Education Planning Group: Schools Update... 6 May

Would you like to view this email in a web page? Click here

In today's update:

Lateral Flow Device Testing

As you are all aware, the Government recently re-introduced the need for a confirmatory PCR after receiving a positive LFT result. We are aware that the guidance can be incredibly confusing so we have attached a diagram which will hopefully make it easier for schools, parents and pupils alike, to understand and follow the guidance.

We have highlighted the actions to take when the LFT is positive, negative and also what to do if the result has been accidentally recorded as positive. The continued recording of these results help the Team manage cases and ensure that no-one needs to isolate unnecessarily.

It is vital that staff continue to test themselves and report results as well as actively encourage secondary school and college students to do the same. LFD testing is not recommended for children of primary school age or younger.

Testing continues to play a crucial role, in and out of classrooms, in the fight against COVID-19. The reporting of these results supports contact tracing in the event of a positive case and also assists in the understanding of community rates of infection.

Updated Resource Packs being produced

The Public Health Education team have been busy over the past month updating the COVID-19 resource packs and flow charts for educational settings. In order to make the packs easy to follow, we are developing separate packs for childminders, PVI providers, primary schools, secondary schools and specialist residential settings.

We have already started to contact educational settings in Cumbria to ensure you are all aware of the packs and also to see if there are any issues cropping up that we can provide further support and advice around.

The secondary school and residential settings packs are now finalised and are available online here. The rest will be added in the next couple of weeks.

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

Early Years update for school

Early Years Nursery Provider Survey - Important

We are writing to ask you to tell us about your experiences since the majority of children returned to your nursery provision, we would value your opinions on a number of topics, including: child development - emerging needs, CPD, childcare sufficiency and the Early Years workforce.

It is our aim that we will collate the results and share them with you at a later date.

We would be grateful if you could complete this survey by the end of the day Thursday 20th May 2021 using the link below:

Early Years Provider Survey

Thank you in advance for completing the survey.

Home learning

This week our focus is on the rhyme 'Heads, shoulders, knees and toes’.   Please share with parents to support home learning around the development of speech, language and communication.

Chat Play Share – Chat Play Share - Heads, shoulders, knees and toes

For a range of fun activity ideas, please share What Can I Do This Week? Remember that the activities contained in this communication are for the week starting next Monday.

Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday   Thursday  Friday  Saturday  Sunday

Healthy Families Cumbria Early Years Pledge

The next Healthy Families Cumbria Pledge (HFCP) panel meeting will be held in June. Please could workbooks be submitted to the HFCP e-mail address by Thursday 27th May to . For further details on how to become a pledge setting please visit the website below, you can also download the workbook from there.

The next Healthy Families Cumbria Pledge (HFCP) panel meeting will be held in June. Please could workbooks be submitted to the HFCP e-mail address by Thursday 27th May to .

For further details on how to become a pledge setting please visit the website below (you can also download the workbook from there) - -

Please note the workbook is an editable PDF document, you can type straight into it and the boxes expand as you type. We are really pleased to say that we now have 12 HFCP settings in Cumbria. We look forward to hearing from more of  you and reading about all the fabulous things you are doing to help our families in Cumbria to be healthy and happy.

Pupil Premium strategy

Please can colleagues be aware that the DfE is expecting all schools to now use the template below for Pupil Premium strategy documentation:

If any colleagues would like any further advice please contact Calum Campbell from the LIS team at 

Unauthorised absence in term times

A reminder that there is no change to guidance around parents taking their children out of school in term time for holidays. We have worked really hard at getting children back into school and learning, so unauthorised absence is not permitted.

Parents and carers must get permission from the head teacher if they want to take a child out of school during term time.

It’s up to the head teacher how many days a child can be away from school if leave is granted. Full guidance for parents is available here

Directed Time planning

It is that time of year again when headteachers need to start thinking about planning for next years' Directed Time.

As education continues to be impacted by coronavirus, ensuring all union members have agreed and negotiated directed time calendars becomes even more important to ensure a reasonable work/life balance for all staff.

The following must be part of directed time for full and part-time teachers: 

  • Teaching time,
  • PPA time,
  • Break times (but not lunchtimes, when teachers can’t be required to do this),
  • Cover,
  • Parents evenings,
  • After school meetings,
  • Anything else which teachers are “directed” to do and which requires their professional skills. 

The full list is in sections 51 & 52 of the 2020 School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD).