Education Planning Group: Schools update... 27 January 2022

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In today's update:

dan barton

Dear Colleagues,

Another week in, and unfortunately, things still aren't letting up for many of you. With staff absences mounting and staff stress levels increasing, I just wanted to take this opportunity to reiterate my sincere thanks for all of the brilliant work you are all doing. 

Your efforts are helping to ensure young Cumbrians get the best education possible in difficult circumstances, something I think you can all be really proud of.

In today's update, we have a few Public Health updates, an opportunity to sign-up to Cyber Prevent presentations offered by Cumbria Police and a reminder that we have given our education job updates a "revamp".

Best wishes,


Public Health update

Advice on leaving isolation to take children to school

Following approval from the Director of Public Health, from Wednesday 26th January, we are updating our advice in relation to adults who have tested positive leaving isolation to transport their children to and from school.

If a parent (or other adult) who normally transports a child to and from school tests positive for COVID-19, they will be advised by NHS Test & Trace to stay at home for the recommended period of time. When this happens, arrangements should be made for another trusted adult to transport the child to school or alternative options considered (e.g. walking if able to do so safely).

Very occasionally, an adult who has tested positive may report that there are no other options for getting the child to and from school and ask if they can transport them themselves. Where there is a genuine lack of other options, as a last resort, the adult can now be advised that they can transport a child to and from school as long as the following conditions are adhered to:

  • The adult does not leave the vehicle whilst away from home and does not stop to talk to anyone at close proximity whilst sat in the vehicle
  • The adult goes directly between home and school and does not go anywhere else
  • The adult only transports the agreed children to and from school
  • Good hygiene measures are taken whilst in the car e.g. the adult is advised the wear a face covering and the windows should be opened enough to allow air to circulate in the vehicle

Reminder: A child who is a household contact of a positive case who is attending school should carry out daily LFD testing for 7 days and should not attend if the LFD test result is positive, or if they have COVID-19 symptoms. Primary schools and early years settings can still encourage parents & carers to follow the local enhanced guidance (i.e. children who are household contacts of a positive case stay at home for 5 days and if aged 5+ PCR test on day 5) as an alternative option to daily LFD testing.

Support if you are concerned about possible inaccurate test results

If you are concerned that either an LFD or PCR test has returned an inaccurate result for an individual, please contact the Education IPC team via email: and we will help you to risk assess the situation and provide advice.

LFD and PCR testing remains very effective, but the team is happy to provide advice if you have any concerns.

Symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea

We have had a number of schools reporting children with symptoms of vomiting and / or diarrhoea.

Please refer to our guidance document for further advice on how to manage incidents in your setting: Diarrhoea and vomiting in educational settings and contact the team by email if you have any further questions:

Insurance companies requesting proof of a PCR test result

A school has contacted us to enquire about proof of positive test results. Their school staff absence insurance provider has informed them that when making a claim, they cannot accept an LFD test result as proof of a positive test and a PCR is required.

Due to recent government guidance changes, many people testing positive via an LFD do not require a follow-up PCR. However, if one is required in order to make an insurance claim, please ask the staff member to book a PCR test via the online portal and tick the box that says ‘my local authority has asked me to get tested’. They will need to do this within two days of their positive LFD result.

DfE response: CO2 monitors

The Department for Education have released the results of the survey they carried out regarding the use of CO2 monitors and the outcomes from applications for air cleaning units.

The full summary report can be found below:

Sign-up: Cyber Prevent presentations

Cumbria Police logo

Cumbria Police’s Cyber and Digital Crime Unit are wanting to provide presentations to schools in Cumbria around Cyber prevent.

Cyber prevent is a UK police initiative designed to prevent young people from getting into cybercrime by informing them of the laws and consequences. Also informing students of opportunities in the world of cyber.

These presentations can also be done in conjunction with online safety presentations.

If you are interested in taking part, please give us your details by completing this short survey:

Reforming how local authorities’ School Improvement Functions are funded

The DfE have published the outcome of their consultation which can be accessed here and have confirmed that they will be going ahead with their proposal to remove the LA level School Improvement Monitoring & Brokering Grant (SIMBG) and instead allow local authorities, with the approval of their maintained schools School Forum representatives to replace the funding for core school improvement functions by deducting funding from maintained school budget shares. 

