COVID-19 School Provision
COVID-19 School Provision
Updated guidance on school provision and actions for education and childcare setting, updated, on 1st June, to reflect the announcement by the Prime Minister that the government’s 5 tests have been met and the decision, based on all the evidence, to move forward with wider opening of education and childcare settings.
Latest guidance on how educational and childcare settings should prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020, including information on:
- year groups in first phase of wider opening
- the latest science
- managing risk and rate of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19)
Key areas in this document:
- Year groups in first phase
- Approach and Implementation
- Risk assessment
- Class sizes and staff availability
- Protective measures in education and childcare setting
- Vulnerable children and young people
- Alternative Provision
- Special schools
- Sixth form and further education (FE) colleges
- Priority groups
- Assessment and accountability
- Staff workload and wellbeing
- Costs associated with opening for more children and young people
Planning Guide for Primary schools The latest guidance on how Primary settings can prepare to from 1 June 2020, including information on:
- Planning framework
- Options for delivery
Planning Guide for Secondary Schools from 15 June 2020 - GOV.UK This guide is designed for mainstream and alternative provision secondary schools (including those with a school sixth form).
Please see the Wider Opening of Schools section for more details
The Department for Education has issued FAQ guidance on school provision for vulnerable children and young people:
Letter from Gavin Williamson to all local authority Council Leaders, Chief Executives, and Directors of Children’s Services, 21st April
When will school's re-open?
Government guidance on the 11 May states:
From the week commencing 1 June 2020 at the earliest, we will be asking primary schools to welcome back children in Nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups. We will ask secondary schools, sixth form and further education colleges to offer some face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of year 10 and year 12 students who are due to take key exams next year, alongside the full time provision they are offering to priority groups.
We are also asking nurseries and other early years providers, including childminders, to begin welcoming back all children.
On 24 May the Prime Minister announced that:
Secondary schools should plan on the basis that from the week commencing 15 June, they can invite year 10 and 12 pupils (years 10 and 11 for alternative provision schools1) back into school for some face-to-face support with their teachers, subject to the government’s 5 tests being met.
They are asking secondary schools to offer this face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of year 10 and year 12 pupils, which should remain the predominant mode of education during this term for pupils in these year groups.
Their assessment, based on the latest scientific and medical advice, is that we need to continue to control the numbers attending school to reduce the risk of increasing transmission. Therefore, schools are able to have a quarter of the year 10 and year 12 cohort (for schools with sixth forms) in school at any one time.
Any plans that secondary schools have made for pupils to return earlier in June should be amended to commence from 15 June.
Schools should refer to the guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings to support their planning to welcome back year 10 and year 12 pupils. This document provides information on the approaches we are asking all schools to take to minimise risks as children and young people return to school.
This guide is designed for mainstream and alternative provision secondary schools (including those with a school sixth form). Some of this information may be helpful to those leading special or hospital schools, although it has not been developed with those settings in mind. We have also published guidance for further education providers, including sixth-form colleges.
Planning for the return to school
The government have created the framework Opening schools for more children and young people initial planning framework for schools in england
- to help school leaders and trusts to start to think through the steps they might need to take to open their schools for more pupils
- as a starting point from which schools and trusts may choose to develop their own plans
This framework will be developed further and we will work with the profession to produce more detailed guidance ahead of 1 June 2020, alongside updates to existing guidance as necessary ahead of 1 June. The government will also be producing operational guidance for childcare settings and colleges, in addition to further advice for schools. Please read in conjunction with continuity planning models.
Further guidance on reopening can be found in Preparing for the wider opening of schools from 1 June
If I cannot open during the school closure period, where can I send our pupils?
In the event of an exceptional closure any parent with a child that is entitled to continue attending a setting (i.e. those with key worker parents, children with an EHCP and vulnerable children) that does not have a place can contact the following for support:
- Pre-school/Early years (0-5) email@example.com
- School age children firstname.lastname@example.org
Please ensure that you update the SchoolsWeb closures page and ensure that any child who is entitled has a place elsewhere before you make the decision to close.
Do both parents need to be key workers to qualify?
Guidance to professionals states that although this provision is available to any family within these groups as long as at least one person is a designated key worker, ‘many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure that their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be’. This is further reinforced in the guidance to parents.
Together with the Chairs of the School Partnerships, we believe that the best way forward is for each school to write to their parents directly and immediately and invite them to come forward and identify themselves if they are a key worker and wish to take up the offer of childcare. Please refer to the guidance above but also be mindful that there will be other council staff not on this list who are carrying out critical and essential duties in response to Covid-19 and their children will need access to local childcare.
Offering places for other children considered to be vulnerable
Vulnerable children and young people for the purposes of continued attendance during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak are those across all year groups who:
- are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children and young people who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked-after child
- have an education, health and care (EHC) plan and it is determined, following risk assessment, that their needs can be as safely or more safely met in the educational environment
- have been assessed as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities (including children’s social care services), and who could therefore benefit from continued attendance. This might include children and young people on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services, adopted children, those at risk of becoming NEET (‘not in employment, education or training’), those living in temporary accommodation, those who are young carers and others at the provider and local authority’s discretion.
- have been assessed as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities (including children’s social care services), and who could therefore benefit from continued attendance. This might include children and young people on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services, adopted children, those at risk of becoming NEET (‘not in employment, education or training’), those living in temporary accommodation, those who are young carers and others at the provider and local authority’s discretion
The term ‘all year groups’ in this context for attendance purposes refers to children under 5 eligible for early years entitlements and children and young people aged 5 to 18 (or aged 5 to 25 for children and young people with an EHC plan).
