PEP Bulletin w/c 20 April 2020

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portsmouth city council
Portsmouth Education Partnership

PEP Bulletin

23 April 2020

COVID-19 recent government updates

Help with technology for remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Further information has been issued about the technology the government is providing for remote education during the school closure period, but more guidance about how to apply will be issued shortly. The Department for Education is working in partnership with technology suppliers to provide:

  • digital devices for some disadvantaged Year 10 pupils, care leavers and school children with social workers who do not already have them
  • 4G dongles for some disadvantaged Year 10 pupils, care leavers and children in secondary school with social workers who do not have internet access
  • support for schools to access online education platforms where teachers can set and collect work from pupils
  • training on using remote education resources
  • support from other schools and colleges who are already using these resources

Local authorities, trusts and other relevant organisations overseeing schools will be given guidance on how to place online orders for devices for eligible pupils. Schools, parents and pupils will not be able to order the devices themselves.

Digital devices for care leavers and children with social workers will be given to local authorities who will manage distribution to children and young people. Schools may be asked to help manage distribution where appropriate.

The council will be discussing this with schools about how best this should be coordinated across the city.

Oak National Academy / BBC education package

To support the hard work of schools in delivering remote education, the Oak National Academy has been launched. This brand-new enterprise has been created by 40 teachers from some of the leading schools across England, backed by government grant funding. It will provide 180 video lessons each week, across a broad range of subjects from maths to art to languages, for every year group from reception through to year 10. The BBC has also launched its own education package across TV and online.

A stakeholder briefing note is attached.

Guidance on remote education during the coronavirus outbreak

Understand how to follow safeguarding procedures when planning remote education strategies and teaching remotely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:
Safeguarding and remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information, guidance and support for parents and carers of children who are learning at home:
Supporting your children's education during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information, guidance and support for teachers and leaders on educating children during the coronavirus outbreak:
Remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Advice to parents and carers to help children learn at home: aged 2 to 4; primary and SEND

Advice for parents and carers looking after primary school children:
Help primary school children continue their education during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Advice for parents and carers of children who have not yet started school:
Help children aged 2 to 4 to learn at home during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Advice for parents and carers looking after children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND):
Help children with SEND continue their education during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Risk assessment guidance for managing children and young people with EHCPs

The government has now published risk assessment guidance for settings managing children and young people with an education, health and care (EHC) plan during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Portsmouth-specific information and guidance can be found below in the special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) section.

Reducing burdens on educational and care settings

Guidance on which data collections, services or requests will be cancelled, paused or will continue in the 2019 to 2020 academic year can be found here.

Free school meals

The guidance for schools and local authorities on free school meals arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been updated as follows:

  • Updated information about school food contracts and free school meal eligibility.
  • Added guidance and a sample application form on the temporary extension of free school meals eligibility to NRPF groups.

A set of FAQs relating to Portsmouth arrangements can be found here.

Cancellation of GCSEs, AS and A levels

This guidance aims to answer common questions in relation to the cancellation of GCSEs, AS and A levels due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in 2020.

Letter from Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education

Local Authorities recently received a letter from the Secretary of State setting out a range of expectations to ensure our most vulnerable children and young people continue to be supported and cared for, and all parents carrying out critical roles can rely on there being a school place if they need one.

Much of the information in the letter schools will already be familiar with but it is clear from the content that there is now a stronger expectation that key groups of vulnerable learners should be encouraged to attend and providers should follow up on non-attendance. The Secretary of State will be writing to schools and colleges later this week to share these expectations and to encourage schools to keep sharing their lists of vulnerable children and young people who would benefit from attending provision with schools.

Portsmouth is clearly well placed to respond to this in terms of the arrangements we have established with schools and colleges to track and monitor vulnerable children and young people and the role of the LA link co-ordinators.

COVID-19 stories from Portsmouth

A message from Arundel Court Primary

Arundel Court Primary Academy are there for you! The team at the school have put together a rather uplifting video to the tune of 'I'll be there for you' from the hit TV show, Friends to remind everyone to stay safe and that they miss you. Well done to all involved!

Arundel Court Primary

Watch video

Engaging art and DT at St John's

Staff at St John's Cathedral Catholic Primary School have been having a lovely time keeping the children engaged with lots of art and DT in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We've also been keeping the telephone lines open to support families with home learning, setting remote learning through Purple Mash, Education City, My Maths and Bug Club.

The children have been putting their sewing skills to the test in response to the plea from Laura Kirby-Deacon, a nurse at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, for the public to sew hearts that can be shared between loved ones who cannot be together during the crisis, in the hope to bring some comfort.

St John's

We have also spruced up the prayer garden at school, shared our rainbows with the local community and the children have been writing messages of thanks to the NHS, which are visible on the main road.

View photos

The Portsmouth Academy supports local NHS with supplies of PPE

Staff at The Portsmouth Academy have been working hard to provide local NHS teams with personal protective equipment (PPE) to help frontline staff in the fight against COVID-19.

Schools, businesses and individuals across the country have been working enthusiastically to come up with methods to support the NHS in all manner of different ways. The Portsmouth Academy has found its own way to offer such support, with the science department providing much-needed PPE equipment for the local St Mary’s Treatment Centre.

