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The Latest Guidance on COVID-19

 

Latest DfE Guidance 

The Department for Education has laid out guidance for the temporary closure of schools and early education settings, which can be found here. This includes guidance on maintaining educational provision, including definition of key workers, and guidance to support free school meals.

Specific guidance for vulnerable children and young people can be found here

Latest Surrey Guidance 

Please see below the latest communication and resources from Surrey County Council.

 

For Immediate Attention of CEOs, Headteachers and Chairs of Governors/Management Committees. 24.03.20 0830hrs

 

Dear Colleagues

We wish to clarify and set out our response to the government information released regarding schools this weekend. The government has reiterated  that all schools are responsible for providing places to vulnerable children, and children of workers critical to the COVID-19 response. There is now a gov.uk webpage with all published information for schools: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

We are hosting a Surrey County Council webpage for you to access FAQs, links, resources and recent correspondence with all schools.

There is an expectation that all schools will be open as a minimum  between 0830hrs and 1530hrs Monday to Friday to fulfil this responsibility and that all schools notify the county council if their status changes  via school.relationships@surreycc.gov.uk (in the case of closure, written confirmation by Public Health England is needed ).

  • For those schools that may experience a high demand for places we request that you contact us to facilitate discussions across the local schools sector to respond to the demand  school.relationships@surreycc.gov.uk or telephone 01372 833412. We shall be prioritising Special Schools in the first instance.
  • If you have severe staff shortages we request that you contact us for support to source additional staff  susie.campbell@surreycc.gov.uk or telephone 01483 517835.

Identification of Critical Worker Children

Children with at least one parent/carer who is critical to the COVID-19 response can go to school if required. However, many parents working in these critical sectors will be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. When making alternative arrangements, parents are advised that they should not rely on childcare from those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, or friends or family members with underlying conditions.

School children’s medication kept at school

The Clinical Commissioning Groups have requested that schools ensure that any children who have medicines named for them, that are stored in school, are returned to parents to ensure they have adequate supply of their child’s medication if they are not accessing school to reduce requests to GP practices for further supply.

Schools where no child meets criteria or parents have declined the offer

If your school is in this position please bear in mind that planning should still be in place to rapidly respond to the changing needs of families and contact arrangements must be in place to enable families to contact the school should the need for provision arise. Staff may be considered for deployment to other local schools if needed, we shall provide further detail regarding this. It may also be the case that school premises may be required for another purpose to support the emergency response.

Contact & Home Visits by school staff

  • Schools should put in place a contact protocol for children who are not accessing school. This could include pupil contact with staff at least once per week to assess learning and progress.
  • Schools must remind parents of children who are not accessing school of their responsibility to keep their child safe and the importance of encouraging their child's active engagement in the learning provided.
  • Schools must ensure they have up to date contact and emergency contact details for all children on roll.
  • Please see attached guidance regarding Home Visits and Lone Working which may assist your planning of processes and procedures to ensure staff are kept as safe as possible.

Please ensure that you have up to date contact details, both professional and home, of all your staff, and their emergency contacts and that you continue to keep the Area Schools Officers informed of any changes to CEO, Headteacher, DSL and Chair of Governors contact details.

Thank you

Jane Winterbone

Assistant Director Education

 

SAfE Continued Learning of Children Guidance as of March 20th

These protocol are referred to in the latest communication from Surrey County Council (as above) and have been prepared in conjunction with colleagues across all phases. 

Supporting the continued learning of children when not at school

Principles

  • This guidance is offered on behalf of the school-led system to support colleagues in school as they prepare to meet the continued learning of pupils whilst out of school.
  • For a period of time the purpose of schools has changed. We will all be working in different ways – schools, children, parents/carers – and in the next two weeks and potentially beyond, ‘learning’ will be a shared responsibility between schools and families/carers.
  • We acknowledge that schools need to work within their context and many of you are already supporting pupils and staff and are planning for ongoing uncertainty. There is a clear expectation from the DfE that Headteachers will formulate their own plans and work with Governors and staff to operate effectively. This guidance seeks to support and signpost rather than direct. We would commend all schools to address the need of a range of learners including the vulnerable learners that are not in school.
  • Given the fluidity of the situation, planning for learning and the provision of packages of learning should be approached as a series of steps. The approach to learning for the next two weeks will be different from the approaches for the longer term beyond the spring term.
  • The current expectation is that schools do not offer an alternative online full day equivalent or provide continued delivery to the National Curriculum.

Please see below, some approaches that you may wish to adopt or adapt as you develop your plans in school.

  • Planning to support remote delivery of a balanced mixture of learning
  • Many parents may need guidance with structuring flexible learning: a timetable outlining a mix of focused learning, including creative work, physical activity, written work, online websites etc offers a sense of structured learning for the day and can maintain a sense of routine.
  • To ensure greater equity of access to learning and to mitigate the risk of IT failure, engaging with a mixture of learning media will support children’s needs e.g. a combination of books, worksheets, learning that is online web-based or via apps, desk based, TV based, radio based or outdoor.
  • Schools need to consider guidance to parents: supporting learning updates for children, offering feedback for parents, supporting mental and physical health and wellbeing of all.
  • Planning for remote delivery through use of resources, particularly for vulnerable learners
  • Creating the same physical pack of resources for every child may provide a secure link with school: e.g. in primary include an exercise book, ruler, reading book, felt tips, pencils, pens for every child. This might extend to I-pads if these are available in school. It may be helpful to supplement additional materials for vulnerable children.
  • Online learning resources are available for free; there are a multitude of resources being made available to schools.  SAfE is collating these resources and welcomes further offers from schools to be signposted to colleagues across Surrey.   www.schoolsallianceforexcellence.co.uk
  • Surrey Online School are continuing to operate on a business as usual basis for the ‘LA Timetable’ and are accepting referrals from schools, particularly for vulnerable students. Contact is via 04183 519800 and surreyonlineschool@surreycc.gov.uk
  • Ensuring Online Safety and GDPR compliance
  • Schools should make parents aware that Online Safety should be at the forefront of their oversight of learning during this period away from school. A helpful link for guidance for parents is https://www.internetmatters.org and for schools is https://www.internetmatters.org/schools-esafety/:
  • Schools and parents must be mindful of GDPR when accessing online resources and services. Please check that GDPR is followed when participating in new services or sharing data.
  • Supporting Mental and Physical Health and Wellbeing
  • Mental and physical health and wellbeing of our children and staff is paramount. www.Kooth.com is an online service that offers guidance and resource. Please note that there are multiple apps and Youtube ‘services’ which offer fun workouts to support physical wellbeing.    
  • It is vital to encourage and support social interaction. Consider ways of bringing children together in supervised online groups using facilities such as ZOOM and Google Classroom. This may be an appropriate time to consider focusing social interaction around enrichment activities e.g. a virtual book club, chess club, dance club.

 

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