LA UPDATE – 14th April 2022

  1. Advice for Ukrainian families on applying for a school place and accessing childcare in England

We have published some advice on the Education Hub for Ukrainian families on applying for a school place and accessing childcare. The article is available in both English and Ukrainian and can be shared with staff and parents.

2. Taking part in the school recovery strategies survey

You may have already received an email from Ipsos to your school email address, inviting you to take part in a survey about school recovery strategies, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools can take part in this survey by clicking on the link provided in the email you received from Ipsos.

This is the second year of this study, and you may have taken part last year. The purpose of the survey is to help the department understand how challenges, strategies and future requirements may have changed in your school, and for other schools across the country, since the start of the pandemic. Please take part, even if you completed it last year, we appreciate your input into this important research.

  1. Contacting the Department for Education (DfE)

The DfE incident support helpline (formerly the COVID-19 helpline) is available to support the education sector, with any questions you have about COVID-19 and other national incidents and emergencies, which impact on education, childcare and children’s social care.

DfE incident support helpline

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

If your query is about anything else related to education, childcare and children’s social care, please call the DfE general enquiries helpline:

DfE general enquiries helpline
Phone: 0370 000 2288
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 5pm

Both helplines close on bank holidays, this includes Friday 15 April and Monday 18 April. Alternatively, you can contact DfE online.


LA UPDATE – 7th April 2022

  1. Update for schools on the National Tutoring Programme (NTP)

The School-Led tutoring guidance has been updated, outlining the policy and process for the funding uplift. Find out how Lisa Thompson, Headteacher at St Charles Primary School, has been benefitting from using the NTP School-Led tutoring route in the NTP blog.

  1. Guidance on registering for free personal protective equipment (PPE)

Additional PPE in education and childcare settings will now only be needed when performing aerosol generating procedures (AGPs). The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) guidance has been updated and the list of what is considered an AGP has changed. Settings will only need to access PPE in limited scenarios.

If individuals in your setting perform AGPs as described in the guidance, and need additional PPE for this, please register on the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) managed PPE portal. Once registered, you will be able to order PPE directly, at no cost to your setting.

All SEND and children’s social care settings should already be registered for the portal, so no action is required.

If you need any help with registration or have any other questions, please contact the DHSC helpline on 0800 876 6802

  1. Updated NHS COVID-19 symptoms lists

The NHS COVID-19 symptoms in adults and symptoms in children have been updated.

Adults and children who have symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19, should follow the UKHSA guidance.

  1. An update for all education and childcare settings on the publication of new guidance following the Living with COVID announcement

UKHSA has now published new guidance for the general population on reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in the workplace. This came into effect on Friday 1st April, and is also relevant to education and childcare settings.

  1. An update for schools and colleges on the review of the educational settings status form

We have carried out a review of the continuation of the educational setting status form, taking into consideration the burden on settings, the utility of data collected for DfE, local authorities and settings, and the availability of alternative data sources.

In January, we began a trial of automated collection of attendance data in schools; thank you to the 13,000 schools who have signed up. Once the trial is fully established, we will stop collecting attendance data through the form and reconsider the frequency of the collection of workforce absence data. In the interim, the educational setting status form remains a valuable data source and we will continue to collect on-site pupil attendance and workforce absence data weekly in the summer term.

Further guidance on the automated collection of attendance data and how schools can join the trial is available. Alternatively, you can contact us by email.

6.Update for schools on recording attendance for pupils with symptoms of COVID-19

Schools no longer need to record pupils who do not attend for reasons related to COVID-19, using Code X. Pupils with symptoms of COVID-19 are no longer advised to get a test, and most of the scenarios that this category was brought in to record no longer apply.

  1. Russian-based antivirus software and other Russian IT applications

The current National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) guidance is that all public sector organisations should reconsider their risk if they are using Russian technology. Organisations and individuals are ultimately responsible for, and best placed to consider what risk the use of Russian software products poses for them. Please read and follow the latest NCSC advice.

  1. Updated guidance on the 16 to 19 tuition fund for the 2022/23 academic year

The Education and Skills Funding Agency has updated their guidance on the 16 to 19 tuition fund allocation for the 2022/23 academic year.

  1. Guidance for schools, colleges and providers on students repeating year 13

The 16 to 19 funding regulations guidance, published on Wednesday 30th March, confirms that funding repeat studies will revert to our usual resit and retake policy. This means that severe disruption to a student caused by COVID-19 would be treated like any other exceptional circumstance outside the control of the student or institution.

  1. Department for Education Incident Support helpline

The Department for Education Incident Support helpline is available to answer any questions you have about COVID-19 relating to education and childcare settings and children’s social care, and to support any national incidents and emergencies.

LA UPDATE – 31st March 2022

Changes to measures and guidance for managing COVID-19 in education and childcare settings from Friday 1st April

On Tuesday 29th March, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, set out the next steps for living with COVID-19 in England from Friday 1 April. Free COVID-19 tests will continue to be available for specific groups, including eligible patients and NHS staff, once the universal testing offer ends on Friday 1 April. Updated guidance will advise:

·  Adults with the symptoms of a respiratory infection, and who have a high temperature or feel unwell, should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature.

·  Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend.

·  Adults with a positive COVID-19 test result should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, which is when they are most infectious. For children and young people aged 18 and under, the advice will be 3 days

The population now has much stronger protection against COVID-19 than at any other point in the pandemic. This means we can begin to manage the virus like other respiratory infections, thanks to the success of the vaccination programme and access to antivirals, alongside natural immunity and increased scientific and public understanding about how to manage risk.

For education and childcare settings from Friday 1st April:

·  Regular asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended in any education or childcare setting, including in SEND, alternative provision and children’s social care settings. Therefore, settings will no longer be able to order test kits

·  Residential SEND settings may be advised by their local health protection team to re-introduce some time-limited asymptomatic testing. This would be an exceptional measure, for targeted groups of staff and pupils or students (secondary age or above) in the event of a possible COVID-19 outbreak. These settings are scheduled to receive an automatic delivery of contingency supply test kits during the week commencing Monday 28th March

·  The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) will publish new guidance. Most of the specific COVID-19 guidance for education and childcare settings will be withdrawn from GOV.​UK on Friday 1st April. The operational guidance on the testing in education settings document sharing platform will also be removed on the same day.

Reminder for education and childcare settings on distributing existing stocks of self-test kits

Now that regular asymptomatic testing in mainstream education and childcare settings is no longer advised, you may have surplus stock of self-test kits that are no longer required.

UKHSA will issue further communications in due course about how to manage any excess stock of test kits from Friday 1st April. Please do not hand out any test kits to staff, pupils, or students unless advised by your local health protection team, local authority or director of public health. Expired stock is classified as municipal waste and may be disposed of with other waste.

LA UPDATE – 29th March 2022

  1. Update for schools on the National Tutoring Programme (NTP)

An additional £65m of funding has been transferred to the School-Led tutoring route in the NTP, providing schools with greater flexibility to source their own tutors.

Each school will receive a 15% minimum uplift in their final School-Led tutoring payment this academic year. Detailed allocations will be shared with schools in April.

Schools can use School-Led tutoring alongside Tuition Partners and Academic Mentors, to maximise the benefit of tuition for pupils who need it most, with a continued focus on the needs of pupils eligible for pupil premium. For those using Academic Mentors, please encourage them to complete their timesheets and upload them to the Tuition Hub in a timely manner, to ensure prompt payment, and to accurately show the support schools are receiving. For any queries, please visit access tuition support for your school. For further information please see the frequently asked questions.

  1. Information on gas and electricity contracts

The energy market remains volatile and prices remain high. This has the potential to impact on all sectors, including education. We recommend that settings do not allow their existing contracts to expire and contact their current supplier to discuss a contract extension, as buying energy out of contract is more expensive than buying at the market rate.

DfE approved energy framework suppliers are available to provide renewal quotes for schools. These frameworks provides a compliant route to market and different options based on a school’s need.

The Get help buying for schools procurement team is available to provide schools with further free advice and guidance on their energy contracts. Please contact them for assistance. Please also note:  Cabinet Office has issued further advice for public bodies with contracts with suppliers from Russia and Belarus

  1. Update on the schools white paper

This week the DfE has published the schools white paper – opportunity for all: strong schools with great teachers for your child. This sets out the department’s  long-term vision for a school system that helps every child to fulfill their potential, by ensuring that they receive the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

  1. Update on the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision green paper

This week, the DfE launched its green paper on SEND and alternative provision – right support, right place, right time.

This follows the SEND review, which was launched in acknowledgement that the system was failing to deliver improved outcomes for children and young people with SEND or alternative provision.

Visit the SEND campaign website to find a range of information and graphics setting out key proposals from the green paper. There are also details of webinars where you can find out more about the SEND consultation.

  1. An update for schools on children and young people arriving under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine

All children and young people arriving under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine, will have the right to access state education whilst in the UK. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has published guidance for local authorities regarding the Homes for Ukraine scheme, as well as a frequently asked questions resource. We also have a dedicated team at DfE working on support for children and young people arriving from Ukraine. If you have any further questions, please contact the team by email.

  1. Education and Skills Funding Agency adult education budget (AEB) funding and performance management rules 2021/22 Ukrainian visa schemes

All Ukrainian adults and their family members supported through the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme are immediately eligible for further education 19+ funding, and are exempt from the 3 year residency requirement, in line with the current AEB funding rules. If you have any questions, please contact us using our enquiry form.

  1. Update on COVID-19 vaccination for 5 to 11 year olds and 12 to 15 year olds

The in-school COVID-19 vaccination programme will end on Friday 1 April. 12 to 15 year olds will still be able to access the vaccine outside of school, at a vaccination centre, pharmacy or walk-in centre.

For 5 to 11 year old and 12 to 15 year old vaccinations, please signpost parents to where they can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments online, at a vaccination centre or pharmacy, or find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site without needing an appointment. Appointments and walk-ins can be accessed for  12 to 15 year olds now, and bookings will open up for 5 to 11 year olds from the beginning of April.

  1. Webinars for schools on attendance best practice

School attendance best practice webinars are now underway. This series focuses on how a range of schools across the country have maintained or improved their attendance levels, and the approaches they have taken.

Details on our upcoming webinars and how to register are below:

·        Thursday 31st March at 4pm – Abbey School, an academy special school, part of the Nexus Multi-Academy Trust in Rotherham

·        Thursday 28th April at 4pm – Ormiston Meadows Academy, a primary school, part of Ormiston Academies Trust in Peterborough

The series of effective practice attendance webinars will continue after the Easter holidays. All webinars will be recorded and shared as part of our improving attendance good practice for schools and multi-academy trusts.

LA UPDATE – 3rd March 2022

  1. Help for school and college teachers, and families to talk to pupils regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine

We believe schools and colleges are well equipped to handle any questions they may be receiving from pupils or students regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, however, the Education Hub contains some useful advice and resources for schools and colleges. This may also be useful for families and young people themselves.

  1. Apply to take part in the Education for Wellbeing research programme for pupils in year 7, 8 and 9

To find out more about the programme, including whether your school is eligible and what is required, please see the information available on Education for Wellbeing or complete the online expression of interest form. Eligible schools will be selected on a first-come first-served basis, so apply now. For further information, please contact the Anna Freud Centre

  1. Webinars for schools on attendance best practice

School attendance best practice webinars are now underway. This series focusses on how a range of schools across the country, have maintained or improved their attendance levels, and the approach they have taken.  Details on our upcoming webinars and how to register are below:

·        Thursday 3rd March at 4pm – Wheelers Lane Technology College, a local authority maintained secondary school in Birmingham

·        Wednesday 9th March at 4pm – Studio West, an 11 to 19 studio school in Newcastle upon Tyne

·        Thursday 17th March at 4pm – St Giles School, a community special school in Nottinghamshire

·        Wednesday 23rd March at 4pm – Brook House Primary School, a primary free school which is part of the Lion Academy Trust in Haringey

·        Thursday 31st March at 4pm – Abbey School, an academy special school which is part of the Nexus multi-academy trust in Rotherham

All webinars will be recorded and shared through the improving attendance good practice for schools and multi-academy trusts web page. This page will also be updated with recent attendance best practice blogs and links to the work of the Behavioural Insights Team.

  1. Update on the DfE COVID-19 helpline

Following the Prime Minister’s Living with COVID-19 announcement on Monday 21st February, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), accessed through option 1 of the DfE COVID-19 helpline, will be decommissioned from Friday 1st April 2022. The UKHSA advice service was introduced in September 2020 to provide advice to education and childcare settings on the action they should take to respond to positive cases of COVID-19 in their setting.

The DfE COVID-19 helpline will continue to be available to answer your questions relating to COVID-19 in education, childcare and children’s social care settings after the UKHSA advice service is decommissioned.

  1. Accessing tutoring through the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) this academic year 2021/2022

The Unity School Partnership Trus, a multi-academy trust have produced a blog on how they are taking advantage of all three routes of the NTP programme to benefit pupils.

  1. Information on Tuition Partner eligibility

Take a look at our ‘how to guide’ for more information on how to access the NTP. You can also call the team on 0330 390 3315 to get help with registering your school.

  1. How to register for the NTP webinars

The NTP webinar series continues and will focus on region specific information. They provide a great opportunity for shared learning from the experiences of schools in your region.

This week’s webinar will focus on the North East and will take place on Thursday 3rd March at 4pm.

To register your interest in this webinar and other events, please visit the NTP events website.

  1. Update on initial teacher training (ITT) in early years settings and schools

You may already be thinking ahead to the next academic year (2022/23) and considering your recruitment needs and capacity to host ITT trainees. If you are interested in hosting trainee teachers, contact us and we will support you to partner with local training providers. You can also find and contact local training providers directly by using the find teacher training service.

  1. Update to the educational setting status form

In line with wider COVID-19 changes, we will move the educational settings status form from a daily to a weekly collection, and reduce the number of questions asked. This will balance the collection burden on schools and colleges, with the need to collect vital information on the impact of COVID-19 on settings through the next half of term, including the impact on vulnerable children and young people and staffing levels.

