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Latest Information for Educational Settings - Updated Friday 22nd May 2020

 

Update - Friday 22nd May 2020

Update from the CES on Procurement Policy Notice (PPN) 02/20 – additional sector guidance for state funded schools

The CES has indicated that updated guidance from the DfE is available and can be accessed by following this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0220-supplier-relief-due-to-covid-19/procurement-policy-notice-ppn-0220-supplier-relief-due-to-covid-19-additional-sector-guidance-for-state-funded-schools

The key points to note from the guidance are as follows:

  1. Schools will continue to receive their core funding allocations regardless of any periods of closure or reduced operation and will therefore be in a position to consider supporting suppliers at risk.
  2. Supporting suppliers during this period is not an expense that is eligible for support from the additional fund that the DfE has put in place to support schools with unavoidable additional costs.  Suppliers should only be supported through core funding allocations.
  3. The PPN is advisory.  It does not bind contracting authorities, (which includes maintained schools and academy trusts), to do anything other than what they feel is appropriate in the circumstances.
  4. The guidance details a five step approach that the Department suggests is used in order to evaluate suppliers who fall within the scope of the PPN.  Whilst this approach may not work for all schools and academies it is a useful starting point for determining how the PPN could be implemented.
  5. Schools and academies should keep an audit trail of the decisions made in relation to their supplier contracts.  This audit trail should be maintained throughout the period of the PPN and retained afterwards for audit purposes.
  6. Reference can also be made to the Cabinet Office PPN and FAQ documents which can be found by following the link below and questions can be sent to PPN0220.QUESTIONS@education.gov.uk

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0220-supplier-relief-due-to-covid-19

 

 

ADVICE NOTE ON A PHASED RETURN OF SCHOOLS (posted on Wednesday 20th May, 2020)

The DES is very mindful of the significant challenges each school faces as you consider your approach and response to the government’s intention of a phased return of some children to school. To support diocesan schools in planning for the re-opening of schools from June 1st, please find below some guidelines, guidance and literature which we hope you will find helpful when formulating your plans. Please note that this is provided in addition to, and not a replacement for, guidance from LAs and/or Trust Boards.

The notes here are centred around the key areas of:

  • Government guidance
  • Health & Safety
  • Risk Assessments
  • Other Sources of Guidance

  

Government Guidance

The starting point is the guidance issued by the Department for Education which you can find by following these links:

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures?utm_source=ff2d8d9d-2d96-444e-b822-0f33cb999bb9&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures?utm_source=14eca40b-5c2d-41f1-9f44-3604decd9d96&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june

 

The links above also include a link to the Government’s planning guide for primary schools. You may also wish to look at the overview of the scientific advice, which confirms that at the moment schools are being asked to plan for re-opening from 1st June.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/overview-of-scientific-information-on-coronaviruscovid-19

 

A final decision regarding whether or not schools should actually open will be taken on 28 May.

 

Health & Safety Requirements

The Department for Education has been clear that the 1st June re-opening date is aspirational.

The guidance issued by the Department is non-statutory and, when considering re-opening, governing bodies and the boards of academy trust companies must be cognisant of their legal responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of their staff and pupils. This duty is to eliminate risk where possible. However, where it is not possible to eliminate a particular risk, the duty is to take such action as is reasonably practicable to mitigate that risk.

It is not going to be possible for any governing body or board to state that there is no risk involved in re-opening, but what governing bodies and boards must do is ensure that a thorough risk assessment is conducted by school leaders in order to determine what the risks might be and how they might reasonably be mitigated.

It is for governing bodies and boards to interrogate those risk assessments and to provide support toschool leaders in making decisions about whether or not, and in what format, schools might be reopened.

The scientific advice states, “settings are best placed to understand the risks in their individual circumstances, so we are asking every setting to carry out a risk assessment before opening. The assessment should directly address the risks associated with coronavirus, so that sensible measures can be put in place to control those risks for children and staff”. It will not be possible to have a one size-fits-all approach to re-opening and each school will face different challenges.

The risks identified and the ways of mitigating those risks will differ from school to school and area to area and it is important that all governing bodies and boards take appropriate decisions based on what is reasonably practicable in their own circumstances.