The SIMBG will reduce by 50% in financial year 2022/23 and be removed entirely in 2023/24. Schools Forum were made aware of the implications of this change at their meeting on 18 January and have agreed that in 2022/23 financial year £3.57 per pupil can be de-delegated back to the local authority. The same per pupil rate applies to both primary and secondary schools due to the guidance issued by the DfE.  

Further review of how the local authority’s school improvement functions are delivered from financial 2023/24 when the grant is removed entirely will be carried out to minimise the impact on school budgets. 

See here for the link to the Schools Forum paper.

Barriers to School Attendance: Schools Survey

Cumbria Educational Psychology Service are currently exploring the issue of barriers to school attendance and 'emotionally-based school avoidance' for children and young people in Cumbria.

Emotionally-based school avoidance (EBSA) is a broad umbrella term used to describe a group of children and young people who have severe difficulty in attending school due to emotional factors, often resulting in prolonged absences from school. 

We would like to know more about schools' perceptions and experiences of this issue so that we can better support schools to help pupils who experience these difficulties. 

Take part in the survey using the link below:

Training session – Building Underdeveloped Sensorimotor Systems in children who have experienced developmental trauma

Do you work or live with children who have experienced developmental trauma? 

Then join a training session led by the Virtual School Team on an Introduction to the Building Underdeveloped Sensorimotor Systems (BUSS) Model. 

The BUSS Model was developed by Sarah Lloyd to be helpful when children have experienced developmental trauma. 

It’s based on the understanding that for children to thrive they need consistent, attuned caregiving and it’s through these relationships that babies and young children develop good bodily and emotional regulation.

Having a good sense of their body is crucial for children to manage games, friendships and school, all of which are such an important part of childhood.

For more information, download the Introduction to the BUSS Model flyer

To book a place on the session, click the link below:

Cumbria Safeguarding Children Partnership training session

‘All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online’

To celebrate Safer Internet Day in Cumbria, Cumbria Safeguarding Children Partnership (CSCP) is offering a virtual lunch time briefing session on Tuesday 8th February 12:15 - 13:15.

The session will last one hour and begins at 12:15 pm and will offer:

  • Apps and Gaming – What are the concerns
  • How to access the Internet safely  - What steps children and their carer can take
  • Resources available to support safe Internet use

Places will be limited and you can book a place by emailing by Friday 4 February 2022. 

Making a Difference in Education in Cumbria (MADE in Cumbria)

The Well Project is proud to support "Making a Difference in Education in Cumbria" (MADE in Cumbria), a programme of high quality Professional Development, put together by talented national and local expertise.

The MADE programme will be virtual and live sessions will be available throughout February 2022.

For more information, download the documents below:

Education job e-bulletin revamp

Following a review into our education job vacancy e-bulletin alerts, we have decided to change our approach to make the job updates more effective.

We currently have 11,939 people subscribed across our education job vacancy alerts, hence the e-bulletins represent a significant tool for Cumbrian schools to recruit staff.

To best utilise this tool, job vacancy e-bulletins will now come in the form of a consistent twice weekly email update on a Monday and Thursday, giving prospective job applicants a clearer picture of the latest jobs being offered by schools in Cumbria.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please complete the survey below:

What's new in the Schools Portal?

School Portal updates since Thursday 20 January 2022.

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

Name of document

 Date added

 Information on the North East and North Cumbria Child   Health and Wellbeing Network (NENC CHWB)

 Tuesday 25   January 2022

 Newsletter Autumn 2021

 Tuesday 25   January 2022

 A5 Flyer

 Tuesday 25   January 2022

 Letter to All Maintained Schools and PRUs- Revisions to the   Cumbria LA Scheme for Financing Schools

 Tuesday 25   January 2022

 Updated CFR Framework 2021-22

 Tuesday 25   January 2022

 Application to set up, amend or disable E5 User (Schools)

 Tuesday 25   January 2022

 HSE guidance - Incident reporting in schools

 Monday 24   January 2022

 Year End Letter and Guidance 2021-22

 Thursday 20   January 2022

 Introduction to BUSS Model training session

 Thursday 20   January 2022

Early Years

Home Learning

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

Chat Play Share -  Chinese New Year