  1. COVID-19 workforce fund extended to Easter to support with the costs of staff absences in schools and colleges

As previously announced, the COVID-19 workforce fund has been extended to provide financial support to eligible schools and colleges, for costs incurred due to staff absences from Monday 22nd November 2021 until Friday 8th April 2022.

Further information on the COVID-19 workforce fund is available in our guidance for schools and colleges. The guidance has been updated to reflect the extension.

LA UPDATE – 22nd February 2022

Prime Minister’s announcement on the Living with COVID-19 plan

Today the Prime Minister has set out the next phase of the government’s COVID-19 response ‘Living with COVID-19’. COVID-  19 continues to be a virus that we learn to live with and the imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education remains. Further information on what this means for education and childcare settings and children’s social care services is below.

Changes to testing in education and childcare settings and children’s social care services

Staff and students of secondary age and above in SEND settings, alternative provision settings, and SEND units within mainstream settings or equivalent in further education colleges are advised to continue twice-weekly testing. Staff in residential units in children’s social care (open and secure children’s homes) and children of secondary age and above in open children’s homes are also advised to continue twice-weekly testing. Children and young people arriving in secure children’s homes should test on arrival.

The education testing delivery channels will remain open so that staff and students of secondary age and above can access tests if needed to respond to local public health advice, in particular in relation to outbreaks. Staff and students are also able to access test kits from their local pharmacy or online.

If you are due to receive a delivery of test kits during this week you will receive a separate communication in relation to this.

For more information, please visit our frequently asked questions on the document sharing platform.

Changes to self-isolation and daily testing of close contacts

From Thursday 24th February, the Government will remove the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test. Adults and children who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least 5 full days, and then continue to follow the guidance until they have received 2 negative test results on consecutive days. In addition, the Government will:

· No longer ask fully vaccinated close contacts and those aged under 18 to test daily for 7 days, and remove the legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate.

· End self-isolation support payments, national funding for practical support and the medicine delivery service will no longer be available.

· End routine contact tracing. Contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate or advised to take daily tests. Staff, children and young people should attend their education settings as usual. This includes staff who have been in close contact within their household, unless they are able to work from home.

· End the legal obligation for individuals to tell their employers when they are required to self-isolate.

More detail can be found in the Living with COVID-19 plan published today.

Further detail will be published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on Thursday 24th February and a link to this will be provided in the schools COVID-19 operational guidance on the same day.

From Thursday 24th March, the Government will:

·        Remove the COVID-19 provisions within the Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance regulations.

From Friday 1st April, the Government will:

· Remove the current guidance on voluntary COVID-status certification in domestic settings and no longer recommend that certain venues use the NHS COVID Pass.

· Update guidance setting out the ongoing steps that people with COVID-19 should take to minimise contact with other people. This will align with the changes to testing.

· No longer provide free to order universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England.

· Consolidate guidance to the public and businesses, in line with public health advice.

Closure of the UKHSA advice service

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement confirming that self-isolation is no longer a legal requirement following a positive test and the publication of the Living with COVID-19 plan, the UKHSA advice service will be decommissioned from 31st March 2022. The DfE COVID-19 helpline will still be available to answer your questions relating to COVID-19 in education and childcare settings, once the UKHSA advice service is switched off.

Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice on COVID-19 vaccination for healthy 5 to 11 year olds

The NHS is currently offering vaccines to at-risk children and those who live with immunosuppressed people in this age group. Parents and guardians of at risk 5 to 11 year olds should wait for the NHS to contact them, with local NHS teams already contacting those who are eligible.

On Wednesday 16th February, the government accepted the advice from the independent JCVI to make a non-urgent offer of COVID-19 vaccines to all children aged 5 to 11 in England. The JCVI advice follows a thorough review by the UK’s independent   medicines regulator, the MHRA, which approved Pfizer’s paediatric vaccine, as safe and effective for children aged 5 to 11.

Children without underlying health conditions are at low risk of serious illness from COVID-19 and the priority remains for the NHS to offer vaccines and boosters to older age groups and vulnerable children, as well as to catch-up with other childhood immunisation programmes.

The NHS will prepare to extend this non-urgent offer to all children during April so parents can, if they want, take up the offer to increase protection against potential future waves of COVID-19, as we learn to live with this virus.

The updated JCVI advice for vaccinating 5 to 11 year olds, which was published on Friday 18th February by the NHS, confirms that community pharmacy-led local vaccination services and vaccination centres should be the primary delivery models for this cohort.

Update for schools on recording attendance

School attendance is mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age. It continues to be a priority to ensure that as many children as possible are regularly attending school.

The position on recording school attendance in the register has not changed. Where a pupil is following advice to self-isolate prior to a confirmed case of COVID-19 they should be recorded as code X (not attending in circumstances related to coronavirus). Where a pupil has a confirmed case of COVID-19 they should be recorded as code I (illness).

Early years settings no longer required to notify Ofsted of positive cases

From Monday 21st February, we will no longer require early years settings to notify Ofsted of COVID-19 cases in their setting.

It remains a legal requirement under the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework to report cases of serious illness. You should notify Ofsted as soon as practical, and in any case, within 14 days of a notifiable event happening. For information about what is classed as a notifiable event or serious incident and what to tell Ofsted, please refer to the guidance on reporting a serious childcare incident. DfE and Ofsted will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 in early years settings through other data sources and through direct engagement with the sector.

When to register your settings bank details to receive funding to support the 12 to 15 year old vaccination programme

On the Monday 24th January we announced that schools will receive at least £1,000 each to support engagement with the vaccination programme. Bank details only need to be registered by settings not currently in receipt of Education and Skills    Funding Agency (ESFA) funding which we envisage will mainly be independent special schools. Most schools, including maintained schools, will be paid through their local authority and academies will also be paid directly, therefore will not need to take any action.

LA UPDATE – 17th February 2022

  1. Register your settings bank details to receive funding to support the 12 to 15 year old vaccination programme

On Monday 24th January, we announced that schools will receive at least £1,000 each to support engagement with the vaccination programme. Details of the funding allocation that each eligible school will receive is available in the 12 to 15 year old vaccination programme conditions of funding guidance.

If you do not currently receive any funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), and your setting is eligible to receive this funding, please ensure you have registered your bank details with DfE by completing the online form by Monday 28th February.

  1. Information for parents of pupils aged 5 to 17 years old on the vaccination programme

We have published some frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the vaccination programme including information on eligibility, accessibility and advice for parents of children at high risk from COVID-19. Please share these FAQs with parents, particularly those with children who are clinically vulnerable.

Guidance on how to book appointments for children aged 12 years and over is available on the NHS website. Further information on the vaccination of high risk children aged 5 to 11 years old is available in the guide for parents of children aged 5 to 11 years published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

  1. COVID-19 workforce fund extension to Easter for support with the costs of staff absences in schools and colleges

The COVID-19 workforce fund has now been extended, providing financial support to eligible schools and colleges for costs incurred due to staff absences from Monday 22nd November 2021 until Friday 8th April 2022.

The fund is available to support schools and colleges facing significant staffing and funding pressures in continuing to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils.

Further information on the COVID-19 workforce fund is available in our guidance for schools and colleges. The guidance will be updated later this week to reflect the extension. The claims window will open in the spring.

  1. An update on the automated attendance data trial

The data protection impact assessment (DPIA) for the automated attendance data trial project is now available. On Tuesday 15th February, we formally engaged with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to gain an independent assessment of the risk. Due to the evolving nature of this programme we plan to update the DPIA on a quarterly basis and will continue to keep you updated as it develops.

  1. Webinars for schools on attendance best practice

School attendance best practice webinars are now underway. This series focusses on how a range of schools across the country have maintained or improved their attendance levels, and the approaches they have taken.

Details of our upcoming webinars and how to register are below:

·  Thursday 17th February at 4pm – St Thomas More Catholic Academy, a secondary school in Stoke-on-Trent, attendance webinar

·  Thursday 3rd  March at 4pm – Wheelers Lane Technology College, a secondary school in Birmingham, attendance webinar

All webinars will be recorded and shared as part of the good practice for schools and multi-academy trusts on improving attendance

  1. Is there a planned date for the EYFSP Exemplification materials to be published by the DFE, in readiness to support judgments for the EYFS Profile?

We’ve been working on new materials to support teachers in making their EYFSP assessments this academic year. There will be a collection of case study exemplification videos that demonstrate teachers and leaders having professional discussions about individual children’s development in order to make EYFSP judgements. These videos will support teachers in making EYFSP assessments while placing a critical emphasis on professional discussions about child development, as opposed to collecting lots of physical evidence to support each aspect of the new ELGs.

We hope that this approach will discourage the creation of tick lists for each distinct ELG and will clearly demonstrate that the reforms involve overhauling existing assessment practice, as opposed to just introducing different end point measures. They emphasise the importance of professional judgement and discussion when making assessments and basing this on knowledge of each individual child’s overall development. The videos will cover a combination of children who have met and not met the expected standard with teachers discussing how they came to that judgement. These materials are in their final stages of development and will be available during this spring term. In the meantime, we have developed a small suite of videos with direct messages from DfE, Ofsted and early adopter schools talking about their experiences in delivering the reforms and how they have changed their approach to the EYFS and assessment. These videos are part of our efforts to ensure a shift in culture with regards to early years assessment and workload in line with the goals of the reforms and you may find them useful until the full materials are available. These videos are available here. All requirements for local authorities relating to the EYFSP are set out in the EYFSP Handbook.

In terms of EYFSP data, LAs must:

  • Ensure schools have a secure electronic system to submit EYFS profile data
  • Collect EYFS profile data, and quality assure and submit it to DfE

Quality assurance of the data relates to ensuring that a full and complete set of data is submitted to the department for the schools in each area (for example following up any missing records either at school or child level or querying any clear errors or inconsistencies). It does not mean ensuring accuracy of teachers’ professional judgement.

LA UPDATE – 10th February 2022

  1. Update on the 12 to 15 year old vaccination programme and information

Thank you for your continued work in supporting the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for 12 to 15 year olds in schools. Over 1.5 million 12 to 15 year olds have now received the vaccine helping to further reduce the risk of disruption to education. If your school has any examples of best practice, including activities undertaken in collaboration with the school age immunisation service (SAIS) teams or other health teams, to support the in-school vaccination programme or suggested improvements to the process please fill in this short survey. All examples will be anonymised.

  1. Children aged 12 to 15 years old can now obtain a digital NHS COVID Pass for international travel

The NHS COVID Pass for international travel can be accessed through the NHS website for those aged 12 years and over. For young people aged 13 and over, the NHS App can also be used to access the NHS COVID pass.

Further information on how to get an NHS COVID Pass is available on the NHS website.

  1. Final deadline for additional CO2 monitor requests

You should have received approximately one CO2 monitor for every two teaching rooms. If this is not the case or if you have not received your allocation of monitors, please contact the DfE COVID-19 helpline on 0800 046 8687 by Thursday 10 February with the following information about your setting: number of pupils/number of teaching spaces/number of sites/your URN/full name of your setting. For any problems with deliveries, please contact the supplier, Rexel, directly on 0330 0450 606. Lines are open Monday to    Friday from 7am to 7pm. Ventilation remains an important control measure to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. We have developed some new products to help settings to manage ventilation:

·  A webinar from Cath Noakes and Henry Burridge, Senior Lecturer in Fluid Mechanics

·  A poster providing top tips on improving ventilation

·  A poster providing top tips on using CO2 monitors

We have also developed a newsletter template which education and childcare settings can customise to inform parents and carers about their approach to using CO2 monitors and how they are helping them to manage ventilation.

Further resources on ventilation include:

·  How to use a CO2 monitor

·  How to use an air cleaning unit

·  Section 5 of the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance

·  The DfE Education Hub Blog for tips on managing ventilation in colder weather

·  A short video on ventilation and CO2 monitors in schools by Cath Noakes, Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings

  1. An update on the automated attendance data trial

Thank you to the 10,000 schools that have so far agreed to share their attendance data as part of the automated attendance data trial. Schools that normally complete the school census are encouraged to participate in the trial. To take part please accept the request to share data with DfE in your Wonde secure portal.

We have been working closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on our data protection impact assessment (DPIA). We intend to publish the DPIA and related privacy notices shortly and we will be share them with you at that point.

Further information on the trial can be found in the Q&A. If you have any further questions, you can contact Wonde Support by email.

  1. Updates to the educational setting status form

Thank you for your continued support in completing the educational setting status form. The data collected through this form is vital for understanding the impact of the pandemic, including the impact on vulnerable children, and staffing levels.

To ensure the data that you provide is accurate and reflects the situation in settings, please review the updates and reminders below.

We have updated the information that we collect around the cancellation of breakfast and after-school clubs. This change will provide DfE with essential information on the extent of workforce shortages and enable us to provide further support.

If your setting offers breakfast or after-school clubs or other childcare provision and you are reporting that clubs or care has been cancelled, please answer an additional question to provide the reason why.

At the start of this term, we updated the existing absence category for pupils who were unable to attend their setting, due to attendance restrictions that their setting had put in place in order to manage an outbreak of COVID-19. This category should also be used if pupils are absent due to attendance restrictions put in place to manage other exceptional circumstances, such as workforce shortages. Please ensure that only pupils who are absent due to attendance restrictions put in place by their education setting are recorded under this category (as opposed to any other circumstances that might lead them to be absent, whether directly or indirectly related to COVID-19).

  1. Webinars for schools on attendance best practice

School attendance best practice webinars are now available. This series focusses on how a range of schools across the country have maintained or improved their attendance levels, and the approaches they have taken.

