COVID-19 - Support and Recovery


Widening the Opening of Schools - Round Table Discussion

Widening the Opening of Schools - Primary Heads and CEOs Round-table from Schools Alliance for Excellence on Vimeo.

SAfE's Ellen Mulvihill talks to a round table of Surrey Headteachers and CEOs to talk about their planning for widening the opening of their schools.

Returning to School


South Farnham Educational Trust has shared this animation ahead of the return of pupils to school from June 1st, which may be helpful for school leaders and parents.


Supporting the Continued Learning of Children who are not in school

To our colleagues in Surrey schools – we applaud you all as critical workers in your efforts to support children, their families and your communities : founded in tremendous strength and depth of local partnerships. It is a privilege to work with you all.

We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has reached out and offered their resources and support as we all navigate this unprecedented situation. Schools are under an enormous amount of pressure, and we commend the strength and commitment of the school community at this difficult time. 

Working with you as you prepare for phased reopening

Joint Letter from SCC, SAfE and Phase Council Chairs 22.05.20 

Dear Colleagues

As we come to the end of this half-term we have been reflecting that the last few weeks have certainly been one of, if not the most, intense and challenging periods in  our careers. We are all in discovery mode, having never done anything like this before and the decisions required in opening schools and settings for more children and young people, will impact on a large number of people. We are all dealing with this at pace, with a great deal of passion. 

On behalf of all members of the education partnership, we are overwhelmed by the outstanding leadership you have shown during this period.

We know the huge amount of anxiety and frustration that many of you are feeling as government guidance continues to be updated and changed or, as with guidance for secondary, special schools, early years and risk assessments for children with EHCP, is delayed. We would like to reassure you that we continue to challenge the DfE to provide clear and timely guidance on a daily basis.

We all want our children to return to school and settings but all schools and settings are different. Whilst some schools and settings have been able to plan to adapt and meet the government’s ambition for 1st June, others may not be able to do so and are taking different decisions such as a phased, part-time or delayed return.

We recognise that this is a huge responsibility for school and setting leaders and the Local Authority and SAfE, with the phase councils will continue to work with you as you lead during this difficult time.  Ongoing risk assessment is key and we reiterate our support for you in carrying these out taking into account the individual and collective safety, education and wellbeing of children and young people, the safety and wellbeing of staff and the local contexts of your school, setting  and community.

Ultimately you are the leaders of your schools and settings and we have confidence and trust in the decisions you take in the best interests of your children, staff and community. If you do need help or have queries please do contact us either through SAfE, your Area Schools Officer or Early Years effectiveness team.

It has been two months since the government made the decision to close schools and settings to most children and young people, having stayed open for children of critical workers and vulnerable children, facilitated home-learning for the rest of your children and young people, supported your families and staff, digested copious and constantly changing guidance, planned for reopening and having worked throughout the Easter holiday and bank holidays. We know that many of you are absolutely exhausted. We would urge you, over the half-term to spend some time focusing on your own wellbeing and take some time to recover and recuperate.

The only certainty we know at the moment is that we will not be returning to an ‘old normality’ and as leaders you will need additional resilience and stamina for many more months. Please look after yourself.

Thank you again for everything that you have done and continue to do for your schools and communities – we are proud to work with you.

Please share this with your Governing Bodies and colleagues in your school or setting.

Liz Mills and Maria Dawes

On behalf of Phase Council Chairs: Ben Bartlett, Kate Keane, Cindy O’Sullivan, Sue Lewis  


If you are a mainstream school, please access the Recovery Protective Measures Risk Assessment template which has been developed to support your reopening planning. 

This tool may be useful as you undertake recovery planning around a range of ‘protective measures’ for the Summer Term and is entirely optional. Some sections will be more or less applicable, depending on your phase and context, and please feel free to change and adapt as necessary. It should be used alongside the government guidance below:

The Government has indicated its intention to produce a toolkit which will supersede this advice.

Please note that whilst this template addresses a number of practical issues, further advice and guidance will be shared with all schools over the coming days and weeks, to support wider planning and preparation for reopening of schools, whenever that starts to take place. If you would like to discuss any questions arising from this planning template or require further support, advice or guidance with your planning, please contact either your SAfE advisor if you are a maintained school, or your Local Area Officer or your Trust.

Special Schools

If you are a special school, or a school with specialist units, please access the specific Recovery Protective Measures Risk Assessment Template 

As above, this tool may be useful as you undertake recovery planning around a range of ‘protective measures’ for the Summer Term. It is entirely optional and some sections will be more or less applicable, depending on your context. Please feel free to change and adapt as you see fit.




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