COVID-19: Schools Update.... 16 June

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schools update

In today's update

dan barton

Dear Colleagues,

Once again we've been bowled over by the response of schools to the challenge of bringing pupils back in to the classroom.

As of yesterday only two schools in the county remained closed, meaning 320 were open. All were providing for children of key workers and vulnerable pupils with many primaries scaling up to cater for the the other specified year groups. We've also seen the secondaries coming on-stream, with pupils coming into school for vital face to face contact with teachers.

This genuinely phenomenal work and I do not underestimate for one moment the challenge it has been (and continues to be) and the effort it has required from yourselves and your staff - so a massive thank you and well done.

We continue to work to understand the guidance coming of out Government and to find a way forward with you that works for Cumbrian schools. Thank you for your commitment and dedication to the children and young people of the county.


Dan Barton,

Assistant Director - Education and Skills 

Director of Public Health - summary COVID-19 position for Cumbria

Understandably schools want the most up to date information about COVID-19 to inform their risk assessments and planning.

Cumbria's Director of Public Health has summarised the position for Cumbria at the current time.


Digital Devices for disadvantaged and vulnerable children & young people

The DfE have asked their delivery partner to prioritise supplying devices for care leavers or children & young people aged 0-19 with a social worker, who do not currently have access to them, ahead of those for disadvantaged Yr 10 pupils.  In addition, the availability of devices is variable, so these cannot all be ordered/delivered at the same time.  The current status is as follows:

  • Our order for Windows Laptops and 4G Hotspots (for children & young people with a social worker) was delivered centrally to the Council at the end of last week
  • We have placed our order for Google Chromebooks (for children & young people with a social worker) and are awaiting confirmation of a date for delivery centrally to the Council
  • We have been advised that the supply of Tablets is delayed, so at present these cannot be ordered
  • As mentioned above, we cannot currently order any of the devices for disadvantaged Yr 10 pupils until the devices are made available for this cohort

The project team is now organising the logistics around delivery of the devices received, which it is hoped will take place later this week.  Devices for children & young people attending Cumbrian schools will be delivered to their schools to enable the school to consider whether any additions/amendments are required before collection.  Schools receiving devices will be sent an e-mail in advance of delivery, confirming who the devices are for and what steps they will need to undertake.

The project team can be contacted via the dedicated e-mail address which has been established ( which has been established for direct communication with individual schools, or if schools have any queries (this is not intended for children & young people, parents/carers, or the general public).

Schools data return

Thank you to all schools for continuing to complete the daily LA data return form. 

Yesterday 274 schools completed the return. A total of 6603 children attended these schools from a possible total on roll of 50835 (12.9%)


Early Help COVID-19 RAG Rating

Cumbria Safeguarding Children Partnership is asking coordinators of Early Help Assessments to RAG rate their Early Help Assessments and /or refresh the information already returned.  The information needs to be returned to the Early Help mailbox by Wednesday July 1st 2020:


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.

Parental concern around variation in school opening plans

We are aware that some schools are still fielding questions from parents about why the school is taking one approach while other local schools are taking a different approach.

If helpful, you may wish to refer parents back to the letter we sent them at the end of May, advising them of arrangements for reopening from 1 June. In it we stated:

It is important to understand that this means there will be different arrangements in different schools, even in the same area, and it is vital that you carefully read the communications from your child’s school or early years setting about what is happening

The original letter can be found at the link below.