At the current time, schools are not being legally compelled to re-open. At the moment the decision about whether or not to re-open, and which pupils to re-open to, is a decision for each governing body or board.

 

Content of risk assessments

The CES advises that when considering re-opening, schools start from the position that they intend to open for the groups identified in the guidance. Schools should then work through the risks from that starting position.

If at the end of that process governing bodies, boards and school leaders do not think that their schools can be safely opened, or if they feel that they can only re-open provided that certain reasonable precautions are put in place (for example by opening for some of the identified year groups but not others), then they are able to take that decision and should be supported in doing so.

Some key questions that schools might ask during the risk assessment process are:

 

  1. Who might be at risk? Will some individuals be exposed to more risk than others?
  2. Will any planned school activity increase the risks to staff and pupils?
  3. Can the school decide not to undertake a certain activity as a way of eliminating a specific risk?
  4. If it isn’t possible to eliminate the risk by not undertaking the activity, are there any reasonably practicable steps that could be taken in order to mitigate that risk?

Schools should record the answers to these questions as part of any risk assessment.

Schools should communicate with staff, parents and, if appropriate, pupils about how risks will be mitigated and what part they can play in ensuring that the school environment is as safe as possible. It is important for schools to make sure that everybody is taken on the journey and that staff, pupils and parents know what part they can play in keeping the school community as safe as possible.

Schools may need to redraft or amend certain policies (for example the health & safety policy and/or the behaviour policy), training may need to be provided on the implementation of the new policies, and there will then need to be an ongoing process of monitoring, supervision and review. It may not be possible to get everything right on day one. School leaders will need to reflect on the measures that they put in place and adapt them as necessary. Feedback from staff, parents and pupils may help with this process.

The key will be to make sure that all decisions are fully documented and include an explanation of how and why particular decisions were reached.

 

Other sources of guidance

In addition to the guidance linked above, school leaders, governing bodies and boards may also like to consider the following:

 

  1. Guidance from Public Health England: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/publichealth-england
  2. Any guidance being issued by local authorities
  3. Decisions being taken by neighbouring schools
  4. Any advice from liability insurers who may be able to provide schools with a risk assessment template

 

A further suggestion is to look at the advice provided on the Health & Safety Executive’s website:

www.hse.gov.uk

 

We understand that Ellis Whittham is providing free webinars, template documents and advice through its Coronavirus Hub: https://elliswhittam.com/covid-19/register/

Various law firms are also providing a wealth of free to access advice for schools and academies on their websites:

https://wslaw.co.uk/covid-19

https://www.brownejacobson.com/international/internationalresources/coronavirus/education-updates

 

It is particularly important at this time that Governing bodies and boards provide support to school leaders as they deal with the issue of re-opening and that they engage in the process of risk assessment. Advice provided through any of the above sources will be generic but may provide some useful starting points. Governing bodies and boards should take specific advice if there are particular issues that they are unsure about.

 

 

 

The DfE updated their website on Monday 18th May concerning Actions for Schools during the Coronavirus Outbreak.  This can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing

 

 

Updates from the CES:      re   COVID-19 Update -Tuesday 12th May 2020

Following the announcement on Sunday, the government has issued various guidance documents about the continued response to COVID-19. This includes guidance for education and childcare settings to help them to prepare for wider opening of schools from 1st June. The CES has prepared a short summary of the main points contained in various guidance documents pertaining to the education sector, which is copied below:

Summary of the plans to re-open schools on 1 June 2020 contained in government guidance

It is the government’s intention to partially re-open schools, provided that the 5 key tests set by the government justify this, from 1 June 2020 for certain year groups/provision.  Schools are being asked to plan for re-opening on this basis now ahead of confirmation that the 5 tests have been met.

The key elements of the plans to re-open are as follows:

  • It will no longer be necessary for parents of eligible children to keep them at home if they can. This means that children of key workers and vulnerable children are encouraged to attend school where appropriate.
  • Schools will be open for the following pupils from 1 June 2020:
    • Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
    • Some face-to-face tuition should be provided for pupils in Years 10 and 12 though this will not be full time. Further guidance is expected on this issue.
    • Special schools, post-16 institutions and hospital schools are to welcome back more pupils, but they are not required to prioritise any specific year groups.
    • Alternative provision – reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to return full time. Years 10 and 11 are to have some face-to-face contact.
    • At Further Education colleges some face-to-face contact should be provided to those in the equivalent of Years 10 and 12. Again, further guidance is expected.
    • Parents will not be fined for non-attendance and schools will not be held to account for attendance levels.
    • The aim is that the remaining primary age pupils will return to school for around a month before the end of the summer term
  • Children and staff who are classified as clinically extremely vulnerable due to pre-existing medical conditions have been advised to shield and will not be expected to attend.
  • Parents of children who are clinically vulnerable should seek medical advice on whether it is appropriate for them to attend. Staff who are clinically vulnerable should also seek medical advice in order to determine whether it is appropriate for them to return to work.
  • Children and staff who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable should only attend where stringent social distancing can be enforced.
  • Children and staff who live with someone who is clinically vulnerable (including pregnant women) can attend.
  • All staff and pupils will be eligible for testing if they develop symptoms.

The government has also provided guidance on the appropriateness of PPE which is as follows:

  • The wearing of facemasks or other coverings is not recommended. However, they may be beneficial for short periods indoors where the risk of close contact is very high (i.e. on public transport).
  • Face coverings should not be worn by those who may not be able to handle them such as young children or disabled pupils.
  • Most staff will not require PPE even if they cannot always stay 2 metres away from others.
  • PPE will be required when staff are responsible for intimate care needs of pupils.
  • PPE will also be required if a learner becomes unwell whilst at school and is awaiting being taken home. In this instance a facemask will be necessary if a 2-metre distance cannot be kept. Gloves, aprons and facemasks should be worn if contact is required with the symptomatic individual.
  • PPE should be acquired through local supply chains.

The government has also provided additional operational advice which includes:

  • Undertaking a risk assessment
  • Limits on class and group sizes
  • Reorganisation of classrooms to maintain safe spaces
  • Reviewing and refreshing timetables to minimise contact between groups. The guidance confirms that schools will not be penalised if they are unable to offer a broad and balanced curriculum to their pupils during this period
  • Consideration of drop off and collection practices
  • Communication and consultation with staff, parents, carers and visitors.
  • The Government has confirmed that it will work with the profession to provide further detailed guidance in the coming weeks.

 

The NGA has issued some useful advice about the responsibilities of schools, in particular governing bodies, which is available on their website and can be accessed through the following link: https://www.nga.org.uk/News/NGA-News/May-2020/The-governing-board’s-role-in-the-safe-opening-of.aspx

Whilst the government guidance does not advocate the use of PPE in schools except in some circumstances or some settings, it is entirely possible that most schools will wish to acquire some stock of PPE for circumstances where the use of PPE may be required or advised. Churchmarketplace is working with the Bishops’ Conference to source supplies of PPE that would be available for schools and churches. Jenny Williamson will be making contact with each of you in order to gauge the level of demand from your schools, however, please do not hesitate to make the initial contact with Jenny in the meantime.

The CES would also like to draw your attention to an initiative being run by the AMS (Association of Muslim Schools). A communication was sent to the CES with the authority of the Faith Team at the DfE which introduced a face masks for heroes campaign being run in partnership with the Euro Quality Foundation. A copy of the communication is attached for your information. As you will see, all that is required is a response to the email with some simple details and the masks will be posted directly to schools.  This comminication is copied below:

 

From: AMS Chairman <chairman@ams-uk.org>

Sent: 10 May 2020 18:37

Subject: Masks for heroes

 

Dear colleagues 

With permission of Jonathan Daniels I am emailing you all to introduce our face masks for heroes campaign. It is being run in partnership with euro quality foundation. 

Key workers are risking their lives for us and to say thank you to them we want to give a gift to their children to keep safe which is a face mask. Many countries where schools have opened have made face masks compulsory. 

These masks are made of fabric and are washable and reusable.  Like many other things they are made in China but imported by a UK reseller. They fit early years to secondary age children.

We would love for you to be involved with us in this campaign . 

If you have schools which are open and teach key workers children please pass this email to them.  

