COVID-19: Schools Update - 14 April

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schools update

Latest update for all schools - 14 April

dan barton

Dear All,

I hope you all had a chance to take some time out for yourselves and your families over the long weekend.

We have had some time to put in place our plans for School Hubs and these will be taking effect today. There will doubtless be teething problems across the system, but we remain available to support colleagues with any issues which arise today.

Please note the first item below, which relates to data collection – it is imperative that we are able to gather this information in a timely way each day, so please take some time to read that section first and submit your return.

Thank you all so much for your work and commitment thus far to the developing system, and good luck for today and the rest of the week.


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


We have updated our data collection form

We have updated the data collection form which we ask you to complete each day in order to respond even more effectively to any need for support from hubs and schools. 

Please only complete this survey if you are open and providing provision. If you are working as part of a schools hub, the lead hub should complete the survey and report all children that attend. Do not submit a survey if you are closed, or the children from your school now attend another Childcare and Learning Hub.

Please complete and submit the survey each day before 11am.  The information you provide will enable us to provide support; make sure that you have the resources you need; to assess the sufficiency of places and to report on the uptake of provision.

Please continue to complete the DfE data return alongside our own form. This is something of a duplication, I know, but necessary. The DfE site will be feeding us information which is 24 hours out of date, and will not allow us to support and co-ordinate support for hubs in real time. 


Hub provision for children with an EHCP

There are around 3500 children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) in Cumbria in a variety of educational placements and with varying levels of need.

As identified in the government guidance around coronavirus and school closures, children with an EHCP are considered to be vulnerable. The guidance requires that schools and Local Authorities work together, with parents, to identify those children who would be offered some provision within schools at this time. We have addressed the need to risk assess these children in the following ways:

  • Children who are in Independent Specialist provision – these providers have all been contacted. All residential placements are able to continue and providers will inform us if parents choose to withdraw children. Some providers have closed for day pupils. They informed us of this and we have RAG rated these children, in partnership with social care and health and are contacting families to ensure all is well.
  • Special Schools – the schools are in regular contact with all families. They have worked with us to risk assess children and are offering places in a staged way as families’ needs change. Our CWD social care teams are closely involved with this to ensure families are receiving the right support. Health are also working closely with us on this as a significant number of children cannot access because of their health needs.
  • Mainstream schools – this is the biggest group of children. We have cross referenced with the RAG ratings from Social Care teams. Our co-ordinators are doing a preliminary risk assessment of those with the highest support needs to assist schools with this. We are doing this on a school by school basis and sending each school their list with a proposed risk assessment pro forma, asking them if they agree with those we have identified and to identify any they have concerns about that we have not picked up.
  • We would ask headteachers to support us by using the attached pro-forma to risk assess children from their school with an EHCP and make contact with their parents and let us know which children will take up the offer of a place. We will also need to know any transport requirements for these children although parents should be encouraged to transport themselves wherever possible, to minimise the risk of infection transmission.

Communication with LIS Team Members

LIS team members are currently supporting schools, hubs and critical business across the service. We appreciate that when schools and hubs need to contact us, individual colleagues may have been called into other urgent business.

Therefore, we intend to set up phones to automatically divert calls to other team members when this happens or if rest time has been taken by an individual. This should reduce the need for schools to make multiple phone calls to establish contact with LIS colleagues.

In the meantime, please refer to the attached information sheet and do not hesitate to call an alternative adviser/officer if contact cannot be made with a specific link individual. We are here for you and will make you and the children our continuing priority.

FSM update

Further to guidance issued around FSM and the Government funding guidance received on April 7, a team has been assembled to explore what this means for hubs and schools with regards to  contracts for school meal provision already in place.

We have been talking with individual suppliers and hub leads to try and provide more insight into what this will mean for you going forward. We will be back in touch with you with a further update on this early next week. 


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