Education Planning Group: Schools update... 18 November

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Education Planning Group update from Cumbria County Council

In today's update:

dan barton

Dear Colleagues,

A very warm welcome to this week's education planning group bulletin. We have lots of important information for you again this week, so let's dive in.

First, we have a couple of documents from our EIPC team surrounding guidance on Christmas events in educational settings in Cumbria and some advice on Diarrhoea and vomiting in educational settings over the winter period.

Next, we have the launch of the winter HAF scheme exclusively (for now) for children with a Free School Meal entitlement, with some accompanying leaflets showing the different activities available in each Cumbrian district.

Following that, we have a new item detailing what's been added to the Schools Portal in the past week, along with a reminder of the Early Help in Cumbria survey which closes on Tuesday 30th November 2021.

Finally, we have our Early Years update, which contains some helpful updates for the Early Years teams.

Best wishes,

Dan Barton, Assistant Director - Education and Skills

Image description: Head and shoulders photograph of Daniel Barton, the Assistant Director - Education and Skills.

Advice for Christmas events in educational settings in Cumbria

The Cumbria Education Infection Prevention Control (EIPC) team has produced a document to support educational settings in decision making about events. It has been adapted from draft guidance developed in Greater Manchester and provided by the Schools Taskforce group in the North West.

The document can be downloaded below:

Advice for Christmas events in educational settings in Cumbria

Early Help Practice and Approaches in School Survey

As part of our plans to develop Early Help in Cumbria, we want to identify and share best practice across schools and settings. The basis of this process is for us to understand all the things that you do in your practice as a school in regards to Early Help.

We have currently received feedback from 40% of schools across the County, so a big thank you to those who have completed the survey so far.

Please can colleagues who haven’t yet completed the following short survey, endeavour to do so by Tuesday 30th November 2021.

Early Help Practice and Approaches in School Survey

Cumbria Holiday Activity Programme Launch

Today, the Cumbria Holiday Activity Programme has launched its official winter offer.

Between the 18th - 25th November 2021, the offer will be exclusively open to children with a Free School Meal entitlement.

Children with a Free School Meal entitlement will be able to book activities for FREE using the code HAF 1.

From the 25th of November onwards, the offer will be opened up to encompass all eligible children, with some activities also being available to book (for a cost) for non-eligible children / young people.

Just like with the summer programme, schools have an important role in ensuring that children and families are aware of the free activities they can access over the school holidays. 

As such, we are asking that schools print out the e-leaflets below (double-sided) and ensure that those children / young people eligible for Free School Meal entitlement receive a leaflet showing what's available in their district. 






South Lakes

Visit for further information about the programme and to search the range of activities on offer.

What's new in the Schools Portal?

School Portal updates since 11 November 2021:

Simply click the name of the document to open the file.

Name of document

Date added

Chairman of Cumbria County Council’s Christmas Card Competition

11 November 2021

November Funding Instalment 2021-22

16 November 2021

Governor Support Team Newsletter

18 November 2021

Diarrhoea and vomiting in educational settings over the winter period

We are not currently seeing a large number of reported cases of diarrhoea and vomiting in educational settings.

However, we are mindful that viral infections that cause diarrhoea and vomiting are extremely common in children and young people, and that outbreaks in educational settings can be more common over the winter months.

Diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting can also be symptoms of COVID-19 (although this is not common in the absence of other more typical symptoms of COVID-19). This can sometimes make it difficult to differentiate between COVID-19 infection and other common viral infections, especially when local case rates of COVID-19 are high.

As such, we have produced a document that provides information for schools about diarrhoea and vomiting, and about the approach that should be taken if an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting is suspected within an educational setting.

The document can be downloaded below:

Diarrhoea and vomiting in educational settings in Cumbria during periods of COVID-19 transmission.

Early Years update

Early Notification Process for Children 0-5 Years Old

What is Early Notification?

Early Notification is the very first step in a process for health colleagues to inform the local authority that a child under compulsory school age has (or probably has) special educational needs. This process does not replace the Early Help Assessment. Starting a SEND Early Help brings together the involvement of other professionals in health and from partner agencies such as the Early Years Area SENCO when they are requested. SEND Early Help is the on-going process to manage the child’s journey.

Each term there will be an Early Notification meeting in each area to consider notifications received by a panel. The panel will make recommendations about timely intervention/next steps which may be recommending involvement of an Area SENCO, discussing reasonable adjustments with an early years setting, commencing Early Help or a timely EHCP application. One of the aims of the early notification process is that children do not arrive at a provider at the EHCP application stage without being known to anyone outside of the health team.

The Early Notification panels have started this term and will be reviewed in Summer 2022.

The Happy Mums Foundation

The Happy Mums Foundation is a Social Enterprise based in Cumbria that promotes maternal mental health through the provision of peer support groups that provide mums with hope and shared acceptance. For more information you can visit the website - - or listen to the recent podcast in which Katherine Dalgliesh and Sarah Penn talk about the support they offer to mothers and pregnant women who are at risk of, or are experiencing, mental health problems.

 Happy Mums are now offering training to increase the confidence of early years practitioners to support mothers as well as fathers and partners who are experiencing difficulties. 

Share a book every day

World Nursery Rhyme week November: 15 November- 19th November 2021

World Nursery Rhyme Week promotes the importance of nursery rhymes in early childhood development and education.

Over 5 million children from 113 countries have taken part since 2013. The initiative is open to parents, Early Years practitioners and anybody who works with children under the age of 7.”

The Rhyme A Day Challenge

Each year, 5 rhymes are chosen and there are lots of resources and ideas to help you to encourage children to take part in the ‘Rhyme a Day’ challenge. 

The 5 official rhymes for 2021 are:

Incy Wincy Spider

Sleeping Bunnies

Wind The Bobbin

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Down In The Jungle

Home Learning

This week our focus is on the rhyme 'A wise old owl'.   Please share with parents to support home learning around the development of speech, language and communication.

Chat Play Share: A wise old owl

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

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Emotion Coaching-supporting children’s behaviours

Emotion Coaching is about helping children to understand and label their feelings and emotions, developing their tools to problem solve and begin to self-regulate. This training would be suitable for all practitioners but particularly those who wish to explore their setting's approach to behaviour leadership.

Due to the demand for this course we are pleased to be able to offer further sessions virtually using Microsoft Teams on -

Session 1 - Wednesday 12 January 2022 from 2.00 - 4:00pm

 Session 2 - Thursday 10 February 2022 from 2.00 - 4.00pm

 Session 3 - Thursday 31 March 2022 from 1.30 - 3.30pm

 Please note that it is a requirement of the training that all three sessions must be attended

 If you would like to book a place on this course please email LIS business support on with the name of your setting/school and the name of who will be attending. This is currently for one practitioner/provider.