Coronavirus: School helpline beset by lengthy waits

A headteacher has called on the DfE to put more staff in the call centre for its coronavirus helpline after he was left waiting an hour and 45 minutes to receive advice about what action to take over sick pupils, TES is reporting.

The primary head, from a town in North Yorkshire, who does not wish to be identified, said that when he eventually got through, the advice he was given to one of his questions was “concerning”.

He said: “We feel a weight of responsibility to promote the keep-calm-and-carry-on message in our communities, but if we ourselves can’t the get the information it’s very hard. If we can’t get quick and clear advice how are we going to pass it on [to parents]?

And yesterday, it emerged that an academy staff member had been put on hold for an hour and 20 minutes when trying to ask what schools could do to feed disadvantaged pupils when schools close.

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