Education Planning Group: Schools update... 2 October

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In today's update:


dan barton

Dear Colleagues,

As usual, lots going on this week, and a bit of a longer update from me.

Firstly, I’ll draw your attention to the advice issued by the Health Protection Board yesterday that in addition to the national “Rule of 6”, people living in Cumbria are being advised that groups of six should be of people from no more than two households. It’s a modest change to try and help slow the spread of the virus. It’s advice, not law, and all the exemptions that apply to the “Rule of 6” also apply. But I’d encourage you to support raising awareness of the advice. We’ve included some posters and graphics for you to use below. Important to note that additional advice to restrict non-essential visits to schools ONLY applies to school in the Barrow Borough Council area and remains in place (reflecting the higher infection rate in the district).

This week we started our online advice surgeries for headteachers. They’ve been a good way to have some more in-depth conversations and I’d encourage any of you with questions to drop-in to the relevant surgery. The full list of dates is included below.

We’ve also been relaying concerns you’ve raised ‘up the chain’ to the regional REACT teams and I’m pleased that they have responded positively to that and deliveries for new COVID-19 tests will only happen up until 4pm. We had heard of Headteachers waiting in school until past 8pm and that was just not acceptable.

With the NAHT and NEU we are working on new guidance for school Governors for how they can best support schools and Headteachers at the current time. Governors have an important role but understandably some are unsure how they can play their part most effectively.

In term of exams, DfE are indicating that they should be releasing some guidance about exams at all phases at some point next week. Watch this space.

Some schools have been raising queries about Ofsted inspections restarting in January. That remains their intention but we’re working with our regional senior HMI and hope to have an opportunity to speak to the regulator directly to air concerns.

We’ve also heard concerns about the recent guidance regarding COVID-19 legislation and “enforcement” of online learning in the event of Tier 2. We are working on some guidance/support on this and are escalating some of the obvious concerns about the impact on teachers of delivering a blend of in-person and remote learning. Schools will also shortly be receiving an invite to take part in a webinar on 13/10/20 with the county's current EdTech School, Dalton St Mary’s, to consider scenarios and options for moving forward with remote learning. Further webinars are being planned and we will update here.

Finally, I hope you’ve seen the advertising for our SEND Preparation for Adulthood Virtual Fair which takes place next week. There’s a packed programme of webinars for parents/carers and young people, some of your staff may also wish to attend if time allows. Anything you can do to support raising awareness with families who could benefit would be greatly appreciated.

So, thanks once again and I hope you are able to ‘switch-off’ for at least part of the weekend and recharge.

Yours

Dan Barton

Assistant Director - Education and Skills

ps. Please remember the DfE attendance data return.


New public health advice for people living in Cumbria

Following a doubling of the new COVID-19 cases within Cumbria over the last week, new public health advice for the county has now been introduced.

By law in England people must not meet indoors or outdoors in groups of more than six people. In addition, from 1 October people living in Cumbria are being strongly advised that groups of six should include people from no more than TWO households.

The advice is not law and the exemptions which apply to the "Rule of 6" also apply.

Please help raise awareness of the advice with parents, staff and pupils.

+ READ MORE

+ DOWNLOAD POSTER

+ DOWNLOAD SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE

Two households banner image

Change to COVID-19 testing arrangements in south Cumbria

Schools in south Cumbria (Barrow and South Lakeland district council areas) are no longer able to access COVID-19 testing for staff or pupils via local (Pillar 1) NHS testing facilities.

This is because local testing laboratories are now at capacity and the NHS must prioritise its own key workers and patients.

Tests can now only be booked via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test  or by calling 119.

National testing capacity has improved and generally people are not experiencing serious difficulty booking a test.

The Cumbria COVID-19 summary flowchart for schools has been updated to reflect this change


DfE school attendance return - please complete

At the moment around two thirds of schools are completing DfE school attendance data return, 

It is important that we do it and the data the return generates for the DfE will be used to help the prioritise the future allocation of future ICT devices for pupils.

Find out more about the data return


Health and Safety update

The Local Authority Health and Safety team have produced updated guidance on:

  • Use of heating systems in schools
  • Portable Heaters and Fire Safety
  • Use of electronic hand dryers in schools
  • Guidance on Cleaning in Schools
  • Use of Alcohol Hand Sanitiser

+ VIEW THE GUIDANCE


SEND Preparation for Adulthood Virtual Fair - starts next week

SEND Preparation for Adulthood Virtual Fair launches next week with a packed programme of webinars from a wide range of organisations that provide support, advice, guidance and services to young people with SEND who are on their preparation for adulthood journey.

Please help raise awareness of the fair.

+ VIEW THE WEBINAR PROGRAMME 

send fair banner

Online drop-in surgeries for schools

Lead officers from the Local Authority are hosting a series of online drop-in surgeries for schools and Headteachers on key topics. Just click the links to participate.

Finance

Susan Milburn and Amanda Chew

4.00 – 4.30

7th October 2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Susan Milburn and Amanda Chew

4.00 – 4.30

15th October 2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Susan Milburn

23rd October 2020

4.00 – 4.30

23rd October 2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

H&S

Judith Chandler

4.00 – 4.30

5th October 2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Judith Chandler

4.00 – 4.30

16th October 2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Judith Chandler

4.00 – 4.30

21st October 2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Public Health

Claire King

4.00 – 4.30

6th October 2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Claire King

4.00 – 4.30

12th October 2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Claire King

4.00 – 4.30

19th October 2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

General

Dan Barton/Dale Hill

4.00 – 4.30

8th October 2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Dan Barton/Dale

Hill

4.00 – 4.30

13th October

2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Dan Barton/Dale Hill

4.00 – 4.30

22nd October 2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Family round the School

Lesley Sanczuk

4.30 – 5.00

9th October 2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Lesley Sanczuk

4.00 – 4.30

14th October 2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Lesley Sanczuk

4.00 – 4.30

22nd October 2020

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

 


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