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Education Bulletin - 7 July 2020

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Updated 7 July 2020

Important contact details

Daily attendance returns by 1.00pm each day

Children's Service general queries

General Covid-19 queries to the Local Authority


Message from Judith

Dear colleagues

With the end of term rapidly approaching I know we are all trying to get plans in place (at least on paper) for September. Here in the LA we are also hoping to finalise the 'map' of paid provision that will be available to parents so if you haven't let us know yet whether you are offering a holiday club, please do!

The planning group meet tomorrow to consider what we do, and don't know, about the guidelines for September opening and we hope to have something to share as soon as possible. A bank of ideas, up to date guidance and planning templates to help you will be with you by the beginning of August if not by the end of term. We have a web base for this so you can access easily from a link when you need to.

You may have seen in previous bulletins that we are concerned about pupils getting to school if bus or train routes are reduced. We are working with Plymotion and the Transport Infrastructure team to look at options but we will need from you as much information as you can give us about the way your pupils travel to school.

I hope as ever the Bulletin is helpful,

Take care,



Skills Launchpad Plymouth: new Youth Hub to support our young people   

We have previously shared details of the Resurgam economic recovery programme for the city in the Schools Bulletin, and can now bring you up to date with further progress. We recognise that the impact of economic distress and uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic points to a challenging time for 16-24 year olds who traditionally are hit hard during recessions with a smaller economy and employers in survival mode making rising youth unemployment inevitable.

Our response through the Resurgam Skills4Plymouth strategic Pillar, will be to deliver Skills Launchpad Plymouth - a 'one stop shop' as the enablers to support local people, young people (through the Youth Hub) and adults (through the Adult Hub), with a matching service to pathways into employment, apprenticeships, training, education, volunteering and self-employment.

There has been a city wide response, and post-16 delivery partners and stakeholders across the city (including schools) have come together to develop this joint offer to all young people, with an immediate focus on school leavers. Skills Launchpad Plymouth will be launched at Cabinet on 14 July. 

As part of this, and in collaboration with DWP, Youth Hub Plymouth will go live on 23 July with our first virtual careers fair targeted at 16-24 year olds and their influencers, followed by a two week engagement campaign over the exam results period in August.

We will be providing you with further updates and links to relevant websites as this project develops further. Schools seeking additional information should contact:


Message from the PPE Team

As you are aware, Plymouth City Council has provided emergency PPE supplies to external front line services to overcome the disrupted COVID-19 PPE supply chain during the past 3 months. This has been conducted in partnership with government sourced supplies. Recently we have extended our support across the city by procuring PPE at competitive market rates and we have offered PPE on a non-profit re-sale basis. This approach has increased resilience in City wide PPE stock levels.

As we move out of lockdown, the number of cases have fallen and the PPE supply chain has largely recovered, with the Clipper system now on line and supply currently exceeding demand, it is timely we review our approach. As a result we have decided that the supply of PPE on a re-sale basis will cease on 31 July 2020. We are of course committed to maintaining sufficient supplies to respond to any Covid-19 outbreaks that you may experience. During this time we will also be closing down the PPE mailbox and establishing a new central contact system that you may contact us. We will be sending out details of this in due course.

We will continue to supply PPE on a re-sale basis up until 31 July 2020. PPE stock is limited and individual stock items may be removed from sale during the period up to and including 31/07/20. For any organisation who may be experiencing difficulty procuring PPE, please contact us and we will signpost you to a list of PPE suppliers. We will keep this situation under review and working with the Health Protection Board if there are further significant outbreaks we will once again look to increase support to the sector. We thank you all for the support you have offered to the City and our residents during this extremely challenging period.


A resource to share

Schools might be interested in making use of the link below to the e-storybook My Back to School Bubble. Based upon suggestions provided by Public Health, 'My Back to School Bubble' aims to help children understand the new protective measures that may be in place at their school, in an age-appropriate way. It reinforces public health messages including the importance of hand and respiratory hygiene, while reassuring children that everyone makes mistakes, helping to combat feelings of anxiety, that have been reported by parents. The published story is available as a free download and can be found alongside other COVID-19 resources on the e-Bug website.


Daily attendance update

As the attendance pattern settles following June wider opening and the return of years 10 and 12 in secondary schools, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with the overall summary of school attendance for last week.


Voice of Schools Survey

The Service Children In State Schools National Executive Committee is the 'Voice of Schools' supporting Service children, currently across England, and has been established for almost 20 years. The Committee comprises a range of professionals who work with Service families, including representation from Plymouth and MKC Heroes. One of their successes was the introduction of the Service Pupil Premium Grant.

SCISS are now consulting with schools to seek their views and experiences around Service pupils' education in England. SCISS want to respond at a national level on your behalf, to policy makers, making a real difference to the lives of Service children and their families.


Learning at the National Marine Aquarium

The National Marine Aquarium education team have put together a couple of offers to support learning right now, both for schools and for sharing with parents who are home educating:

  1. A virtual tour of the aquarium for schools, delivered by a member of the Schools Team. Each tour costs £60, and lasts for up to an hour. The tour will visit all of the key front of house exhibit areas as well as some behind the scenes areas. Throughout the experience children will be able to speak with the guide who will answer their questions and explain all about the animals and ecosystems on display at the NMA.
  2. A virtual tour of the aquarium for home educators/students,the same experience as described above, except sessions are pre-scheduled by us, and can be joined by anyone. Each tour will be limited to 12 virtual connections to ensure guides are able to answer all the questions of the people on the tour. These sessions will be £4 per connection.

The team are also reviewing the possibility of running physical sessions in the Aquarium over the summer for groups of students by appointment. For further information email:


Latest Government updates

Ofsted to visit when schools and colleges return in autumn - Ofsted will start visiting schools and colleges after the summer holidays to see how they are getting back up to speed, after being closed to most pupils and learners for so long. This guidance Education plans from September 2020 for education providers has more information about Ofsted's phased return to inspection.

The government has announced that schools in England will benefit from £320m from the PE and Sport Premium during the academic year 2020-21. The premium is designed to help children get an active start in life, supporting primary schools to improve the quality of their PE and sport provision. The funding for PE and Sports was doubled in 2017 and will continue at this higher rate next year.

Changes to the law on education, health and care needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus (COVID-19) 
The guidance on temporary changes to special educational needs and disability legislation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been updated to reflect the announcement on 02 July that, unless the evidence changes, there will be no further national notices issued to modify section 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

Thousands of children offered nutritious breakfasts during summer 
The Department for Education has confirmed that charity coordinators of the National Breakfast Club Programme, Family Action and Magic Breakfast, will work closely with schools in disadvantaged areas so children most in need can continue to get a healthy breakfast in July and August.

Teaching mathematics in primary schools 
New guidance for teaching mathematics at key stages 1 and 2 to help pupils progress through the national curriculum.

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