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Education Bulletin - 5 November 2020

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Updated 5 November 2020

Important contact details

Children's Service general queries

General Covid-19 queries to the Local Authority


Message from Judith

I hope you're managing to follow the updates to guidance. Don't forget to use the POD where we keep all up to date guidance.

As we did a Bulletin on Tuesday I have not written an extensive Foreword today. At the regional meeting this week it was discussed that schools continue to have more positive cases but that these are in line with cases in the general population. On the whole the very robust measures schools have put in place to operate safely are having the desired effect.

Ofsted intend to resume inspections in January as you know but LAs feel strongly, and are representing a view to the DFE, that this is not feasible or helpful at this point. Equally we continue to make representation regarding examinations next summer.

We have been examining the CEV pupil data we have and will be contacting schools shortly regarding the pupils who may be affected at your school. Clearly we're just checking all aspects of confidentiality before this occurs.

Take care and keep up the good work,


Legal duty of schools to provide remote learning to pupils at home because of Covid-19

A new legal duty to schools to provide remote learning to pupils who are at home because of Covid-19 was announced last week. Schools are now expected to offer pupils not in class due to self-isolating or their school being shut because of local or national restrictions, the same lessons as those in class. This does not apply to children who have been kept out of school because of parental choice or post 16 students.

The new legal duty is outlined here in something called a continuity direction together with an explanatory note. Earlier this month, the Government published a temporary continuity direction about the provision of remote education under the Coronavirus Act 2020. The direction came into force yesterday and aims to reassure parents that schooling will not be disrupted if students have to self-isolate. Read more important information about Covid-19 for families with disabled children on Contact's website.

Face coverings in school

Following a number of media reports, the guidance relating to pupils wearing face coverings in schools is that face masks should be worn in certain circumstances by year 7 and above (rather than this being done at the discretion of the headteacher/SLT in the previous guidance).  A link to the guidance, in full, can be found below:

Changes to NQT Induction - DfE update on roll out of the Early Career Framework

Please see the information sheet attached to this Bulletin outlining the DfE changes to NQT Induction published this week. The summary sets out the main changes involved in the national roll out of the Early Career Framework (ECF) reforms and planned changes to statutory induction arrangements that will take place from September 2021. Whilst schools and local authorities are not required to take action yet, and further guidance will follow in the spring term, it will be useful to ensure that staff in schools, particularly NQT mentors, are prepared.

We understand that this year, in light of the impact of Covid restrictions on schools and universities, several schools have felt concerned that the current one year NQT induction period is potentially insufficient, and will no doubt welcome the extension of the induction period to two The extension of the induction period to 2 school years with additional ECT training. Online link at:

Early career framework reforms

SEND updates

Please find attached to this Bulletin a useful resource for SENCOs called 'Designing for SEN' that has been shared with the Local Authority by a school SENCO.

Please also find attached for information, an update on the delivery of the Plymouth City Council Educational Psychology Service.

Government updates

Guidance for full opening: schools

Main changes since this guidance was last updated New National Restrictions came into force on Thursday 5 November. Read how the following areas will be affected during the period of the New National Restrictions:

  • transport
  • use of face coverings
  • attendance - self-isolation and shielding
  • school workforce
  • clinically extremely vulnerable staff
  • wraparound provision and extra-curricular activity
  • physical activity in schools
  • residential care

ESFA Update: 4 November 2020

Latest information and actions from the Education and Skills Funding Agency for academies, schools, colleges, local authorities and further education providers.

Education plans from September 2020

Guidance for education providers about Ofsted's phased return to inspection. Added information about how Ofsted will carry out our work during the national restrictions starting on 5 November.

GCSE conditions and requirements 2021

GCE subject-level conditions for 2021- applying to AS and A level qualifications being awarded in 2021.

GCSE subject-level conditions for 2021 - applying to GCSE qualifications being awarded in 2021.

Conditions and requirements for the assessment of MFL GCSEs in 2021 - Proposals to modify the assessment requirements for GCSEs in modern foreign languages. GCSE MFL spoken language assessment criteria and approach - Pass, merit and distinction criteria for 2021 published, with flexible approach to assessment in class or on a one-to-one basis.

Letter from Glenys Stacey to Gavin Willamson, 5 November 2020

Ofqual's Chief Regulator responds to the Secretary of State's letter of 12 October 2020.

Next Bulletin: 12 November 2020

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