14/07/2021

Good afternoon Colleagues

I hope my email finds you well, please see below for recent updates.

  1. The Reading Framework

Recent update on the Reading Framework:  The reading framework: teaching the foundations of literacy – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

AND FROM THE DFE:

  1. Information on the use of face coverings on dedicated school and college transport

On Monday, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced that Step 4 will go ahead on the Monday 19 July. The Prime Minister also said ‘we expect and recommend people wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with those you don’t normally meet such as on public transport’. We have therefore updated our operational guidance for settings which now recommends that face coverings are worn on dedicated transport to school or college when prevalence is high. This will be kept under review. School and college leaders can take operational decisions about their own settings, but in doing so they should consider all steps and measures available and their impact on provision for students, using national guidance, their own risk assessments, and advice from their director of public health. Initial support for decision making should be sought from the DfE COVID-19 helpline on 0800 046 8687 or by referring to local arrangements. We expect schools and colleges to deliver a full curriculum or education and training programme, including any wider school or college offer for their students.

  1. Encouraging testing participation in schools and colleges

As the Secretary of State for Education set out last week, we are working to remove current restrictions in line with Step 4. However, in order to minimise disruption to students and staff for the end of the summer term it is vitally important that staff and students continue regular testing. Maintaining momentum of the rapid testing programme is key to helping break the links of transmission.

To support your continued efforts in encouraging staff and students to report and participate in testing, you can now access the COVID-19 testing reporting data for your setting on the view your education data (VYED) portal. To view your data, you will need to log in using either your IDAMs or DfE sign in.

  1. Household account feature for parents reporting test results

NHS Test and Trace are continuing to develop and improve the process for self-test reporting. Currently, if a parent is submitting results through their account on behalf of a child, they have to enter the child’s details every time they report a result.

As a result of feedback from parents, NHS Test and Trace have introduced household accounts. This allows parents to save their children’s details to their own user accounts so parents can report results for multiple members in the household more quickly and easily. When reporting self-test results parents will now be offered the opportunity to create a household account, which should take no more than 2 minutes. Parents can then add all household members to their account, enabling them to save time when reporting all future self-test results.

  1. Information for schools on remote education for the next academic year

As set out in the schools COVID-19 operational guidance for Step 4, schools should maintain their capacity to deliver high quality remote education for next academic year in case it is needed. The remote education expectations and support offer can be found at get help with remote education. We will review over the summer and into the autumn term to confirm if another temporary continuity direction is needed.

11/07/2021

Good afternoon Colleagues

I hope my email finds you well, please see below for recent updates.

  1. Headstart

Please find attached resources developed by the Headstart team to support staff wellbeing, feel free to share.

There are some booklets and easy read guides as well as personal self-care check sheet and some short videos about self-care and mental wellbeing.

Self-care video: https://youtu.be/AFEnl8KUo4U

Burnout: Burnout – YouTube

Relaxation: https://youtu.be/uF37Eytref4

Mindfulness: What is mindfulness – YouTube

Mindfulness grounding technique: Mindfulness Grounding technique – YouTube

 

AND FROM THE DFE:

  1. Keeping children safe in education 2021

Following the release of ‘Keeping children safe in education 2021’ (KCSIE) last week, we have been working hard to update our key resources in line with the updated guidance. We have now uploaded a version of our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy to use from September 2021, and are currently producing a Peer-on-peer Abuse Policy that your school can implement to support its zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and violence. You can add our featured article here to your watch list to be notified when we upload more resources in line with KCSIE 2021.

  1. 2. Upcoming changes

Yesterday, the DfE and Ofqual published a joint consultation on ‘Proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2022’. The consultation proposes a range of measures to help mitigate the impact of disruption to pupils’ education, focussing on the following areas:

  • Giving schools some choice about the topics or content their pupils will be assessed on in GCSE English literature, history, ancient history and geography
  • Providing advance information of the focus of exam content, to help pupils focus their revision
  • Giving pupils a formulae sheet in GCSE mathematics and an expanded equations sheet in GCSE physics and combined science
  • Changing requirements for practical science work and practical art and design assessments

Schools can respond to the consultation here before it closes on 1 August. Plans for the Summer 2022 exam series are expected to be confirmed early in the Autumn term. Ofqual is also considering how to best grade qualifications in 2022 to be as fair as possible and will announce a decision in Autumn.

And here’s what to look out for

Yesterday, the government confirmed that step 4 of the coronavirus roadmap would commence from 19 July. The DfE has published operational guidance that will apply from step 4 – you can get up-to-speed with the changes here. We will be updating our resources to keep schools compliant with the step 4 guidance and wider government measures – keep an eye on our ‘New and Updated’ page to

see what we’ve been working on.

 

3.     COVID-19 LFD test kit inventory survey for secondary schools and colleges

Secondary schools and colleges are invited to participate in a short test kit inventory survey. This will help us better understand total stock levels of home self-test kits, as well as your availability over summer to receive deliveries so that we can ensure you are ready to continue home testing in the autumn term. This information will help forecast test kit demand for continued regular home testing for pupils and staff until the end of September when asymptomatic testing will be reviewed in schools and colleges. Please note that we do not expect staff to attend settings for the sole purpose of receiving test kit deliveries. Your answers do not impact your ability to order test kits using the ordering website.

The survey will only take you a few minutes and we very much welcome your participation by completing the test kit inventory survey by Tuesday 20 July. For any queries about this survey, please contact the DfE helpdesk on 0800 046 8687 (8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday).

4.         Instructions for use with Orient Gene COVID-19 test kits for secondary schools and colleges

instructions  can  be found on the document sharing platform and directly here.

We can also clarify that all secondary age students can swab themselves if they are able to under appropriate supervision (this includes 11-year-olds in year 7).

5.         Summer tutoring for school pupils

The National Tutoring Programme 2020/21 (NTP) is available to access during the summer holidays, either in schools if your school is open and running a summer school, or online at home. Find out how to access summer tutoring with an approved NTP Tuition Partner on the NTP website. You can email partners@nationaltutoring.org.uk if you have any questions.

6.         Proposals set out for exams and assessments in 2022 for schools and colleges

Exams next year are set to recognise and mitigate the disruption to students’ education, under proposals on arrangements for 2022 launched yesterday. The suggested arrangements for GCSEs, AS and A levels include choices about the topics students will be assessed on for some subjects, and giving schools and colleges advance information about the focus of content of the exams for other subjects. Ofqual and the Department for Education are also running a consultation on arrangements for vocational, technical and other general qualifications (VTQs)

15/07/2021

Good afternoon Colleagues

I hope my email finds you well, please see below for recent updates.

  1. What Step 4 changes mean for education and childcare settings

As most restrictions across all parts of society are relaxed from Monday 19 July, we want to keep schools, colleges and early years settings informed on what Step 4 changes mean. To help with this, we have recorded a webinar which provides information on the key changes to COVID-19 measures such as ‘bubbles’, contact tracing, face coverings, self-isolation and testing, in addition to providing answers to some frequently asked questions.

  1. Changes to contact tracing for schools, colleges and nurseries from Monday 19 July

From Monday 19 July, schools, colleges and nurseries will no longer carry out routine contact tracing. From this point onwards, close contacts will be identified and contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

In response to feedback from stakeholders, we have produced guidance, some frequently asked questions and answers and a template letter for settings to send to parents, pupils and students on changes to contact tracing of close contacts. These can all be found on the document sharing platforms for primary and early years, secondary schools, further education and higher education and children’s social care.

  1. COVID-19 LFD test kit inventory survey for secondary schools and colleges

Secondary schools and colleges are invited to participate in a short test kit inventory survey. This will help us better understand total stock levels of home self-test kits, as well as your availability over summer to receive deliveries so that we can ensure you are ready to continue home testing in the autumn term. The survey will only take you a few minutes and we very much welcome your participation by completing the test kit inventory survey by Tuesday 20 July. For any queries about this survey, please contact the DfE helpdesk on 0800 046 8687 (8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday).

  1. Summer school sign-up and funding confirmation

All schools who have confirmed their summer school programmes can now access their updated funding allocations.  Please see the guidance on summer schools and the webinar for more information.If you have any questions, please contact us at learning.recovery@education.gov.uk.

  1. Appeals for 2021 qualifications for secondary schools and colleges

Exceptionally for this year, we are providing additional funding to centres for teachers to process priority appeals. Centres will be eligible for £75 for each priority centre review they conduct. The funding is available to state funded centres and those entering private candidates.

A claims process will open in the autumn term to enable centres to claim this funding. Centres should retain their UKPRN and centre number, along with the student’s 4-digit candidate number, subject (specification) code, and UCAS PID, to enable them to claim this funding.

Priority appeals are for students applying to higher education who did not attain the grades required to meet the conditions of their accepted firm choice offer, and who wish to appeal an A level or other Level 3 qualification result. Centres should make every effort to check that the candidate’s appeal is a priority appeal at the point of conducting a centre review (for example by checking the student’s offer conditions on the UCAS Advisor Portal).

This week, we also published guidance on the exam support service for the autumn series. This will provide funding for essential additional costs relating to invigilation, additional exam space, and fees. The claims process for this will also open in the autumn term. Details of what is needed to claim are included in the guidance.

19/07/2021

Good afternoon Colleagues

I hope my email finds you well, please see below for recent updates.

  1. Consent for participation in asymptomatic test site (ATS) testing
On return in the autumn, secondary schools and colleges do not need to re-seek consent for pupils or students who have previously provided consent for ATS testing. However, if you wish to do so, please use the updated form on our secondary schools and colleges document sharing platform. Consent must be sought for any pupil or student who has not previously given consent for testing, for example new entrants in year 7. Schools and colleges need to keep a record of consent for ATS testing and may wish to hold the information collected in the COVID-19 test register.
  1. Continue regular COVID-19 testing in open education settings this summer
Secondary school pupils, college students and staff attending a summer school or any education setting over the holidays, should continue testing twice-weekly at home. They will continue to be supplied with test kits through their education settings.
For those not attending education settings over the summer holidays, tests will be available to order online or from most pharmacies.
New resources are available on the COVID-19 resources centre for schools and local authorities to use to help students maintain the habit of twice-weekly testing over the summer ahead of the autumn term.
3.         What Step 4 changes mean for education and childcare settings
From today, England has moved to Step 4 of the roadmap. The Prime Minister has emphasised the need to remain cautious as restrictions are lifted.
We published a webinar last week which provides information on the key changes to COVID-19 measures in education settings, such as ‘bubbles’, contact tracing, face coverings, self-isolation and testing, in addition to providing answers to some frequently asked questions.
The webinar is available to view on the document sharing platforms and can be accessed using the following links:
·        primary schools and early years
·        secondary schools, further education and higher education
·        children’s social care
Further information on Step 4 and the changes to COVID-19 measures in education and childcare settings can be found in our guidance.
  1. National Curriculum Assessment updates
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, most exams and assessments did not take place in the 2019/20, or 2020/21 academic years. The government also announced that it would not publish school or college level results data on Compare school and college performance (also commonly referred to as school and college performance tables) in autumn 2020 or autumn 2021, and that this data would not be used to hold schools and colleges to account. We have also made clear that results data from 2020/21 will not be used in school and college level performance measures in future years. We have set out further information on school and college accountability for 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic years.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-school-and-college-performance-measures/coronavirus-covid-19-school-and-college-accountability-202122

07/09/21

Good afternoon Colleagues

We hope that you have all returned to school well and have enjoyed some time off over the summer.

As part of the DfE’s Wellbeing for Education Recovery campaign, they have prompted us to provide some key messages and resources for you to use at the beginning of this new term, particularly around attendance and wellbeing.  This includes ‘Welcome Back’ assembly guidance, the primary & secondary presentation slides from Birmingham (which you may find a useful starting point to discuss emotions arising from the pandemic), A guide to Emotionally Based School Avoidance and other resources as shared below.

Issues that may impact on attendance in September

Following conversations with schools, colleges and LAs, the DfE are concerned that the groups most likely to present with attendance issues in September are:

  • Those who may be experiencing new or worsening mental health issues, including where these may have been impacted by the pandemic. This includes children and young people experiencing trauma and bereavement, young carers and those who may be taking on additional caring responsibilities as a result of their parents’ mental health declining.
  • Those who are concerned about the return to school. This may be related to concerns around the spread of infection; anxiety about being pressured to ‘catch up’ and apprehension or social anxieties around returning to large groups after periods of isolation.

 

Back to school messaging for pupils and parents/carers

  • As we move quickly towards the return to school in September, we know it’s important for schools and colleges to get the right messages out to their communities. We need to reassure pupils and students that their education settings will be a positive place for them to return to, and that measures are in place to address the things they’re concerned about.