Details on upcoming webinars and how to register are below:

·  Wednesday 9 February at 4pm – John Taylor Multi Academy Trust, a primary and secondary trust operating in East Midlands and Humber and West Midlands, attendance webinar

·  Tuesday 15 February at 4pm – key findings from the Ofsted report on securing good attendance and tackling persistent absence

·  Thursday 17 February at 4pm – St Thomas More Catholic Academy, a secondary school in Stoke-on-Trent, attendance webinar

All webinars, including the North Shore Academy webinar from December, will be recorded and shared as part of our improving attendance good practice for schools and multi-academy trusts.

  1. Children’s Mental Health week – Monday 7 February to Sunday 13 February

Children’s Mental Health Week, an annual week-long campaign run by children’s mental health charity Place2Be, will run until Sunday 13th February. This year’s theme is Growing Together.

To mark Children’s Mental Health Week, DfE has today published its third annual State of the Nation report which shows children and young people’s wellbeing is gradually improving, despite the challenges that remain.

Further information on Children’s Mental Health week and resources that can be adapted to use in school, online lessons and independent learning are available on the Place2Be website.

  1. Reminder to request laptops for Operation Warm Welcome

If you have children or young people in your school or college who arrived under Operation Warm Welcome, you can still request laptops for them. Stock is limited so we recommend making your request as soon as possible.

To request devices, sign into the get help with technology service and select ‘Order devices’. You will then need to complete the online form available under the ‘Operation Warm Welcome’ heading.

Further information on eligibility for these devices can be found in our Operation Warm Welcome guidance.

If you have any questions, please contact the get help with technology team.

  1. School sign-up for the Accelerator Fund is now open

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is working with DfE throughout the 2021 /22 academic year to expand its work in supporting schools to access evidence-informed programmes that have the potential to raise pupil attainment. The work is focused on the regional school commissioner regions of the North, East Midlands & Humber, and West Midlands.

There are eight projects, recruiting schools, across a variety of setting types. This includes trials of approaches that show promise in raising attainment, as well as programmes shown to be effective in previous EEF trials, being offered to schools at a subsidised rate. In addition, to supporting schools in how to address challenges in the wake of the pandemic, EEF, in partnership with the   Research Schools Network, is delivering a free bespoke offer of twilight training sessions and a six- module training programme. Further information on how schools can sign-up to take part can be found on the EEF website.

  1. Academic Mentor eligibility

We have updated information on school eligibility for Academic Mentor support on our guidance page Academic Mentors. This brings it in line with the information already on the NTP website.

For further information on Academic Mentors and to register your interest, please visit the NTP website.

  1. Register to attend the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) webinars

The NTP webinar series continues and will focus on region specific information. They provide a great opportunity for shared learning from experiences of schools in your region. This week’s webinar will focus on the West Midlands and will take place on Thursday 10 February at 4pm. To register your interest in this webinar and other events, please visit the  NTP events website.

  1. NTP half-term survey

We are undertaking a short survey about the NTP. Responses from this survey will help us to measure how the NTP is delivering on its core aim of supporting pupils where their education has been impacted by the pandemic. Please do complete the survey.

  1. Sustainability and climate change strategy and survey for education and childcare settings and children’s social care services

As part of the recovery from COVID-19, DfE is committed to Building Back Greener.

We are running an anonymous survey to gather feedback on our draft sustainability and climate change strategy. We will use the results from this survey, alongside feedback from focus groups and working groups, to inform the final strategy before publication in Spring 2022.

Please read our draft strategy and take part in the anonymous survey. Responses must be submitted by 11:59pm on Sunday 20th February. This invitation is open to all education and childcare settings, children’s social care services and associated organisations.

LA UPDATE – 3rd February 2022

  1. National Tutoring Programme (NTP) webinars and quality assured Tuition Partners

The NTP webinar series continues and will focus on region specific information. They provide a great opportunity for shared learning from experiences of schools in your region.

You can join us at one of the events taking place over the next week, including:

· East of England – Tuesday 8 February at 4pm

· West Midlands – Thursday 10 February at 4pm

For further information about these events, upcoming events in other regions and to register your interest, please visit the NTP events website.

You can use your funding to source your own tutoring provision using either existing staff or local resource. If you are unable to secure the resource you need, you can contact the NTP approved and quality assured Tuition Partners network. Tuition Partners can be contracted directly by schools, however you will not receive the NTP discounted rates.

A list of NTP approved Tuition Partners is available.

  1. Extension of the trust and school improvement offer

We are extending the focus of the department’s current trust and school improvement offer to any school or trust that would benefit from it due to disruption caused by COVID-19. Support will be provided by an experienced system leader and will reflect the specific challenges of the school or trust. This might include (but will not be limited to) supporting them to overcome:

·  Difficulties delivering remote education for those pupils who are out of school

·   Low pupil attendance rates

·   Significant staff shortages, including leadership

·   Any other factors which would put schools or trusts at risk of disruption caused by COVID-19

If you feel your school or trust would benefit from the support of a system leader, please contact the school improvement team.

We have also been working with school leaders to share case studies on developing and adopting flexible learning approaches. We have now added more case studies, which illustrate ways in which some schools have operated when faced with staff shortages.

  1. Conditions of funding for the 12 to 15 year old vaccination programme funding for schools

Last week, we announced that secondary schools will be provided with a one-off payment of £1,000, with an additional uplift for larger schools based on pupil numbers. This funding is to support schools in hosting vaccinations and ensuring that the COVID-19 vaccine is accessible to pupils.

We have now published the conditions of funding which includes information on allocation amounts, eligibility and payments. Further information on this funding is available on the secondary schools and colleges document sharing platform.

You will also find details on how to work with and support your school age immunisation service (SAIS) in the “how to” guide for schools.

Most schools should now have dates confirmed for a visit from their SAIS team. If you have not yet had confirmation of when the SAIS team will be visiting your school, please complete this short form by 5pm on Thursday 10 February. The NHS will then follow up with the relevant SAIS team.

  1. Get help with technology internet access and device claim form

The get help with technology internet access and device claim form is now live. The deadline to submit your claim is 11:59pm on Sunday 27 February.

We have published guidance to help you complete the form. Further information is also available in the guidance on get help with technology: conditions of internet access and device grants.

  1. Sustainability and climate change strategy and survey for education and childcare settings and children’s social care services

As part of the recovery from COVID-19, DfE is committed to Building Back Greener.

We have launched an anonymous survey to gather feedback on our draft sustainability and climate change strategy. We will use the results from this survey, alongside feedback from focus groups and working groups, to inform the final developments of the strategy before publication in Spring 2022.

Please read our draft strategy and then take part in our anonymous survey. Responses must be submitted by 11:59pm on Sunday 20 February. This invitation is open to all education and childcare settings, children’s social care services and associated organisations.

By submitting your response, you are consenting for us to use your answers as part of our analysis of the public’s opinion on the draft strategy.

We encourage you to share the survey amongst your networks, in line with your own data privacy notices, as well as through social media.

  1. Final deadline for additional CO2 monitor requests

You should have received approximately one CO2 monitor for every two teaching rooms. If this is not the case or if you have not received your allocation of monitors, please contact the DfE COVID-19 helpline on 0800 046 8687 by Thursday 10th February with the following information about your setting:

·  Number of pupils or children

·  Number of teaching spaces

·  Number of sites

·  Your URN or setting reference number

·  Full name of your setting

For any problems with deliveries, please contact the supplier, Rexel, directly on 0330 0450 606. Lines are open Monday to Friday from 7am to 7pm.

  1. Initial teacher training (ITT) in early years settings and schools

We encourage you to continue to host trainee teachers again this year. Hosting a trainee can support you to meet your existing and future recruitment needs, as well as offering excellent professional development opportunities for your existing workforce and providing opportunities for them to hone their leadership and mentoring skills.

For those settings already hosting trainee teachers, we strongly encourage you to continue this academic year. If you are not already hosting trainee teachers, local ITT providers can help you explore the opportunities available.

Please contact itt.engagement@education.gov.uk and we will support you to partner with local training providers.

Alternatively, you can find and contact local training providers directly by using the find teacher training service.

Please review your recruitment needs and consider if you have capacity to support the employment of early career teachers. You can post vacancies on Teaching Vacancies, the free, national job listing service for schools and trusts. The department is also running social media campaigns aimed at raising awareness amongst the teaching community about this service.

  1. School attendance webinars

School attendance best practice webinars are now underway. This series focusses on how a range of schools across the country have maintained or improved their attendance levels, and the approaches they have taken.

John Taylor Multi Academy Trust will be delivering the first webinar to share how they have been managing and improving attendance in their primary and secondary schools during the pandemic.

This webinar will take place on Wednesday 9 February at 4pm on Microsoft Teams and will last between 30 and 45 minutes. There will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions at the end of the webinar.

If you are interested in joining, please register your interest by completing the attendance webinar registration form. A link to the webinar will be sent to all participants who register.

If you are unable to attend, a recording will be published on GOV.​UK and shared after the event. We will be publicising other webinars in the coming weeks, showcasing the approaches of other schools in different contexts.

LA UPDATE 27th JANUARY 

  1. Funding to support phase 2 of the 12 to 15 year old vaccination programme

Information on this funding is available on the secondary schools and colleges document sharing platform.

Information on how to work with and support your school age immunisation service (SAIS) teams can also be found in

the “how to” guide for schools. Payments to secondary schools will be made through the Education and Skills Funding Agency, commencing April 2022.

  1. Update to the contingency framework for education and childcare settings

On Wednesday 19 January the Prime Minister announced that from Thursday 27 January, face coverings will no longer be recommended in communal areas for staff, and pupils and students in year 7 and above. Face coverings are already no longer recommended in classrooms and teaching spaces for staff, and pupils and students in year 7 and above.

The contingency framework has been updated to reflect these changes.

  1. Trialling the automated collection of attendance data

Academy Trusts (MATs) and DfE, through automation, without placing any additional administrative burdens on schools. Details of how DfE intends to use the data can be found in the Principles of Data Use document.

As we test and develop this new approach, it’s important that the usual methods of data collection remain in place given their importance to informing our response to COVID-19, such as the Educational Settings Status collection. Please continue filling out the collection as usual for the moment, given how vital this is to understanding the impact of the pandemic, particularly in the context of Omicron. We recognise the effort that goes into completing and submitting this data and will review the position at Easter. This trial is part of our ambition to introduce more automated data collection in the future, high participation will help us achieve that ambition.

To deliver the trial, we have procured the services of Wonde, a data connector, who will ask for your agreement to share daily pupil level and attendance data with the department in the coming days.

Our ambition is for this to help you identify issues and challenges relating to absence and safeguarding in a quicker and simpler way. To develop the reporting we are conducting research with schools, LAs and MATs to better understand how best to share the data and we will seek ongoing feedback to help us improve.

The process is quick and simple, all you need to do is click ‘yes’ to give your agreement when asked through a secure portal. This is a one-off process, once you agree to share data it will be automatically extracted from the Management Information System and sent to DfE each day. No daily action will be required. The data request will include attendance and demographics. We see this as the first step towards a more efficient approach to data collection that is less burdensome for schools.

This voluntary data will not be used for Ofsted or Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) decision making, for judgements around what constitutes a school causing concern, or for inspection, academisation or decisions to place or remove a school  in a Trust.  Need more information?

Further details are outlined in the Question & Answer document. If you have any questions, please send them to support@wonde.com.

  1. Ventilation update and delivery of CO2 monitors for all education and childcare settings

We will fulfil all eligible applications that we have received from 1,265 settings for air cleaning units. To do so, we are making a total of up to 9,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education settings, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible. We will contact eligible settings directly to confirm arrangements for deliveries, which started this week. The air cleaning marketplace also remains open for any settings that wish to purchase air cleaning units at a suitable specification directly from suppliers.

Further information on ventilation is available in:

·        How to use a CO2 monitor

·        How to use an air cleaning unit

·        Section 5 of the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance

·        The DfE Education Hub Blog for tips on managing ventilation in colder weather

·        A short video on ventilation and CO2 monitors in schools by Cath Noakes, Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings

You should have received approximately one CO2 monitor for every two teaching rooms. If this is not the case or if you have not received your allocation of monitors, please contact the DfE COVID-19 helpline on 0800 046 8687 by Thursday 10 February. For any problems with deliveries, please contact the supplier, Rexel, directly on 0330 0450 606. Lines are open Monday to Friday from 7am to 7pm.

  1. Advance information of the focus of GCSE, AS and A level exams in 2022

Advance information of the focus of exams in most GCSE and all AS and A level subjects with exams will be published by exam boards (on their public websites) on Monday 7th February to support students in their revision. It is still important that students receive teaching that is broad and balanced in line with the national curriculum.

Advance information will confirm some of the aspects of the specification that will be assessed in the exams, relating to content, texts, topics, themes and/or skills as appropriate for each specification.

Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) guidance for teachers on advance information is available, and further information about what will be included in advance information for each specification is available on the relevant exam boards websites.


LA UPDATES 20th JANUARY

 1.Updates to guidance following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the end of Plan B

We have updated the following guidance documents to reflect the changes made following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the end of Plan B:

·        Guidance for schools

·        Guidance for further education providers

·        Guidance for early years and childcare providers

·        Guidance for higher education providers

·        Guidance for parents and carers

·        Public health guidance to support exams for 2021 to 2022

·        Guidance for children’s social care services

·        Guidance on the assessment process for selective school admissions

·        Guidance on providing apprenticeships during the COVID-19 pandemic

2. Extension of the trust and school improvement offer

We are extending the focus of the Department’s current trust and school improvement offer to any school or trust that  would benefit from it due to disruption caused by COVID-19. Support will be provided by an experienced system leader and will reflect the specific challenges of the school or trust. This might include (but will not be limited to) supporting them to overcome:

· Difficulties delivering remote education for those pupils who are out of school

· Low pupil attendance rates

· Significant staff shortages, including leadership

· Any other factors which would put schools or trusts at risk of disruption caused by COVID-19

If you feel your school or trust would benefit from the support of a system leader, please contact school.improvement@education.gov.uk.

We have also been working with school leaders to share

case studies on developing and adopting flexible learning approaches. We have now added more case studies, which illustrate ways in which some schools have operated when faced with staff shortages.

3. Extension of the exam support service to March 2022

DfE is extending the exam support service to allow for costs related to additional invigilators required as a result of staff absences. This is for centres running previous ineligible exams and assessments in January, February and March 2022 that are not being run as part of the autumn series. Those which are part of the autumn series are still eligible for the full range of costs covered by the exam support service.

The exam support service guidance and online claim form have been updated to reflect this change and allow claims for these costs. Centres should use qualification code ‘10000001 – extended ESS’ when making a claim.

Full guidance to help you complete the form is also available.

Claims for exams undertaken between Friday 1st October 2021 and Friday 25th February 2022 should be made by Friday 4th March 2022.

Claims for exams undertaken between Monday 28th February 2022 and Thursday 31st March 2022 should be made by Wednesday 6th April 2022.

4. Update on the National Tutoring Programme (NTP)

If any school has yet to engage with the NTP, please do so now. Please see the ‘How to’ guide where you will find information who are already benefitting from the program. The second instalment of School-Led tutoring funding has now also been issued, with local authorities receiving funds on the final working day of December 2021 and academies on Tuesday 11th January 2022. Information on how this money can be used is available within the School-Led tutoring guidance.

To ensure high quality tuition is offered to all pupils, schools can book their nominated Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and non-QTS staff onto the specialist training course delivered by the Educational Development Trust and recognised by the Chartered College of Teaching. For more information on School-Led tutoring, please visit the NTP website.

5. National professional qualifications (NPQs) – February application window

The new suite of NPQs is now available for teachers and leaders who want to develop their expertise in leadership and specialist areas of teaching practice.

To support teachers and pupils following the disruption to learning as a result of COVID-19, all teachers and leaders employed in state-funded schools, as well as those employed in state-funded organisations that offer 16 to 19 places in England, can now access fully funded training scholarships to undertake NPQs.

The application window to begin an NPQ in February closes shortly (exact closing dates vary by training provider), and we encourage all teachers and leaders, particularly those eligible for training scholarships, to undertake these evidence-led qualifications to invest in their careers and secure improved outcomes for children.

You can learn more about the qualifications, and how to apply, by watching the recording of the NPQ live webinar from Thursday 25th November 2021. Alternatively, you can also visit the NPQ reforms guidance for further information.


LA UPDATES 20th JANUARY

I’m emailing with the ‘Let’s Get Moving’ ages/stages resource booklets with a whole host of ideas to get children moving within the early years to support the development of fundamental movement skills. These can be circulated far and wide with practitioners, public health, community hubs, parents etc.

There is also an infographic with some of the key messages on in a user friendly way that can be put up in settings and shared with parents etc so feel free to distribute as you wish. All of these resources are fine to share wherever and with whoever you think will benefit from them.

I have also put a link below to a national early years survey taking place. It is open to anyone working in an Early Years setting in England at any level. The survey will take 5 minutes to fill out and will really help to shape the support Early Years settings receive and also be used in conversations with strategic organisations to raise the profile of the fantastic work being delivered in Early Years and show how this is helping every child to have The Best Start In Life.

If you need any support with any of these resources or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Regards

Tracy Raynor │ Active Education OfficerTees Valley Sport  My working days are Tuesday & Thursday

Teesside University Borough Road │ Middlesbrough │ TS1 3BA
( Tel: 01642 342287      ( Internal Ext: 2287        t.raynor@tees.ac.uk


LA UPDATES 19th January

An update for all education and childcare settings following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the end of Plan B.

Today, the Prime Minister announced that all Plan B measures will be removed in England, with a full return to Plan A by Thursday 27 January.

In education and childcare settings, this means:

From tomorrow, Thursday 20 January, face coverings are no longer recommended in classrooms and teaching spaces for staff, and pupils and students in year 7 and above. They were introduced in classrooms at the start of the spring term as a temporary measure.

From Thursday 27 January, face coverings are no longer recommended in communal areas for staff, and pupils and students in year 7 and above.

This decision comes in response to national infection data showing the prevalence of COVID-19 to be on a downward trajectory. Whilst there are some groups where cases are likely to continue rising, it is likely that the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally. There remains significant pressure on the NHS but hospital admissions have stabilised, and the number of patients in Intensive Care Units (ICU) remain low and are falling.

This means it is right we remove the most stringent restrictions around wearing face coverings from education, but the virus is still with us, and continuing with proportionate protective measures remains vital to protect education.

Local directors of public health are able to recommend the use of face coverings in communal areas, across their area only, where DfE and public health experts judge the measure to be proportionate due to specific health concerns. This is a temporary measure. Directors of public health will continue to advise individual settings experiencing outbreaks. Any local introduction of face coverings will be subject to routine review and removed at the earliest opportunity.

Ofsted’s deferral policy has provided reassurance to schools, colleges and early years settings that have been significantly impacted by staff absence in recent weeks. That policy remains in place and Ofsted will continue to remind providers about it for the remainder of this half-term.

At the start of this term, Ofsted temporarily halted the use of part time inspectors who are also front-line leaders. They will now invite those who are able to inspect again to do so from Monday 31 January. As has always been the case, it will be for leaders to decide whether to offer their services to Ofsted.

From Thursday 27 January, venues and events will no longer be required by law to use the NHS COVID Pass. The pass can be used on a voluntary basis as was previously the case in Plan A.

The government is no longer asking people to work from home. Staff should speak to their employers about arrangements for returning to the office, and should follow the working safely during COVID-19 guidance.

We have updated the guidance for schools, further education settings, special schools and out-of-school settings to reflect these changes.


LA UPDATE 10th JANUARY

 1.Temporary suspension of confirmatory PCR tests in education and childcare settings

Confirmatory PCR testing following a positive result on a lateral flow device (LFD) will be temporarily suspended from today, Tuesday 11th January. This means that for all education and childcare settings, staff and students who have tested (either at home or through ATS) and reported a positive LFD result will no longer be advised to get a confirmatory PCR test.

This change is informed by public health advice. With high COVID-19 rates, the risk of a positive LFD result being false is very small. We therefore don’t need to ask people to do a confirmatory PCR unless they:

·        Have symptoms (in which case they need to follow the stay at home guidance, self-isolate and order a PCR test)

·        Wish to claim the Test and Trace Support Payment

·        Have been advised to take a PCR test because they are in a clinically vulnerable group

·        Have been advised to do so as part of a research or surveillance programme

Education and childcare settings are not expected to trace contacts of a positive case as this will remain the responsibility of NHS Test and Trace. From today, Tuesday 11 January, contact tracing is triggered once a positive LFD test is reported.

Students should be strongly encouraged to test twice weekly at home and to report all results to NHS Test and Trace and to their setting. Anyone with a positive LFD test result should self-isolate and follow self-isolation guidance.

Information on the new arrangements can be found in the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

2.Reporting test results for schools and colleges

Reporting test results every time pupils, students and staff take an LFD test means the NHS always gets the latest, most accurate information. This helps them to keep track of where the virus is spreading, provide support where it is needed and protect local communities across the country.

Please remind your pupils, students and staff of the importance of reporting all tests results (positive, negative and void) to NHS Test and Trace and their setting. Schools and colleges can access a new template form for pupils, students and staff to report test results. Primary schools can access a new template form for staff to report their results. Tests should also be reported online through the report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result page which should only take a couple of minutes.

It is important to continue with twice weekly LFD testing and reporting. You can access the updated testing toolkit for examples of good practice and for steps you can implement to increase testing and reporting rates in your setting.


LA UPDATE 7th JANUARY

 1. Clarification on the use of face coverings in examinations and assessments

Following the temporary reintroduction of face coverings in classrooms, the public health guidance to support exams was updated on Sunday 2nd January. This guidance sets out that we would not ordinarily expect candidates and invigilators to wear face coverings during exams and assessments, but only on arrival and departure. Both candidates and invigilators may wear face coverings if they wish to do so.

We recommend centres also follow this guidance for mock exams and other assessments taking place under exam conditions or as close to exam conditions as possible, including those taking place to gather evidence for Teacher Assessed Grades under the guidance published by Ofqual on Thursday 11th November. This includes circumstances where these assessments take place in classrooms.

For vocational and technical qualifications where the exam or assessment may require more interaction with an invigilator or others, such as a practical demonstration, centres have the flexibility to recommend that face coverings be worn if they deem this appropriate.

The infection prevention measures detailed in the public health guidance to support exams help to ensure a safe environment for students and staff. These measures continue to apply and should be adhered to.

2. Digital products available to support qualified teachers to return to teach on a temporary basis

COVID-19 continues to impact schools and colleges in England and we want to make sure that as many supply staff as possible are available, by encouraging ex-teachers from primary, secondary and further education to consider a return to teaching.

If you are still in contact with colleagues who may have the time and want to help, we have published an urgent call for qualified teachers which explains what is required and how to register with a supply teaching agency.

The Department for Education has also produced a toolkit to help you raise awareness among potential sign-ups. This includes digital products to use across your communication channels and a set of frequently asked questions to explain the process.

3. Supporting teachers in developing their children’s creative voices CREATE & SING

The Royal Opera House’s innovative Create & Sing programme gives teachers free access to certified training and unique online resources, enabling them to explore dramatic singing in their classrooms. Create and Sing supports teachers in delivering the National Curriculum and enriching their children’s creative learning. Designed alongside teachers from across the UK, the programme creatively develops children’s music and drama skills and knowledge through the process of making an opera. Our flexible schemes of work enable teachers to explore, create and perform miniature versions of well-known operas with their students. Teachers do not need previous music or drama knowledge to take part, as they are supported throughout the programme with easy-to use lesson plans, rehearsal and backing tracks and introductory videos.

The programme offers:
• Practical free of charge training for KS1, KS2 and KS3 teachers across the country.
• Digital resources that are free to access via the ROH Learning Platform, giving teachers the option of two-lesson (Taster), five-lesson (Explorer) and ten-lesson (Immersive) schemes of work.
• Introductory films that inspire and entertain students, reinforcing the activities and concepts they encounter within the lessons.
• Backing tracks featuring the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House with and without guide vocal lines to assist with learning and performing the included excerpts.
• Support in helping children achieve the KS1, KS2 and KS3 National Curriculum alignment targets for Music and English. CREATE & SING learning platform generously supported by The Mohn Westlake Foundation, Mrs Lily Safra and other donors who wish to remain anonymous.


LA UPDATE 4th JANUARY

A few updates in preparation for the start of the new term

Special schools and other specialist settings: coronavirus (COVID-19)

Page summary:

What all special schools and other specialist settings will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Change made:

Updated ‘SEND and specialist settings: additional COVID-19 operational guidance’ to include changes to the face coverings section on the use of face coverings in classrooms for year 7 and above, changes to the residential specialist settings section to clarify reporting requirements for any children and young people not in their setting, and changes to the home to school transport section to confirm the continuing option of personal travel budgets and milage allowances.

Time updated:

10:59am, 2nd January 2022

Critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings

Page summary:

List of critical workers (key workers) and vulnerable children and young people who can access full-time education provision in the case of future restrictions on education during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

1. Message to all education and childcare leaders from the Secretary of State for Education

Today, the Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, has written to all education and childcare leaders to provide an update on the return to education and childcare following the holiday period.

2. Testing for students after the holiday period

As all settings are aware, we have asked that secondary school students undertake one on-site test, on return in Jauary. Students should then be strongly encouraged to continue testing twice weekly at home and to report all results to NHS Test and Trace and to their setting.

Further education and higher education students, and staff in all education and childcare settings, should take one self-test at home either the evening or morning before they return in January, then continue to test twice weekly at home. Colleges should continue to make LFD tests available to students and staff who need them to enable them to test prior to, and at, the start of term.

To support on-site testing on return, schools can use the bulk upload service to register test kits and report results for up to 100 tests at a time. Positive results should be reported within 24 hours after the test, negative results must be reported within 7 days. Further guidance on bulk uploads can be found on the secondary schools and colleges document sharing platform.

Settings were invited to order tests before Christmas and will have received these in advance of pupils returning. If you run out of test kits, you can order more through the online ordering platform for education settings. Please call 119 if you require further advice or support.

Updated guidance to support you with asymptomatic testing is available on the secondary schools and colleges document sharing platform.

3. Information on the changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19

Since Wednesday 22nd December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-  19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.

Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. This also applies to children under 5, with LFD testing at parental or guardian discretion. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education setting from day 8.

Health and social care workers, including those working in education settings, should follow guidance for their sector on taking LFD tests on day 8, 9 and 10. For more information, visit COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings.

Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation. Further information is available in the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

4. Daily testing for close contacts of COVID-19

Close contacts of someone with COVID-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time.

Children under 5 are not being advised to take part in daily testing of close contacts. If a child under 5 is a contact of a   confirmed case, they are not required to self-isolate and should not start daily testing. If they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 they should limit their contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with   COVID-19, and arrange to take a PCR test as soon as possible. They can continue to attend an education or childcare setting while waiting for the PCR result. If the test is positive, they should follow the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

5. A reminder that the current requirements on remote education continue to remain in place

As students and pupils return to education and childcare settings following the holiday period, the current requirements for remote education continue to remain in place.

We recognise that the high rates of COVID-19 may cause difficulties with the availability of staff. Our shared priority is to keep education settings open and children and young people continuing face-to-face education. Where workforce issues arise, you may wish to use existing teaching, temporary and support staff more flexibly where required to ensure your setting remains open, whilst ensuring that you continue to have appropriate support in place for pupils with SEND. As pupils do not need to be kept in consistent groups, you may wish to consider combining classes. We are working with school leaders to share case studies on developing and adopting flexible learning approaches and will add to these over the coming days.

Where there is a need for remote education, live streaming is the preferred method for providing this wherever possible. There should be regular feedback and checking in with students and pupils.

Further advice and support is available through our remote education service and you can also access bespoke one-to-one support from the EdTech Demonstrator network.

6. Ofsted inspections due to take place in January

Ofsted inspection continues to play an important role in providing independent assurance as settings respond to the pandemic. It is right though that these arrangements are kept under review, and adjustments made where appropriate.

