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Education Bulletin - 10 March 2022

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Updated 10 March 2022

Important contact details

From Ming Zhang
Service Director of Education, Participation and Skills

Dear colleagues,

In response to the humanitarian crisis cause by the war in Ukraine, several Headteachers wrote in to offer schools' help to any related local emerging needs. The City Council would like to thank schools for this.

War in Ukraine

At this stage, our Ukrainian community remains a very small one without new arrivals fleeing from the country. Given the recent DfE guidance on political impartiality, some schools also raised that there may be ambivalence about how to approach this matter in school. I would like to advise that it is entirely appropriate to discuss this matter with pupils in accordance with the DfE specific guidance -

"Help for teachers and families to talk to pupils about Russia's invasion of Ukraine and how to help them avoid misinformation".

In the meantime, the following resources have been considered by many schools as relevant and useful in helping schools guide the discussions:

How to Help Students Talk about the News

Supporting young people and adults with Autism

Help for Parents to Talk to children and young people and young people about war and conflict

Activities introducing young people to international humanitarian law - age 14 to 19

A guide, written by Educators for Social Responsibility, helps adults talk to young people about difficult issues in the world

We should not hide from children what is happening in Ukraine

Talking about war and conflict in an age-appropriate way

If children are seeing upsetting content online about what is happening in Ukraine

If you are upset by the news, it is important to know that you are not the only one and it is ok to have those feelings

Sharing feelings and getting support when the world makes us scared, confused and unsafe or like we don't have any control

COVID Vaccination Programme

The vaccination programme has been and continues to be delivered within the appropriate legal framework, and in accordance with all necessary safety and risk assurance and governance processes.

Public Health agencies advise that all sites are asked to ignore the threats contained within any anti- vax letters and dispose of them accordingly. Sites are reminded to report these incidents via the SBAR process to enable accurate intelligence to be gathered by NVOC and UK COVID Vaccine Security (UKCVS).

I have included the detailed advice from Public Health in today's bulletin Best regards.



Education updates

EYFSP exemplification materials for schools

The DfE has published exemplification materials to provide support for schools when completing the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) assessment for children at the end of reception year.

These are available at: materials and include case study videos demonstrating teachers and leaders having professional discussions about individual children's development and their EYFSP judgements. 

The exemplification materials clearly show a move away from excessive tracking and evidence collection. What matters most is providing information to parents/carers and KS1 teachers in order to support each child's development and next steps.

DfE previously published a small suite of videos with direct messages from DfE, Ofsted and early adopter schools talking about their experiences in delivering the reforms and how they have changed their approach to the EYFS and assessment. These earlier videos are also part of the DfE's efforts to ensure a shift in culture away from unnecessary assessment paperwork for teachers. These can be found here stage-reforms

On Course South West

Did you know promoting training offers from providers outside of our local area can lose the city funding? Stay local, encourage people to choose a local provider, invest in the city of Plymouth. Click on the link to find out more and see our full offer: Contact us on: 01752 660713 or email:


Health, wellbeing and safety updates

Health for Teens

For those not aware the Health for Teens site is part of Livewell South West's offer. Information found on this site is credible and up to date. Please can you make your school population be aware of this site and/or consider providing a link via your school web site to it. Health For Teens | Everything you wanted to know about health


Government updates

The Department for Education (DfE) has made available advice and resources to help teachers, families and young people discuss Russia's invasion of Ukraine and avoid misinformation. The Educate Against Hate website is also available for schools as a useful resource when dealing with a range of issues relating to conflict and other difficult classroom conversations.

Ukraine: what you can do to help

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published guidance on 3 March detailing how the people of the UK can support Ukraine. This guidance details recommended approaches

for financial donations; making your donation safely; donating essential supplies; applying to be a sponsor; staying safe online and cyber security.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) workforce fund for schools

As previously announced by the DfE, the COVID-19 workforce fund has been extended to provide financial support to eligible schools and colleges, for costs incurred due to staff absences from 22 November 2021 until 8 April 2022.

The fund is available to support schools and colleges facing significant staffing and funding pressures in continuing to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils. Further information on the COVID-19 workforce fund is available in DfE's guidance for schools and colleges. The guidance has been updated to reflect the extension. The claims process is retrospective and will open in the spring.

Letters to parents and students from Minister Donelan for National Careers Week

Michelle Donelan, Minister of State for Higher and Further Education, has written to both parents and students to provide information on education, training and work choices for students finishing their GCSEs.

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