Schools, colleges and training providers should close on Monday September 19 for the Queen’s funeral which will be a bank holiday, the government announced this evening.
King Charles III approved an order for the funeral to be a bank holiday today at St James’s Palace in London as he was formally declared head of state.
In an email to schools and FE settings, the Department for Education said: “The official date of the State Funeral is 19 September 2022.
“This day will be a bank holiday and settings that are normally closed on a bank holiday should close on this day as a mark of respect. This will include schools and colleges.”
The DfE added that for schools and further education settings normal attendance is expected throughout the national mourning period, other than the bank holiday. The bank holiday will mark the end of the mourning period.
But education leaders “continue to have the power to authorise leaves of absence for pupils in exceptional circumstances”. Any requests for leave of absence should be “considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into account individual circumstances”.
FE providers based in London should contact their local authority or police service for information on local disruptions during the national mourning period.
Students with work placements during the national period of mourning should continue as planned, guidance states.
Employers that do not usually close for bank holidays are not expected to do so.
The DfE also confirmed that Ofsted inspections will continue as normal through the mourning period, but no inspections will be scheduled on the bank holiday.
FE providers should “discuss any concerns with Ofsted, including whether they are facing exceptional circumstances that might warrant deferral of their inspection”.
Ofsted did however tell FE Week yesterday that it will pause publishing reports during the mourning period.