Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

17 August 2020

A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.

Key Announcements

  • The Sixth Form Colleges Association have published research showing that A level grades awarded in sixth form colleges this year fell below the average of the last three years.
  • The exam regulator Ofqual has removed its guidance on how to appeal against grades from their website. Ofqual say this policy is now being reviewed by its board, but Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has told the Times that there will be “no U-turn, no change” on their decision to use algorithms to determine grades.
  • group of MPs have urged the Government to give councils funding for rough sleepers for a year, and warn against a “new wave of homelessness” as the ban on evictions ends on 23 August.
  • Research by Women’s Aid for BBC Panorama shows that almost two thirds of people living with an abuser said the lockdown meant the violence got worse, and three quarters of people said it made it harder for them to escape.
  • Today self-employed people can claim their second package of financial support from the Government.
  • Labour have warned that 1 in 10 charities risk closure before they receive Government support.


  • Northern Ireland Education Minister, Peter Weir, has said that GCSE results in NI will be solely based on grades provided by teachers.
  • The Welsh Government is also under pressure over A level grades, as figures show that in some schools almost 70 percent of grades have been lowered.


  • New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has postponed the general election until 17 th October, following a spike of cases in Auckland.
  • The US deal toll has passed over 170,000 people, with around 5.4m infections, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Protection.
  • In India the death toll has now passed 50,000, making it the fourth worst death toll in the world.
  • Japan’s GDP shrank by a record 7.8 percent in the period April-June. This is the worst contraction in the country’s modern history.


  • The Labour Party have called on Boris Johnson to take “personal responsibility” for the A Level exam confusion and hold an emergency press conference to set out the Government’s plans.

Unconfirmed reports

  • The Sunday Telegraph reported that Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, intends to scrap Public Health England and replace it with a National Institute for Health Protection, similar to Germany’s Koch Institute.