CST’s statement on opening schools more widely

Read statement here

DfE Guidances

DfE has updated guidance on supporting children and young people with SEND as schools and trusts prepare for wider opening.

SAGE modelling and the DfE’s explanatory note 

The official Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) paper offers an overview of the modelling and behavioural science responses to scenarios for opening schools more widely.
Papers for the meetings on 30th April and 1st May, most relevant to schools, can be found here.  Also the overview of the modelling and behavioural science responses to scenarios for opening more widely.

The DfE published an explanatory note.

Early years and childcare settings guidance

The government published guidance for early years and childcare settings

Guidance for secondary school provision from 15th June

The Prime Minister announced on Sunday 24th May that it is the government’s intention “from June 15th, for secondary schools to provide some contact for Year 10 and Year 12 students to help them prepare for exams next year, with up to a quarter of these students in at any point.”

The DfE published guidance for secondary school provision from 15th June.

Additional funding for support to those children who most need our care and support

On 22 May 2020, the government announced £16.5 million of additional funding for support to those children who most need our care and support.

Assessment only route to QTS: criteria and supporting advice

The DfE has updated the candidate assessment advice to explain what should happen when candidates’ progress on the Assessment Only route to QTS is interrupted as a consequence of the COVID-19.

The DfE has updated guidance to support teachers to prepare annual reports for parents following the cancellation of this year’s summer exam series and primary assessments.

The DfE has published advice for parents and carers supporting the home learning of secondary school children (year 7 to 11).

The DfE has added additional case studies about adapting teaching practice for remote education. DfE has also updated safeguarding guidance on virtual lessons and live streaming.

The DfE has updated advice on entry requirements (page 9) explaining what should happen when entrants to early years ITT courses are unable to demonstrate the required GCSE equivalent entry standard, as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The DfE has updated guidance on what schools and trusts should be thinking about you plan to open more widely.

Risk assessments (as set out in actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1st June) and related Health and Safety risk assessments should appropriately link into a school trust’s approach to safeguarding and child protection policy. For information on health and safety and advice linked to coronavirus see managing school premises during the coronavirus outbreak and coronavirus information and advice from Health and Safety Executive.

The importance of the ‘hierarchy of controls’ 

These are set out in the guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings. The government recognises that education settings are best placed to understand the risks in their individual circumstances. So, we are being asked for every setting to carry out a risk assessment before opening. CST recommends using the HSE approach to risk assessment.

We are also recommending that there is a process of executive and governance sign off for each primary school site.

DfE Recovery Strategy

An overview of scientific advice and information on COVID-19

Details can be found here. The list of papers from the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) released to date is available by following this link, including several schools-related papers. This list will be updated to reflect papers considered at future meetings.

The Secretary of State’s ministerial briefing can be read here . An overview of government policy on scientific advice and information, can be seen here

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.

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.

Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak- updated guidance

DfE has substantially amended guidance on actions for schools during COVID-19 – the schools’ FAQ.

Additional funding to support children with complex needs

The government has announced this morning a £37m package of funding through Family Fund to support children with complex needs. Families with children that have complex needs and disabilities will receive grants for equipment to make their lives easier while implementing social distancing measures, including computers, specialist equipment and educational toys.

Statutory sick pay relief

The government has updated guidance on financial support for education settings to clarify statutory sick pay relief.

Managing school premises during COVD-19 – updated guidance

The DfE has amended guidance on managing during premises, adding information on preparing for the wider opening of schools including guidance on water systems, ventilation, fire safety and cleaning.

Update to coronavirus symptoms

The Chief Medical Officer has made a statement updating on the coronavirus symptoms. From today, all individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia. Anosmia is the loss of or a change in your normal sense of smell. It can also affect your sense of taste.

Updated guidance on free school meals

DfE has updated guidance on the provision of free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak to reflect the plans for the wider opening of schools from 1st June, at the earliest. Pupils returning to school from 1st June who are in reception and year 1 should have the option of a free meal under the universal infant free school meals policy.

Induction for newly qualified teachers during the coronavirus outbreak

This guidance has been updated to reflect the new regulations.

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.

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.

Risk Assessments

Risk protection arrangements for schools and trust

SEND risk assessments – new guidance

DfE  –  new guidance on SEND risk assessments.

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.

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.

Institute for Fiscal Studies report – learning during lockdown

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has published a report on the impact of the lockdown arrangements on children’s experience during home learning.

The Department for Education has launched a 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)


Risk Protections Arrangements (RPA) – guidance in relation to COVID-19

The RPA has published guidance in relation to COVID-19 which can be downloaded from their website.

The RPA has provided a series of workshops for RPA members and there are filmed versions available on the RPA portal as well as via YouTube.


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.



Updates and decisions from Ofqual and DfE on arrangements for awarding grades and the Autumn series 

Ofqual statement, analysis and decisions in response to the consultation on exceptional arrangements for awarding GCSEs, AS, A levels, Extended Project Qualification and Advanced Extension Award in maths.

Ofqual has also published an infographic on the process for awarding GCSEs, AS and A levels summer 2020 and updated information for students and schools and colleges films.

Ofqual is launching a consultation on the Autumn services. The closing date is 8th June. If you wish to provide a response to the consultation, Ofqual asks that you use the online response form.

Ofqual has also updated Guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers and Information for Heads of Centre, Heads of Department and teachers on the submission of Centre assessment grades.

Ofqual also published the consultation decisions on the assessment and grading of vocational, technical and other general qualifications.

The DfE has also published guidance for centre on their responsibility for autumn GCSE, AS and A level exam series. This sets out expectations for centres on who should be responsible for entering candidates for autumn exams. (can you pop this  guidance on the DfE page too)

Ofqual guidance on awarding qualifications in summer 2020 – amended guidance

Ofqual has amended information for heads of centre, heads of department and teachers on objectivity in grading and ranking when awarding grades for GCSE, AS and A levels in summer 2020.

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 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.