Updated government information for parents 22/06/20
Date: 22nd Jun 2020 @ 11:31am
The government have published an updated version of their document 'What parents and carers need to now about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus covid 19 outbreak'.
You can read the full document using the link at the bottom of this blog.
I have listed the relevant key points relating to primary schools below. Read these then when you have any further questions about the current situation in school, please feedback in the parent comments box at the end of the blog. I will then answer any additional questions you may have.
- 'We know that in some schools, there will be capacity to welcome more children back, in group sizes of no more than 15, before the summer holidays. This may be because take-up amongst eligible children is lower than expected, or because there is additional space still available within the school and available staff to teach and supervise. There is no expectation on primary schools to welcome back additional children where they do not have the capacity to do so.'
- 'Children in any year group with at least one parent or carer who is listed as a critical worker (or key worker) can attend school.'
'We have worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) to develop guidance on implementing protective measures which early years providers, schools and colleges should put in place. This guidance sets out a hierarchy of controls which create a safer system where the risk of transmission of infection is significantly reduced.
These controls are:
- avoiding contact with anyone with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
- frequent hand cleaning and good hygiene practices
- regular cleaning
- minimising contact and mixing
We know that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to early years and schools, we are taking this into account.
Early years providers, schools and colleges should reduce the risk of transmission by keeping children and staff in small consistent groups and keeping groups away from each other.'
'If a child, young person or staff member has symptoms compatible with coronavirus (COVID-19), or someone in their household does, they should not attend their school or other educational setting. If they develop symptoms while attending their setting, they will be sent home. Anyone with symptoms should self-isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days. They should follow guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Everyone has access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and should get tested in this scenario. If your child tests positive you should inform the school or other educational setting immediately.
'We strongly encourage children and young people who are in the eligible year groups to attend, unless they are self-isolating or there are other reasons for absence (such as shielding due to health conditions).
You should notify your child’s school or college as normal if your child is unable to attend so that staff are aware and can discuss with you.
Parents will not be penalised for non-attendance at this time.
If you are a parent of a vulnerable child and do not want them to attend school, speak to your social worker or school.
If you are concerned about the risk of your child contracting coronavirus (COVID-19) when attending, speak to your school or other education setting about the protective measures they are putting in place to reduce the risks of transmission for all children and staff in school.'
'We know due to coronavirus (COVID-19) there is increased pressure on household budgets, and we recognise families will face particular challenges over the coming months. That is why we are providing additional funding for a summer food scheme. The scheme will enable children who are eligible for free school meals to claim vouchers for the 6 week summer holiday period.
You can still apply for free school meals. Contact your local authority who will verify your eligibility.'
'Schools continue to be best placed to make decisions about how to support and educate all their pupils during this period, based on the local context and staff capacity.'
'Early years providers, schools and colleges should continue to support pupils attending school as well as those remaining at home, making use of the available remote learning support.'
'We have published a list of online educational resources to help children to learn at home. You can also access guidance on supporting your children’s education during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Further support includes:
- a list of online educational resources which have been identified by some of the country’s leading educational experts to help pupils to learn at home
- enhanced education provision from the BBC to include daily lessons
Parents with children under 5 years old can find ideas and activities at Hungry Little Minds. Read further guidance on how to help children 2 to 4 to learn at home during coronavirus (COVID-19).
- resources from Oak National Academy, a sector-led initiative to support teachers educating their pupils remotely during the summer term'
'Resources to promote and support children and young people’s mental wellbeing include:
- MindEd educational resources for adults about children and young people’s mental health which is relevant for parents and carers as well as volunteers, teachers, and other professionals working with children
- Every Mind Matters which supports looking after your own and other’s mental health
- guidance on looking after wellbeing and mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
- guidance on supporting children’s wellbeing and mental health
- Public Health England’s Rise Above platform
You can also find materials to promote and support mental wellbeing in the list of online educational resources we have published to help children to learn at home.
All NHS mental health trusts are setting up 24/7 helplines and seeking to use digital and virtual channels to continue delivering support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.'
'It is important that you talk to your children about online safety, show an interest in what they are doing online, including knowing the sites they will be accessing and who your child is interacting with online. In talking to your children, you can discuss age-appropriate ‘ground rules’ such as how much time they spend online doing different things, what games and apps are appropriate to use and what your children like and dislike about being online.
You should also consider setting up and reviewing age-appropriate parental controls. Setting parental controls can be a quick and effective tool to help protect children online.
Here are some useful links to help you keep your children safe online:
- government guidance on keeping children safe from online harms such as child sexual exploitation, cyberbullying and harmful content
- government guidance on staying safe online including parental controls, fact-checking information, communicating with family and friends while social distancing is in place and taking regular breaks from the screen
- Thinkuknow is the education programme from the National Crime Agency (NCA) proving age-appropriate resources for children and support for parents
- Parent Info is a collaboration between Parentzone and the NCA providing support and guidance for parents from leading experts and organisations
- Childnet provides a tool kit to support parents and carers of children of any age to start discussions about their online life, to set boundaries around online behaviour and technology use, and to find out where to get more help and support
- Internet Matters provides age-specific online safety checklists, guides on how to set parental controls on a range of devices and a host of practical tips to help children get the most out of their digital world
- LGfL provides support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online, including 6 top tips to keep primary aged children safe online
- Net Aware provides support for parents and carers from the NSPCC and O2, providing a guide to social networks, apps and games
- Let’s Talk About It provides support for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation
- UK Safer Internet Centre provides tips, advice, guides and resources to help keep children safe online, including parental controls offered by home internet providers and safety tools on social networks and other online services
Age-appropriate practical support for children on reporting concerns is available from:
- Childline – for general support
- UK Safer Internet Centre - to report and remove harmful online content
- CEOP - for advice on making a report about online abuse'