Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the situation with Coronavirus is evolving on a daily basis, our advice is to monitor the official government information from Public Health England

A new helpline has been launched to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline using the details below:

Contacting the Education Team

At present, we have reduced office cover. Contact details for the Education Team are available on our Contact page.

Resources and downloads

We've put together some useful resources for schools to use during the Coronavirus pandemic. This page will be regularly updated as new resources become available.



9 June 2020

Message to Schools from Rt Revd Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking & Acting Bishop of Chelmsford

Dear friends,

Thank you. Thank you for all you continue to do for our church school students at this extraordinary and demanding time.

In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that a good teacher ‘is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.’ (Matt13:52‬). It seems to me that is exactly what has been required of you over the last 10 weeks of restriction. You have used and redirected the old treasure of teaching experience and resource and reached ‭out to grasp newer treasure in creative invention, especially on line, to ensure the good education of so many of the young people under your care.

Thank you, across the whole primary and secondary age range, for your creativity and commitment in providing such a diversity of apt on and off line learning opportunities for our students, especially those engaged in examination syllabuses.  It will have made a huge difference for many students and their families at this time of restriction and need. We are all aware that for those without broadband and/or computer facilities at home this will have been much more difficult and for some impossible. Yet so many teachers have pulled out all the stops to provide suitable off-line lesson materials also.

After our Government decided to allow primary schools to re-open for the youngest and oldest pupils from last week, I know all of you who lead and teach in our church primary schools have faced some very tough decisions.  As an ex-primary school teacher myself I am all too aware of the acute safety and logistical pressures this will have placed upon you.

Whether you felt it right to have reopened or not, I want to assure you that Tim, our Diocesan Director of Education, and I, trust your professional judgements entirely. Thank you for taking informed and courageous decisions in either direction. Only you as the headteachers and staff can make those wise and needful decisions according to the local context in which you find yourselves, especially in relation to the number of appropriate staff available at any one time. I know too that such decisions need to be constantly kept under review according to circumstance.

As we begin phase by phase  to emerge into the ‘new normal’ as it is now being called, the treasure of education, by old and new means, is what will create a better and more Godly world for us all.

Thank for your part in that transformation.


20 May 2020:

Pastoral Statement

Download the Pastoral Statement from a group of Church of England Diocesan Directors of Education.

11 May 2020:

Message to Schools from Rt Revd Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking & Acting Bishop of Chelmsford

Dear friends,

As our schools continue to be closed, except for the children of key workers, please know that I and the other leaders of our diocese so much appreciate all that you are doing.

To ensure the continuing education of the children and students who remain under your direct care at school and the much greater number under your online direction at home is so essential for their future, especially so for those who remain on examination courses. As an ex-teacher myself, I realise that covering all the needs that can arise in these demanding circumstances is no easy task, including those necessary for keeping all children safe.

At the heart of church school education is the reality of Christian hope: a hope that will enable our young people to fulfil their potential, care for others and flourish in a world that will be very different beyond this time of pandemic  restriction. Christians are called by God to learn, love and serve in the world in which he has placed us with all its wonder, tragedy and challenge. What you as teachers provide to nurture that hope and fulfilment can never be underestimated and is to be treasured. You can change lives and no more so than at a time like this.

Please know you are prayed for and valued as we continue this extraordinary journey.


20 April 2020

Essex LA letter

Below is a link to a letter sent by Essex LA to all Chairs of Governors which may or may not have been received by them. Therefore, we have placed it on our website so that schools can download it and pass it on to Chairs as appropriate as it is important that they too are aware of the significant pressures on heads and staff at this moment in time.

Letter from Essex LA to all Chairs of Governors

1 April 2020:

Online resources

We've put together a web page with resources for schools to use during the Coronavirus pandemic.

It provides some helpful links for worship and prayer ideas, RE home learning and resources on loss and bereavement.

View resources for schools

23 March 2020

Message to Schools from Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford

Dear friends,

We are living through extraordinary days, and we are all learning how to be the church without the usual trappings of church life which we look to for sustenance. Now, in order to save lives and help our health service manage this crisis, schools are closing as well.

Could I thank you for the work you do for our children and our local communities, providing resources and support for children to learn at home, and continuing to teach in school and care for those children whose parents are in the front line of fighting the coronavirus and helping those who are suffering. Please be assured of my prayers.


23 March 2020:

Message from The Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed his heartfelt thanks to all the school leaders and teachers who are working hard in these extremely challenging circumstances, saying they have his utmost admiration and gratitude for the work they are doing in the service of our children and young people.

You can see his message in full here.

The Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership resources ‘Called, Connected and Committed’ also offers a weekly update which will seek to provide rich resources to support you at this time. This week's Called, Connected, Committed is focused on 'Offering Encouragement'.

18 March 2020

Letter from Chelmsford Diocese Director of Education

Letter sent to Headteachers from Tim Elbourne, Diocesan Director of Education.