UPDATE – 19th July 2022

The Met Office has issued a red extreme heat warning for areas of England for today, including parts of the East Midlands, East of England, London and South East England, North West England, South West England and Yorkshire and Humber. The red warning indicates an exceptional hot spell of weather leading to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure.

The Met Office has also extended the amber extreme heat warning for today to cover parts of South West England, West Wales, North West England and southern Scotland.

We are not advising schools or other settings to close. Individual leaders are responsible for managing their own local circumstances. They should refer the Emergency Planning Guidance and carry out risk assessments in line with government guidance on looking after children and young people, as well as those in early years settings during heatwaves. This includes the use of ventilation, closing classrooms that are too hot, keeping children and young people hydrated, avoiding vigorous physical activity, encouraging children and young people to wear loose, light coloured clothing and sunhats with wide brims, to use sunscreen, and providing them with plenty of water.

Children under 4 years old and some children, young people and adults with complex medical needs and chronic conditions are potentially at a higher risk during periods of extreme heat. Settings are advised to consider actions recommended in Chapter 3 of the Heatwave Plan For England, which are based on the best evidence and practice available currently and are not intended to be prescriptive. Settings should carry out risk assessments and amend and adapt procedures in a way which is appropriate for the individual medical needs of the children, young people and adults in their setting.

Visit our Education Hub to find further information on how to stay safe during the heatwave

LA UPDATE – 14th July 2022

  1. Flu vaccination briefing for primary schools

This autumn term, all primary school-aged children in England (from reception class to year 6) will be offered a flu vaccination by the NHS school-aged immunisation service. As usual, a local school-age immunisation provider team will get in touch to agree a date for the vaccination session and the best implementation approach. A briefing on the flu vaccination programme is available.

  1. Guidance for schools on the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) in 2022/23

We have published guidance for schools on the NTP for the 2022/23 academic year.

From September 2022:

· Schools will receive their tutoring funding directly

· All tuition routes will have the same 60% subsidy rate

· Schools working with existing Tuition Partners will be able to continue working with them, where the organisation remains on the programme

· Schools with Academic Mentors can continue to employ them, with the cost subsidised by the 2022/23 funding allocation

If you have any queries about the 2022/23 academic year, please email the tutoring.support@service.education.gov.uk

  1. A reminder to complete the year-end statement for School-Led tutoring

All schools, local authorities and virtual school heads that received the School-Led tutoring grant must complete the relevant year-end statement below:

·        Form for schools, academies and independent special schools
·        Form for local authorities including virtual school heads

We have published full guidance on how to complete the forms and tutorial videos.

  1. 16 to 19 tuition fund monitoring and reporting update

On Wednesday 29 June, we published updated monitoring and reporting on additional hours guidance. This explains how to report 16 to 19 tuition fund spend and delivery of an additional 40 learning hours during the 2022/23 academic year.

A digital reporting form will be published in October 2023, which will combine tuition fund reporting with additional hours to reduce the administration for institutions. If you have received a 16 to 19 tuition fund grant in the current 2021/22 academic year, you should use the existing reporting your funding spend guidance to complete the end-of-year report

  1. The education inspection framework

A new post, “The education inspection framework (EIF) – looking ahead to September 2022” has just been published on the Ofsted: schools and further education & skills (FES) blog.

Christopher Russell, our National Director, Education, discusses the recent changes to our EIF handbooks and moving beyond transitional arrangements. We are coming to the end of another academic year and looking ahead to September 2022. Following our return to inspection. Read the new post here.

  1. Early years consultations launched

This week, we have launched two consultations and set out our plans to improve the cost, choice and availability of childcare.

We are consulting on reforming the staff:child ratios required by law in early years settings and to make explicit the requirement of supervision of children whilst eating. The second consultation seeks views on how early years funding is distributed around England, so that the system is fair and effective. Both consultations will close on Friday 16 September.

  1. Volunteer to test the new National Tutoring Programme digital service

We are developing a new digital service to help schools access tutoring support. We would like to talk to teachers and senior leaders from primary and secondary schools to get feedback on the service, particularly from schools that are arranging tutoring for the next academic year. We are very grateful to those who have volunteered so far. If you would like to take part in a user research session, please book a slot. The sessions are conducted online and will last around one hour.

  1. Webinars for schools on attendance best practice

Following the publication of our new attendance guidance, we are running a series of effective practice training webinars to support schools and trusts to meet the new expectations.

Details on our latest upcoming webinar and the link to register are below:

·        Monday 20th  July 4pm to 5pm – hosted by Unity Schools Partnership on analysing absence and attendance data to target improvement efforts.

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

  1. Asking teachers what they think

A new post, “Asking teachers what they think: Ofsted’s recent Teacher Tapp survey results” has just been published on the Ofsted: schools and further education & skills (FES) blog.

Chris Jones, our Director, Strategy and Engagement, and Alex Jones, our Director, Insights and Research, on what a recent survey of teachers found out about inspection, Ofsted’s research and evaluation work, and other hot topics. We recently commissioned Teacher Tapp … Read the new post here.

10        Predicted Extreme Heat Weather Warnings

The Met Office has extended an amber extreme heat warning for Sunday 17 July, Monday 18 July and Tuesday 19 July, as temperatures will build this weekend and early next week for much of England and Wales.
The amber warning highlights likely adverse health effects for the public, not just limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat. There is clear government guidance on looking after children and those in early years settings during heatwaves, including the use of  ventilation, keeping children hydrated, and avoiding vigorous physical activity, encouraging children to wear loose, light coloured clothing and sunhats with wide brims, to use sunscreen, and providing them with plenty of water. Individual school leaders are responsible for managing their own local circumstances. We are not advising schools to close

  1. A reporting reminder for primary schools in receipt of the PE and sport premium

In October 2021, we set out in the PE and sport premium guidance an intention to monitor compliance with the requirement to publish PE and sport premium reports online.

Our PE and sport premium guidance details what must be included in your report. If you choose to, you can use the recommended reporting template produced by Association for PE and Youth Sport Trust

  1. Information for schools on employing teachers from Ukraine

We have published guidance for Ukrainian teachers and trainee teachers, which also contains information for schools to help them to employ Ukrainian refugees.

Ukrainians who arrive through the Ukraine Family Scheme, the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme or the Ukraine Extension Scheme have the right to train or work as a teacher in England.

You can also refer to recruit teachers from overseas. Further guidance will be available over the coming months. If you have any   questions, please contact teach.inengland@education.gov.uk

13. Ukrainian refugee holiday activities and food (HAF) programme information

This summer presents an opportunity for Ukrainian children who have recently arrived in the UK to continue settling into the communities where they are living. Access to and participation in their local HAF programmes could be an important part of this. How the holiday clubs benefit children’s health, wellbeing and learning will be particularly crucial for Ukrainian children who find themselves in new surroundings, speaking a new language and living in a new culture. Please encourage parents of Ukrainian children who may be eligible, to sign up with their local authority.

  1. New school behaviour and exclusions guidance published

This week, we published:

· The updated behaviour in schools guidance

· Updated suspension and permanent exclusion guidance

· Updated searching, screening and confiscation at school guidance

· Our response to the public consultation on behaviour and exclusions.

The suspension and permanent exclusion guidance sets out legislative changes on which we consulted earlier this year. This places a duty on headteachers to inform, where relevant, social workers and virtual school heads if a child in their care has been excluded and to notify local authorities of all suspensions immediately. These legislative changes will come into force in September 2022.

LA UPDATE – 30th June 2022

  1. Complete the year-end statement for School-Led tutoring

All schools, local authorities and virtual school heads that received the School-Led tutoring grant are required to complete the relevant year-end statement:

·        Form for schools, academies and independent special schools

·        Form for local authorities including virtual school heads

We have published full guidance on how to complete the forms.

This is mandatory, even if your organisation chose not to use the School-Led tutoring grant. Where the grant has not been fully used, or not used at all, the Education and Skills Funding Agency will recover this amount.

So that tuition during the summer holidays can be included, you should complete the year-end statement by Friday 16 September. You should only complete the form once you have delivered all School-Led tutoring for the 2021/22 academic year. The final date to deliver School-Led tutoring is Wednesday 31st August.

If your school is not providing School-Led tutoring in the summer holidays, we strongly recommend that you complete the year-end statement by the end of July.

  1. Supporting pupils through the National Tutoring Programme (NTP)

It is not too late for your school to benefit from the NTP.

Next week, we are hosting a series of themed ‘drop-in’ sessions for schools to find out more about the programme and ask questions. The link will be the same for each timeslot on your chosen day:

· School-Led tutoring – Tuesday 5th July at 7.30am to 8.30am, 12.30pm to 1.30pm and 3.30pm to 4.30pm

· Tuition Partners – Wednesday 6th July at 7.30am to 8.30am, 12.30pm to 1.30pm and 3.30pm to 4.30pm

· Academic Mentors – Thursday 7th July at 7.30am to 8.30am, 12.30pm to 1.30pm and 3.30pm to 4.30pm

We continue to encourage parents to speak with their child’s school about what tutoring may be available over the summer holidays and in September.

  1. Webinars for schools on attendance best practice

Following the publication of our new attendance guidance, we are running a series of effective practice training webinars to support schools and trusts to meet the new expectations.

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

· Thursday 30th June 4pm to 5pm – Sign up for a webinar hosted by Unity Schools Partnership on analysing absence and attendance data to target improvement efforts

· Thursday 7th July 4pm to 5pm – Sign up for a webinar hosted by Diverse Academies on effective governance which supports stronger attendance

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

  1. National Careers Service exam results and next steps webinars for parents and carers

With exams ending, many pupils will be preparing to take their next step into further academic studies or the workplace – which we know can be confusing and feel a bit daunting. Throughout the summer, the National Careers Service is running a series of webinars for parents and carers of young people who are expecting their exam results this August. They will be able to learn more about how to support their children with advice about choices and careers, including useful information sources, advice for results day and a Q&A with a panel of experts. The webinars schedule is now available. Please share this information with parents and students who could benefit from this support.

  1. Update on the new curriculum body announced in the schools white paper

In the schools white paper, we announced our intention to establish a new arms-length curriculum body which builds on the success of Oak National Academy’s work in the pandemic.

We can now provide a further update, which will outline our proposed approach to establishing the arm’s length body. A webinar for schools and trusts will take place on:

Monday 4th July from 5pm to 6pm – the purpose is to share thinking about the curriculum body’s proposed activities, as well as to provide an opportunity to ask questions.

  1. An update on Early Years Stronger Practice Hubs

The Department for Education is investing almost £20m to create a new network of Early Years Stronger Practice Hubs.

Building on the early years foundation stage reforms the Hubs will be existing, well-established early years settings with expertise of what works to support child outcomes. They are part of the wider early years education recovery package and will provide advice, share good practice and offer evidence-based professional development for practitioners.

Each Hub will be led by a group-based (school-based, private, voluntary, or independent) early years provider. They will be evenly distributed across England, with two planned in each of the nine government office regions. The Hubs will be funded for two years until late 2024, with a focus on supporting children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

We will be supported by the Education Endowment Foundation as our evidence partner and by a separate delivery partner, to be announced in mid-July, following a commercial procurement exercise.

These partners will design and run an exercise to select up to 18 Early Years Stronger Practice Hubs. This is expected to launch in August, with applications open until mid-September and appointment confirmed by November. We will publish further details about this opportunity following the appointment of the delivery partner.

If you have any questions about the programme at this stage, please contact: Hubs.EARLYYEARS@education.gov.uk

  1. Volunteer to test our new National Tutoring Programme (NTP) digital service

Earlier this year, we set out plans to simplify the NTP from September 2022.