Elsewhere, the design and technology department has been working alongside the art department to make visors in the academy’s workshop. To date, they have delivered over 600 visors to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth and local care homes, with the team at the academy continuing to produce them and hoping to provide many more.

The Portsmouth Academy

Early years

Behaviour management support - early help and prevention

Attached is the latest information on the behaviour management support that is available in Portsmouth for parents including parenting surgeries, online resources and NVR parenting programmes. 

School improvement

EYFS, KS1 and KS2 assessment and moderation

Following the message from Sarah Hilditch about assessment and moderation in last week's PEP bulletin, we have invited a selection of primary heads and MAT leads to a teleconference on 24 April to discuss an LA wide approach to EYFS, KS1 and KS2 assessment and moderation with a particular focus on pupils who are transferring from one school to another (i.e. Y2 and Y6) but also taking into account some of these principles for other years groups. This will follow an inter LA meeting which is taking place on 23 April. This will be followed up next week with a wider discussion with Primary Heads. 

Key areas to explore:

  • How we establish a baseline for where pupils are when they return to school and how/whether we assess where pupils might have been if they had been in school for the full year (assessment)
  • How we transfer valid and useful information from one teacher/school to the next (moderation)
  • How we identify gaps and plan to help pupils 'catch up'
  • How we manage any implications in terms of staffing and resources 

Curriculum and CPD

Update on Hampshire County Council Outdoor Education Service

For those schools that sign up to the Outdoor Education Service there are lots of useful information in the resources tabs within the Evolve system. This includes links to web pages as well as activity ideas. HCC is obviously not dealing with any ‘live’ visits, or training events at the moment, however they have been very busy supporting schools with managing cancellations and insurance claims.

Most of the outdoor education training requires direct delivery due to the practical nature of outdoor learning and PE activity, and this training will be rescheduled.

A copy of HCC's weekly trailblazer letters for schools is attached. Future weekly bulletins will be available via the PEP website.

Emotional health and wellbeing

Mental health and emotional wellbeing home learning pack for PSHE Association members

The PSHE Association have launched mental health and emotional wellbeing home learning packs for members. These primary and secondary packs explore different strategies that pupils can use to manage their mental health and emotional wellbeing both during this challenging period and beyond.

Schools that are in the PSHE traded service offer have membership of the PSHE association as part of their package.

Download resources

Special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)

Risk assessments for children with EHCPs

Updated guidance on carrying out SEND risk assessments was published by the government on 19 April. This guidance advises that:

'We are asking local authorities to consider the needs of all children and young people with an education, health and care (EHC) plan, and make a risk assessment, consulting educational settings and parents or carers, to determine whether children and young people with SEND will be able to have their needs met at home, and be safer there than attending an educational setting.'

'Where the risk assessment determines a child or young person with an EHC plan will be safer at home, the Department for Education (DfE) recommends they stay at home. Where the risk assessment determines a child or young person with an EHC plan will be as safe or safer at an education setting, DfE recommends they attend the education setting.'

In Portsmouth, we have provided a risk assessment template for schools, colleges and education settings to use. These should be completed in discussion with parents and carers and shared with them.

The risk assessment template is in two parts.

  1. Section 1 – screening to determine if a full risk assessment is required
  2. Section 2 – full risk assessment

Please can completed risk assessment information be provided for all children in your school, college or setting with an EHCP and uploaded to SSE (path: Documents>SEN>COVID EHCP Risk Assessments).

Please also email to alert us to this or if you are unable to upload in our preferred way to SSE, please email the document as an attachment to the same email address. This is a secure email and therefore you can include children's names. Please do not upload, or send as an attachment, risk assessments without children's names, as these are hard to identify.

Files should be named CRA_SurnameForenameDOBDDMMYYYY_2020MMDD (i.e. COVID Risk Assessment (CRA)_Pupil Surname, then Forename, their date of birth and then date of file creation). The most recent 'live' version of these documents will be kept on SSE at the file path above.

This information will enable PCC to consider the needs of all children and young people with an EHCP, and to determine whether children and young people with SEND will be able to have their needs met at home, or whether they will be safer attending an educational setting.

Please let us know if you need any additional information, or would like support in completing these risk assessments.

LA updates

LA traded services for schools

The traded services for the period 2020 - 2022 are now live and available to buy on the traded services website. The website also includes an update on how traded services will be provided to schools during the period in which schools are closed to the majority of pupils. For more information about the new services see the attached letter to head teachers and business managers.

We are asking schools to take decisions about the SLAs they would like to purchase by Friday 5 June 2020, but if this deadline causes difficulties for a school for any reason do let us know.

For further information email

Summer school census 2020 cancelled

We have now received an update from the DfE stating that the summer school census 2020 is now cancelled due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19.

Please be aware that only the summer census 2020 has been cancelled, at this time the DfE remains committed to the summer census taking place in future years.

The cancellation of the summer census 2020 could impact how the absence and exclusion data is collected in the autumn census 2020. We will inform you of any changes to the autumn census 2020 as they become known to us.

If you have any questions regarding the census, please contact


The HR news information is located on the human resources Google homepage and maintained schools and any academy with an HR Traded Services agreement can access it here.  

Further information can be obtained by contacting HR.

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