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COVID-19 Schools' Bulletin - 13 January 2022

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Updated 13 January 2022

Important contact details


From Ming Zhang
Service Director of Education, Participation and Skills

Dear colleagues,

In the past few days, you may have heard that there have been new advice and guidance issued by the UK Health Security Agency and local Public Health. In order to make sure that we are all keeping abreast of the latest developments, our Public Health colleagues have helped us to put together the latest advice in one place. We are finding that schools and early years settings need these updates especially the flowchart and the warn and inform, which are both included in today's school bulletin.

COVID situation in Plymouth

COVID-19 rates remain very high in Plymouth due to the Omicron variant. The current Public Health advice to residents highlights the importance of taking regular tests to make sure we don't have it. You will have already noted that from 11 January in England, people who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be required to self-isolate immediately and won't be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

The following table contains the latest infection rate among children and young people with an age group breakdown.

Area

0 to 4

5 to 9

10 to 14

15 to 19

Plymouth

730.7

1,130.7

1,344.4

2,171.9

South West

576.7

1,002.5

1,276.3

1,910.6

In addition to schools vaccination programme, health service's outreach vaccination for 12 + has been scheduled up until end of February. For your information, the details of the schedule are included in today's bulletin. The followings are a few things to note in relation to this 12 + outreach vaccination offering:

  1. Children attending must present with an adult with parental responsibility
  2. There must be a 12 week gap between 1st and 2nd jab
  3. They cannot have tested positive in the past 12 weeks for COVID

I have been advised that all schools should have already received CO2 monitors. If you have yet to receive them, please let us know via email as soon as possible and no later than Monday 17 January. The email address is schoolorganisation@plymouth.gov.uk

Some of you have told me that you are not satisfied with the DfE's criteria for a school to apply for an air purifier units. I will raise this at next catch up with the Department.

SEND and Disability Learning Opportunity

I would like to highlight a learning opportunity for school partners to access training. Special Education Needs and Disability Service (SEND) would like to invite school staff across Plymouth to come and find out more about them and the support they offer. A number of 'Meet and Greet' sessions have been organised during 2022 to raise awareness of the role of SEND including SEND Early Help, AHELP, Children's Disability Team, Occupational Therapy and the 0-25 Team.

Further details are included in today's bulletin and the sessions will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams with the dates and times listed below. To book and place and meet the team please email Fiona.Hurd@plymouth.gov.uk

Best regards.

Ming

 

Education updates

IMPORTANT: final reminder of KS1&2 statutory assessment training this term

For all maintained primary schools and academies that have a 2022 statutory assessment signed, written agreement with Plymouth local authority: bookings suggest that most teachers have registered on the appropriate online training sessions, however as this training is essential, please check that your teachers are attending relevant courses:

EY courses - for EYFS leaders:

  • 2022 statutory assessment briefing - details of the EYFSP and Reception baseline testing, data submission and LA agreement trialling, 3.30 - 5pm 22nd OR 23rd March 2022

KS1 courses:

  • KS1 statutory assessment: details of administering tests and teacher assessment, for Y2 teachers 3.30 - 5pm 8th OR 9th February 2022
  • Preparing for moderation; an in-depth look at end of KS1 teacher assessment, for Y2 teachers, 3.30 - 5pm 29th OR 30th March
  • Administering the Y1 phonics check, for Y1/2 teachers 4 - 5pm 24th OR 25th May 2022

KS2 courses:

  • KS2 statutory assessment training: details of tests and teacher assessment, for Y6 teachers; 3.30 - 5pm 1st OR 16th February 2022
  • Assessing English writing at the end of Y6, for Y6 teachers, 3.30 - 5pm 8th OR 9th March 2022
  • Administering the KS2 multiplication check, for Y4 teachers, 4 - 5pm Monday 23rd May 2022

To book please email Lucinda.ross@plymouth.gov.uk with the email address and details of which online event each teacher would like to attend.  

Centre of Excellence programme at High View School - Creative Education events

The following exciting and free events, hosted by High View School, are due to take place at the end of February/early March:

Day 1, 28 February - A National Conversation, 10am - 12pm via Zoom

Chaired by Kim Wide MBE, CEO of Take A Part, and Dr Ronda Gowland Pryde Creative Education and Engagement Consultant, this online symposium invites Centre of Excellence in Creative Education and With Flying Colours to present their work and findings in a Plymouth context alongside Room 13 (Hareclive, Bristol) and Turner Prize nominees Gentle Radical (Cardiff/West Bank).

Book online: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/caring-creative-learning-for-young-people-through-and-beyond-covid-19-tickets-176181723277

Day 2, 1 March - The Plymouth Framework - Connecting, Mapping and Planning, 9am - 4pm at High View School, Plymouth (with free refreshments/lunch) 

Delivered in partnership with Plymouth Cultural Education Partnership, and chaired by Ronda Gowland Pryde, educators, artists, cultural organisations and local policy makers will be invited to come together to better understand project outcomes, opportunities coming from the learning and how to create ways to best develop collective action in creative education and support for young people across the city.  Speakers will include artists and practitioners working on the ground on both the Centre of Excellence in Creative Education and With Flying Colours projects who will share their experiences.

Book online: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/caring-creative-learning-for-young-people-through-and-beyond-covid-19-tickets-176198292837

Livewell Speech & Language updates

The Livewell CYP Speech and Language Service would like to update you on free virtual training offer to settings.  Please see the attachment for further information on a range of packages to help schools develop awareness of speech, language and communication needs and supporting strategies.  We offer training to whole settings as well as a rolling programme for individual bookings.     

World Book Day

In additional to the Zoom Story Telling Project, The Plymouth Drake Foundation is delighted to offer all KS1 and Reception children an in person read of a brand-new children's book.  The book is called Stop Dropping Litter and is about a little girl called Scout...who likes to figure things out!

We have garnered the support of avid story tellers from every sector of the Plymouth community, including MP's, local Councillor's, The Lord Mayor, NMA, TRP, The Babcock Environmental Team, the Harbour Master, ProMare Conservation, Clean Our Patch, Law Firms and more, to act as readers.

At the end of the story, the children are welcome to ask the story teller questions and each class will be gifted a copy of the book and a 'Scout' worksheet for further engagement.

If your school would like to participate please email kerry@pcip.org.uk

Extension of the Virtual School Head Role Working Party

As you may already be aware, the role of the Virtual School Head Teacher has been extended by the DfE to oversee provision and outcomes for all children with a social worker. 

The key aims of this role are:

  • Make the disadvantage of children in need visible.
  • Enhance partnerships between education settings and the local authority so agencies can work together.
  • Promote engagement in education, including as a means of keeping children safe.
  • Identify the cohort's needs and intervene to overcome barriers to poor educational outcomes and narrow the attainment gap so children reach their potential.
  • Support and advise key professionals to help children make progress.

We would welcome interest from leaders working at both school and MAT levels, for example: head teachers, inclusion leads, SLT members, SENCOs and designated teachers to form an initial working party to discuss the key aims outlined above.

We would like to propose an initial meeting on Wednesday 26th at 12:00 Via Teams.

This will be followed by three further meetings on 8 February 12-1pm, 1 March 12-1pm and 22 March 12-1.

We would really value your time and input into these meetings to create a system which benefits all agencies. To register your interest please contact Carla.Bennett@plymouth.gov.uk by Friday 21st January to confirm your attendance at the first meeting,

Apprenticeship opportunities

Secondary schools - please see the attached flier outlining apprenticeship opportunities.

 

Health, wellbeing and safety updates

IMPORTANT: COVID document updates

Please note that there have been a couple of changes in the attached documents since Christmas/New Year break including this week. Please ensure previous versions are deleted and that these versions (note version number of attached documents) are used.