To avail free face masks all they have to do is to fill the following details and reply to this email. We will post out the masks to the schools directly. We have limited stock hence we will ship out on a first come first serve basis. 

 

Name of school: 

Contact persons name: 

Mobile number: 

School address: 

Number of key workers children being taught currently at the school: 

Please email back to chairman@ams-uk.org 

 

Thanking you in advance 

Ashfaque Chowdhury 

Chairman 

Association of Muslim Schools (AMS) UK 

 

 

DfE  COVID-19 Update - Monday 11th May 2020

DETAILS ON PHASED WIDER OPENING OF SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND NURSERIES

Press Release from Gavin Williamson on 11 May 2020 

Plans for schools, colleges and early years settings across England to potentially open to more children and young people have been set out today (11 May).

As the Prime Minister announced yesterday, by 1 June at the earliest primary schools in England may be able to welcome back children in key transition years – nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.

Secondary schools, sixth forms and colleges will also work towards the possibility of providing some face-to-face contact with young people in Year 10 and Year 12 to help them prepare for exams next year.

However, as the PM has said, progress will be monitored every day. If the virus stays on the downward slope, and the R remains below 1, then – and only then – will it become safe to go further, move to the second step and reopen schools.

Early years settings may also be able to open for all children. The aim is for other primary years to return later in June, but this will be kept under review, and there are currently no plans to reopen secondary schools for other year groups before the summer holidays.

Priority groups, including vulnerable children and children of critical workers who have been eligible to attend throughout school closures, will continue to be able to attend schools, colleges and early years settings as they are currently.

The transmission rate has decreased, and the aim is that by 1 June at the earliest it will be safe for a greater number of children and young people to return to education and childcare. As a result, the Government is asking schools and childcare providers to plan on this basis, ahead of confirmation of the scientific advice.

This will only happen when the five key tests set by Government justify the changes at the time, including the rate of infection decreasing and the enabling programmes set out in the Roadmap operating effectively.

Guidance to the sector, published today (11 May), sets out a range of protective measures to ensure education settings remain safe places, including:

  • reducing the size of classes and keeping children in small groups without mixing with others
  • staggered break and lunch times, as well as drop offs and pick ups
  • increasing the frequency of cleaning, reducing the used of shared items and utilising outdoor space

Preparation for the potential reopening of schools will be part of the second phase of modifications to social distancing measures which the Prime Minister set out yesterday – following more people returning to work in step one, and coming alongside the possible reopening of some non-essential retail in phase two.

The Government will continue to work closely with the sector in the build up to and following pupils’ return.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

I know how hard schools, colleges, early years settings and parents are working to make sure children and young people can continue to learn at home, and I cannot thank them enough for that.

But nothing can replace being in the classroom, which is why I want to get children back to school as soon as it is safe to do so. The latest scientific advice indicates it will be safe for more children to return to school from 1 June, but we will continue to limit the overall numbers in school and introduce protective measures to prevent transmission.

This marks the first step towards having all young people back where they belong – in nurseries, schools and colleges – but we will continue to be led by the scientific evidence and will only take further steps when the time is right.

Whilst there will be no penalty for families who do not send their children to school, families will be strongly encouraged to take up these places - unless the child or a family member is shielding or the child is particularly vulnerable due to an underlying condition.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies advising the Government has a high degree of confidence that the severity of the disease in children is lower than in adults and a moderately high degree of confidence that children aged up to 11 are less susceptible to it.

All staff are already eligible for testing, and staff in shielding and high-risk groups should remain at home.

From 1 June, all children and young people eligible to return to their settings will have access to testing, if they display symptoms, as will any symptomatic member(s) of their household.

This will enable children and staff to get back to school if they test negative, and if they test positive a test and trace approach can be taken. Where a setting has a positive case, Public Health England will advise on the appropriate course of action, and the relevant group of people with whom the individual has mixed closely, should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

 

COVID-19 Update - Friday 1st May 2020

Updates from the CES following their latest meeting with the DfE:

Admission Appeals

Please click here for the CES latest advice in relation to school admission appeals during Coronavirus which takes into account the regulations referred to in our last update.

