Updates / News

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak – amended guidance 

DfE has updated guidance including adding a new section clarifying the position on welcoming back all children to early years settings from 1 June, information on testing for essential workers, and information for parents on temporary changes to the 30 hours free early education entitlements.

DfE Recovery Strategy

Planning for primary schools – DfE guidance

The purpose of this guide is to help primary schools prepare for opening from week commending 1st June.

Supplier relief due to COVID-19 (PPN 02/20) 

The government has amended PPN 02/20 to include additional sector guidance for state-funded schools.

Opening schools for more children and young people: initial planning framework for schools in England
initial planning framework.

DfE guidance on actions for educational and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening

The first in the suite of guidance documents sets out actions for educational and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening.

Protective measures

The guidance on protective measures needs to be supplemented by the detailed planning guidance we expect later this week.

Guidance for parents

Alongside the guidance on actions to prepare for opening more widely and protective measures, the DfE also published last night guidance for parents.

Government childcare offers

Temporary measures have been announced to ensure critical workers will still be eligible for childcare offers if their income has changed due to coronavirus. Parents who are normally eligible for the government’s childcare offers will continue receiving the entitlements during the summer term if their income levels fall due to the impact of coronavirus.

Examples of responses to COVID19 from schools and trusts and trusts across England – case studies and guidance

The DfE has published a series of case studies of the various ways in which schools and trusts are responding to the COVID19 pandemic. The case studies offer an opportunity for schools and trusts to learn from each other’s emerging practice as they develop their approaches to providing remote education.

The DFE has also published guidance based on different approaches to schools and trusts to supporting pupils’ wellbeing.

Schools and trusts have been using various methods to adapt the curriculum for remote education to best meet the needs of pupils and adapt teaching practice for remote education and keep pupils engaged.

Government childcare offers

Temporary measures have been announced to ensure critical workers will still be eligible for childcare offers if their income has changed due to coronavirus. Parents who are normally eligible for the government’s childcare offers will continue receiving the entitlements during the summer term if their income levels fall due to the impact of coronavirus.

Examples of responses to COVID19 from schools and trusts and trusts across England – case studies and guidance

The DfE has published a series of case studies of the various ways in which schools and trusts are responding to the COVID19 pandemic. The case studies offer an opportunity for schools and trusts to learn from each other’s emerging practice as they develop their approaches to providing remote education.

The DFE has also published guidance based on different approaches to schools and trusts to supporting pupils’ wellbeing.

Schools and trusts have been using various methods to adapt the curriculum for remote education to best meet the needs of pupils and adapt teaching practice for remote education and keep pupils engaged.

Travel advice for educational settings – updated guidance

This guidance have been updated to advise British nationals against all non-essential international travel for an indefinite period

What parents need to know about schools during COVID-19 – updated guidance

DfE has updated guidance on what parents need to know about schools during COVID-19.

Also a link to the admissions appeals

Support package for universities and students

New measures to protect students and universities, including temporary student number controls, have been announced by the Education Secretary this morning as part of the COVID-19 response. The package of measures draws on proposals from the universities sector to stabilise university admissions this autumn.

Students will benefit from a new proactive and personalised UCAS Clearing process this summer.

Exemplary leadership programme

The DfE has published a Prior Information Notice (PIN) setting out its intention to engage a minimum of two outstanding schools to design and deliver bespoke leadership training programmes.

JCQ published supplementary guidance on validation of evidence by centres for private candidates.

JCQ also published an update on the Summer Series 2020.

Temporary changes to education, health and care legislation during COVID19 – new guidance

The government has published guidance on temporary changes to education, health and care legislation during COVID19 with specific reference to education, health and care needs assessments and plans.

Other statutory notices

Notice to modify pupil registration

The Secretary of State for Education has issued a notice to modify pupil registration.

Notice to disapply fines related to pupil attendance

The Secretary of State for Education has issued a notice to disapply offences relating to the failure of parents to secure regular attendance at school of a registered pupil.

Notice to disapply school inspections

The Secretary of State for Education has issued a notice to temporarily disapply:

Recruitment – updated guidance

DfE has updated guidance to include recruitment of staff.  In addition, the Home Office guidance regarding face-to-face interviews when checking the right to work has been revised.

Recruiting international teachers

The government has confirmed the International Teacher Recruitment Programme will continue to recruit international teachers for the 2020 to 2021 academic year. More information can be found here.

May bank holiday

DfE has updated guidance stating that schools and trusts should decide, in consultation with the parents of children who are currently attending school, whether it is necessary for them to continue to look after critical workers’ children and vulnerable children on Friday 8 May 2020.

Government funding for online learning platforms

Schools and trusts can get government-funded support to be set up on one of two free-to-use digital education platforms – G Suite for Education or Office 365 Education. If your school, trust or any of your schools are eligible for this funding (i.e. you do not currently have an existing Google Classroom/Microsoft Education platform that you are using to deliver remote learning for pupils at home), please go to this website provided by The Key to enter your details.

RM, one of CST’s platinum Partners, has launched a new web-page that lists some of the questions that schools and trusts should ask when making this choice. I’m pleased to say that RM is also one of a small number of providers that you have the option of choosing to install the platform for you. They have also said they will be happy to help you assess whether you are eligible.

Admissions – temporary amended regulations and guidance

The School Admissions (England) (Coronavirus) (Appeals Arrangements) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 came into force on Friday 24th April and can be found here.  These regulations will remain in force until 31 January 2021. DfE has drafted non-statutory guidance explaining the temporary changes and offering guidance for managing appeals during COVID-19 to support admission authorities in managing their admission appeals. These documents should both be read in conjunction with the School Admission Appeals Code.

CST’s Platinum Partner, Browne Jacobson has published guidance to support schools and trusts. They also offer an admissions appeals support service.

Early Years Foundation Stage – temporary disapplication and modifications

The DfE have amended EYFS guidance to include the temporarily disapplied, and modified certain elements of the EYFS statutory framework. The most important changes, including paediatric first aid which many colleagues have asked about, are summarised below but please refer to the full guidance.

Using clusters and hubs to maintain educational provision – new guidance

The DfE has published new guidance on using clusters and hubs to maintain educational provision.

Managing school premises during the coronavirus outbreak – new guidance

DfE has published new guidance on managing school premises, which are partially open, during the coronavirus outbreak.

If you have any queries relating estates management please contact our platinum partner Barker.

Student finance deadlines

The deadline for new students applying to Student Finance England is 22 May and for returning students 19 June.  Applications can still be made online in the usual way here.

DfE is encouraging students to apply on social media platforms and would be grateful if you could share this information via your channels. You can find DfE’s tweet here.

Apprenticeships during COVID-19

As part of the cross-government efforts to respond to the impact of COVID-19, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is implementing new measures, until further notice, to make it easier for apprenticeships to continue and complete in a different way if they need to, or to break and resume an apprenticeship later when that becomes possible.

EdTech Demonstrator schools

DfE has launched a further funding round to increase the number of demonstrator schools and colleges during the COVID-19 outbreak.

StarLine home learning helpline

Star’s reopening schools toolkit now has another eight resources including health and safety risk assessment, equality impact assessment, health assessments, transition guidance, behaviour policy addendum.

StarLine YouTube channel

StarLine is a new home learning telephone helpline to support parents and carers nationwide.

StarLine is available to parents and carers of pupils from all schools nationwide. Free, confidential advice is available six days a week by phoning the StarLine team on 0330 313 9162. For more information, visit www.starline.org.uk or follow @StarLineSupport on Twitter.

If you are interested in becoming a StarLine partner please email linda.thompson@staracademies.org or sophie.backen@staracademies.org for further details.

COVID-19 – getting tested

Any essential worker with symptoms, and people who live with essential workers and have symptoms who needs a test, are able to book a test. More information can be found here. Tests can be booked here.