Additionally just to confirm: From 11 January in England, people who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be required to self-isolate immediately and won't be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

Also, if someone has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they are NOW strongly encouraged to take part in LFD testing on-site through ATS or at home once they have completed their isolation period for their prior infection.

Vaccination for 12-15 year olds

Please circulate the information below to your parents and pupils regarding vaccination for COVID-19. The table shows the walk in clinics across Plymouth throughout January and February.

Important information - please be aware

  • Children attending vaccination clinics must present with an adult with parental responsibility.
  • There must be a 12 week gap between 1st and 2nd jab
  • They cannot have tested positive in the past 12 weeks for COVID

If your child has had a recent positive COVID-19 test, they need to wait before getting any dose of the vaccine:

  • Wait 4 weeks (28 days) if you're aged 18 years old or over
  • Wait 12 weeks (84 days) if you're aged 12-17 years old
  • Wait 4 weeks (28 days) if you're aged 12-17 years old and at high-risk from COVID-19

This starts from the date you had symptoms, or the date of the positive test if you did not have any symptoms.

Walk in clinics in Plymouth for January and February - for those over the age of 12 who are eligible

Address

Date

Time

Central Methodist Church

Eastlake St, PL1 1BA

Thursday 13th January

11.00-17.30

Efford Library

19 Torridge Way, PL3 6JQ

Friday 14th January

12.00-19.00

Home Park

PL2 3DQ

Sunday 16th January

8.30-19.00

Home Park

PL2 3DQ

Monday 17th January  

 

8.30-19.00

Mutley Baptist Church,

Mutley Plain, PL4 6LB

Monday 17th January  

 

11.00-17.00

Home Park

PL2 3DQ

Tuesday 18th January

 

8.30-14.00

North Prospect Library,

163 N Prospect Road, PL2 2ND

Tuesday 18th January

 

12.00-19.00

Home Park

PL2 3DQ

Wednesday 19th January

 

8.30-19.00

Central Methodist Church

Eastlake St, PL1 1BA

Thursday 20th January

 

11.00-17.30

Home Park

PL2 3DQ

Thursday 20th January

 

8.30-14.30

Home Park

PL2 3DQ

Sunday 23rd January

 

8.30-15.00

Tothill Community Centre

119 Knighton Rd, PL4 9DA

Monday 24th January

12.00-19.00

Devonport Library

Chapel St, PL1 5JW

Tuesday 25th January

12.00-19.00

Central Methodist Church

Eastlake St,  PL1 1BA

Thursday 27th January

11.00-17.30

Mutley Baptist Church,

Mutley Plain, PL4 6LB

Monday 31st January

11.00-17.00

Central Methodist Church

Eastlake St, PL1 1BA

Thursday 3rd February

11.00-17.30

St Budeaux Library

Victoria Rd, PL5 1RQ

Friday 4th February

12.00-19.00

Tothill Community Centre

119 Knighton Rd, PL4 9DA

Monday 7th February

12.00-19.00

Elm Community Trust

51 Leypark Dr,  PL6 8UE

Friday 11th February

11.00-17.00

Fredrick Street Youth Centre

Frederick St PL1 5JW

Saturday 12th February

12.00-19.00

Mutley Baptist Church,

Mutley Plain, PL4 6LB

Monday 14th February

11.00-17.00

Four Greens Community

15 Whitleigh Green PL5 4DD

Tuesday 15th February

12.00-19.00

Central Methodist Church

Eastlake St, PL1 1BA

Thursday 17th February

11.00-17.30

Plymstock Library

10 Horn Cross Rd, PL9 9BU

Sunday 20th February

12.00-18.00

Tothill Community Centre

119 Knighton Rd, PL4 9DA

Monday 21st February

12.00-19.00

Morice Town (Salvation Army)

Balfour Terrace, PL2 1RS

Tuesday 22nd February

12.00-19.00

Central Methodist Church

Eastlake St,  PL1 1BA

Thursday 24th February

11.00-17.30

 

SEND training opportunities to support families

The local authority SEND team are providing bite size learning opportunity sessions for all staff, partners agencies and professionals in Plymouth City Council to help with early identification for support and advice to families who care for a child with complex needs and/or a disability. 