Funding Questions

As we stated in our previous updates, we have been asked by Dioceses for guidance about what schools should be doing in relation to paying their contractors.  We have been informed by the Department this week that there is no further guidance being published for schools in relation to PPN 02/20 at this stage and schools are advised to contact PPN0220.QUESTIONS@education.gov.uk if they have queries about the operation of PPN02/20 in specific circumstances.  We would be interested to hear from any schools that receive responses to enquiries sent to this mailbox so that we can collate the advice given and circulate it where appropriate.

Recruitment

The Department has now issued guidance in relation to recruitment as part of its general Covid-19 advice which covers the points we made in our last update, including in relation to notice periods.  The advice can be accessed by following this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures?utm_source=e2370cff-637a-4f13-8694-04ca86c2aed8&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Following on from our communication earlier in the week in relation to virtual recruitment, Nancy Walbank from the Diocese of Lancaster has also put together a useful document which has been uploaded to the DSC Teams Site.

Arrangements in relation to Newly Qualified Teachers

The government has issued guidance in relation to NQTs and the impact of the Coronavirus to support the implementation of The Education (School Teachers’ Qualifications and Induction Arrangements) (England) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 which come into force on 21 May 2020.  NQTs who are currently completing their statutory induction period will be able to complete it this academic year as expected provided that they meet the Teachers’ Standards.  The guidance can be found by following this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-induction-for-newly-qualified-teachers/covid-19-induction-for-newly-qualified-teachers-guidance

EHCP Revised Timescales

Guidance has been issued to support The Special Educational Needs and Disability (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 which come into force today.  These regulations allow for temporary changes to some aspects of the law on education, health and care needs assessments and plans to enable local authorities, health commissioning bodies and education settings to contribute to those processes more flexibly in response to the issues that have arisen during the Coronavirus pandemic.  The guidance can be found by following this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-the-law-on-education-health-and-care-needs-assessments-and-plans-due-to-coronavirus/education-health-and-care-needs-assessments-and-plans-guidance-on-temporary-legislative-changes-relating-to-coronavirus-covid-19

Governors’ Terms of Office

The Department has not issued any further advice in this regard at this stage and we will ask about this again during our meeting with the Department next week.

Temporary Pupils Guidance

The Department has made an amendment to the School Attendance Guidance for Schools to make it clear that pupils attending schools on a temporary basis remain on the roll at their original school.  The guidance can be accessed by following this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-attendance?utm_source=deb0ca87-2a2e-45a3-bf8e-f9900890bcef&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

 

COVID-19 Update - Monday 27th April 2020

The CES had an update meeting with the Department last week which enabled them to provide some of the information below.  

 

Funding Questions

The CES has been asked by Dioceses for guidance about what schools should be doing in relation to paying their contractors.  They are continuing to seek clarity in relation to PPN 02/20 and its applicability to schools from the Department and await further information.  The CES has pointed out to the department the conflicting advice that is currently available and asked that conclusive advice be provided for schools as a matter of urgency.  The Department assured the CES that work on guidance is ongoing and that further information will be issued as soon as possible.

 

ESFA Update

The ESFA has issued an update which includes information on the data and returns that schools will not be required to submit in order to ease the administrative burden during the Covid-19 crisis.  Included in this update is a letter from ESFA chief executive, Eileen Milner, to accounting officers at academy trusts. This letter includes important information about arrangements for academy trust financial management and reporting during the pandemic.  The update and the letter can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/esfa-update-22-april-2020?utm_source=2a3714ba-ed58-4c6b-bee8-c30370f4cf38&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

Recruitment

The Department confirmed on Thursday 23rd April that guidance is about to be issued in relation to recruitment.  As soon as that guidance is published we will provide further information.  On the question of notice periods, the CES was told that the Department has taken the view that it should not interfere in schools’ contractual arrangements with their employees and that schools should co-operate with each other when it comes to having discussions about accepting shorter periods of notice from staff if this becomes necessary.