The EEF has published a rapid evidence assessment aimed to investigate methods that schools and trusts could use to support the learning of pupils during school closures caused by the 2020 Covid-19. The full report can be found here and a summary of findings.

The EEF has published resources for schools and trusts to support home learning There are also support resources to share with parents. Additional research and promising projects can be found here.

ESFA letter to Accounting Officers

A letter from Eileen Milner, Chief Executive of the ESFA was shared on 21 April 2020.

Attendance in education and early years settings – summary of returns

DfE has published data on attendance in education and early years settings.

Free School Meals

During the COVID-19 outbreak, DfE is temporarily extending free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). New guidance can be found here and a sample FSM application form can be found here.

Reducing burdens on schools and trusts – new guidance

DfE has published new guidance on reducing burdens on educational and care settings. To help reduce the burdens on schools and trusts at this time, the DfE and its agencies have cancelled or paused all but the most essential data collections, services and requests from educational and care settings until the end of June 2020.

Help with technology during COVID-19

DfE has clarified the role of responsible bodies in ordering digital devices for eligible children and young people.

The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson led the Prime Minister’s briefing on 19 April 2020. His opening speech can be found here

Resources to help

Get help with technology for remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Oak National Academy, a new online classroom and resource hub, which has launched to support teachers until schools re-open. The online classroom will provide free lessons and resources for pupils from reception through to year 10. All resources, lessons and more information can be accessed here.

BBC Bitesize  –  education package helping to keep children learning and supporting parents. You can find more information about this here.

Information, guidance and support for parents and carers of children who are learning at home can be found here. This includes specific advice for parents on how education can continue at home for children aged 2-4, at primary school and with special educational needs and disabilities.

Keeping children safe – new guidance and expanded NSPCC helpline

The government has published guidance on safeguarding and remote education.

Expanded NSPCC helpline: Adults can contact the helpline by phone or online to get advice or share their concerns about a child, anonymously if they wish.

SEND risk assessments – new guidance

DfE  –  new guidance on SEND risk assessments.

Supporting the attendance of vulnerable children and young people – updated guidance

The DfE has published clarifications to the existing guidance including the actions to be taken for each group around their attendance.

Regulatory issues and AFH

Trusts will not be required to submit the BFRO this year. A link to the BFRO webpage on GOV.UK can be found here.

The Budget forecast return is currently still scheduled to go live on 23 June.

Financial support for schools – new guidance (furlough and supply staff)

This guidance outlines the funding and financial support available for education, childcare and children’s social care organisations.

Where schools are not the workers’ direct employer: schools and trusts are advised to refer to all parts of the Procurement Policy Note 02/20, which provides guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers for the purposes of ensuring the continuity of critical service during and after the COVID-19 outbreak.  Also see The supplier relief guidance and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

GCSE and A-level results days

The Secretary of State, has confirmed that this year’s GCSE students will get their results on Thursday 20 August, while those who are awaiting A level results will get theirs on Thursday 13 August. These dates are the same as those published at the start of this academic year and should provide further clarity for all young people and their parents who are expecting to receive their results this summer.  You can find more information on how GCSE and A Levels will be impacted by the closure of education settings in the previously published guidance.

School Closures

The DfE has published updated guidance on school closures

This blog looks at media reports based on speculation that schools could reopen after the Easter holidays.

DfE new guidance explaining how school and college accountability will now operate for 2019 to 2020.

Initial list of online educational resources to help children to learn at home

Guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers

Social distancing guidance for education and childcare settings

Free School Meals

DfE clarification –  use the exceptional costs funding if you are providing free meals to children for whom “the national voucher scheme is inappropriate” – this includes those schools and trusts who are having difficulties accessing the national voucher scheme. However, please note the clause on reserves and the funding limits.

Coronavirus: ‘Worryingly low number’ of at-risk children in school

DfE updated guidance to support the management of children and young people living in: children’s homes, residential special schools and colleges, boarding schools and university halls of residence and houses in multiple occupation

DfE has published a series of guidance documents for admission authorities, clerks and appeal panels and advice for parents and guardians. There is also a Q&A on the new regulations.

