Coronavirus (COVID-19)

SchoolsWeb

COVID-19 Changes to Buckinghamshire Council Services

COVID-19 Changes to Council Services - Education

School Library Service

No disruption to service delivery.

SMST (Buyback FFT FSM)

No disruption to service delivery.

School Improvement

The 2019/20 national curriculum assessments will not take place due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Guidance published on March 19 2020 should be used from 2020/21 onwards. Standards and testing agency

Education Visits

The government advises against any domestic trips (residential and non-residential) or overseas trips for children under 18 organised by educational settings.

Further guidance for educational settings

Admissions & Transport

No disruption to service delivery.

School Appeal Team

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will impact on the ability of admission authorities (that is, local authorities, academy trusts or school governing bodies, depending on the type of school) to carry out admission appeals in the usual way. This is because appeal panels must be held in person, which would break the current restriction on gatherings of more than 2 people. There may also be problems securing sufficient independent panel members and partial school openings and closures may impact on meeting certain appeal deadlines.

Parents must continue to have the right to appeal to any school which has refused their child a place. Central Government, will, therefore, be making regulatory changes that, subject to legislation, will come into force on 24 April 2020.

The new regulations will relax some of the current requirements set out in the School Admission Appeals Code 2012 and enable admission authorities to proceed with their admission appeals.

The regulations are subject to legislation being made but we expect them to come into force on 24 April 2020. The regulations will be time-limited and will expire on 31 January 2021.

Further information about admission appeals

Governor Support (BEP)

The majority of services continue as normal; suspension of  all face to face training (2  open programme sessions and 2 whole board sessions affected).  BEP Governor Support will return to their programme (re-running cancelled sessions) using remote webinar facilities after the Easter break. Full details will be sent out at the start of the new term.

County Attendance

New government guidance around attendance expectations can be found in the Covid-19 attendance section. 

The government guidance Supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has also been updated (19th April) to include a section on attendance expectations for each of the different groups attending school and on encouraging attendance.

Specialist Teaching Service

As part of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19), educational settings have been asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children and young people:

  • those who are vulnerable
  • those whose parents/carers are critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

The government encourages vulnerable children and young people to attend educational settings unless they have underlying health conditions that put them at severe risk.

Full guidance on SchoolsWeb

Any requests for hours of support that may have been purchased previously or requests to increase hours of support at this time will need to be dealt with individually. We will work on your behalf with the service to ensure any refunds are processed.

Fleet Management

For all those Schools and or Academies who have vehicles which during these unpresented times will remain unused for the foreseeable future. The expectation is, when the present period ends, there will be increased demand and call outs for flat batteries on vehicles, due entirely to lack of use during the COVID19 pandemic. Two recommendations have been suggested to keep any vehicles available and ready for use when they are required prevent unnecessary call outs to breakdown providers, thus saving time and money.

  1. The advice is to start and run the vehicle for 15 to 20 minutes per week to keep the battery fully charged. This period is a minimum as it will allow the battery to recoup the charge used to start it and the power lost due to power drawn to keep any items running in the background, clocks, alarms and infotainment systems.
  2. It is also advisable to drive the vehicle a few feet back and forth as this will prevent the handbrake or parking brake to remain free as vehicles left for long periods can suffer with “brake lock on” whereby the handbrake has stuck on.

The latest transport guidance is available on our public website

Education Psychology

No disruption to service delivery.

Insurance

Delays in usual response times, no disruption to service delivery.

Academisation

All courses cancelled until further notice. Processes continues as normal.

ICT

SIMS Support
Fully operational via phone, email & remote support services. Suspension of all training courses, workshops and seminars up to 17 April 2020. Review pending. Cancellation of Bursar and Admin support service until further notice

PSN broadband
Site visits by appointment only.  All field engineers have been provided with PPE. Some delays with call resolution times.  Any concerns around call handling should be escalated directly to George McGowan george.mcgowan@buckighamshire.gov.uk or via telephone 01296 387070.  Temporary prioritising for remote access and new email account requests to allow agile working within schools.

Property

Contractors are available when requested and will check for access prior to any onsite visits with appropriate PPE as required. Where schools remain partially open, normal service resumes. Full closure, testing and repairs are being attempted whilst unpopulated.

Health & Safety

Fully operational via phone, email & remote support services. Suspension of all face to face training and courses until further notice.

Please see Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for educational settings - GOV.UK for information on health and safety, and what to do if someone develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) whilst at an educational setting

Energy

Fully operational via phone and email for advice and support.

Civil Contingencies Unit

(formerly Emergency Management / Business Continuity Management)

Fully operational, working remotely and facilitating the corporate emergency response to Covid-19, engaging with response cells, CRMT and multi-agency responders / central government.

Human Resources

Payroll
No disruption to service delivery.

Pensions      
No disruption to service delivery.

Employee Relations
No disruption to service delivery. Suspension of face to face meetings/hearings until further notice.

Resourcing
No disruption to service delivery. Increased turnaround with advertising and recruitment.

Apprenticeships
No changes to service delivery around apprenticeships. All face to face meetings and hearings suspended until further notice.

Finance

The latest Covid-19 Financial Guidance updated 22 April  can be found here:  information on funding and financial support available for education, childcare and children’s social care organisations

All maintained schools are required to record any additional costs associated with the response to Covid-19 to report to the Corporate Management Team and the DfE on the financial impact of the pandemic.  This will include items such as increased staffing costs, loss of income and additional costs of supplies and services.

A template for schools to complete and submit to the Schools Finance Team on a monthly basis can be found here Download the expenses template. This has been revised on the 9th April following updated government guidance.  Please access the revised template and return to schoolfinance@buckinghamshire.gov.uk at the end of each month. 

Please refer to the COVID-19 Finance page  in the first instance if you have further questions.

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