 

Admission Appeals

The relevant regulations came into force on Friday 24th April and follow the guidance issued by the department.   Further guidance was published by the department at 5pm today and can be accessed by following these links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/admission-appeals-for-school-places?utm_source=4c8a1b54-c97d-47fd-8ffb-c8f766b75c6e&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-admissions-appeals-code?utm_source=e8dbfaaf-225b-44d4-99ea-0ce4a9e47bcb&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

Governors’ Terms of Office

The CES has been asked by Dioceses what they should do where they have governors whose terms of office are coming to an end, but dioceses are unable to obtain the relevant paperwork to re-appoint them, due to the current restrictions.  CES advice is that Dioceses should inform those governors that it is the diocese's intention to appoint them for a further term, and ask them to remain in post until such time as the paperwork can be completed.  

We are not intending to appoint governors for interim terms, for example of 1 year, as this is likely to be in breach of the relevant regulations and/or the articles of association.   One piece of advice provided by the Department was to try, if possible, to ensure that decisions that were likely to be challenged were made by those governors whose terms of office had not expired as this should limit the exposure to the challenge of those decisions on the basis that they were taken by governors whose terms of office had expired.

 

Managing School Premises Guidance

Guidance has been issued for schools in relation to the management of school premises during periods of partial or total closure and in preparation for re-opening.  The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/managing-school-premises-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak?utm_source=c51bac38-4a28-4136-b096-4d23f07da6f4&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

Temporary Pupils Guidance

The department is issuing guidance on temporary pupils which will confirm that pupils attending hub schools will remain on the role of their current school and will not transfer to the role of the school that they are attending due to the current crisis.  

 

Update to schools - 9th April 2020

COVID-19 Legislation

This note provides an update of the current position in relation to the legislative changes arising as a result of Coronavirus.

Coronavirus Act 2020

The Coronavirus Act (“the Act”) received Royal Assent on 25th March 2020. The majority of the Act came into force immediately, although there are some areas which require further statutory instruments to bring the provisions into force. This note focusses on the provisions of the Act that are particularly relevant to the education sector. Here is a link to the Act where the full provisions can be read: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2020/7/contents

s.37 Temporary closure of educational institutions and childcare premises

Provides for Part 1 of Schedule 16 which enables the Secretary of State and Welsh Ministers to give directions for restrictions of attendance at premises used for the provision of education or childcare.

Schedule 16 provides that the Secretary of State and Welsh Ministers may give temporary closure directions in relation to education establishments in England and Wales respectively. The provisions apply to schools (which includes academies), 16-19 academies and further and higher education providers.

The Secretary of State and Welsh Ministers may also give temporary closure directions to registered childcare providers in England and Wales respectively.

  1. 38 Temporary continuity: education, training and childcare

Provides for Part 1 of Schedule 17 which enables the Secretary of State or Welsh Ministers to give directions requiring the provision or continuing provision of education, training or childcare. Provisions also provide the power for the Secretary of State or Welsh Ministers to give notices disapplying or modifying other legislation.

Schedule 17 provides that the Secretary of State and Welsh Ministers may give a temporary continuity direction in relation to relevant institutions in England and Wales respectively. Relevant institutions include registered childcare providers, schools (including academies), 16-19 academies, FE and HE providers, providers of post 16 education and training and local authorities.

Schedule 17 also includes power for the Secretary of State, by notice, to disapply enactments relating to specified legislative provisions or similar Academy arrangements which provide for: the provision of school meals; attendance at school; the admission of children permanently excluded from two or more schools; which provide that a school is a childrens home in specified circumstances; inspections; the requirement for an academy to have a broad and balanced curriculum; the duty to admit to a school or other institution named in an EHC plan and reviews and reassessments.

In addition, Schedule 17 includes power for the Secretary of State, by notice, to make provision modifying for a specified period any enactments listed in the Schedule in the manner described in the Schedule or similar Academy Arrangements. The provisions of most significance are:

  • 44 Further and Higher Education Act 1992 (collective worship) – any duty imposed by s.44 is to be treated as discharged if a person has used reasonable endeavours to do so.
  • 3 Education Act 1996 (definition of “pupil”) – a person is not to be treated as a pupil at a school merely because education is being provided at the school on a temporary basis for reasons connected with coronavirus.
  • 14 Education Act 1996 (functions in respect of primary and secondary schools) – any duty imposed by s.14 is to be treated as discharged if a person has used reasonable endeavours to do so.
  • 512 to 512ZB Education Act 1996 (school meals) – any duty imposed by these sections is to be treated as discharged if a person has used reasonable endeavours to do so.
  • 70 School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (requirements relating to collective worship) – any duty imposed by s.70 is to be treated as discharged if a person has used reasonable endeavours to do so.
  • 88D School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (determination of admission arrangements) – to allow for changes to requirements about the determination of admission numbers.
  • 5 Education Act 2005 (duty of chief inspector to inspect certain schools) – the duty is to be treated as discharged if the Chief Inspector has used reasonable endeavours to discharge the duty.
  • 48 Education Act 2005 (inspection of religious education: England) – any duty imposed on a person by s.48(3) is to be treated as discharged if a person has used reasonable endeavours to do so.
  • 49 Education Act 2005 (procedure for inspection under s.48) – any duty imposed on a person by s.49(1) or (2) is to be treated as discharged if a person has used reasonable endeavours to do so.

Schedule 17 also includes power for Welsh Ministers, by notice, to disapply enactments relating to specified legislative provisions which provide for: special educational needs; review of education needs; provisions relating to attendance at school; the admission of children permanently excluded from two or more schools; basic curriculum for every maintained school; provisions relating to inspection; regulations relating to reports required under the Childcare Act 2006.

In addition, Schedule 17 includes power for Welsh Ministers, by notice, to make provision modifying for a specified period any enactments listed in the Schedule in the manner described in the Schedule. The provisions of most significance are:

  • 44 Further and Higher Education Act 1992 (collective worship) – any duty imposed by s.44 is to be treated as discharged if a person has used reasonable endeavours to do so.
  • 3 Education Act 1996 (definition of “pupil”) – a person is not to be treated as a pupil at a school merely because education is being provided at the school on a temporary basis for reasons connected with coronavirus.
  • 14 Education Act 1996 (functions in respect of primary and secondary schools) – any duty imposed by s.14 is to be treated as discharged if a person has used reasonable endeavours to do so.
  • 512 to 512ZB Education Act 1996 (school meals) – any duty imposed by these sections is to be treated as discharged if a person has used reasonable endeavours to do so.
  • 70 School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (requirements relating to collective worship) – any duty imposed by s.70 is to be treated as discharged if a person has used reasonable endeavours to do so.
  • 89A School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (determination of admission arrangements) – to allow for changes to requirements about the determination of admission numbers.
  • 28 Education Act 2005 (duty to arrange regular inspections) – the duty is to be treated as discharged if the Chief Inspector has used reasonable endeavours to discharge the duty.
  • 50 Education Act 2005 (inspection of religious education: Wales) – any duty imposed on a person by s.50(4)) is to be treated as discharged if a person has used reasonable endeavours to do so.
  • 2(1) and (2) of Schedule 6 Education Act 2005 (procedure for inspections under s.50) – any duty imposed on a person by s.49(1) or (2) is to be treated as discharged if a person has used reasonable endeavours to do so.

s.39 Statutory sick pay: Funding of employers’ liabilities

This section makes provision that HMRC may make a payment to employers in respect of incapacity due to coronavirus which will be funded by HMRC.

s.40 Statutory sick pay: power to disapply waiting period limitation

This will allow for the government to temporarily suspend waiting days (that SSP is not paid until day 4) in the event of a severe outbreak/pandemic and lapse once the outbreak is over. This means that SSP may be paid from the first day.

s.51 Powers relating to potentially infectious persons

Provides for powers contained in Schedule 21 relating to potentially infectious persons and related provisions.

s.52 Power to issue directions relating to events, gatherings and premises

Provides for powers in Schedule 22 for the Secretary of State or Welsh Minsters to issue directions in relation to events, gatherings and premises. This includes powers to prohibit or otherwise restrict events or gatherings and the power to close premises or impose restrictions on persons entering or remaining in them.

s.55 Public participation in proceedings conducted by video or audio

Provides for Schedule 25 which contains temporary modifications of legislation relating to courts and tribunal proceedings. This includes modifications which allow for use of live video or audio links.

s.78 Local Authority Meetings

this section contains regulation making powers, which include in relation to the requirements to hold local authority meetings. The regulations make provision covering the timing, place and conduct of the meeting and specifically refer to attendance. The regulation making power relates to meetings to be held before 7th May 2021.

s.78(7) defines a local authority in England to include an appeal panel constituted under the School Admissions (Appeals Arrangements) England Regulations 2012.

s.78(8) defines a local authority in Wales to include an appeal panel constituted under the Education (Admission Appeals Arrangements) (Wales) Regulations 2005.

