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Education Bulletin - 30 December 2020

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Updated 30 December 2020

Important contact details

Children's Service general queries

General Covid-19 queries to the Local Authority


Message from Ming

Dear colleagues

I would like to update you on school reopening next week further to the Secretary of State's statement to MPs, setting out the Government' revised plan for the return of schools in the new year.

School re-opening

Mr Williamson announced the changes to the time table for secondary schools returning. The staggered start for secondary schools has been pushed back. During the first week of term on or after January 4, secondary schools and colleges will only be open to vulnerable children and children of key workers. Pupils in exam years will return to face-to-face learning on January 11, with all pupils back in school on Monday, January 18.

Primaries in Plymouth City are not affected and pupils will return to primary schools as usual. Early Years, primary schools, special schools and AP in Plymouth back to on-site education as normal (the Guidance allows certain flexibility for special schools).

School testing

Mr Williamson stated that during the first week of term, secondary schools and colleges will prepare to test as many staff and students as possible. Testing will then begin the following week "in earnest with those who are in exam years at the head of the queue." This is in preparation for the full return of all pupils in all year groups on January 18 in most areas, including Plymouth.

Testing kits will arrive at all secondary schools and colleges on Monday 4th January between 8:30 - 10:30 am.

Change to Plymouth's Covid tier

Plymouth has moved from 'high alert' (tier 2) to 'very high alert' (tier 3).  Both tiers aim to limit social contact by preventing significant gatherings at home, outdoors and in public locations.

Socialising   In tier 3, there can be no social gatherings indoors or outdoors, and the rule of 6 applies in all outside areas. The change in tiers has no direct impact upon the activity of schools.

The DfE expect all schools and colleges to plan and carry out the tests, supported by the handbook.

If any schools find it difficult to plan the testing and need the advice, please in the first instance contact the Regional School Commissioner Hannah Woodhouse or the LA schools' Children Covid Response

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