This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Teaching about mental wellbeing
Following the Government’s announcement on Sunday about additional mental health support for pupils and teachers, we have published a training module that supports the physical health and mental wellbeing section of the statutory relationships, sex and health education curriculum. This is the first of a series of 14 modules to support schools to implement the new curriculum.
We have developed this mental wellbeing teacher training module to help subject leads and teachers understand what they should teach, as well as improving their confidence in delivering mental wellbeing as part of the new curriculum.
The new curriculum becomes statutory in September 2020, but the content in this module may be useful for teachers who are currently working with pupils, either face-to-face or remotely, to support them to maintain good mental health and address issues before they escalate.
Further information on this training module can be found here:
Study launched to monitor prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Government has today launched a new voluntary study to assess and monitor the prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) among pre-school, primary and secondary school pupils and teachers.
The initial phase will collect data from up to 100 schools across England, with results available over the summer. We are working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care to identify suitable schools that may wish to be part of the initial phase of the study.
Participation from schools is on a voluntary basis, and all parents and guardians will be asked to provide informed consent prior to testing.
Further information on this study can be found here:
EdTech Demonstrator Programme launched to help schools and colleges provide education remotely
We have launched the EdTech Demonstrator programme. This is a network of schools and colleges funded to provide peer-to-peer support on making the best use of technology to support remote education.
EdTech Demonstrators are schools and colleges across the country that exemplify excellence in their use of technology. These establishments will provide training through webinars and recorded content, as well as direct and bespoke support for the schools and colleges that need it most. This includes training on how to use digital education platforms effectively (such as Google G Suite for Education, Microsoft Office 365, etc.) to support pupil’s education and to communicate effectively with the school community. It will also cover related content on digital safeguarding, supporting pupil and teacher wellbeing remotely and using technology to help support the needs of students with special educational needs and disability (SEND). Support can be tailored to the needs of your school or college and will be based on your start point, confidence in technology practices and the time available to senior leaders to engage in this continued professional development offer.
The programme is free to all state-funded schools and colleges across England. Those new to the use of digital education platforms or in receipt of devices from DfE, are particularly encouraged to engage in this programme.
You can find out more about the programme and register your interest in receiving free support here:
Guidance on safeguarding and remote education can be found here:
Funding available for set-up and training on digital education platforms
Funding is available to access expert technical support to get set-up on either Google’s G Suite for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education.
Digital education platforms can help schools to:
Schools and academy trusts can apply for funding through The Key:
The information below has not changed since yesterday.
Preparing for the wider opening of schools and early years settings
Guidance on the actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June, at the earliest, can be found here:
Guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings can be found here:
Guidance for early years providers to help them prepare to open their settings for children of all ages from 1 June can be found here:
Guidance for primary schools to help them prepare to open to Reception, year 1 and year 6 from 1 June can be found here:
Guidance for secondary schools to help them prepare to offer face-to-face support to year 10 and year 12 pupils from 15 June can be found here:
Guidance for parents and carers as schools and other education settings in England open to more children and young people can be found here:
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
8am to 6pm – Monday to Friday
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the helpline.
Updated handwashing advice
It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.
The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found at:
The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene. E-Bug has published posters on hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes, to display in bathrooms, classrooms and shared spaces.
The hand and respiratory hygiene posters and other educational resources can be found here:
Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.UK
All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can be found in one place on GOV.UK at:
In our second week of the current situation, with the majority of our pupils learning at home, we would like to share some advice for home learning. It is important to highlight that all of staff are continuing to work, just not in school. We still want to provide help and support for you all in this challenging time and ensure that pupils continue to learn. To help you further, we have put together an advice sheet on home learning. We hope that you find this useful. If pupils have any queries about their work in particular they can email their teacher directly on their school email or message them through Show My Homework.
Parent advice for home learning throughout school closure
The importance of home learning
- Whilst the current global pandemic poses many problems, this is certainly true for education and the progress and qualifications your child will be set to achieve.
- For most year groups the timeline for completing exams has not changed. Subject leaders and teachers strategically plan the curriculum for pupils to peak at the end of year 11/13 in regards to their learning.
- We recognise that this is an extremely difficult time for pupils who were due take exams this summer and we await further guidance from the government and Ofqual on this matter.
- For others the timeline has not changed and so the learning your child would have been accessing at school must still be covered in this time of school closure.
- The extent to which your child will be in line with their expected progress when school re-opens will be determined greatly by your support, encouragement and demand of their completion of the learning tasks set by the teachers.
- If some children in the class do not complete work that is set, whilst others are completing that work, I am sure you will be aware there will be gaps in that child’s knowledge when we return.
What you can do
- Children learn best when they understand routine. They already have a school timetable – they will make the appropriate progress in all subjects if they stick to this timetable.
- The night before/in the morning, check Show My Homework to see what tasks have been set. Some are longer projects; others are set for that day’s lesson or for the duration of the week’s lessons. Look for work for the subjects they should have on that day and complete those.
- Lots of celebrities and online platforms are offering good and exciting free learning packs/opportunities. These should only be done in addition to the lesson/learning tasks and not instead of, unless specifically set by the teachers. The learning the teacher sets takes into account the required curriculum, challenge and suitability for the pupils they have been teaching all year.
- All teachers can be contacted through Show My Homework or school email so pupils can ask questions relating to the tasks set. Although teachers are not in school, they are working from home.
- We do not expect you to teach your child, as we understand many of you will be working from home. Just make sure your child completes the tasks set and sends them to their teacher if requested.
- Break the day up and allow ‘break time’ and ‘lunch time’ to be fun. Try to get some fresh air in line with government guidelines of course and encourage social communication with friends through phone calls etc. from the safety of their own home.
- Encourage and celebrate their hard work – explain the importance of their learning at this time.
- The learning tasks that we expect them to complete will provide them with the necessary distraction, familiarity and purpose in these anxious times.
- If you have any concerns at all, please do not hesitate to make contact via email@example.com and your email will be directed to the most appropriate person.
N.B. Teachers will not be setting work over the Easter break as we believe that students need some downtime. Over the next few weeks, teachers will be having a staggered Easter break to allow for in-school provision to continue, therefore you may find that on some days after Easter work has not been set for students.