2:21 pm, Wednesday, 6th January 2021

Letter to Headteachers

Read the Letter to Headteachers from Joanne Hewson, Deputy Chief Executive/Director of Children’s Services sent on 6 January in regard to the new National Lockdown.

Please download the letter to view the links and PDF’s indicated in the content.

The content below includes the text only.

“Dear Colleague,

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a wonderful break. Although this is not the start to 2021 that we had hoped for, I know that we can work together to overcome the challenges that we all face in the new national lockdown.

Education Officers are working on local support processes to support provision and attendance for vulnerable children in conjunction with social care colleagues. Arrangements are likely to be similar to those set up during previous lockdowns, but we will communicate further details out later on this week, once finalised.

We are eagerly awaiting the guidance to be updated, so I will write to you more frequently in the days ahead as the picture becomes clearer. I have included links below to the guidance that has been updated thus far, but please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any advice at all. Your link officers are available to help and support you whenever needed. Assistant Director Sally Jack is in regular contact with the DfE, so please do inform her or your link officer of any concerns and questions that you would like to be raised.

New National Lockdown
The link and the PDF below provide a general overview to the restrictions for the new national lockdown.

Schools Open for Children of Critical Workers and Vulnerable Children
As with the lockdown in March 2020, the government has announced that schools will be open to all compulsory school-aged vulnerable children and children of critical workers, with nursery children at the
discretion of the headteacher. A child is eligible if they are classed as vulnerable or at least one of their parents or carers is a critical worker. The guidance below includes useful definitions for these groups.

Guidance for Full Opening of Schools
The guidance below has not yet been updated, but it contains useful information on remote learning, safe working and grouping of children.

Safe Working and Social Distancing
It is important that schools update their risk assessments in light of the national lockdown. Using the latest government guidance, the COVID-19 Secure Controls should remain in place during the latest lockdown period. Schools must comply with health and safety law, which requires them to assess risks and put in place proportionate control measures. Schools should thoroughly review their health and safety risk assessments and plans that address the risks identified using the system of controls.

Essential measures include:
• Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus
(COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school.
• Robust hand and respiratory hygiene.
• Enhanced cleaning and ventilation arrangements.
• Active engagement with NHS Test and Trace
• Formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school wherever possible, and minimise the potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable.

How contacts are reduced will depend on the school’s circumstances and will (as much as possible) include:
• grouping children together;
• avoiding contact between groups;
• arranging classrooms with forward facing desks;
• staff maintaining distance from pupils and other staff as much as possible.

Ideally, adults should maintain a 2 metre distance from each other, and from children. We know that this is not always possible, particularly when working with younger children, but if adults can do this when circumstances allow that will help.

Free School Meals
The guidance is not yet updated. We will let you know of any changes as soon as possible, however, schools should continue to provide food parcels daily or weekly to eligible children who are not attending school.

At the DfE’s request, please continue to complete the Education Setting Status Form daily as this is a vital tool in safeguarding our vulnerable children and young people. The data you provide through the portal allows us to monitor the attendance of all children, and also provides useful information regarding the spread of COVID-19. The DfE also uses this information to assess schools’ eligibility for additional digital resources for children and young people. Schools will be notified via email if they are eligible to receive further allocations of laptops and wifi devices.

Safeguarding and Remote Education
The link below gives useful guidance on protecting children and adults whilst teaching remotely.
Safeguarding and remote education during coronavirus Covid-19.

School Transport
Arrangements for contracted school transport have not changed and are operating as before the lockdown. We will update you if the guidance on school transport changes.

Public Health Webinar
On Friday 8th January at 9.30 am, Stephen Pintus and Diane Halton will be updating colleagues with the latest COVID-19 information for schools and the current picture in North East Lincolnshire. If you are unable to attend, please feel free to forward the meeting link to one of your colleagues. If you would like to ask any questions, please forward them to Wendy Jackson wendy.jackson@nelincs.gov.uk no later than 4pm on Wednesday 6th January.

PREVENT Champions Newsletter
Please see the latest edition of the PREVENT Champions Newsletter which has been circulated to Child Protection Co-ordinators.

SEND Parent and Carer Newsletter
The newsletters below contain useful information for colleagues and families.
Parent Carer
Newsletter 02-12-2020.pdf

Parent Carer
Newsletter 09-12-2020.pdf

Year 2 Phonics Data
All schools with Year 2 pupils have now submitted their Year 2 Phonics data from the autumn term 2020. The data is now published on Perspective Lite for your school to check. Please check that all Year 2 pupils are entered, and their scores are correct by the 15th January. This cannot be altered once it is submitted to the DfE and is the final data. Pupils that did not achieve the threshold will need to retake the phonics screening in June 2021. If you cannot access Perspective Lite to check these results, please contact Pete Thomas at peter.thomas@nelincs.gov.uk

National RSE Training
Please see the information below regarding the national RSE training offer. It is free, and if your school attends, you receive £50.
Relationships sex and health education.

RSHE poster_2c.pdf RSHE poster_5b.pdf RSHE_all_2.pdf secondary_2.pdf

Yours faithfully

Joanne Hewson
Deputy Chief Executive/Director of Children’s Services”