 

 

DfE update to schools Q&A - 1st April 2020

 

An update to the main schools Q&A was published last night:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing

 

The update now provides further detail on workforce, staff deployment, supply teachers and contingent workers and holidays.

 

It also now includes links to all the recently published guidance.

 

DfE update COVID-19 Monday 30th March 2020

 

 The DfE has published the following guidance:

 

 Coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers

 

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers

 

 The following documents have also been updated:

 

 Guidance for schools about temporarily closing (school closures Q&A)

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures

 

 Guidance on vulnerable children and young people (vulnerable children and young people Q&A)

 

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

 

 Please note, these updates clarify and update terminology used in the guidance and do not include substantive policy changes or additional Q&A.

 

 Mental health and wellbeing guidance

 

 This weekend Public Health England has published new advice to support mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak. PHE has also updated the Every Mind Matters platform with specific advice on maintaining good mental wellbeing during the outbreak. 

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19#additional-advice-for-groups-with-specific-mental-health-needs

 

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-tips/

 

 

 

Coronavirus Act 2020 Update  27th March 2020

The Coronavirus Act 2020 received royal assent on the 25 March 2020. Whilst the majority of the Act came into force yesterday there are some areas which require further statutory instruments for implementation. The two key areas identified of relevance to DSCs/DREs are the educational and employment provisions.


Educational provisions (ss 37-38)
- These provisions allow for the Secretary of State or Welsh Ministers to give directions requiring the closure of educational premises or childcare settings. (s.37)
- They also allow for the Secretary of State or Welsh Ministers to give directions requiring that educational institutions or childcare settings remain open. They also have the power to give notice disapplying other legislation applicable to educational institutions and childcare settings. (s.38)

 

Employment provisions (ss 39-40)
These powers allow for ministers to make the relevant regulations – until these are made these provisions are not technically ‘in-force’

Statutory Sick Pay: funding of employers’ liabilities (s.39)
- Makes provision that HMRC may make a payment to employers in respect of incapacity due to coronavirus. This will be funded by HMRC.

Statutory sick pay: power to disapply waiting period limitation (s.40)
This will allow for the government to temporarily suspend waiting days (that SSP is not paid until day 4) in the event of a severe outbreak/pandemic and lapse once the outbreak is over. This means that SSP may be paid from day 1.

Additional updates will be provided as these provisions are brought into force through statutory instruments.

 

 

DfE Covid-19 update 26th March 2020

 Please note, the DfE have recently published updates to the following guidance:

  •  Guidance on Vulnerable Children and Young People

 Questions and answers about the provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people.:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people

  •  Travel Advice for Educational Settings

 Advice for educational settings, and their students and staff, who are travelling or planning to travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-advice-for-educational-settings  

 A full list of the latest published information can be found here.

 

DfE COVID 19 update  25th March 2020

 The DfE have recently published the following guidance:

  • Implementing Social Distancing in Education and Childcare Settings

Guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement social distancing: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings

  • Guidance for Schools on Temporarily Closing (Updated)

 

Sets out the principals DfE would like schools to follow: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures

Guidance for further education providers on maintaining education and skills training provision

New guidance has been published which explains what further education providers need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to maintain provision:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision

·Guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations

There is also new guidance available which outlines the changes that are being made to the apprenticeship programme during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response

  • Guidance for early years and childcare providers

 

New guidance has also been published for Ofsted-registered childcare providers about childcare provision following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19):

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures

  • Attendance Recording for Educational Settings

Link to the online form educational settings should use to submit their record of attendance to DfE:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-attendance-recording-for-educational-settings

 

A full list of the latest published information can be found here.

Please note, this guidance will be regularly updated (potentially daily) to add further information and respond to the situation on the ground and we will endeavour to keep you informed of any further updates.