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

Good afternoon Colleagues

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

 

  1. Beat the Street

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

  1. Reducing Parental Conflict Programme

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

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

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

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

And from the DfE:     

  1. New Secretary of State for Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. Register now to receive notification of when the grant application process opens.

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’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’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 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.

  1. Darlington Tees Family Support October workshops

Please see attached document.