Education Planning Group: Schools update... 11 June

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In today's update:

dan barton

Dear All

Welcome back to you all after what I hope was a relaxing and restful half term break in the sun. Lots of updates this week, so a very short introduction from me.

I want to flag that we are looking closely at the infection rate currently in the county and will produce some extraordinary communications early next week with some comprehensive advice for all Cumbrian schools. Please look out for this.

As ever, my thanks for all you do for our children and families every day.

Best wishes,

Dan Barton
Assistant Director - Education and Skills

PS. Apologies for the late arrival of this week's update.

School consultation on Notional SEN

Following agreement at Cumbria Schools Forum on 9 June the first £6,000 of support for low cost, high incidence SEND will be reinstated with effect from 1 September 2021.

This will be offset by removing targeted SEN for schools with more than 2% of pupils on roll with an EHCP, but with transitional protection for schools adversely impacted by this. We are consulting all schools on whether they agree that transitional protection should be applied, and if so for how long and at what level.  All schools are encouraged to respond.

The deadline for responses is 1 July 2021 and the consultation can be accessed here.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable guidance update

Please find below the updated guidance on shielding for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) and Pregnant employees.


ASCL, LGA, NAHT and NEU Joint School Workforce - guidance on international travel

The easing of restrictions on the Government’s roadmap includes a change to the measures in place for international travel. Joint trade union guidance issued this week, is that school leaders and managers have conversations with all the recognised trade unions, their teaching and support staff as early as possible, about the potential impact of these new international travel rules.

To assist these individual conversations, the following NJC and Joint teachers’ guidance is as follows:

Current government guidance is very clear that you should not travel to Red List countries or territories. However, should an employee set out to travel to or through a red list country, they will be doing so in full knowledge of the requirement to quarantine in an approved hotel on their return. Therefore, the period of that quarantine should be taken into account in order to ensure they are available to attend school on the first day of term, as per the above referenced joint guidance published on 19 June and NJC 5 June 2020 advice.

Current government guidance is very clear that you should not travel to
Amber List countries or territories. However, should an employee set out to travel to or through an amber list country, they will be doing so in full knowledge of the requirement to quarantine for ten days (at home) on their return. Therefore, those 10 days should be accounted for in their leave plans ensuring they will be available to attend school at the start of the term, as per the joint teacher guidance issued 19 June and the NJC guidance issued 5 June 2020.

From 17 May, travel will be allowed directly to / from Green List countries. There is no requirement to quarantine on return but a COVID test must be taken on arrival or within two days two of arriving back home. If that test returns a positive result, then the employee will be instructed to self-isolate, in which case longstanding joint advice will apply: stay at home (working if possible, although we recognise this may be difficult to accommodate in the school environment and should be agreed prior to making any travel plans) on normal full pay until either (a) further tests return a negative result and they can return to work or (b) they go on to develop COVID symptoms and are unfit to work, at which point they move onto sick leave and the usual provisions of the scheme apply.


Letter for parents around term time absence

Please share the letter below from Dan Barton, confirming our position on leave of absence during term time, with all parents and carers. 


Targeted Academic Support - Early Language Intervention

The government have confirmed that the EEF Promising Project – Nuffield Early Language Intervention – will be made freely available to all primary school Reception-age children for 2021-22.

Please consider this resource with regard to an evidence-informed, tiered approach to planning.

Latest guidance on RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19

Please see updated guidance on RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrence Regulations 2013) reporting of COVID-19 below.


Every life matters flyer for parents and carers

Further to the success of its “Supporting Children’s Mental Health for Parents and Carers” face to face sessions in 2019/20, suicide prevention charity Every Life Matters we are now offering these sessions online.

The one hour sessions will take place on Zoom on various dates throughout June and July and more information is available here. You can book a place on a session here.

Please share the information flyer below with staff, parents and carers.


Summer reading challenge 2021

Cumbria Libraries will be encouraging children to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge again this year, when the theme is Wild World Heroes and will be a celebration of reading, nature and action for the environment. 

This annual national event, presented by The Reading Agency and funded by Arts Council England, encourages children aged 4 to 11 to set themselves a reading challenge to help prevent the summer reading “dip.” Cumbria Libraries will help support and motivate thousands of children to keep reading to build their skills and confidence. Signing up is free, participants just need to be a library member (which is also free!).

The Challenge is simple; children read whatever they like in their chosen format over the summer holidays to receive incentives and a certificate once they’ve completed it. They can read fiction, fact books, poetry, joke books, picture books or graphic novels.

Audiobooks and eBooks can all be used to complete the Challenge and Cumbria Libraries Borrowbox service is a great way to get free access to eBooks and eAudiobooks for the Summer Reading Challenge. We’ll have a specially selected collection of books just right for Wild World Heroes!

Videos outlining the Summer Reading Challenge are also available on the Cumbria County Council YouTube channel:

The Summer Reading Challenge begins on 10 July and ends in the middle of September.

Apprenticeship opportunities with Cumbria County Council

Please share details of our fantastic apprenticeship opportunities in Civil Engineering or Customer Service with your staff, students and their parents and carers. An apprenticeship with Cumbria County Council will give you the skills, experience and qualifications you need to start your career. The closing date is this Sunday (13 June) so don’t miss out! To find out more go to

EYFS update

Revised EYFS Professional Development Opportunities

Please look out for the Revised EYFS briefing paper issue 6 that went out to schools via the portal on Tuesday (8 June) with a focus on Mathematics. Also look out for issue 7 on assessment which went out to schools via the portal yesterday (10 June). Remember that the briefings are also available on our website. The password is the same to access all the webinars and briefing papers.

Early Years Foundation Stage 2021

Updated guidance for out school clubs

The guidance document ‘Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak’ has been updated. Schools may find the attached document on additional considerations for out of school and holiday clubs useful when risk assessing these types of provision.

Home learning

This week our focus is on the rhyme 'Teddy Bears’ Picnic’. Please share with parents to support home learning around the development of speech, language and communication.

Chat Play Share – Teddy Bears’ Picnic

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.

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