Education Planning Group: Schools update... 9 July

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in today's update:

dan barton

Dear Colleagues,

We are now almost at the end of term, with most schools finishing next week. To say it has been an unprecedented year is a understatement and I know that colleagues are reaching their limits now. I can fully understand that and I can only say thank you for the incredible work you have done.

The big news this week is obviously the Government setting out it's intended approach to how the pandemic will be handled in schools from next term. At the moment we only have the ministerial statements, no formal guidance which is of course frustrating, but we can see the general direction of travel. I'm sure there will be mixed feelings about the proposed changes - relief about a return to some kind of normality, but concern about what might happen in practice.

Local discussions are ongoing and I will provide a further update next week. We will also be convening a meeting of the Education Planning Group later in August to review the position and ensure schools have the support they need. In particular for secondary schools, I know that the proposals for mass-testing will be causing concern. You will have our full support on this once again and we will be in touch once the position is clearer, for now I know you have many other things to focus on.

For those schools where term will finish after 19 July (when Government intends to lift restrictions), the local public health advice is to continue to work with the current bubble arrangements and only implement changes for the start of the new term. This position is also supported by the DfE.

Holiday Activity Programme

Finally, as the summer holidays approach I wanted to remind all schools of the request to share details of the Cumbria Holiday Activity Programme with families whose children receive benefits-related Free School Meals. There are 200 activities on offer, all free from FSM children. Please send families this leaflet

Thank you again,


Dan Barton

Assistant Director - Education and Skills

HAF leaflet

COVID-19 advice and support over weekend

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pressures being experienced by schools and other education settings, the Education IPC team will be available again this weekend to support any queries via email –

Support will be available 9am – 5pm on Saturday and 9am – 6pm on Sunday.

Training: Annual SEND reviews - save the dates

The Cumbria SEND Team have developed new annual review paperwork and guidance to come into effect from the academic year 2021/22. 

To support this implementation, a number of training sessions will be delivered in September 2021 and we require at least one representative from your school/setting accesses this training to ensure effective roll out and implementation.

Sessions will be delivered on Microsoft Teams and booking details will be published early in the autumn term.


  • Tuesday 14 September 2021                     3.00 - 5.00 pm
  • Wednesday 15 September 2021               3.00 - 5.00 pm
  • Tuesday 21 September 2021                     3.00 - 5.00 pm
  • Wednesday 22 September 2021               3.00 - 5.00 pm
  • Tuesday 28 September 2021                     3.00 - 5.00 pm
  • Wednesday 29 September 2021               3.00 - 5.00 pm

Trainee teacher placement opportunity in Prague

One Cumbria have teamed up with The English College in Prague (a British International School) to offer two Initial Teacher Trainees next year the chance to go all expenses paid for a six-week placement to the school.

This exciting initiative is open to all Initial Teacher Trainees based in a Cumbrian training provider starting in September. More details of the application process will be made available in September with a visit from the International School to Cumbria in October to talk to shortlisted candidates before final selection. You can find the initial details here.

If you would like an informal conversation about this opportunity please contact Tina Beddoe, at

If you would like to apply for this opportunity you must be registered with a Cumbrian training provider.

Early Years update

Health Families Cumbria - new Pledge awards

We are really pleased to announce that following the panel meeting on 17th June, the following settings have been awarded the Healthy Families Cumbria Pledge:

  •  Stone Eden Nursery School
  • Family Action Allerdale 0 – 19 Child and Family Support Service
  • Family Action Barrow 0 – 19 Child and Family Support Service
  • Family Action Copeland 0 – 19 Child and Family Support Service
  • Kiddlywinks Day Nursery
  • Kiddlywinks The Meadows
  • Little Monkeys Day Nursery
  • Nicole Johnson - Childminder
  • St Aiden’s Day Nurseries
  • Haverigg Nursery

Colin Cox, Director of Public Health acknowledges this achievement by saying ‘It is really positive to see Early Years providers taking this up and pledging their support despite all the challenges there have been during the past year. Well done everyone!’

Congratulations to them all. The panel members were really impressed by their commitment to supporting families to be happy and healthy especially important during these difficult times.  We now have 22 settings from across the County who have been awarded the pledge. If you are interested in becoming a pledge setting please go onto our website to find out how you can take part. The next panel meeting will be held in the autumn term. We look forward to hearing how you are supporting our early years children and their families to be happy and healthy.

Preparing for the revised EYFS

Early Years Briefing papers number 10 ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ and number 11 ‘Emotional Literacy’ have been sent out via the School Portal and added onto the early years website. Please continue to share these resources with your teams. We hope that you will find these new additions very useful – an engaged and secure child is a child who will be able to learn and flourish!

The Department for Education have also provided a new website area to share resources and practical ideas to support you to understand and implement the changes to the EYFS, including a summary of the changes, links to key documents, and ideas for activities. In response to sector feedback, additional support on curriculum planning, reducing paperwork, oral health, working in partnership with parents and carers, and English as an additional language is now available.

A link to this site is available here -  DfE EYFS resources

Home learning

Chat, Play, Share

This week our focus is on the rhyme 'Little Arabella Miller '.  Please share with parents to support home learning around the development of speech, language and communication.

Chat Play Share - Little Arabella Miller

What can I do this week?

This week we are beginning to resend the What Can I do This Week? activities for children and families to access throughout the year, including during the school holidays.

If you would like to direct your families to these they will appear on a variety of Face Book pages including CFIS, a link to which can be found below.

We are starting with the first activity we sent out a year ago. This week it’s bottles.

Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday  Friday  Saturday  Sunday