As part of these changes, we are developing a new digital service to help schools access tutoring support. We would like to talk to teachers and senior leaders from primary and secondary schools to get feedback on the service, to ensure it meets their needs.

We are particularly interested in speaking to schools that are currently arranging tutoring for the 2022/23 academic year.

If you would like to take part in a user research session, please book a slot. The sessions are conducted online and will last around one hour.

  1. An update on the automated attendance data trial and school daily attendance reports

Thank you to the 14,004 schools that have shared their daily attendance data. Some schools are now accessing daily attendance reports on view your education data.

Feedback so far is that the reports will be useful for schools and local authorities as they:

· Provide daily attendance data in an easy-to-use way, saving time creating reports and checking information
· Help make better use of attendance data to identify those who need support earlier
· Support the Department for Education to respond to national and regional issues

To view attendance reports, you need to agree to share your daily attendance data. If you use Wonde, accept the request in your portal. If your school does not use Wonde, follow the instructions in the May email from Wonde, or read our how schools share their daily attendance data guidance.

We are still developing attendance reports and would like to hear about your experience using them.

Please sign up to take part in our research.

LA UPDATE – 16th June 2022

  1. Summer tuition through the National Tutoring Programme

We are hosting two webinars to help schools plan tutoring for pupils in the summer holidays. Please register by choosing the relevant link below:

·        Primary schools – Thursday 16th June at 12:30pm

·        Secondary schools – Thursday 23rd June at 12:30pm

We will be joined by approved Tuition Partners to discuss how they can support your pupils. Please submit questions in advance and we will endeavour to answer them during the sessions.

  1. New free school application waves announced

On 10th June the Department for Education launched guidance for those interested in applying to open special, alternative provision and mainstream free schools.

For more information, please view our alternative provision and special free schools applications guidance.

Mainstream free schools: expressions of interest are open for new mainstream free schools in areas with a clear demographic need. Applications will be prioritised in areas within Education Investment Areas in line with the government’s commitments in the Levelling Up white paper. Our mainstream free schools guidance provides information on the priorities for the programme and how potential applicants can register their interest.

LA UPDATE – 27th May 2022

  1. Webinars for schools on attendance best practice

In line with the publication of our new attendance guidance, there is a series of effective practice training webinars to support schools and multi-academy trusts to meet the new expectations.

Details on our upcoming webinars are below. Click on the link of the webinar you would like to join to register:

·  Setting an effective school attendance policy, hosted by Jayne Lowe, DfE attendance adviser – Thursday 9th June – 16:00 to 16:45

·  Effective attendance coding practice and day-to-day processes, hosted by Star Academies Trust – Thursday 16th June – 16:00 to 17:00

·  Working with families, local authorities, and other partners effectively to maximise attendance, hosted by Sapientia Education Trust – Thursday 23rd June – 16:00 to 17:00

·  Analysing absence and attendance data to target improvement efforts, hosted by Unity Schools Partnership – Thursday 30th June – 16:00 to 17:00

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

  1. Excess COVID-19 testing equipment

Following an announcement on Tuesday 29th March that regular asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in all educational and childcare settings is no longer recommended, the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) e-mailed all settings directly on Monday 23rd May, using the GOV.​ UK Notification Service, to provide further details about what you should do with excess COVID-19 testing equipment.

Some ATS (onsite) test kits and self-test kits may be suitable to be returned to UKHSA. If you have four or more unopened, undamaged cartons of test kits, you should email UKHSA to arrange a collection. All requests for collection must be submitted by Friday 10 June.

You may still have smaller quantities of unused ATS or self-test kits left in your setting, as well as PCR test kits, which are not eligible to be returned. You may wish to retain this stock and note it in your contingency plans. DfE has published guidance on emergency planning and response for education and childcare settings.

Test kit stock which has passed the expiry date should be disposed of through your normal municipal waste. If you need to dispose of more than one carton of LFD test kits, i.e., more than 1,260 ATS tests or 390 self-test kits, you must inform your waste contractor.

If you have any queries about how to return or manage your excess stock of COVID-19 testing equipment, please email UKHSA or call 119 for advice and support.

  1. Completing the educational setting status form for School-led tutoring

To help us support schools effectively with tutoring, we need to understand how you are using your School-Led tutoring grant. Please complete the educational setting status form today, which includes three questions about School-Led tutoring. Guidance on how to complete the form is available.

If you have not yet started tutoring, you may find our how to guide useful, especially if you are thinking about offering tuition over the summer to prepare pupils for the new academic year.

You can find out how St Bede’s Catholic Academy in Stockton has used their School-Led tutoring funding to help support their pupils.

  1. An update on the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) for the 2022 to 2023 academic year

We have updated our NTP guidance with the information needed to work out your indicative funding allocation for the 2022 to 2023 academic year. This includes examples to help you calculate how much you’ll need to contribute. Schools should be aware that the subsidy level for tutoring in 2022 to 2023 will change to 60%.

To assist forward planning and to avoid disruption to pupils, schools already using approved Tuition Partners and Academic Mentors (including those who are approved and appointed but have not yet started in post), can continue to do so in the 2022 to 2023 academic year.

  1. Delivery of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee commemorative book

We emailed eligible schools on 29th April to make you aware that all reception to year 6 age children in state-funded schools across the country will receive a free commemorative book. This celebrates the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year and achievements of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth over the last 70 years.

The books will be distributed by Yodel before Monday 11th July. Please note:

·  You will receive your books in a number of parcel deliveries, which may be made on different days

·  You will receive an email notification to your school email address, providing an estimated delivery date and tracking number for your parcels

·  You will be able use the notification email to change your delivery schedule and delay your delivery for up to 16 days

·  If you do not receive a notification from Yodel before Monday 4th July, please email jubileebookdelivery@dk.com

·  If you require extra or replacement books for any damage, please fill in the form

Included in each box are bookmarks for you to distribute with the books promoting the Summer Reading Challenge, to encourage children across the country to discover the joy of reading this summer.

  1. Government response to recommendations from the independent review of children’s social care

The government has set out its response to the recommendations from the independent review of children’s social care, which looked at how children and their families interact with children’s social care and how it can be improved. You can read the press notice about the reforms here.  The national independent child safeguarding practice review panel has also today published their review into the death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson. The Secretary of State for Education has responded, setting out plans for a new child protection ministerial group and a consistent child identifier.

LA UPDATE – 19th May 2022

  1. New Schools Bill to boost education standards across the country

Following the plans set out in the Schools White Paper, a new Schools Bill, introduced to the House of Lords on Wednesday 11th May, is set to pave the way for all schools to join a strong multi-academy trust, and to strengthen safeguarding as part of government plans to raise education standards for every child, regardless of where they live.

Schools and parents can read the article about how the bill will support boosting education standards across the country and find out more within the everything you need to know about the Schools Bill blog.

  1. Reminder for schools and colleges on the COVID-19 workforce fund deadline 24 May

The deadline for eligible schools and colleges to submit a claim for absences experienced between Monday 22nd November 2021 and Friday 8th April 2022, is 23:59 on Tuesday 24th May.

Further information on the COVID-19 workforce fund is available in our guidance for schools and colleges.

  1. Guidance to support school planning for recovery

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) have published a practical guide for schools to support their planning and recovery efforts. Schools can consult this guide as they plan for the next academic year.

The department has also published guidance for governors and trustees, to support them to have effective discussions about education recovery plans within their school or trust, and an overall summary of education recovery support.

  1. National Tutoring Programme update

In March 2022, we announced an additional £65m of funding was being transferred to the School-led tutoring (SLT) route of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), to provide greater flexibility for schools to source their own tutors. Schools should have now received a 16% uplift in their final SLT payment for the academic year 2021 to 2022.

Please record usage of your SLT funding in next week’s educational setting status form, being issued on Thursday 26th May. We have published guidance on how to complete the form which includes the 3 questions on SLT. The individual completing the form should have all the relevant information to hand on SLT use in your school.

An optional tracker and calculator tool has been designed to help schools track SLT information during the academic year.

Find out how Green Way Academy in North Hull is using the NTP to provide a range of interventions to help pupils in an area of high deprivation to catch up on lost learning.

  1. Schools White Paper: Opportunity for all webinar

The Schools White Paper – Opportunity for all: strong schools with great teachers for your child was published on Monday 28th March. Webinars are open to local authority maintained schools and provide the opportunity to hear more from your Regional Schools Commissioner, about the white paper and what it could mean for schools. Register using the links below:

·        East Midlands and the Humber – Schools White Paper Webinar, 8 June, 10.00

·        North-West London, South-Central England – Schools White Paper Webinar, 8 June, 10.30

·        North of England – Schools White Paper Webinar, 9 June, 16.00

·        South-East England and South London – Schools White Paper Webinar, 16 June, 14.30

·        East of England and North East London – Schools White Paper Webinar, 23 June, 15.30

Events are organised regionally; they are virtual and will all cover the same material.

  1. Children’s Commissioner for England launches an interactive quiz to support schools

On National Numeracy Day 2022, Wednesday 18th May, the Children’s Commissioner for England launched ‘Where can I go with maths?’, an interactive quiz for children featuring over 50 career profiles of role models using maths or maths skills in their work.

It has been developed to show connections and transferable skills between the KS3 maths curriculum, careers, and everyday life. Careers advisers and maths departments are encouraged to use this interactive quiz in schools.

LA UPDATE – 13th May 2022

  1. Guidance to help improve school attendance

Working together to improve school attendance has been published for schools, trusts, governing bodies and local authorities to help improve school attendance, from the beginning of the new school year, in September 2022. Subject to legislation, this guidance will then become statutory from September 2023. The new guidance covers:

· The importance of working together to improve attendance

· The expectations of schools, academy trusts, governing bodies of maintained schools and local authorities

· Support for persistent and severely absent pupils

· Attendance legal intervention

· Recording in the attendance and admission registers

Schools, local authorities and other partners should now begin to prepare to meet these new expectations from September 2022. The existing non-statutory guidance on school attendance will remain in place until the end of July 2022.

To help agencies prepare and implement the changes, we have recorded a number of effective practice attendance webinars. We will be running further training events this term, focussing on different sections of the new guidance. For schools, trusts, and governing bodies, we are also running an overview training session on Thursday 19th May at 4pm.

A similar series of training webinars will also run for local authorities. Information on how to sign up has been sent directly to local authority heads of service. The department’s attendance advisers will also continue to work with trusts and local authorities to support them to implement the new guidance.

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

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

Further information on this can be found in our new Education Hub blog post.

It remains important that those most at risk from COVID-19 are protected with vaccinations. For more information, we have updated our blog on vaccinations for clinically vulnerable children and young people.

For all 5 to 11 and 12 to 15 year old vaccinations, please signpost parents to where they can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy, or find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site, to get vaccinated without needing an appointment. Parents should also have received a letter from the NHS with more information about how to get their child vaccinated.

  1. A reminder to consider the Parent Pledge in budgeting for next year

As academy trusts and their schools plan their budgets for the coming academic year, it is useful to consider how to factor in the Parent Pledge, published as part of last month’s Schools White Paper. The Parent Pledge sets out a commitment that any child who falls behind in English or maths will get support to help them catch up, and that schools will keep parents updated on their child’s progress.

We know that most schools and trusts are already doing this, but for some it will be a shift in approach. School leaders are best placed   to understand the needs of their pupil cohorts and have the flexibility to prioritise their spending to support those needs. We encourage you to look at the funding and support available to your school, including funding through the pupil premium and the National Tutoring Programme.

The Secretary of State for Education has separately contacted all schools, requesting that those who have not yet started to offer tutoring do so as soon as possible. Evidence from the Education Endowment Foundation shows well structured, small group tutoring can make a big difference to those that have fallen behind, but there are still too many children missing out. You know how best to support the children who need it, and there is a very broad range of recommended evidence-based approaches to help you deliver the Parent Pledge.

  1. An update on the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision consultation

We are committed to ensuring the SEND and alternative provision green paper and consultation process is fully accessible.

On Monday 9th May, we published accessible versions of the green paper, including:

· A British sign language version to support those who are deaf or have a hearing impairment

· An easy-read version to support those with learning disabilities

· A guide to help children and young people with SEND, or those in alternative provision

We have also provided a ‘request alternative formats service’, which includes provision of Braille, audio, and other language translations. We are extending the consultation period by 3 weeks, to Friday 22nd July, to ensure everyone has the opportunity to take part.

  1. Information on accelerator fund secondary and post-16 Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) projects

As part of our accelerator fund, EEF is running trials of educational programmes, and offering subsidised access to effective programmes In the regional schools commissioner (RSC) regions of the North, East Midlands and Humber, and West Midlands.

These evidence-informed programmes can help to boost pupils’ attainment and support recovery in your setting. The following projects are currently recruiting schools or post-16 settings:

· English mastery – A trial of a two-year programme that involves professional development and resources to English teachers in Key Stage 3, to deliver a knowledge-rich English curriculum.

· The 5Rs approach to GCSE maths resits – A trial of a one-year post-16 programme for pupils resitting GCSE maths, with staff training and set lesson structure.

· Switch on reading – Subsidised access to an intensive 10-week literacy intervention aimed at pupils in year 7 and year 8, who are working well below age-related expectations in reading.

· Embedding formative assessment – Subsidised access to a two-year programme that aims to improve pupil outcomes by embedding the use of formative assessment strategies across a school.

You can learn more about the EEF accelerator fund offer by visiting the EEF website.

LA UPDATE – 5th May 2022

  1. Update on newly qualified teachers (NQT) funding

The induction for newly qualified teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic guidance, previously stated that a one-off payment was available to all state-funded schools with NQTs finishing induction in summer 2021.

This has been extended to all state-funded schools that have, or had, an NQT who completed their induction between the summer term 2021 and the spring term 2022.

Payment will be made in arrears in summer 2022, based on eligible teachers recorded in the school workforce census. Schools do not need to do anything else to receive this payment; the funding will be part of your normal payments from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Any state-funded establishments not included in the 2021 school workforce census that have or had an eligible NQT and wish to receive the payment, should email our continuing professional development team by Friday 13th May, stating their unique reference number (URN), the number of eligible NQTs and the completion date(s) of their induction.

If you wish to opt-out of this funding, please email our continuing professional development team by Friday 13th May.

  1. COVID-19 workforce fund claim form now open

Eligible schools and colleges can now submit a claim for the cost of absences experienced between Monday 22nd November 2021 and Friday 8th April 2022.

Further information on how to submit a claim is available in our COVID-19 workforce fund form guidance. The deadline for submitting a claim is 11:59pm on Tuesday 24th May.

Further information on the COVID-19 workforce fund is available in our guidance for schools and colleges.

  1. Supporting the development of trainee teacher case studies

Schools and other educational settings play an integral role in supporting trainee teachers at the start of their careers, by providing placement opportunities and mentor support. We are encouraging more schools to take up the opportunity to host trainees, and are collecting case studies and quotes that demonstrate the value of doing so.

We invite school staff with past or current experience of supporting a trainee teacher to complete our short form by Friday 13th May.

  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, the current situation in Ukraine, as it relates to education and childcare settings and children’s social care, or other national emergency issues.

  1. Supporting Ukrainian children to integrate into English schools

Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, wrote a letter to schools and local authorities about supporting Ukrainian children to integrate into English schools. This includes signposts to additional Ukrainian learning materials, which can be used to complement, not supplement, their mainstream English education.

  1. School-Led tutoring funding allocations

The allocations for the final instalment of the School-Led tutoring grant are now available. Schools are encouraged to implement plans to spend this funding to support pupils as soon as possible. Any funding not utilised by the end of August will need to be returned to the department.

Please record your engagement with School-Led tutoring in the educational setting status form being issued today.

Guidance on how to complete the form is available.

It is not too late to engage with the National Tutoring Programme. For guidance and support on how your school could benefit from tuition, join one of our ‘drop-in’ sessions. The link will be the same for each timeslot on your chosen day:

· Tuition Partners – Tuesday 10th May at 7:30am, 12:30pm and 3:30pm

·  School-Led tutoring – Wednesday 11th May at 7:30am, 12:30pm and 3:30pm

· Academic Mentors – Thursday 12th May at 7:30am, 12:30pm and 3:30pm

Further information can be found on the National Tutoring Programme website.

  1. Invitation for schools to complete the energy survey

The current energy situation is challenging, and many schools whose contract is due to expire over the coming months are trying to get the best value when renewing their contracts.

We are contacting all schools in England to get basic data on your current and future energy tariffs. We want to do as much as we can to help schools when it comes to renewing your contracts and getting the best value for money. Please help us by completing a short survey about your current and future energy tariff.

The survey will close on Thursday 2nd June. If your energy is provided through a service level agreement with your local authority, you may need their input to complete the survey. If your gas or electricity contract is due to expire, guidance and resources are available to schools on buying goods and services. You can also get additional advice and guidance by contacting us online.

LA UPDATE – 21st April 2022

  1. Register for the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) webinar

The EEF is working with the Department for Education to support schools to access evidence-informed programmes that have the potential to raise pupil attainment in maths and literacy. The EEF is running trials of educational programmes, offering subsidised access for secondary schools, colleges and post-16 providers to effective programmes, and fully-funded training from the Research School Network in the North, East Midlands and Humber, and West Midlands.

A webinar for secondary schools, colleges and post-16 settings to learn more about the offer and what is involved in taking part will take place on Wednesday 27th April at 4pm.  To register your interest in joining the webinar, please complete the sign-up form.

2.   Accessing School-Led tutoring funds

Schools are still able to access their School-Led tutoring funds and will be receiving a minimum 15% uplift in their final School-Led tutoring instalment between the end of April and beginning of May.

We encourage your school to access tuition now, to provide support to pupils over the summer term and through July and August. This can help with the transition from primary to secondary school and preparation for exams in the new academic year. Any funds not used by schools by the end of August will need to be returned to the department.

  1. Meet the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) team

The Schools and Academies Show is being held at ExCeL London on Wednesday 27th April.

Come and visit the NTP stand in the Government Village and join us for our presentation at 12:40pm to find out how best to implement the NTP at your school.

If you are unable to attend in person, you can sign up to the ConnectEd Lounge and book a call with us to discuss your requirements in more detail.

You can also visit our Teaching blog to find out how Farlingaye High School in Suffolk used Tuition Partners to support pupils in year 10 and 11 taking exams this summer.

  1. Updated newly qualified teachers (NQT) funding information

The induction for newly qualified teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic guidance previously stated that a one-off payment was available to all state-funded schools with NQTs completing their induction in summer 2021.

This has been changed to all state-funded schools that have, or had, an NQT who completed their induction between the summer term of 2021 and the spring term of 2022. Schools will receive this funding as part of their normal payments from the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

  1. Reminder of the updates made to the educational setting status form

As communicated on Thursday 7th April, we have carried out a review of the continuation of the educational setting status form, taking into consideration the time taken to complete the form, 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 that have signed up. Once the trial is fully established, we will stop collecting attendance data through the education setting status 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 during the summer term.

In line with the transition to Living with COVID-19, on Thursday 7th April the form was updated to remove questions on pupil absence due to COVID-19, and questions about wraparound childcare.

Questions on the NTP will continue to be asked every 3 to 6 weeks. The form will remain open every day for schools and colleges to report any closures, by exception.

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

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.