This exciting learning opportunity has been developed to help professionals gain a wider awareness of the role of SEND services at Universal, Targeted or statutory intervention and what support is available to a child and their family. 

The training will be delivered by staff who work within the SEND Services and therefore is an opportunity for professionals who attend the training event, to meet with the team members from the SEND Service with a Q&A opportunity.  The session is for 1 hour and being delivered monthly held virtual over Microsoft Teams.  There is no cost to attend this training event. 

For further information, dates and to register for this free training, please refer to Plymouth Safeguarding Children Partnership

Better Health - NHS food scanner app

Please see the attached flier outlining details and links to downloadable and orderable resources for schools to share with parents and pupils regarding the NHS Food Scanner App, which aims to encourage children, young people and their parents to explore what's in their food and make healthier choices.

Fund for School Breakfast Clubs across UK Reopens

Kellogg's, in partnership with Forever Manchester, is offering grants of up to £1,000 to schools to help fund breakfast clubs across the UK and ensure that children who need it most receive a morning meal.

A limited number of grants are available with priority being given to schools that either:

  • Have 35% and above of children eligible for pupil premium funding (for England) and eligible for free school meals (Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales)
  • Are based in an area which is classified as falling in the 10% of most deprived areas according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation.

Only one grant per school in each academic year is available.

Applications can be submitted at any time.

 

Government updates

Evidence summary: COVID-19 - children, young people and education settings

DfE papers summarising evidence in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly around children, young people and education settings. Added 'Evidence summary: COVID-19 - face coverings in education settings January 2022'.

Teach in England if you qualified outside the UK

Find out about the visa and immigration routes, qualifications and help available for overseas teachers who trained outside the UK. Updated information on the EU Settlement Scheme, salary requirement threshold figures for a skilled worker visa and international travel during COVID-19. Also updated the adviser service and contact section.

Responsibility for exams

Guidance for schools, colleges and exam centres on who should enter students for exams, the health arrangements for exams and the support DfE is providing. Updated 'Public health guidance to support exams for 2021 to 2022' with changes to the advice on face coverings and brought the guidance on self-isolation arrangements in line with other government guidance.

Keeping children safe in education: proposed revisions 2022

This consultation is seeking views on revisions to Keeping children safe in education, the statutory guidance that sets out what schools and colleges should do, and the legal duties with which they must comply, to keep children safe. The consultation closes at 11.59pm on 08 March 2022.

Government supporting schools and colleges to provide face-to-face learning for millions of children and young people

Hundreds of former teachers have signed up with supply agencies following the Education Secretary's call for them to temporarily return to the profession, data published on Wednesday 12 January shows. Initial data from around ten per cent of supply agencies shows that 485 former teachers have signed up with agencies, with some teachers already placed back in the classroom during the first week of term. A further 100 Teach First alumni have also expressed interest in supporting the workforce.

National school breakfast club programme

How eligible schools can apply for support for breakfast club provision. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges that schools have faced the DfE has extended provision beyond April 2022 and expanded school eligibility. Participating schools will receive 100% subsidies until the end of July 2022 and schools will be eligible for the programme if they have 40% or more pupils in bands A-F of the income deprivation affecting children index (IDACI).

Hundreds of thousands of pupils benefit from tutoring

Hundreds of thousands of children across the country benefited from catch up tutoring in the first term of the academic year, new figures from the Department for Education reveal. Over 300,000 tutoring courses began last term, nearing the total figure for the previous academic year, keeping the National Tutoring Programme on track to deliver the ambitious target of two million courses this academic year.

School recovery strategies: year 1 findings

Schools' approaches to education recovery in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This report details the interim findings from a mixed methods study which aims to understand how primary and secondary schools in England have responded to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what further support they need.

Reforming how local authority school improvement functions are funded

Consultation outcome - the report summarises the responses received, along with the government's response and next steps.

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