now open. Details can be found here.

New expert panel established to support UK trade negotiations

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is convening five leading economic and trade experts to advise DIT’s Chief Economist on how best to incorporate wider global economic developments – including the impact of COVID-19 and increased protectionism – into its economic and trade modelling.

HMRC support webinars

You can get information on the changes to the current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in September and October as well as the extension to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Job Retention bonus and flexible furloughing by attending one of HMRC’s webinars.  Choose a date and time.

From March 1 2021, the way VAT is collected in the construction industry is changing. Find out how to apply the VAT reverse charge for construction services by attending one of HMRC’s webinars. Choose a date and time.


Government Coronavirus Business Support Hub

You can go here to find out all the latest information about what funding and support is available for your business, managing your business during coronavirus and business closures. There is also a new ‘support finder’ tool to help businesses easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic through a quick and simple online questionnaire. You can find out more about the tool here.

Government Coronavirus Business Support WhatsApp

The government has also launched a Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp which is now updated with business support advice. Text ‘hi’ to 07860064422 via WhatsApp and there are business support measures highlighted under option 5 with the relevant links to GOV.UK pages.

Government business support helpline

Contact the government’s business support helpline for free advice

Phone: FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm


HMRC Helpline

HMRC have online help set up to help businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus. The best way to get help from HMRC on any topic is to contact them online. Alternatively, you can call them on 0800 0159 559

Find a Job Service

If your business needs more workers as a result of COVID-19, such as those in food logistics, preparation and retail, post vacancies on Find a Job.

Coronavirus support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations are providing coronavirus related support for specific sectors.

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