Education Planning Group: Schools update... 1 April

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dan barton

Dear Colleague

As we enter the Easter holidays I want to thank you all for everything you have done this half-term to get children back into our school settings. 

I know it has been an incredibly busy and exhausting time for many and I hope you all find time to take a well-deserved break over the next couple of weeks.

Thank you for all your hard and commitment. 

Dan Barton

Assistant Director - Education and Skills

In today's update:

Updated HR shielding guidance and individual risk assessments for CEV staff returning to the workplace

The health, safety and well-being of our staff and pupils continues to be our highest priority.

Things you need to know today:

  1. The Government guidance for employees who are “shielding” is changing from today, 1 April 2021.
  2. Where possible staff who can, should continue to work from home.
  3. Those in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) group who have been shielding and who cannot work from home, can return to workplace from 1 April 2021 provided certain conditions have been met.
  4. All employees who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable must have an individual risk assessment in place before returning to the workplace. 


Where CEV staff are returning to the workplace, the Headteacher/Manager should complete or review an individual risk assessment to ensure that appropriate control measures can be discussed and implemented. 

A template for an individual risk assessment can be downloaded from the Schools Portal.

Public health support for schools over Easter

Our Public Health team has provided a list of contact details for COVID-19 public health support for educational settings over the Easter holidays.


Safety information guidance for new and expectant mothers

Our Health and Safety Team have developed Safety Information Guidance Notes for schools around the health of new and expectant mothers. 

The purpose of the guidance document is to define the procedures for managing the health, safety and wellbeing for new and expectant mothers, and provide advice on what to do to comply with the law.

A new and expectant mother is someone (staff or student) who is pregnant, has given birth within the previous six months, or who is breastfeeding.

For further advice please email or call 01228 221616.

Public health update

The latest news from our Public Health team including updates on:

  • Lateral Flow Device Testing
  • Non-evidence-based information being sent to schools
  • Requesting proof of test results
  • Confidentially sharing information


Any queries about this update, please contact the Cumbria County Council Public Health Team by emailing

Library service Easter activities for all children

Over Easter Cumbria Libraries is offering a great range of online activities for children of all ages, including stories, poems, drawing, and even the opportunity to ask an author what it’s really like to do his job.

All the activities are free and can be booked here.

New EYFS framework published

This week, the Department for Education (DfE) have confirmed that the reforms to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) will be rolled out nationally from September 2021. The new EYFS statutory framework has been published and legislation laid in Parliament.  This is the revised and final EYFS framework that all registered nurseries, childminders, schools and pre-schools in England will follow from 1 September 2021.   Early years settings, other than registered EYFS reforms early adopters (who must continue to follow the early adopter framework) must continue to follow the current EYFS framework until 1 September 2021, however the revised framework is being made available for all settings now to help them prepare for the changes.

There are also a number of small amendments to section 3 safety and welfare to make existing requirements clearer and to provide updates. A summary of these amendments and why they have been made can be found here. Foundation Years have also published two new vodcasts to support with understanding of the revised EYFS -

Please look out for communications from the Early Years team regarding support in implementing the revised Framework within Cumbria via the School Portal including Briefing Paper 2 which is now available.

Home learning for early years age group

This week our focus is on the rhyme 'Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush’. Please share with parents to support home learning around the development of speech, language and communication.

Chat Play Share - Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

For a range of fun activity ideas, please share What Can I Do This Week? Remember that the activities included in the Wednesday Communication will be for the activities beginning the Monday of the following week.

This week the theme is Our Senses

Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday  Friday   Saturday   Sunday

Easter holiday activities for children receiving FSM

There is a full programme of fun activities taking place over the Easter holidays for school aged children and young people eligible for and receiving benefits-related free school meals.

Children and their families can find out more about the Easter activities by emailing or can sign up to the activities on the links below:

Easter Exercise and Fitness Offer:

Active Cumbria in partnership with CandoFM have organized a series of ‘LIVE’ exercise and fitness sessions for children and young people from Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, those pupils at risk of being NEET (Not in Education or Employment and Training) and those pupils with a SEND who are entitled to free school meals. To register, participants will need to visit the following link: so that they can access the zoom link to the activity session they wish to attend.

The number of participants for each activity session is limited, so please do register early to avoid any disappointment. 

Barnardo’s Eden – ‘Families Together’ Time

Children and their families will be encouraged to look out for information which will be shared by schools and on our Facebook page.

In Eden, families can register their interest by using any of the following and then complete the booking instructions once confirmed to enable resources to be delivered and / or collected:

Telephone: 01768 899901


Family Action – Families, Food and Fun (HAF-DfE)

Throughout the Easter holidays children, young people and their families will be invited to get involved with a wide range of fun activities - arts and crafts, nature detectives, fun food recipes, and much more. Find out more on our 0-19 district Facebook pages:

New Long Covid Assessment service established

Patients who have had Covid-19 and have experienced symptoms which have lasted for longer than 12 weeks are now being referred into the North Cumbria Long Covid Assessment service.  

Patients have been able to access a range of support to help them recover from Covid-19 over the last 12 months, and this has continued to develop in order to allow input from more clinical teams as the need to treat the long term effects of the virus has been recognised.

Long Covid usually presents with clusters of symptoms, often overlapping, and may include:

  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Memory, concentration problems and “brain fog”
  • Muscle pains, ongoing muscle weakness and deconditioning
  • Breathlessness
  • Chest heaviness or palpitations
  • Ongoing cough
  • Problems with speech or swallowing
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Mood changes and psychological problems
  • Persistent loss of smell / taste
  • Dizziness / headaches

The list is not exhaustive and research is ongoing to discover more about the longer-term effects of the illness, as well as potential treatment options.

National guidance defines Long Covid as occurring when a patient has had symptoms for 12 weeks or more following a Covid infection. In line with this, patients won’t be referred into the service or diagnosed as having Long Covid unless they’ve had symptoms for 12 weeks or longer. 

If you're worried about persisting symptoms after having coronavirus, please discuss this with your GP. You won’t be referred into the Long Covid service unless you’ve had symptoms for 12 weeks or more, but your GP will still be able to offer support.

The NHS has also produced an excellent educational website called Your COVID Recovery, which has lots of good advice and self-help tips. You can access it at