The DfE have suggested that schools and colleges highlight the importance of this messaging and the key points to cover prior to the September return:

  • Positive messages about the return, and what children and young people have to look forward to. This includes seeing friends again, re-establishing a regular routine and all of the enrichment, pastoral and extra-curricular activities settings have planned.
  • Preparing pupils for what the return will look like, including the measures in place to prevent the spread of infection (it may also be useful to share the Education Hub’s blog on the return to school).
  • Reassurance that the school or college will support pupils and students to return to their studies, and will not pressure them to ‘catch up’.
  • Reminders of the sources of pastoral/wellbeing support in case pupils and students are feeling worried about the return.
  • For those transitioning to new education settings, information about the support that will be provided to help them to settle in and get to know their new environment.

The DfE have shared resources developed by regions and MATs to support pupil mental health and wellbeing and the September return

 

The DfE are always looking for examples of good practice, particularly with regards to schools and colleges implementing effective whole school approaches to supporting mental health and wellbeing. If you have any case studies from your setting that you think could be helpful to share or develop, please get in touch.

08/09/21

Good morning Colleagues

I hope my email finds you well, please see below for recent updates.

  1. CO2 monitor delivery schedules for state-funded special schools

The first deliveries will start from next week to state-funded special schools. Special schools, alternative provision and residential schools have been prioritised to receive their monitors first, given their higher-than-average numbers of vulnerable pupils.

The delivery schedule for these schools, across weeks commencing Monday 6, 13 and 20 September, is now available on the

ventilation document sharing platform. The delivery schedule also includes the number of monitors settings should receive.

  1. How to record attendance of secondary school pupils in the first week of term

All secondary school age pupils should receive 2 on-site lateral flow device (LFD) tests, 3   to 5 days apart, on their return for the autumn term. Schools can stagger the      return of pupils across their first week to manage this.

Schools should use code Y (unable to attend for exceptional circumstances) to record pupils who are not expected to attend school for lessons during the first week   because of the asymptomatic testing programme and staggered return.

Pupils who are required to self-isolate during this period should continue to be recorded using code X (not attending in circumstances related to COVID-19). Further information can be found in our guidance on school attendance.

  1. Information for schools and parents about international travel

As part of a safe and cautious reopening to international travel, the UK government’s travel lists have been updated. You may wish to remind parents of the following:

  • international travel to and from the UK has changed – everyone will need to meet a number of new requirements so we can all travel safely and securely
  • before considering any international journey, parents should think carefully about the risks to them, their family, and their community, as well as the impact on their child’s education
  • to prevent new COVID-19 variants from entering the UK, parents and families should not travel to red list countries

Everyone who enters England having visited or transited through a red list country in the ten days before arriving in England must quarantine in a

managed quarantine hotel. If parents are concerned about their ability to pay for managed quarantine, they may be offered a deferred payment plan and should call the Corporate Travel Management (CTM) helpline on +44 (0)20 7429 9983.

                       

  1. Targeted training for staff to teach early language and numeracy skills

The Government is providing funding for training to help two to four year-olds with     language and mathematic skills, as part of early years recovery      investment. Please see link for further information:

Targeted training for staff to teach early language and        numeracy skills

  1. Information on planned maintenance for all education settings using the COVID-19 test kit ordering online portal

The online portal for ordering COVID-19 test kits will be undergoing scheduled             maintenance between 3pm and midnight on Wednesday 8 th September. During this time, the portal will be unavailable for any organisation ordering testing kits.     The online portal will be available again from 1am on Thursday 9 September.

  1. COVID-19 test kit deliveries for all schools and colleges

The latest delivery schedules for secondary schools and colleges are available on the secondary schools and colleges document sharing platform.

The latest delivery schedules for primary schools and maintained nurseries are available on the primary schools and nurseries document sharing platform.

  1. National Tutoring Programme.

New guidance has been published to support schools to offer their own teacher-led     tuition. The 2021School led tutoring Grant covers 75% of the costs of tuition up to a maximum of  £18 per hour of which the DfE grant will fund a maximum of £13.50 per hour funded by DfE.

  1. Early Years Professional Development Programme

               It was announced today that the Early Years Professional Development Programme (PDP) is to be extended to around 50 new local authorities across England in 2021/22.    Up to 2,000 early years practitioners and teachers in the new areas will benefit from high-quality online training delivered directly by experienced trainers. You can see the full announcement here:

Targeted training for staff to teach early language and numeracy skills – GOV.UK             (www.gov.uk)

  1. Early Years foundation stage statutory framework

            Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework
Updated to make it clear that the new statutory framework for the early years foundation stage applies from 1 September 2021. Removed the previous version and the early years foundation stage coronavirus disapplications as they are no longer in force.