Ofsted has already confirmed that it will not be inspecting secondary schools during the first week of term in January, unless  there are urgent concerns, as schools undertake on-site pupil testing.

In addition, for a temporary period from the start of January, Ofsted will not ask school, college and early years leaders, who are also Ofsted inspectors, to undertake inspections.

Ofsted will also encourage early years settings, schools and colleges that are significantly impacted by COVID-related staff absence to ask for their inspection to be deferred.

Ofsted inspections of children’s social care, local authority SEND services and joint targeted area inspections will continue, with deferrals taking place where appropriate. Ofsted’s regulatory work will also continue. All of these measures will be kept under review.

7. Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice on COVID-19 vaccination for at-risk 5 to 11 year olds, and booster doses for at-risk 12 to 15 year olds and all 16 to 17 year olds

On Wednesday 22 December, the government accepted advice from the

Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that a primary course of vaccination should be offered to children aged 5 to 11 years old who are in a clinical risk group, or who are a household contact of someone (of any age) who is immunosuppressed. The NHS is working through updated guidance and will set out how this is going to be operationalised shortly.

In response to the threat from the Omicron variant, the JCVI advised that a Pfizer booster vaccine should be offered to:

· Children aged 12 to 15 years old who are in a clinical risk group or who are a household contact of immunosuppressed individuals, and those who are severely immunosuppressed and have had a third primary dose

· All young people aged 16 to 17 years old

8. Updated guidance on the use of face coverings in education settings

From Sunday 2nd January, it is recommended that face coverings are worn in classrooms where pupils in year 7 and above are educated. The advice is short term only, to support pupils and teachers as they return to school this term and builds on the existing proportionate guidance that recommends face coverings for all adults in communal areas of all settings. We are updating our guidance to reflect this. The advice on face coverings in classrooms will be in place until Wednesday 26th January, when Plan B regulations are currently scheduled to expire, at which point it will be reviewed.

It is therefore recommended that all settings have a small contingency stock of face coverings available if an individual has forgotten or damaged their own. To support this, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has begun delivering face coverings to settings.

Most secondary schools should have received their delivery by the end of last term. Deliveries for the remaining secondary schools, early years settings, primary schools and further education settings will resume from Friday 7th January. These face coverings are being provided by DHSC at no cost to your setting.

For any queries or complaints relating to deliveries or missing items, please contact the DHSC PPE helpline, provided by UNIPART, on 0800 876 6802, identifying yourself as an education setting. Lines are open 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week. Alternatively, you can email dfeppequeries@unipart.com and your query will be handled by the helpline team.

For further information on face covering policy, please refer to the operational guidance for your setting. Alternatively, you can call the DfE COVID-19 helpline on 0800 046 8687.

9. Funded air cleaning units for education and childcare settings

The Department for Education (DfE) will make up to 7,000 more air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state funded education settings, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible. All state funded primary and secondary schools, further education colleges and early years settings can apply for a funded air cleaning unit if they meet strict eligibility criteria. Special and alternative provision settings, including SEND units attached to mainstream units, that were not successful or did not apply during the first round are also eligible to apply during this round.

Further details, including the eligibility criteria, can be found in the guidance on applying for an air cleaning unit.

Applications for all settings will close at 9am on Monday 17th January.

If your setting is not eligible for a funded unit, the air cleaning marketplace remains open, enabling you to purchase units at a   suitable specification and competitive price.

10. Update to the definition of vulnerable children

For many children, continuing to have the protective factor of face-to-face education is vital. Throughout the pandemic, settings have continued to provide on-site places for this group of children. As has been the case since March 2020, there are three categories of children and young people who should benefit from on-site provision:

·        Those with a social worker

·        Those with an Education, Health and Care Plan

·        A group of children considered locally, including by settings and local authorities, to be ‘otherwise vulnerable’

We are updating our guidance on children of critical workers and vulnerable children who can access school or education settings to include a broader definition of children classified as vulnerable. In addition to the above, this list now includes:

·  Children known to children’s social care services in the past

·  Children whose home circumstances might be particularly challenging because of domestic abuse, parental offending, adult mental health issues, and drug and alcohol addiction

The intention of providing a broader definition is to support local decision making about children who might face increased risk inside or outside the home if they are unable to attend their setting, or who could not reasonably continue to learn remotely. The list is not intended to be exhaustive and local assessment will be based on knowledge of family and community risk.

We have also written to all multi-agency safeguarding partnerships in England to ask them to work with wider partners including early years providers, schools and colleges to review their plans to support vulnerable children in their areas. We have asked for plans to ensure those who need the protective factor of face-to-face education provision are benefitting from it or that there are checks on children and young people’s wellbeing if they cannot be safely brought into their setting. We have also asked partnerships to check that vulnerable children and young people have re-engaged in their education following the holiday period.

11. Exams and assessments in January

Examinations and assessments in January should go ahead as originally planned. Settings should liaise with their awarding organisation to make sure they have the latest information on adaptations to the delivery of the exams and assessments, and procedures for special considerations.

12. Updates to the educational setting status form from Tuesday 4th January

The educational setting status form will reopen on Tuesday 4th January. Please begin completing the form from the start of  your term and provide your data by 2pm each working day. Thank you for your continued support.

This information remains vital in monitoring and understanding the impacts of COVID-19 in schools and colleges. It continues to be shared and used across government and with SAGE and other health experts, as part of tracking infection and  transmission of the virus, and to inform decision-making.

From Tuesday 4th January we will be asking schools and colleges to provide information on:

We have updated the guidance on how to complete the educational settings status form to include the updated list of questions for schools and colleges.

LA UPDATES 21st DECEMBER

Northern Gas Networks have asked us to share the following information on gas leaks,  carbon monoxide poisoning and the Priority Services Register this festive season.

They have created a set of A4 posters which can be downloaded from the links below:

Other relevant information can be found at:

Priority Services Register: https://www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk/network-supply/priority-customers/

Carbon monoxide awareness: https://www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk/network-supply/carbon-monoxide-2/at-a-glance/

Gas emergency: https://www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk/network-supply/gas-emergencies/

If you have any queries regarding the contents of this email, please contact Jenn Brown on 07948 348165

LA UPDATES 17th DECEMBER

Letter to all education leaders from the Secretary of State for Education

Dear colleagues,

My team of Ministers and I would like to express our heartfelt thanks for everything you are doing to respond to the challenges of COVID-19. Your resilience in the face of the many challenges during the last 21 months, together with your continued commitment to support our children and young people with their education and wellbeing through the disruption of the pandemic, is inspiring.

It has been a challenging term for all education and childcare settings, particularly as we learn more about the new Omicron variant. I am extremely grateful for your work managing health and wellbeing. I know you feel as strongly as I do about the impact on children, young people and learners’ education and wellbeing over this period and I appreciate all you are doing to ensure face-to-face teaching continues in schools, colleges and universities as planned until the end of term. I hope you manage to get a well-deserved break over the Christmas period and I thank those of you who will continue to support children, young people and families across this period.

The COVID-19 situation continues to be fast changing and complex. Working with my colleagues across government, my department and I endeavour to keep our information and guidance up to date and clear. I wanted to set out the headlines of how we are asking you as education leaders to help manage the virus.

Vaccinations and LFD testing

We are grateful to you for everything you do to support eligible students and staff to take up the offer of vaccination, including boosters. Your support with the rollout of the vaccination programme has enabled over 1.25 million 12-15 year olds and over 800,000 16-17 year olds to receive their first dose. I am also extremely grateful for the significant contribution that the FE and HE sectors have made in supporting the wider vaccination roll-out, hosting community vaccination centres and enabling both staff and students to support the vaccination programme. I am delighted that so many have also offered additional support as we surge efforts to deliver the booster programme even more quickly than planned. In light of rising case rates and the new variant, vaccinating young people and education and childcare staff is more important than ever for keeping them, their friends, family members and teachers as safe as possible. As we approach the winter holidays, take up of the booster jab is also critical for you and your staff and eligible students to protect everyone from serious illness and provide the best defence possible. 12-15 year olds who have not been vaccinated can book an appointment out of school on the National Booking System, and from 20 December those eligible for second doses will be also be able to book.

You have also continued to support LFD testing for COVID-19, which is critical in helping to reduce the spread of the virus. In light of the new variant, the need to continue testing and reporting test results is more important than ever.

I ask that you continue to encourage:

·        all education and childcare staff and eligible students to be aware of the latest information on the booster programme and how to book a booster and parents and students to be aware of the vaccination offer for students

·        all education and childcare staff and students of secondary age and above continue to test, and importantly report those test results, twice-weekly

·        schools and colleges to ask parents and other visitors to take a lateral flow device (LFD) test before attending a school or college event

·        FE students and all education staff to self-test twice a week and test at home either the evening or morning before they return to their education setting in January before continuing with twice-weekly at home testing

·        all higher education students to test before they travel home for the Christmas break and before they travel back to their term time accommodation in January and to take up the offer of a booster as soon as they are eligible

·        all staff and students, where age appropriate, in settings remaining open over the Christmas period (such as ITPs/ACLPs, early years, wraparound childcare, out-of-school settings and settings running the Holiday Activities and Food programme) to continue to test at home twice per week over the holiday period

·        all secondary schools to prepare and encourage their pupils to take one COVID-19 test on-site on return in January and all other staff and eligible students to take one self-test at home either the evening or morning before they return to their education setting in January before continuing with twice-weekly at home testing

·        all students travelling to attend a boarding school in England to continue to follow the guidance in relation to quarantine and testing

Daily testing for contacts of COVID-19

From 14 December, a new national approach to daily testing for contacts of COVID-19 has been introduced. All adults who are fully vaccinated and children aged 5 to18 years and 6 months, identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 – whether Omicron or not – should take an LFD test every day for 7 days instead of self-isolating. Children under five years old do not need to take part in daily testing for contacts of COVID-19 and do not need to isolate.

Once notified by Test and Trace as a close contact, all eligible staff, pupils and students are strongly recommended to take a LFD each day for 7 days and report the results through the online reporting system and to their setting. If they test negative, they can continue to attend their education setting. Outside of the education setting, they should continue to follow national guidance. This approach should also be adopted over the Christmas holiday and on return in January.

All staff and secondary aged pupils and students should have access to a box of 7 LFD test kits from their education setting. If your setting requires additional test kits sooner than they would be available through the standard ordering process, or will run out of test kits imminently, you can contact 119 to request an emergency replenishment. For primary aged children LFD test kits are available through the usual routes community test sites, local pharmacies or order COVID-19 rapid lateral flow tests online.

Ventilation

Throughout this term, the department has been rolling out CO2 monitors to state-funded education settings. I am pleased to say that over 99% of eligible schools, further education colleges, and the majority of early years settings have now received their monitors, with over 329,000 now delivered. The remaining deliveries will take place before the end of term.

To support settings which have identified areas of poor ventilation that cannot be resolved through simple actions such as opening windows or doors, the department has now launched a marketplace which provides all state-funded education settings a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Education settings can access guidance on ventilation here.

Face coverings

As a temporary measure, we recommend the wearing of face coverings in communal areas of education and childcare settings, for pupils and students in year 7 and above, staff and visitors. This is also the case where provision operates from community premises.

We are not recommending that pupils and staff wear face coverings in classrooms.

Similarly, in education and childcare settings in community premises, adults and children are exempt from the mandatory requirement to wear a face covering in a private activity room or private classroom, or where the premises have been hired out for the sole use of the provision.

The guidance on face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own, provides a list of indoor settings in England where you must wear a face covering.

Contingency plans

We continue to learn more about the impacts of the Omicron variant. To prepare for any possible changes in public health advice, I ask that you review your existing contingency plans to ensure you are well prepared to implement them in case of any future changes.

January examinations

There are exams for vocational and technical qualifications timetabled for January. Students who are due to sit these exams will be prepared and it is right that they should be given every opportunity to demonstrate what they have learnt. Exams and formal assessments will go ahead. Consequently, it is essential that students continue to prepare for these assessments.

School and college staff and workforce fund

The government will continue to offer financial support and I am pleased to say that we have agreed that our workforce fund will continue until half term next year. We know that in areas with high absence, a particular issue can be the availability of supply staff. We want to make sure that as many supply staff as possible are available to schools and colleges. That is why we are now looking at what steps and measures we can put in place to boost supply capacity.

We will work with sector leaders and supply agencies over the coming days to offer advice to ex teachers who want to provide support to schools and colleges. We will help them to register with supply agencies as the best way to boost the temporary workforce available to the sector. Senior DfE officials have already begun to discuss this with key stakeholders. From now, you can support this effort by using your own professional and personal networks to encourage others to sign up to offer temporary help.

We are also working with stakeholders to share best practice flexible curriculum delivery models for schools that are experiencing the most acute staffing challenges.

Everything you’re doing helps ensure all education and childcare settings remain open and can give that crucial face-to-face education and experience for all children and young people that we know is so important.

Once again, I thank you for your support in these efforts, and I hope that you have a restful Christmas break.

LA UPDATE 16th DECEMBER

 1.Daily testing of close contacts for COVID-19 – updated guidance for schools

From today, adults who are fully vaccinated and all children and young people aged between 5 to 18 years and 6 months identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, are strongly advised to take a lateral flow device (LFD) test every day for 7 days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result.

We have now updated the schools COVID-19 operational guidance and will shortly update other sector guidance documents to reflect this. Updated frequently asked questions will also available soon on the early years and primary schools document sharing platform and the secondary schools and colleges document sharing platform.

2.Update on the delivery of the 12 to 15 vaccination programme

Young people aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a minimum of 12 weeks from the first dose, following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

NHS England have now confirmed that, as with first doses, healthy school-aged children aged 12 to 15 will be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccination in their school next term, as well as having the option to receive the vaccine out of school, such as through vaccination centres. These offers will run in parallel.

Vaccination for this group will continue to be deployed primarily by the school age immunisation service (SAIS). In school vaccination will begin from Monday 10 January and all schools should have received at least one visit before February half-term. We expect most schools to require multiple visits so vaccines can be administered to all consenting pupils. SAIS teams will be in touch with schools from the start of next term to discuss what is best for their circumstances.

Over the Christmas holidays, parents can already book first vaccinations for their child, if aged 12 or over, through the NHS booking system. Second doses will be available for eligible children by Monday 20 December.

Further information on vaccination for 12 to 15 year olds is available on the NHS website.

3. Order devices through the get help with technology service before Christmas

All organisations with an allocation of laptops and tablets were invited to order additional devices in November. To view your allocation and place an order, please sign in to the get help with technology service. You have a maximum of 10 working days from the delivery date recorded on your proof of delivery note to report to us that a device is faulty or ‘dead on arrival’. If you are ordering at the end of term, please ensure that somebody will be available to check the devices within 10 working days of delivery. For further information about how to order, read how to order DfE laptops and tablets.

4. School-Led Tutoring grant – resources for schools

In November, we updated our guidance on the School-Led Tutoring grant to provide further information on training and data collection. We also launched the School-Led Tutoring tracker and calculator tool.

These resources will help you track the data needed throughout the academic year and will ensure you have the required information to complete your ‘School-Led Tutoring: Year End Statement’. To help you plan, we have also included a reconciliation calculation. This will indicate any underspend that will be recovered  by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) at the end of the 2021/22 academic year.

LA UPDATES 10th DECEMBER

1.Education Secretary launches new attendance alliance

Leading experts come together to supercharge efforts to improve school attendance

 2.Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak

What all schools will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Following the Prime Ministers announcement on 8 December 2021, we have updated guidance on tracing close contacts and isolation, ventilation, asymptomatic testing, mandatory certification, recommendation to work from home if you can and clinically extremely vulnerable children and adults.

 3.Special schools and other specialist settings: coronavirus (COVID-19)

What all special schools and other specialist settings will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Following the Prime Ministers announcement on 8 December 2021, we have updated guidance on vulnerable children and young people who are self-isolating, tracing close contacts and isolation, face coverings, mandatory certification and clinically extremely vulnerable children and adults.

LA UPDATES 9th DECEMBER

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced the implementation of Plan B of the COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan, as a result of increasing pressure on the NHS.

Increased safety measures across education settings are now in place and set out in the blog of previous post on 28 November

Please access the link What does Covid Plan B mean for schools, colleges, universities and early years? – The Education Hub (blog.gov.uk)  to find  further details on what Plan B means for education settings.

LA UPDATE 8th DECEMBER

A new post, “Curriculum: keeping it simple” has just been published on the Ofsted: schools, early years, further education and skills blog.

Despite the challenges of the last two years, staff are reviewing and renewing their curriculums. Subject leaders are working closely with teachers to shape a clear journey of the knowledge they want pupils to know.

Read the new post: https://educationinspection.blog.gov.uk/2021/12/08/curriculum-keeping-it-simple/

You’re getting this email because you subscribed to updates from the Ofsted: schools, early years, further education and skills blog.

Unsubscribe from the Ofsted: schools, early years, further education and skills blog.

LA UPDATE 2nd DECEMBER

1.What do children and young people learn in relationship, sex and health education?

A new post on this has just been published on the Education Hub blog. We want to make sure that young people understand   what healthy relationships look like and how to navigate their personal lives in a positive, safe and healthy way. That’s why we introduced the statutory relationships, sex and health education    (RSHE) …

Read the new post:

https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2021/11/30/what-do-children-and-young-people-learn-in-relationship-sex-and-health- education/

 2.What will the additional funding for inspection mean for your school?

A new post on this has just  been published on the Ofsted: schools, early years, further education and skills blog. Chris Russell, our National Director for Education, on changes to the school inspection timetable.

Read the new post:

https://educationinspection.blog.gov.uk/2021/11/30/inspection-timetable-what-will-the-additional-funding-for-inspection-will-mean-for-your- school/

 3.COVID-19 vaccine update on second doses for 12 to 15 year olds and booster doses for adults

Following the emergence of the Omicron variant, including confirmed cases in the UK, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has urgently reviewed vaccine response measures.

JCVI now advises that:

· all adults aged 18 to 39 years should be offered a booster dose, in order of descending age groups. To be given no sooner than three months after the primary course

· all severely immunosuppressed individuals should be offered their booster dose no sooner than three months after completing their primary course of 3 doses

-young people aged 12 to 15 years should receive a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, no sooner than twelve weeks after the first dose

These measures aim to accelerate the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and raise levels of protection across the population, and have been accepted by the government. Vaccinating young people should help to reduce the need for young people to have time off school and should reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 within schools.

Further information on how 12 to 15 year olds will be able to access a second dose of the vaccine, and how adults below the age of 40 will be able to access a booster vaccination, will be provided shortly.

JCVI previously advised that those aged over 40 years and those at higher risk from COVID-19 should be offered a booster. Those eligible can book their appointment on the NHS website.

4.COVID-19 qualifications fund claim form is now live

The COVID-19 qualifications fund claim form is now live. This form allows you to claim for the private candidate support grant, priority appeals and the autumn 2021 exam series.

The deadline to submit your claim is:

-for private candidate support grant – Monday 10 January 2022

-for priority appeals – Monday 10 January 2022

For autumn 2021 exam series costs undertaken between:

· Friday 1 October 2021 and Friday 25 February 2022 – deadline to claim is Friday 4 March 2022

· Monday 28 February 2022 and Thursday 31 March 2022 – deadline to claim is Wednesday 6 April 2022

We have published guidance to help you complete the form.

Further information on the qualification fund can be found in our guidance on the exam support service.

5.Reminder to keep occupied spaces well ventilated

The Department for Education is providing CO2 monitors to state-funded education settings, including early years, schools     and further education colleges in the autumn term. Please do make use of these monitors which can help you to understand the ventilation needed in each setting.

Guidance is available on how to use CO2 monitors to better manage ventilation.

For further advice, please see the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance on ventilation and air conditioning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

6.Join the new School and College Panel

The Department for Education (DfE) is looking to encourage teachers, leaders and tutors to join its new School and College Panel. Information gathered through the panel is informing work to support schools and colleges.

Email invites to named staff members have already been sent to a selection of schools and colleges and are jointly branded from the DfE and IFF Research. Being involved will mean completing short online surveys every 4 to 6 weeks, on topical education issues. By completing short and regular surveys, school staff have helped DfE understand their experiences through the pandemic. This has informed targeted support for schools, for example the development of the COVID-19 Workforce Fund, education recovery support and approaches to rapid asymptomatic testing. You can view previous school snapshot panel: COVID-19 reports. The approach has now also been expanded to cover college teachers and leaders.

7.Safety measures for schools that are o

A new post on this  has just    been published on the Education Hub blog. The latest statistics show that 99.9% of schools   remain open and our guidance can be found at:  https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2021/11/30/99-9-of-schools-are-open- how-new-safety-measures-will-help-them-stay-open-to-the-end-of-term/

8.Fake NHS email for ordering Omicron PCR test kits

Please be aware of a fake NHS email being sent to education and childcare settings which asks you to order ‘Omicron PCR test kits’. The NHS will never ask you for bank details so please be aware of these suspicious emails or similar text messages.

Further information on how to spot and report scam emails, text messages and phone calls is available through the National Cyber Security Centre.

9.COVID-19 test kits – ordering and deliveries

The deadline for ordering ATS and self-test kits for use over the holidays and during the first week of January was 5pm on Tuesday 30 November. Any orders placed after this deadline will be scheduled for delivery during the week commencing Monday 3 January.

If you missed the deadline but still require test kits to enable testing over the holidays and on return in January, please call NHS Test and Trace on 119. Further information on testing over the holidays and in the first week of January can be found on the early years and primary schools document sharing platform and the secondary schools and colleges document sharing platform.

If you placed an order before this deadline, you will receive an email by Friday 3 December confirming when you can expect to receive your delivery. Please do not contact 119 to change your scheduled delivery unless the delivery has been scheduled for when your setting is closed.

10.COVID-19 test kits – stock-take survey

Thank you to everyone who has already completed the COVID-19 stock-take survey. We have extended the closing date for responses to Friday 3 December. Please ensure that you have completed the stock-take form by then to enable us to better understand current COVID-19 test kit stock levels in your setting.

11.National Tutoring Programme (NTP) webinars

The NTP is hosting a number of webinars that will give an insight into the programme, the three routes to tuition available and how you can get involved. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions that you would like answered by the NTP team.

LA UPDATE 29th NOVEMBER

1.Information for all education and childcare settings on new measures in response to the identification of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the UK

On Saturday 27 November, the Prime Minister announced new temporary measures following the emergence of the    Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the UK.

The new measures will be introduced as a precaution to slow down the spread of the variant while we gather more information. We will continue to keep this under review as the situation develops.

2.Face coverings

Face coverings should be worn in communal areas in all settings by staff, visitors and pupils or students in year 7 and above, unless they are exempt.

Pupils or students (in year 7 or above) should continue to wear face coverings on public and dedicated school transport, unless they are exempt.

3.Testing

All educational and childcare settings should continue to encourage staff and students to test twice weekly using lateral flow  device (LFD) tests.

4.Contact tracing and isolation

The current guidance on contact tracing and isolation remains in place. In addition to these, any suspected or confirmed close contacts of the Omicron variant will be asked to isolate for 10 days regardless of vaccination status or age. You will be contacted directly and told to isolate.

5.Vaccination

All eligible staff and students aged 12 and over are encouraged to take up the offer of the vaccine, including boosters.

Vaccines are our best defence against COVID-19. They help protect young people and adults, and benefit those around them. Vaccination makes people less likely to catch the virus and less likely to pass it on.

To book a vaccination, please visit: Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS (www.nhs.uk).

6.Changes to the red list for international travel to England

Individuals arriving in England from red list countries must follow the red list rules.

South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe moved onto the red list at 12pm Friday 26 November.

Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia were added to the red list 4am Sunday 28 November.

Schools, out of school settings and colleges will want to consider whether to go ahead with planned international educational  visits at this time, recognising the risk of disruption to education resulting from the need to isolate and test on arrival back into the UK.

LA UPDATES 25th NOVEMBER

1.Educational Visits UK

The Educational Visits UK Days Out North East of England – Winter Magazine is a seasonal digital magazine (ezine) promoting what is happening regionally in museums and attractions to schools.  Teachers can access the latest events, online workshops and new ideas for school trips, the majority of the which has been provided by the museums/attractions themselves.  We have also included a section about what is happening in the school holidays for parents which schools can forward on to them.  The objective is to keep everyone safe and informed of what’s on over the winter period as well as helping the tourism industry recover after what has been a difficult two years. To see what is happening in neighboring regions please click on https://www.educationalvisitsuk.com/winter-digital-magazines/.

 

And from the DfE:

1.Information on applying for air cleaning units in SEND and Alternative Provision education settings

Eligible settings can now apply for a DfE-funded air cleaning unit. Before applying, please read the guidance which includes the eligibility criteria, the application process and form. Applications will close at 5pm on Tuesday 7 December.

An online ‘marketplace’ will be available from early-December if your setting is not eligible for a DfE-funded unit. This will be available for all state-funded primary and secondary schools, further education colleges and early years settings. The marketplace will provide a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. We will inform you through the sector email once the online marketplace has launched and provide a link to the information needed.

2.Quality assuring providers of full-time online education

A new post, “Quality assuring providers of full-time online education” has just been published on the Ofsted: schools, early years, further education and skills blog. Chris Russell, National Director for Education, discusses our consultation on full-time online education. Read the new post:

https://educationinspection.blog.gov.uk/2021/11/24/quality-assuring-providers-of-full-time-online-education/

LA UPDATES 18th November

1.Unregistered schools

A new post, “Investigating unregistered schools – how you can help” has just been published on the Ofsted: schools, early years, further education and skills blog. Chris Russell, our National Director, Education, explains the work of our unregistered schools taskforce and what you should do if you want to report an illegal, unregistered school.

Read the new post: https://educationinspection.blog.gov.uk/2021/11/15/investigating-unregistered-schools-how-you-can-help/

2.The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation issues advice on second dose of COVID-19 vaccination for 16 to 17 year olds

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that all healthy 16 to 17 year olds should be offered a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The second vaccine dose should be given 12 weeks or more following the first vaccine dose. For those in this age group who have had the COVID-19 infection, the second vaccine dose should be given 12 weeks or more following the first vaccine dose,   or 12 weeks following a positive COVID-19 test result – whichever is later. Those ‘at risk’ will continue to be offered a second dose 8 weeks after their first dose.

16 and 17 year olds will not be vaccinated through the schools programme, but through vaccination centres, community pharmacies and GP led primary care network sites. The national booking service will be available from Monday 22 November for 16 and 17 year olds to book their vaccine.

3.The JCVI issues advice on COVID-19 booster vaccines for those aged 40 to 49

The JCVI has advised that, in addition to those aged over 50 years and at higher risk from COVID-19, all adults aged 40 to 49 years should be offered an mRNA COVID-19 booster vaccine, 6 months after their second dose, irrespective of the vaccines given for the first and second doses.

4.Information on Ofsted inspections and COVID-19 outbreaks during the 12 to 15 year old COVID-19 vaccine rollout in secondary schools

We have confirmed with Ofsted that, in order to support the 12 to 15 vaccine rollout in schools, any school that has been notified of an Ofsted inspection at the same time as administering the vaccine can request a deferral. The vaccine rollout should take priority. Immunisation sessions should still go ahead as planned when a school has a COVID-19 outbreak, unless specifically advised not to by their local health protection team or director of public health.

5.Contingency arrangement for exams in summer 2022 in schools and colleges

Last week we confirmed contingency arrangements to support students in the unlikely event that exams in England cannot go ahead next year due to the pandemic. The government intends for exams to take place next summer. But if they cannot go ahead safely or fairly, due to the pandemic, contingency arrangements will be in place to ensure that schools and colleges are well prepared to enable students to achieve their qualifications.

