Education Planning Group: Schools update... 4 February

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In today's update:

Health and Safety update

Please find below the latest COVID-19 Health and Safety update from the county council.


Do you have staff working from home?

Health and Safety Checklist for Teaching Staff Temporary Home Working

County Council Free School Meals over half-term

During term time, schools are at liberty to deliver FSMs to their eligible cohorts as they wish, including using the government voucher provider EdenRed.

During school holidays, there is no statutory requirement for schools to deliver benefits-related FSM to their eligible cohorts.

In order to ensure all benefits-related young people on FSMs have access to a meal for each day of the February half-term holiday, the county council has once again committed to provide each eligible family member with a voucher, value of £3 per day, thus £15 for February half-term week. Access to this offer is through the WONDE voucher system. It is exactly the same process as for the Christmas holiday offer. This offer is not available through EdenRed.

Please see the video in the link for the WONDE system and how to order:

Please see link for the parents’ voucher journey:

Please see link to FAQ for Parents:

Quick Reminder Guide:

Administrators should log on to their school MI, open the WONDE software, choose FSM product; click ’create an order’; choose the voucher value ‘£15’. Click to ‘calculate’. Select ‘ALL FSM Students’.

  • Next step – Select Retailers [Iceland and Aldi have restrictions on what can be purchased].
  • Next step – ‘add order to cart’
  • Next step – Select ‘pay by LA’ [you will not have to send any funds to cover the council’s half-term offer, and you can go straight to the next step].
  • Next step ‘ Assign Vouchers’
  • Click ‘Show filter’
  • Tick ‘Show FSM’ Select ‘ALL’
  • Click ‘Assign Vouchers’
  • Choose ‘send now’ or ‘send later’.


Public Health updates

New FAQs

Please find below a Frequently Asked Questions note from the Public Health team following questions raised by schools this week.


New Lateral Flow Testing for Primary Schools flowchart


Letter to Governing Boards

A letter has been sent to all Governing Boards from Assistant Director Dan Barton. the letter brings them up to date and reminds them of their vital role.


SENCo contact details request

The Cumbria SEND Improvement Programme is developing a network of school SENCos to help drive forward changes across the county. Around 180 SENCos are already part of the network. 

The Improvement Programme is asking all SENCos to sign-up to its distribution list.

Please could you ask your SENCo to sign up to the network via the link below:


EYFS for schools updates

Home learning – activities to support children’s learning

Following on from research carried out by Ofsted linked to lessons learned from the first lockdown, it was found that speech, language and communication showed some children had regressed during this time. The Early Years team have developed some weekly ideas to help support practitioners and teachers with home learning. All of the activities support the prime area of speech, language and communication.  Each week there will be a range of activities for practitioners to share with parents to support home and remote learning including activities that promote language and communication, books and some extension activities linked to the rhyme or theme for that week.

Week Two-Hickory Dickory Dock

Each week as well as the activities to support the prime area of speech, language and communication we are also including the popular What Can I do This Week? activities currently shared through CFIS Facebook. We realise that a lot of you are sharing this link but felt you may find it useful to have access to the documents. The activities included in the Wednesday Communication will be for the activities beginning the Monday of the following week. We hope you will enjoy sharing these activities with your families.

What Can I do This Week? Week beginning 8th February

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Free online courses for teenagers, parents-to-be, parents, carers, Grandparents and childrens workforce of Cumbria-SOLIHULL

Just a reminder to check out for FREE (prepaid) access for all parents and parents-to-be, carers, grandparents, those working with children and young people and teenagers themselves to some really useful and interesting online courses.  These cover the below topics:


  • Understanding your pregnancy birth labour and your baby
  • Understanding your baby
  • Understanding your child
  • Understanding your teenager’s brain
  • New course - Understanding your child with additional needs

This online course is for parents with a child with additional needs. It is for parents, relatives and friends of children who may have a physical or learning disability or who may have autistic traits. This course is in 2 sections. Level 1 lays the foundation for understanding your child. Level 2 looks at some particular aspects of parenting: sleeping and anger management, together with more about how we interact with each other. Understanding this can make it easier to work with your child's behaviour as well as supporting their development.

This means every single Cumbria parent/carer can access the courses completely free of charge! Please help us tell parents!

These courses are for ALL parents-to-be, parents, grandparents or carers  of any child from the antenatal period to age 18 years. Families don’t need to be struggling to do these courses. They are also available in other languages and are also relevant to parents/carers of all children, including those with special needs, autism, ADHD etc. 

We would also recommend that practitioners also complete the courses to have the best understanding of how they work, what is covered etc.


  • ‘Understanding your brain (for teenagers only!)’

This short course pairs with the short course for parents Understanding your teenager’s brain, so that both parents and teenagers have access to the same information.

PROFESSIONALS TRAINING - This training is FREE and there are three courses - use the access code: WORDSWORTHPRF

Understanding Trauma - This course covers Type 1 and Type 2 trauma, the window of tolerance, going through a traumatic experience, neurology and trauma…….recognising trauma, recovery from trauma, and more...

Understanding Attachment - This course is for practitioners who want to understand more about attachment, and shows how containment and reciprocity underpin the quality of an attachment.

Understanding Brain Development – This course is for practitioners who want an introduction to brain development from the antenatal period to adolescence.