Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced that the Government’s five tests for easing the lockdown in England have been met, enabling all children to be welcomed back to early years settings and a phased return of some children to school, from Monday 1 June.
The welfare of children and staff has been at the heart of all decision making and Ministers want to thank all those involved in preparing for this milestone.
Here are some materials available to support settings as they prepare to open for all children:
- The DfE Early Years planning guide is available here
- A Foundation Years video podcast is available here
Please note, it is up to each provider when they are ready and safe to re-open, but the aim is now to work towards this scenario.
IMPORTANT: Updated Government Guidance for Schools
On Wednesday the 20th May, the government released updated safeguarding guidance as they plan for the phased return of children to schools across England.
Below are some key actions:
· Ensure the safeguarding policy has been reviewed and an addendum added (see exemplar from Stowe Valley attached)
· Ensure all staff know the name of the DSL(s) and how to contact them every day
· Risk assessments link together with safeguarding and health & safety policy
· Ensure safeguarding information remains up to date
· DSL(s) keep up to date with safeguarding issues
· There is no need to re-do DBS for staff away from school
· Consider the mental health of children that could have been impacted as a result of lockdown and COVID-19 .The guidance states schools should identify and support those children by telephone or from specialist/support services.
· Schools should do all they ‘reasonably’ can to ensure children at home are safe online
Andrew Hall has created a very helpful 10 minute video that explores the updated guidance, which you can watch here. Please do read the updated guidance also – this can be found here.
Should you have any questions, or should you wish to discuss anything in greater detail, then please do get in touch.
As always, thank you for all of your efforts.
DFE COVID 19 Guidance Documents issued and / or updated to 27 May 2020
All DfE COVID_19 guidance can be found here. We have tracked recent updates for you in the attached document.
Latest guidance note from NGA -The role of governing boards in the safe re-opening of schools
Please find attached a useful guidance note from the NGA .
Also, click here to access Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Coronavirus (COVID -19) and governance. These answers provide broad guidance rather than legal or procedural advice.
Lewisham risk assessment and planning tool
Please see attached Lewisham’s risk assessment and planning template for the wider opening of schools which we are asking Lewisham schools to undertake. The tool has been developed in consultation with the relevant headteacher, teaching and support staff trade unions to be used to plan for increased numbers of adults and children in schools, both increased numbers of vulnerable/ critical worker children and the wider opening to identified year groups. As things move on in schools, assessment and plans will need to be reviewed and measures in place evaluated.
In line with DfE guidance, schools and trusts need to work closely with parents, staff and unions as they normally would, when agreeing the best plan for their school’s circumstances.
We know that schools have been working on assessments to develop plans and we are asking schools to collate the information in the template to make sure all areas are covered before inviting groups of children to return to school. In line with DfE guidance, plans must be confirmed with the governing body.
We are asking schools to send their completed plans to us by Friday 5 June. This is not for quality assurance or validation purposes, but to confirm that risk assessments are in place across our schools and to use plans to identify good ideas and common issues and barriers across the Borough; to identify how we can further support our schools.
Completed plans should be sent to Ed Farrelly firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also contact Ed if you need any further support of guidance.