We know that schools will also want to look to support other children who are vulnerable where they are able to do so. The government has said that senior leaders, especially DSLs (and deputies) are in the best position to know who their most vulnerable children are and have the flexibility to offer a place to those on the edges of receiving children’s social care support
If a parent says they are a key worker, but their profession is not on the government’s list
If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
If it proves necessary, schools can ask for simple evidence that the parent in question is a critical worker, such as their work ID badge or pay slip.
Providing a school place for pupils living with vulnerable adults
We know that schools will also want to support other children facing social difficulties if possible, and we will support head teachers to do so.
Recording that you are only open for vulnerable/key workers children on the schoolsweb school closures website
If you are delivering vulnerable children and key worker support please select:
Partially closed - specific circumstances (including if operating in a ‘hub’ on another site)
Use the following (or similar) wording:
Following Government guidelines during Coronavirus we are open for pupils of Key Workers, pupils with and EHCP and vulnerable pupils. For pupils eligible for Free School Meals our arrangements during this time can be found at <insert link here>
Or if operating in a ‘hub’ on another site
Following Government guidelines during Coronavirus we are open for pupils of Key Workers, pupils with and EHCP and vulnerable pupils, but operating from x school site. For pupils eligible for Free School Meals our arrangements during this time can be found at <insert link here>
Set the period of closure to the end of the month and set a reminder to yourself to review it the day before.
If you are unable to open due to staffing please select:
Please explain the reason for closure and any anticipated date for reopening. Also include information regarding Free School Meals
For pupils eligible for Free School Meals our arrangements during this time can be found at <insert link here>
Set the period of closure for the shortest possible time considering your circumstances.
If you are temporarily closing for a period of time because you have no children attending your setting, please select:
Please use the following (or similar) wording:
The school is currently closed as there has not been sufficient demand for us to remain open. If you are a key worker, your child has an EHCP, or is defined as vulnerable by the current guidance, and you wish us to support you then please contact <insert details here>. The school will re-open if there is a need communicated to us by parents.
Set the period of closure for two days and review daily.
Are all Pupil Premium children considered vulnerable?
We know that schools may also want to support other children who are vulnerable where they are able to do so. However, eligibility for free school meals in and of itself should not be the determining factor in assessing vulnerability.
Alternative providers for Key Worker children
Adventure Learning Charity ALC are offering sessions for Key Worker children at two of their Centres: Green Park (Aston Clinton) and Longridge (near Marlow)
- Laser Tag
- Go Karts
- Team Challenge
All have been risk assessed to take into account the Covid 19 requirements around social distancing and disinfecting. For more information, contact Suzie Skehill below:
Suzie Skehill | Head of Centres & Apprenticeship Programme Manager
Tel: 0203 356 7116 | Mob: 07702104852 Suzie.Skehill@adventurelearning.org.uk
Are Teachers and TA's to be recognised as key workers?
Yes they are. The government guidance at this link includes a list of who is identified as a key worker in education and childcare sector:
This includes childcare, support and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
Criteria to help schools determine which pupils should be given a place at school, should they be over-subscribed
This will be a decision for headteachers, based on your own school circumstances. It is important to underline that schools, all childcare settings (including early years settings, childminders and providers of childcare for school-age children), colleges and other educational establishments, remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
Schools, and all childcare providers, are therefore being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.
We know that schools will also want to support other children facing social difficulties, and we will support head teachers to do so.
Ratios requirements for different age groups
This will depend on the age and category of need of the pupils attending the school. A personalised approach is pertinent in the circumstances and Headteachers should make the decision based on the provision being offered.
Can schools flex on legal requirements in order to deliver this service?
The government have stated:
Legislation has been passed that allows for the temporary disapplication or modification of some requirements on schools to enable them to focus on this core new ask. Schools should focus on safeguarding duties as a priority. Where schools and trusts have concerns about the impact of staff absence – such as their designated safeguarding lead or first aiders – they should discuss immediately with the local authority or trust.
Handling new or existing complaints
DfE does not expect schools to handle new or existing complaints while they are closed. Schools should, however, still engage with parents and pupils where they can. Complaints can be considered once the government confirms schools can safely reopen.
Contact your local council or call the police on 101 if you’re told a child is at risk.
Schools and complainants can contact DfE for more information about school complaints.
Guidance for school libraries
Guidance has been developed by a Working Party convened jointly by CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), the CILIP School Libraries Group and the School Library Association (SLA). It will be updated periodically when new information becomes available. If this information is printed, please ensure that it is dated and refer back to this page for the latest version.
Created by a partnership of CILIP, the CILIP School Libraries Group and the School Library Association and written by a national Working Party of School Librarians, the guidance draws on advice from Public Health England and the COVID Team at the Department for Education. It covers both Primary and Secondary Schools in the UK, other than those in Scotland (for which parallel Guidance will be developed based on advice from the Scottish Government).
The guidance itself has been developed in response to over 80 contributions and requests for clarification received from the school library community. It emphasises the safety and welfare of everyone who interacts with the school library, including the pupils, teaching staff, library staff and volunteers. It is predicated on the assumption that a prior risk-assessed decision has been made to re-open the school and we are fully supportive of the decision-making process that has been put forward by the National Education Union.
The guidance includes downloadable template COVID Risk Assessments for Primary and Secondary School as well as information on book and resource circulation, managing physical spaces and supporting online engagement. It will be updated periodically as new information becomes available.