Milk is excellent as a mid-morning drink. It provides a nutritional boost and keeps children hydrated between breakfast and lunch, helping them to concentrate and learn. Milk helps fuel children’s potential by:

  • Providing an energy boost at mid-morning break, refuelling the body until lunch.
  • Hydrating children to aid their concentration and attention in class.
  • Providing a unique powerhouse of nutrients essential for strong healthy teeth and bones.

The School & Nursery Milk Alliance has produced helpful guidance, detailing the school and nursery milk schemes that are available to pupils during school hours.

You can access this guidance here, with all the details on how to sign up to the schemes

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch at snma@snma.org.uk.

15/09/2021

Good afternoon Colleagues

I hope my email finds you well, please see below for recent updates.

  1. Updated guidance for summary evaluations of multi-academy trusts

Ofsted launches updated guidance for summary evaluations of multi-academy trusts
Updated guidance explains how Ofsted will carry out summary evaluations of multi-  academy trusts.

  1. Reminder for schools and colleges to complete the educational setting status form

Schools and colleges are asked to resume completing the educational setting status form from the start of the autumn term. Please complete the form each day by 2pm.

We have made some changes to the form to align with the latest guidance for schools            and colleges, however, this does not impact the way that   you complete the form. We          have updated the questions on COVID-19 related absence and have added a new set of           questions about managing     COVID-19 in your school or college. Further information on completing the educational setting status form, including an updated set of       attendance sub-codes, can be found in our guidance.

  1. Government Autumn and Winter plan 2021

            COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021

 

17/09/2021

Good afternoon Colleagues

I hope my email finds you well, please see below for recent updates.

 

  1. Beat the Street

This is a gentle reminder that Beat the Street is due to start in only 12 days! Schools should receive their Beat the Street packs including cards, fobs     and maps, on Monday 20th September. Please let me know if there are any problems with the packs you receive, and remember I am still here      for school visits and    assemblies leading right up to the game. Looking forward to seeing you all raring to go on the 29th September for Beat the          Street Middlesbrough. Lauren Clark @ intelligenthealth.co.uk

  1. Reducing Parental Conflict Programme

The Reducing Parental Conflict Programme is now well established within multiple frontline early intervention services and we are hoping to            extend it within our schools and school key workers across the North East region.

To give you some context I have included two leaflets that explain what we offer parents and the practitioners who will hopefully refer the parents     onto the programme.  Also attached are links to short videos that explain what the programme is about and gives an explanation of the four            interventions we offer to parents where parental conflict has a negative impact on their children.

Myself and Gemma, Gateway coordinator, are available for team briefings, case discussion and support and guidance with any referral(s) you may have – Mon-    Fri, inclusive of school holidays.  This is a national programme which is entirely funded by the DWP.

I hope you find this useful and is something you can use within your school.  If you have any further questions or would like to discuss this in more          detail please             don’t hesitate in contacting me. Jackie Liddell- Gateway Support Worker, Relationships Matter – Reducing Parental Conflict    Programme, Mobile: 07874884996       Email:jackieliddell@gateshead.gov.uk

And from the DfE:     

  1. New Secretary of State for Education

On Wednesday 15 September, the Prime Minister confirmed that Nadhim Zahawi MP has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for   Education.

  1. COVID-19 vaccine update for 12 to 15 year olds

The School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) team will be the primary provider of the vaccination programme and will be legally responsible for the          delivery of the vaccine. More information on the COVID-19 vaccine, the vaccination programme and how it will work, as well as answers to some     frequently asked questions, is included in the Public Health England guidance for schools.

NHS leaflets are available to provide more information to parents, carers and eligible young people on the vaccine, including how it works and    what to expect after having the vaccine. Accessible versions and translations are also available.

  1. Information for eligible secondary schools on the summer schools claim form

The COVID-19 summer schools claim form is now live. The deadline to submit your claim is 23:59 on Friday 1 October 2021.

Further information on how to complete the claim form, the summer schools programme and the conditions of funding can be found in our        guidance on COVID-19 summer schools programme funding.