Schools and Covid-19: guidance and resources
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- Guidance published on asymptomatic testing for staff in primary schools and nurseries. This will be based on lateral flow tests, carried out twice weekly at home.
- Spring census takes place on January 21. Pupils who are absent from school on census day should be counted in schools’ census returns in the usual way. See the DfE guidance on unusual cirmcumstances for detail.
- The Edenred free school meal voucher scheme is open again.
- Public Health England have published a position statement regarding daily contact testing in schools. They recommend that the rollout of daily contact testing within schools is paused. Staff testing should continue, as should the testing of pupils on return to school. The relevant DfE guidance will be updated shortly.
For all the latest DfE documents, see coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for schools and other educational settings
Recent guidance includes the following:
- catch up premium
- consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021*
- contingency framework for education and childcare settings
- coronavirus (COVID-19) workforce fund for schools
- help with accessing and buying resources for remote education
- Ofsted: phased return to inspections.
*Note that the consultation on exam grades closes 11:45pm on 29 January 2021.
January 2021 sees most pupils accessing learning from home. Experiences so far mean that we have a better understanding of what makes for effective remote learning. Check out the following articles for ideas, along with Ofsted's guide to what's working well in remote education (which includes some helpful myth-busting).
- 10 tips for providing constructive feedback remotely
- Effective remote learning: six keys to success
- Homeschooling for children and young people with SEND needs
- How to develop a remote learning strategy for self-isolating pupils and staff
- Remote learning for pupils with SEND: five tips
- Risk assessment and consent for live streaming
Maintaining a consistent approach to curriculum planning is a particular challenge this year, with pupils in and out of school and uncertainty around exams. These articles and resources may be of use.
- Consolidating and reviewing learning: task setting and assessment
- Planning for curriculum adjustments
- Planning SEND provision for 2020/21: five evidence-based recommendations
- Preparing to use your catch-up premium
- Rising strong pathway
Keeping in touch with parents is even more important in difficult or challenging times. These five tips for communicating with parents and building trust include a downloadable template to help you coordinate messages.
It's also a good time to revisit your communication strategies during remote working.
Supporting mental health and wellbeing of pupils and staff is a priority for schools. Are you ready to spot the signs that pupils may be struggling?
Advisers on our Wellbeing Award for Schools have distilled their experiences with schools over recent months into an eight step downloadable framework for supporting emotional wellbeing during and after lockdown.
The video recording of David Beeney's workshop on managing the mental health of all provides useful guidance, for example a suggested process for line managers to follow when having a mental health conversation.
Sadly, some members of your school community are likely to have experienced bereavement due to Covid-19. For a better understanding of how children and young people are likely to experience grief, see Zoe Dale’s article supporting bereaved pupils: advice for staff and the recorded workshop how to support pupils with bereavement.
You can find further resources at: