COVID-19: Schools Update - 18 May

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schools update

Latest update for all schools - 18 May

dan barton

Dear all,

We are  aware that you are awaiting further key information from us today relating to support around schools reopening from June 1. As you know, the situation is changing rapidly, and our team is working on compiling the guidance on some of these key issues which we aim to add to a bulletin tomorrow which will include much of the information you are waiting for. 

Tomorrow’s update will be followed up with a wider position statement for parents and carers on Wednesday. As ever, we wish to thank you for your patience and reassure you we are aware of the issues and concerns being raised at a local, regional and national level which we will do our utmost to address through our updates in the coming days.

Please see below for a number of different messages which had already been scheduled for today. 

With thanks,

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


Digital Devices for disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people

The Council project group managing the DfE initiative to provide digital devices (laptops/tablets) and internet access for some disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people who do not currently have access to them, has effectively completed the exercise to establish the needs of children and young people who are care leavers, aged 0 to 19 with a social worker, or disadvantaged Yr 10 pupils at Local Authority maintained schools who do not have a social worker. This has been undertaken in consultation with social works teams (for care leavers and children & young people aged 0 to 19 with a social worker) and relevant schools (for disadvantaged Yr 10 pupils).

The Council believes the initial allocation advised by the DfE should be sufficient to provide a device for care leavers and children & young people aged 0 to 19 with a social worker with moderate (i.e. some access to equipment but limited, as shared or not suitable) or high (no access to equipment) needs. However, we believe the allocation we have been advised of for disadvantaged Yr 10 pupils at Local Authority maintained schools who do not have a social worker is insufficient to provide for both those with moderate and high needs, and therefore we are requesting that this allocation is increased.

The project group have informed the DfE’s delivery partner of the mix of devices which we require and are awaiting further information on the arrangements for delivery etc, although we believe this could take several weeks.

As delivery can only be to schools or Local Authority locations it is proposed that delivery is managed in the following way:

  • care leavers and children with a social worker – we will arrange delivery direct to district social care offices and social work teams will distribute to children and young people
  • year 10 pupils in maintained schools, who do not have a social worker – we will arrange delivery direct to relevant schools and ask the schools to distribute to children and young people

The project group will make arrangements for delivery once the timescales for this are known.

We have established a dedicated e-mail address (COVID19.DigitalDevices@cumbria.gov.uk) which will be used for direct communication with individual schools as the project progresses (this is not intended for children & young people, parents/carers, or the general public).  Schools can also use this e-mail address if they have any queries.


Update on RAG Rating Early Help Assessments

Please find a link here to the Cumbria Safeguarding Children Partnership (CSCP) briefing asking coordinators of Early Help Assessments to RAG rate their Early Help Assessments and /or refresh the information already returned. 

We have also provided guidance and a template for the schools.

The Early Help Assessment COVID 19 RAG Guidance and template can also be found on the CSCP website – Professionals – Early Help - Guidance.


The latest list of school hubs

The updated list of all school hubs, standalone schools and early years settings can be found on the Cumbria County Council website.