COVID-19: Schools Update

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schools update

Latest update for all schools March 31

dan barton

Dear All,

Following on from our update this morning about Free School Meals, I would like to reassure you that we are working across services and areas to find the right ways to support all vulnerable families and will continue to update you on our progress.

I know we are all anxious that our children and families are supported during this challenging time. Over the next week, we will be focusing on government expectations in relation to provision for our vulnerable children and young people.

We continue to monitor current hub capacity against likely need and will be working with our hubs to co-develop the right solutions at local level. We will need your support and that of our wider services and volunteers to achieve this, with the wellbeing and safeguarding of all, being at the heart of what we do.


Dan Barton, Assistant Director - Education and Skills
Cumbria County Council

Emotional wellbeing and mental health support

Please find below a list of Emotional Wellbeing (EWB) and Mental Health sources of advice, consultation and support for hub staff, pupils and students and their parents and carers. This is a summary.

Most of the general advice for professionals, parents, carers and young people can be found at:



Additional sources of advice and support:

Young Minds: The Young Minds Website has a parents and professionals section as well as advice and moderated blogs for young people and a free telephone. 
Parents Helpline Tel: 0808 802 5544.

Rise Above: Health and wellbeing website by Public Health England that covers everything including emotional wellbeing, friendships, self-care; also has games, videos etc. online support for young people: Kooth is a web-based confidential support service available to young people aged 11 to 18yrs, providing a safe and secure means of accessing mental health and wellbeing support designed specifically for young people. It offers the opportunity to have a text-based conversation with a qualified counsellor.
Counsellors are available from 12noon to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10 pm at weekends, every day of the year on a drop-in basis. Young people can access regular booked online counselling sessions as needed. Outside counselling hours’ young people can message our team and get support by the next day. Support can be gained through counselling and also articles, forums and discussion boards.  All content is age appropriate, clinically approved and fully moderated.
To find out more visit  where young people can register and others can find out more about the service. 
Laura Berry, Kooth Integration and Participation Worker for Cumbria can be contacted at or by calling 07535 088117

5 – 19 School Age Public Health Nurse Practitioner Service: E-school Nurse it is now available for professionals AND parents across the age ranges – however it is about general health needs not just mental health.  See attached for details.
5-19 PH Website – the team are constantly updating with information and ideas on their website.

The link below takes you to a recently published guide for educational settings and schools on sudden traumatic death and bereavement prefaced by a COVID 19 section:

My Time Cumbria (Barnardos) Primary Care Mental Health Service: Initial telephone advice can be obtained from the Primary Mental Health Workers who can be contacted as below:   (Tel 07510 586358) (Tel 01539 742626)
My Time has put in place a new model of working throughout Cumbria, to provide support during the COVID-19 Pandemic. All new referrals will have a Primary Assessment Meeting online, through an approved platform, or by telephone as part of a three stage process. The administration team will continue to allocate assessments as referrals are received. Those who are currently receiving a service will continue via telephone. Young people who have been contacted are continuing their interventions with the practitioners allocated to them. 
Referrals can be made directly by contacting My Time on the number below:
MyTime Cumbria Telephone: 01539 742626 (Working Days: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm)
My Time will continue to triage with CAMHS on a daily basis and will also support Early Help to ensure that young people referred to services access the correct service at the earliest opportunity.  They will continue to offer online and telephone support to professionals across the County and support them with identifying suitable and relevant interventions that are available.

CAMHS Support (North Cumbria): Where CYP are experiencing serious mental health issues (currently as staffing allows). The West Team can be contacted on 01900 603985.  The East Team (includes Carlisle) can be contacted on 01228 608870.

North Cumbria Crisis Assessment and Intervention Service (CAIS): Where young people feel they are in a mental health crisis, referrals can be made by any professional (with appropriate permissions) by ringing 01228 603964. Telephone assessment and support will be given initially.  Available 9am-8pm Monday-Friday and 9am-1pm Saturday and Sunday. (This service is now part of the Adult MH Crisis Service). 

South Cumbria CAMHS (South Lakeland & Barrow): For advice and support please ensure that in the first instance your worries about a child/young person with an escalating mental health difficulty, are discussed with a My Time Primary Mental Health Worker (contact details at the top of page) or a senior Health Practitioner or Social Worker.  They will advise if a referral to Specialist CAMHS is the appropriate next step and support you through that referral process.

Educational Psychology: Educational Psychology consultancy will be available to settings, to discuss children’s needs. The setting should get parental permission, before discussing children’s needs with an educational psychologist. If children and young people are already known to the County Psychological Service (CPS) through SEND Early Help work, we will try to get the psychologist/BEWO who already knows them to offer the advice. Each setting will also have a named educational psychologist (usually the same one who regularly visits that setting);  this psychologist will be able to be consulted about the needs of children not already known to the CPS.  Settings will be contacted at the start of the summer term, with the details of their educational psychologist. A dedicated phone line is also being set up, for settings to request advice about children who have EHCPs; those requests will be looked at by a panel, and the most appropriate professional will be asked to respond.

SAFA Self Harm Awareness for All Support Service: SAFA continues to work with self-harm clients and have moved from face to face counselling to virtual counselling. Office staff are working from home. All counsellors have been trained to deliver the service via on-line support. They are also able to support friends/family members that need support. Until June SAFA will be working across the whole of Cumbria, after then they will switch to working only across South Cumbria. 
SAFA can be contacted on 01229 832269 during normal business hours. 
Referrals are accepted via their website at

A reminder to complete our data collection form

It is essential that we monitor demand for childcare on a daily basis. Please ensure you continue complete our attendance data form each day and return to Cumbria County Council:



Please click here to see answers to your most common questions. FAQs will be updated daily.