The DfE has published guidance on how providers and lead schools/ trusts can provide training for this ITT route, including who’s eligible, funding rules, apprenticeship levy and advertising courses.

The Government has launched the Looking out for each other campaign. The campaign communicates how people can safely help friends, family and neighbours in isolation with further information available at gov.uk/safehelp.

Guidance on exceptional costs associated with COVID19

Guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): initial teacher training (ITT)

Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance

Claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

HMRC guidance – Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

New guidance for local authorities on children’s social care.

Risk protection arrangements for schools and trusts

Induction for newly qualified teachers during the coronavirus outbreak

This guidance has been updated to reflect the new regulations.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): free school meals guidance for schools

Procurement Policy Note 02/20: Supplier relief due to COVID-19

COVID-19: support for businesses

Public Health England has published new advice to support mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Public Health England has also updated the Every Mind Matters platform with specific advice on maintaining good mental wellbeing during the outbreak.

The department is providing separate guidance on providing education remotely. It will set out 4 key areas that leaders should consider as part of any remote learning strategy. This includes the use of technology. Recently published guidance from the UK Safer Internet Centre on safe remote learning and from the London Grid for Learning on the use of videos and livestreaming could help plan online lessons and/or activities and plan them safely.

DfE Guidance on safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers

DfE Guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): cancellation of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2020

DfE policy statement regarding COVID-19 for all ITT partnerships

Government Stay Home, Save Lives – Public Information Materials

Government Fraud Control in Emergency Management: COVID-19 UK Government Guidance

National Cyber Security Centre Guidance on spotting suspicious emails

Social distancing guidance for everyone in the UK

Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

Isolation for residential educational settings

Cleaning of non-healthcare settings

New rules on staying at home and away from others

Physical distancing

Self-isolation

Household isolation

From Monday 23 March, educational settings will need to temporarily change their attendance recording practices. To minimise the burden on educational settings and ensure that only the most important information is submitted, settings must:

  • Stop taking their normal attendance registers.
  • Complete this spreadsheet to record attendance for all children at the educational setting.
  • Use the information in the spreadsheet to complete this short form notifying the Department for Education about your status regarding COVID-19. The form should be submitted by midday each weekday.

FAQs – guidance for schools about temporarily closing 

Vulnerable children and young people

Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision (which gives the key worker definitions) and the information for parents.

DfE’s Free School Meal Guidance for Schools.

Guidance for educational settings

Travel guidance for educational settings;

FAQs on the cancellation of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2020

Children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing 

DfE list of online resources to help children to learn at home.

Public Health England guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health.

Digital support includes:

The Department for Education has launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

The latest guidance for education settings is available here.

Charities are urged to check the most up to date advice on Coronavirus, COVID-19. – Read here


Ofqual

Update from Ofqual 

On 15 May 2020, Ofqual published a blog on Making grades as fair as they can be: advice for schools and colleges and additional information for Heads of Centre, Heads of Department and teachers on objectivity in grading and ranking.

Ofqual also published Guidance for Centres – The awarding of vocational and technical qualifications, and other general qualifications, in summer 2020.

Ofqual’s consultation on the exceptional arrangements for awarding GCSEs, AS and A levels this summer closed on 29 April. Yesterday, Ofqual published a statement, analysis and decisions on two of the consultation proposals about who should receive a calculated grade.

Ofqual has published a statement on updated guidance for private candidates and an update on centre assessment grades and rank order for private candidates and for students who have worked with other centres.

Ofqual has published a blog on arrangements for summer 2020. They’ve also published a short film for teachers and another for students to help everyone understand the process better.

Ofqual has published guidance setting out details about how GCSEs, AS and A levels will be awarded this summer and published further guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers.

Ofqual guidance – Summer 2020 grades for GCSE, AS and A level, Extended Project Qualification and Advanced Extension Award in maths

CST’s Platinum Partners are also offering help to CST members – please visit here