Following a consultation, the Department for Education and Ofqual, the qualifications regulator, have confirmed students will receive teacher assessed grades based on a range of their work, similar to this summer. To help minimise workload burdens on teachers and students, Ofqual has published guidance for teachers on how they should collect evidence of students’ work during the academic year. This guidance reflects feedback from teachers and school leaders to make it as clear and helpful as possible.

6.Contingency framework update on face coverings in secondary schools

In areas of high or rapidly increasing prevalence, directors of public health may advise that secondary school pupils in that   area temporarily wear face coverings in communal areas in schools, unless they are exempt.

Your director of public health will let you know if this applies to your setting or area and will ask you to take some steps to increase testing participation at the same time. The contingency framework has been updated to reflect this change. Further information on face coverings, including how to wear one and exemptions, can be found in the guidance on face coverings.

7.Office for National Statistics COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey

If you are approached by the Office for National Statistics for the COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey, please consider participating. This study is a collaboration between the Office for National Statistics, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), working with the Department for Education. It will monitor antibodies to better understand the transmission of COVID-19 in schools and immunity in children.

Schools have been chosen carefully to ensure there is a representative sample, which will ensure it produces reliable, generalisable data and analysis as part of the study.

8.Hosting initial teacher training trainees in schools

Hosting trainee teachers can support you with meeting your upcoming recruitment needs as well as offering excellent professional development opportunities for your existing workforce; providing opportunities for them to hone their leadership and mentoring skills. For those of you already hosting trainee teachers, we strongly encourage you to continue doing so this academic year, and for those of you not already doing so, we recommend contacting your local initial teacher training providers to explore opportunities to do so.

Education and childcare settings should continue to operate as normally as possible by using the existing COVID-19 operational guidance and contingency framework, including by hosting trainee teachers.

If you would like to host trainee teachers, please contact ITT.ENGAGEMENT@education.gov.uk and we will support you to   partner with your local training providers. Alternatively, you can find and contact your local training providers directly by using the find teacher training service.

9.National Tutoring Programme

There are some webinars about the National Tutoring Programme coming up,  dates are below, and there’s further information at: https://nationaltutoring.org.uk/events/ 

            Live demo of how to use NTP Tuition Hub, 6th December, 4PM Click here to register

            Introduction to the NTP (Overall Programme), 9th December, 4PM Click here to register

            Live demo of how to use NTP Tuition Hub, 17th December, 4PM, Click here to register

10.Information on air cleaning units in education and childcare settings

Our rollout of at least 300,000 CO2 monitors to schools, backed by £25 million in government funding, is on track with circa 278,000 monitors already delivered and the remainder to be delivered this term.

Feedback has highlighted that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation, sitting alongside the other protective measures in place to manage transmission, such as regular testing, vaccinations and increased hygiene. In the majority of settings, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

In the very few cases where an area of poor ventilation (sustained CO2 readings above 1500ppm) has been identified and this cannot be resolved through opening windows and doors or minor repair works, it may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit as an additional mitigation whilst further remedial work is undertaken to improve ventilation. Air cleaning units, when used properly, can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19. However, it should be noted that they are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce            ventilation.

The Department for Education (DfE) will make 1,000 DfE-funded air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces and staff rooms in SEND and Alternative Provision settings, including SEN units in mainstream settings, where quick   fixes to improve ventilation are not possible. These settings are being prioritised given the higher-than-average number of vulnerable pupils attending those settings. Further information on the eligibility criteria and application process will be shared via the sector email next week.

An online ‘marketplace’ will be available from early-December if your setting is not eligible for a DfE-funded unit. The marketplace will provide a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and reasonable price.

11. Information on the new mental health and wellbeing support scheme for school leaders and the Education Staff Wellbeing Charter for schools and colleges

This week, DfE launched a new support scheme for school leaders to improve and promote good mental health and wellbeing. The scheme, delivered by Education Support, will provide one-to-one counselling and peer support from experts to around 2,000 school leaders, helping those at deputy head level and above in state-funded schools in England with their mental wellbeing. School leaders can access support by visiting Education Support’s website.

An updated Education Staff Wellbeing Charter is also being launched this week, which sets out commitments from the Government, Ofsted, and schools and colleges, to promote and protect the mental health of the education workforce. Through the charter, the department pledges to work with the sectors to drive down unnecessary workload, improve access to wellbeing resources, and champion flexible working, among a range of actions to support staff wellbeing. We are  encouraging all state-funded schools and colleges to sign up to the charter to create a united approach to supporting staff.

12.Information for schools and colleges on checking your setting’s testing data in the ‘View your education data’ dashboard

It is crucial that we continue to encourage staff and students to regularly test themselves for COVID-19 and to report each result. This will help us break chains of transmission and keep schools and colleges open.

The first step toward improving uptake of testing within your setting is to understand your data and how this compares with testing rates nationally. Primary and secondary schools, further education providers inclusive of independent training providers and adult community learning providers, maintained schools and nurseries all have access to testing data.

You can access your testing data through the education data rapid testing dashboard.

13. Information for schools on the NTP – extending eligibility criteria for Academic Mentors

We are pleased to announce that following a review of the NTP we are extending the eligibility criteria for schools to apply for an Academic Mentor. We are now welcoming applications from schools whose pupil premium percentage is over 30%, regardless of where the school is located.

This is to support our commitment to support the most disadvantaged pupils and increases the scope of schools eligible for this resource to 53% of all schools in England.

 Previously, the eligibility criteria for a school to qualify for an Academic Mentor included:

·        schools who employed an Academic Mentor in academic year 2020/21

·        schools in one of the 118 listed local authority districts and Opportunity Areas

The criteria remains the same but now with the inclusion of all schools with over 30% of pupil premium able to apply for an Academic Mentor. To sign up for the Academic Mentor Programme, please visit the NTP website.

14.Information for schools on further funding for Oak National Academy in academic year 2021/22

The department has committed further funding to Oak National Academy, enabling it to operate through to Easter 2022.

The purpose of this funding is to enable Oak National Academy to continue to support schools in their remote education    provision where it is required.

All 10,000+ of Oak’s existing free, high-quality editable and adaptable lessons remain available, each featuring teacher-led videos to aid independent study across 35 subjects from early years foundation stage (EYFS) to key stage 4. Specialist content for pupils with SEND is also available. Covering communication and language, numeracy, creative arts, independent living, and physical development. Additionally, Oak offers therapy-based lessons and resources across occupational, physical, sensory integration and speech and language therapy.

LA UPDATES 11th November

1.School-led tutoring

Schools can sign-up for a free online training course for School-Led tutoring, part of the National Tutoring Programme

As part of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), all state-maintained schools have now received the first instalment of their grant funding allocation for School-Led tutoring.

From Monday 8 November, all schools can book their non-QTS tutoring staff onto the specialist training course to qualify them to become NTP School-Led Tutors. This free online training course is delivered by the Educational Development Trust and recognised by the Chartered College of Teaching. To book staff onto the NTP Training, please register your school and

The NTP’s guidance for School-Led Tutoring has been updated. The guidance now includes further information on training and data collection.

2.Back into a routine: looking at schools in light of COVID

A new post, “Back into a routine: looking at schools in light of COVID” has just been published on the Ofsted: schools, early years, further education and skills blog. Chris Russell, National Director for Education, on our return to routine inspection and the COVID context. Read the new post:

https://educationinspection.blog.gov.uk/2021/11/10/back-into-a-routine-looking-at-schools-in-light-of-covid/

3.Review of time in schools and 16-19 settings

Last week we published the review of time in schools and 16-19 settings and the impact this could have on helping children         and young people to catch up

4.Support and guidance for those looking to return from overseas to teach in England

The Department for Education is running a series of online events to support those looking to return to teach in England. The third event in the series will take place on Tuesday 30 November (10am to 11am).

Our panel of experts will cover topics such as:

·        how returners can best demonstrate the value they bring to schools in England

·        remote interviewing tips

·        real life examples from recently returned head teachers and school leaders

·        guidance and practical support

Attendees will also get a chance to ask questions, network with colleagues in a similar position and shape future sessions.   Register online for this free event.

An online information pack is also available and covers the key information that teachers working overseas need as they consider a return to teach in England. Download the current information pack or visit Get into Teaching for further information.

Further personalised help and guidance is available, including one-to-one support through the get an adviser service if you teach maths, physics or modern foreign languages. The Teaching Vacancies service can be used to browse by subject, role in school and full or part-time work, and to set up job alerts.

LA UPDATES 4th OCTOBER

1.Neurodevelopmental Pathway

Please find attached information regarding the Neurodevelopmental Pathway.

There is a short briefing note available here   Neurodevelopmental Pathway | Middlesbrough (openobjects.com) and the new referral form is attached along with information  about the family support service.

2.Technology support and device grants

Get help with technology: conditions of internet access and device grants
Information about the eligibility criteria and payment process for connectivity and device funding. The Get Help with Technology (GHwT) service is providing an additional 500,000 laptops and tablets so that disadvantaged children and young people in school or college can access remote education and social care services.

3. Information for schools and colleges on asymptomatic COVID-19 testing

We have provided a toolkit to support you in encouraging pupils and students to test regularly. The toolkit provides strategies, best practice case studies and online resources to help increase participation levels. This includes sending GOV.​  UK automatic text reminders to test, working with student groups to encourage testing and incentivising testing through reward schemes. Students who find it especially challenging to test using lateral flow devices (LFDs) should be    treated sensitively and signposted to additional support available to help students test.

4.Information for schools on COVID-19 vaccinations for 12 to 15 year olds

Thank you for your continued work to support the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for 12 to 15 year olds in schools. Most schools should now have confirmed dates scheduled for a visit from their School Age Immunisation Service could complete this short form by 5pm on Wednesday 10 November. The NHS will then follow up with the relevant SAIS team. Further information and resources on the vaccination programme can be found in the guidance on COVID-19 vaccination: resources for schools and parents.

 5.Further information on the new funding for training for early years practitioners

In June 2021, the government announced a £153 million investment for early years and further detail on this funding is now available.

6.How schools with reception classes can register for the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) programme

State-funded schools with reception classes have accessed the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) free of charge this academic year. This has supported COVID-19 recovery efforts with thousands of pupils accessing vital support for their communication skills.

The registration window for NELI 2021/22 closed on Sunday 31 October 2021. If you have not registered and would like to access the programme, please contact primary.enquiries@oup.com. Further information about the programme is available on the Nuffield Early Language Intervention website.

7.Take part in research into education recovery strategies in schools

The Department for Education has commissioned research to understand education recovery strategies in schools, following the disruption caused by the pandemic. As part of this research, the Centre for Education and Youth is conducting case studies involving interviews with senior leaders, class teachers, a short pupil diary task, and a short online parents’ survey.

We are keen to hear from all types of schools, including primary, secondary, middle, all-through, special schools and alternative provision, to gather information on the views and experiences of schools across the country. We would like to conduct the first round of fieldwork in November and December, and the second round in summer term 2022. All fieldwork   can be conducted virtually and remotely. If your school is interested in taking part or finding out more about the research, please contact hello@cfey.org.

8.Research on pupils’ progress in the 2020/21 academic year

The Department for Education commissioned Renaissance Learning and the Education Policy Institute to conduct

Independent research to monitor the academic progress of pupils in schools in England over the course of the 2020/21 academic year. The latest findings were published on Friday 29 October.

LA UPDATES 21ST OCTOBER

1.Increased daily lateral flow device (LFD) testing for schools and further education providers

Further to the joint letter to parents from the Secretary of State for Education and the Secretary of State for Health and     Social Care on Monday 11 October, we have produced frequently asked questions for schools and further education providers on increased LFD testing to respond to potential outbreaks.

The frequently asked questions can be found on the document sharing platforms for primary schools and for secondary schools and further education providers

 2.COVID-19 testing during October half-term

As you continue, or approach, your half-term break, please continue to encourage your staff, students and pupils to test twice-weekly at home over this period, as well as testing at home the evening before they return to their setting. To help you communicate to parents, children and young people on the importance of COVID-19 testing during half- term, a template letter is now available on the document sharing platform.

3.School-led tutoring grant through the National Tutoring Programme

School-led tutoring is part of the National Tutoring Programme. All state-funded schools and academy trusts can now access their allocations for school-led tutoring grant fund payments and can use this information to clarify how much funding they have received to deliver school-led tutoring. The programme went live at the beginning of September and detailed guidance and conditions of the grant are available. If you have any questions about school-led tutoring, please review our frequently asked questions or contact one of our National Tutoring Programme engagement managers.

4.Information for schools on COVID-19 vaccinations for 12 to 15 year olds

We ask that you continue to work closely with your School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) teams on the in-school COVID-19 vaccinations for 12 to 15 year olds. Offering vaccines in schools is important for ensuring all children can get a vaccine if they and their parents choose to do so. To support you in doing this, and based on feedback we gathered from schools, we have published a new “how to” guide. This includes useful information and resources for schools, including a template letter that can be used to communicate with parents. NHS England will soon be opening an additional offer for 12 to 15 year olds to get their COVID-19 vaccine out of school,     such as through vaccination centres. This offer will run in parallel to the in-school vaccination programme. Parents of children aged 12 to 15 will receive a letter from the NHS with more information on the vaccination programme shortly, including information about how to book an appointment out of school, if this option is preferred. Not all children will be able to attend an out of school site, and so in continuing to support the in-school programme, you are helping to ensure all children and young people have an equal opportunity to be vaccinated. Please see the guidance on COVID-19 vaccination: resources for schools and parents for further information and resources on the vaccination programme.

LA UPDATES 14th OCTOBER

1.Musinc

Musinc is the music engagement strand of Middlesbrough Town Hall, a historic entertainment venue in the centre of Middlesbrough which has recently undergone a major £7m refurbishment. Alongside the fabulous programme of concerts and events, we have recently launched a full programme of music projects, activities and events for schools to get involved in, from rap to classical, jazz to music tech – there’s something for all ages and abilities. Young people will have the opportunity to visit Middlesbrough Town Hall, complete Arts Award qualifications, watch and take part in performances, and so much more!

At Musinc, equality, diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of everything we do. All activities are inclusive and accessible for vulnerable young people and SEN students. If you have any queries about your young people’s ability to access an activity please get   in touch to discuss the needs of your students. The age ranges given should act as guidance only. Lots more events, including masterclasses with visiting artists and performances for your young people to attend will    be announced over the course of the year. I attach our schools brochure, and here is a link to the schools page on our website:

Schools programme – Musinc – Learn about our        offer for Tees schools

 

AND DROM THE DFE:

 1.Letter from the Secretaries of State for Education and Health

The Secretary of State for Education and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care have written a joint letter to parents about the vaccination of children aged 12 to 15 and the importance of continuing with twice-weekly COVID-19 testing and reporting. The letter provides information on COVID-19 testing and advises that, in response to potential outbreaks, local health teams may advise additional testing and isolation protocols at your school or college. Alongside the letter are some frequently answered questions for parents, from Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation.

2.Information on COVID-19 testing and test kit deliveries during October half-term

Staff, students and pupils should continue to test twice-weekly over half-term and preferably take an LFD test the night      before they return to their setting after the break. It is important to communicate to parents, children and young people on the importance of COVID-19 testing over half-term. If you do not have sufficient LFD stock for this, please place an order through the online reordering portal. Deliveries to Private Voluntary and Independent (PVI) nurseries will continue as usual throughout October.

If you place an order by 5pm on the Tuesday before your half-term break, this will be delivered when you return after the holiday, unless you state in the delivery instructions that your setting will be open, or you will have someone on-site to receive the delivery during the half-term holiday. If your half-term is the week commencing Monday 25 October orders must be placed by 5pm on Tuesday 12 October for delivery before the break (during the week commencing Monday 18 October).

3.Reminder for schools that they can resume wraparound care

Schools should now be working to resume all wraparound childcare, both before and after school provision, for their   pupils. Further information on the provision of wraparound care can be found in the guidance for out-of-school settings

4.Information for schools and colleges on how to apply for funded support for a digital education platform

The government is still funding expert technical support to help schools and colleges set up secure user accounts for Google and Microsoft’s education platforms. Schools now have until Tuesday 30 November to apply for government funded support to get set up on one of two digital education platforms: Google Workspace for Education or Microsoft Office 365 Education. Our guidance provides more details on how to apply, advice on how schools can make the most of  these platforms and how to choose the most appropriate platform. If your school has not applied to the programme, and is still interested in the offer, please apply before Tuesday 30 November.

5.CO2 monitors to help improve ventilation in education and childcare settings

Further information on the CO2 monitors is available in the ‘How to use CO2 monitors in education and childcare settings guide’

6.Rapid COVID-19 testing quality assurance in secondary schools and colleges

As part of the NHS Test and Trace rapid COVID-19 asymptomatic testing programme, ongoing quality assurance (QA) in secondary schools and colleges is being conducted. The Schools Quality Assurance Team from NHS Test and Trace will invite a selection of schools and colleges to participate in this programme in the coming weeks. They will provide all participating schools and colleges with a supply of PCR test kits to distribute to pupils, students, and staff over a two-week period, which should be used alongside their usual LFD tests. If you would like to volunteer, please email QAinSchools@test-and-trace.nhs.uk. The quality assurance team will then contact you with further information.

7.Update to the contingency framework for education and childcare settings

We have updated the contingency framework to reflect the position for people previously considered clinically extremely    vulnerable (CEV), the shielding programme and details on when increased COVID-19 testing can be recommended by Directors of Public Health. We have also clarified that education and childcare settings do not routinely need to provide     staff details to the NHS Test and Trace Self-Isolation Hub. Further information on the NHS Test and Trace Self-Isolation   Hub is available in the guidance on NHS Test and Trace in the workplace.

8.Information on contact tracing in education and childcare setting

In response to recent queries, we have updated the contact tracing ‘frequently asked questions’ which can be found on the document sharing platforms for primary and early years, secondary schools, further education and higher education and children’s social care.

9.National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) Reforms

The DfE have announced updated funding eligibility criteria for the reformed suite of National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) and published new frameworks for upcoming qualifications in Leading Literacy (NPQLL) and Early Years Leadership (NPQEYL). More information is available online here, or in the attached briefing pack and eligibility leaflet.

LA UPDATE 5th OCTOBER

1.Xplore Christmas 2021

School holidays can create challenges for families. That’s why Middlesbrough Council and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council are       working together to distribute over £1 million worth of funding from the Department for Education for organisations to deliver  free holiday clubs for all eligible children and young people across the South Tees. Our provision in December 2021 will be called Xplore Christmas 2021.

We’re looking for organisations to deliver clubs across South Tees during the Christmas school holidays. Applications are welcomed    from any type of organisation,  whether a charity, social enterprise, school, college, commercial company, or another type of organisation. Delivery models will differ and innovative ideas are encouraged. We cannot use any of the funding for October half    term delivery. The grants process is now live. The closing date for applications is Friday 29 October 2021, at 2:30pm.  https://www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/social-care-and-wellbeing/health-and-wellbeing/community-grants

2.Update from Public Health England 

We  are asking educational settings to continue to work with the local Public Health team by reporting confirmed positive covid cases to the Public Health Team, alerting the team when thresholds (set out in annex 1 f the attached letter) are met or if a pupil or staff member is hospitalised as a result of covid.  This will assist in overall surveillance of community    transmission and also support outbreak management in settings.

We want to work alongside educational settings to understand the shape of local support required in order to keep your staff and children and young             people safe.  Whilst our capacity is constrained as we return to business as usual we will do whatever we can to provide that support. We have established direct reporting of confirmed positive cases through a secure web link to reduce processing time – https://www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/schoolscases

Support team contact details: Urgent queries: 01642 729699

General enquiries: publichealthschools@middlesbrough.gov.uk

Reporting of cases; https://www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/schoolscases

Working hours Mon-Fri 9am – 4pm

I have also attached warn and inform letters which schools may wish to issue on the confirmation of a covid-19 case within their setting and a winter illness letter.

AND FROM THE DFE:

1.Reminder to schools and colleges: encouraging twice weekly testing

We have worked with school leaders and further education providers to identify some strategies that have been successfully used to increase participation in testing. These are fully outlined in a new toolkit ‘how to encourage pupils and students to test regularly’.

Reporting test results is just as important as taking the test, as this allows us to understand the virus and take additional action when needed. Please remind staff and students to report their result on NHS Test and Trace.

2.LFD test kit stock supply

You can order more test kits using the online re-ordering portal.

To support outbreak interventions, you may be asked to increase the frequency of testing by your Director of Public Health. In this scenario you should use any existing stock of test kits in the first instance. If further supply is required there   are a number of channels available to you:

-Business as usual (BAU) order through the online re-ordering portal: orders placed through the online reordering system before 5pm on Tuesday will be delivered the following week. Schools and colleges should continue to use the BAU channel to replenish stock to support regular twice-weekly testing and any increased testing as directed by Directors of Public Health.

-Local Authority: if your school or college has insufficient test kits, you should liaise with your Local Authority to understand if there is excess stock available to support additional testing.

-Emergency orders: you can place an order for an emergency replenishment by contacting 119 if the BAU and Local Authority channels are unable to fulfil the requirement for test kits to help manage an outbreak. These orders will be delivered within 48 hours.

Communications toolkit to support your encouragement of COVID-19 testing with secondary school and college students

We have worked with school leaders and further education providers to identify some strategies that have been successfully used to increase participation in testing. These are fully outlined in a new toolkit ‘how to encourage pupils and students to test regularly’ which we shared with you on Tuesday.

We have now uploaded a template letter to the toolkit for you to send out to your parent networks. The letter is designed to encourage parents and careers to support their children with regular testing.

3.Information on Ofsted inspections during the 12-15 vaccine rollout in secondary schools

We have confirmed with Ofsted that, in order to support the 12-15 vaccine rollout in schools, any school that has been notified of an Ofsted inspection at the same time as administering the vaccine can request a deferral. The vaccine rollout should take priority.

4.The Department for Work and Pensions Household Support Fund

You can find more information on support for vulnerable families over winter. Further details on the Household Support Fund will be available on the DWP’s website in due course.

5.The furlough scheme has now closed

More information about the scheme is at coronavirus (COVID-19): work and financial support and coronavirus (COVID-19): business support.

6.Information on the allocations for school-led tutoring

On Friday 1 October, the Department published the allocations for school-led tutoring. All state-funded schools and academy trusts can use this information to look up how much funding they will shortly receive to deliver school-led tutoring. The programme went live at the beginning of September and detailed guidance and conditions of grant are available here

LA UPDATE 1st OCTOBER

1. A reminder for eligible secondary schools to complete 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.

2.  Actions to take if an individual from your setting tests positive for COVID-19

If someone from your setting has a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test taken at home:

·       they should self-isolate straightaway and report their test result

·       they should book a confirmatory PCR test as soon as possible, either online, through the NHS COVID-19 app, or by calling 119 and continue to self-isolate whilst awaiting results of the PCR test

·       any unvaccinated adults in their household should self-isolate whilst awaiting their PCR result, unless they are exempt

Settings are not expected to order PCR tests on behalf of their staff or students.

  1. 16 and 17 year olds can now use the online booking service for their COVID-19 vaccine

The Department of Health and Social Care announced on Friday 24 September that all 16 and 17 year olds can now book     their first COVID-19 vaccination appointment online.

Young people aged 16 and 17 can:

·       book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy

·       find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment

If students cannot book appointments online, they can call 119 free of charge. They can speak to a translator if they need   to. Further information can be found on the NHS website.

  1. Updates to sector guidance following the September Review

On Tuesday 14 September, the Cabinet Office published the COVID-19 Response – Autumn and Winter Plan 2021.

This guidance set out plans for autumn and winter 2021/22 in England.

We have updated our guidance documents to reflect the changes made to the government’s response to COVID-19.

  1. Early Years guidance

The Early Years guidance has been updated and can be found here:

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guidance updates include:

  • latest policy around asymptomatic testing
  • updated workforce section
  • changes to advice around individuals previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable
  • reminder that disapplications to the EYFS ended on 31 August
  • added additional guidance on educational visits

6.         Fake vaccination consent forms

We are aware that a fake consent form for COVID-19 vaccinations has been sent to some schools for onward circulation             to parents. This contains misleading information and should not be circulated. The only consent form that should be        shared by schools can be found on GOV.UK. Please disregard any other consent documents.

All official information will be shared through your School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) provider in the usual way. We             have recently been seeing some misinformation activity by campaigners. Please get in touch with your local SAIS provider          if in doubt or if you receive a form that you think may not be genuine. Further guidance can be found in the

COVID-19 vaccination programme for children and young people guidance for schools.

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

  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.

Department for Education update – 24 September 2021

  1. The Children’s Commissioner’s The Big Ask…and The Big Answer

Earlier this year, The Children’s Commissioner asked all children in England to complete a survey, to show the true voice of this generation. The results are in and The Children’s Commissioner would like to say thank you. Over half a million children responded, the largest survey of its kind in   history, and at a landmark moment for young people growing up in this country. You can read the full report and use the resources to share the results with your pupils and students.

  1. Reminder to complete the educational setting status form

Thank you to those schools and colleges that have been completing the educational setting status form from the start of your autumn term. If your school or college has not yet submitted any information, please do resume completing the educational setting status form each day by 2pm.

We are asking you to continue to submit your attendance data daily throughout September, so we can monitor attendance in schools and colleges after the summer break.

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. Guidance for parents and carers on the vaccination programme for young people aged 12 to 15

This autumn, all young people aged 12 to 15 are being offered a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Public Health England has updated its page of resources for young people and their families with answers to some frequently asked questions.

Guidance and resources for schools are also available.

  1. Please continue to record all results from student and pupil onsite testing

Schools and colleges have now welcomed the majority of pupils and students back for the start of the autumn term. All pupils should now have completed two onsite lateral flow device (LFD) tests.

It is important all test results are reported. The asymptomatic test site (ATS) test results you reported on your individual school or college account via the NHS Test & Trace log results website are used to calculate funding, so all results should have been recorded (both positive and negative results), to ensure your setting receives the correct funding. If your school or college has not recorded the results from your onsite asymptomatic testing following your pupils’ or students’ return, please record these now so that any funding can be correctly calculated for your setting.

Further information about how to register pupils and students, and how to record test results can be found in the green how to guide and the digital handbook on the schools and colleges document sharing platform.

  1. Delivery of specialist one to one and group interventions for children and young people in education settings

We know that COVID-19 has impacted on delivery of specialist services in education settings and, as a result, many have adjusted their delivery models during their recovery. We have worked with education and health partners, including the Royal Colleges and the Association of Educational Psychologists, Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, Association of Colleges, the National Sensory Impairment Partnership, the National Network of Parent Carer Forums and the Council for Disabled Children, to develop guidance setting out the expectations for the delivery of specialist support for children and young people.

  1. Grants for mental health training courses for senior leaders in schools and colleges

The Department for Education is offering a grant for a senior member of school or college staff to access quality assured training to implement an effective whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing in your setting.

Senior mental health lead training is relevant to all education settings, and courses are available to meet the learning needs and preferences of senior leads, whatever their level of experience, type of setting or location. All state-funded schools and colleges are eligible to apply for a training grant.

Further information on the grant, eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found in the guidance on senior mental health lead training.

  1. Ofsted’s independent review of tutoring

Ofsted will carry out an independent review of tutoring in schools and 16 to 19 providers, following these terms of reference.

  1. Ofsted’s independent review of teachers’ professional development

Ofsted will carry out an independent review of teachers’ professional development, following these terms of reference.

  1. Ofsted to review two education catch-up reforms

Ofsted has been asked by the government to carry out an independent review of two key catch-up reforms: tutoring and teachers’ professional development.