Coronavirus – Updated advice for Parents and Carers

Cumbria Education Trust is continuing to monitor the coronavirus situation closely, and is following advice from Public Health England and the Department for Education. The Department for Education's advice page for schools can be found here:

What parents and carers need to know about schools, colleges and other education settings during the coronavirus outbreak - Updated: 11 May 2020

Click here to visit the government advice page.

Internet Safety Guidance For Parents

With many students having to stay at home and in doors, we appreciate the possibility of increased internet and social media use. To raise awareness and provide advice for parents, our Prevent colleagues have been working with the Department of Education to create a leaflet around online safety.

Clcik here to download.

A Level and GCSE Awarding of Grades Summer 2020

Dear Parents and Students

A Level and GCSE - Awarding of Grades Summer 2020

I promised that once we knew more about the situation regarding the exam grading for the summer, we would pass on details as soon as we could.  OFQUAL, the exam regulator, has issued the updated guidance today and I wanted to share what that means with you.  Attached to this letter, I have included the official OFQUAL letter for students, we have also placed the guide for Parents/Students and Teachers on the school website.  Guidance on the awarding of BTECS has not yet been issued.

As we had thought, the grades will be based primarily on Teacher Assessment.  Our schools have been asked to rank students in each subject at GCSE and A Level with estimated grades, where we will indicate the most secure students in each grade down to the least secure.  We will be using a variety of evidence in order to reach those judgements.  I must emphasise that at no point will we be able to reveal to students or parents that rank order or the estimated grades.

Once submitted to the exam boards the grades will be processed through a moderation calculation that will include cohort prior performance (at KS4 for A Level and KS2 for GCSE) – not individual prior performance, along with prior school performance and what nationally expected outcomes were for this year.  That will no doubt change the boundaries at which some of our assessments sit and the grades we submit will then be adjusted accordingly, either upwards or downwards.  This is being done so that overall pass rates do not differ from previous years; remembering of course that we have a proportional exam grade awarding system, not one based on reaching a set standard.  Any student who is not happy with their grades once issued, will of course have the ability to sit the exams in the Autumn, if they believe they would have done better in the exams.

In the coming weeks after Easter we will determine how each school will be making those judgements and what sources of evidence will be used.  If we determine there is a need to retrieve work from students to aid us in making those judgements, we will inform you and arrange for it to be collected, sent to the relevant school or dropped off – depending on what circumstances allow.  Again, we will work through such issues as and when needed, there is nothing to worry about currently in that regard.  I know some of you will have questions regarding current work being completed and work after Easter.  We will update you regarding this at the start of the new term as we reflect on the guidance issued today.

I would reassure you that the staff at our secondary schools know the students well and that the evidence we use will be far reaching and that the ranking and assessment will reflect the work students have put into their subjects.

Yours sincerely

Lorrayne Hughes

Chief Executive

3 April 2020 - Letter from L Hughes - Summer Grades

 Summer 2020 Grades for GCSE, AS and A Level - Guidance for Teachers, Students and Parents

OFQUAL Letter to Students - Summer 2020 Grading

Childcare hubs and childminders operating across the county - 2 April 2020

The Childcare hubs are up and running we are working hard to ensure that the needs of key workers are met.

Key workers who still require childcare can make a request for this support on Cumbria County Council’s website by completing the following form online:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LRVDHXS

Within the Early Years Sector, it is also possible to approach the childcare setting directly.

The council is asking all parents and carers to check government guidelines on who is an essential key worker before submitting an application:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

When accessing childcare hubs parents and carers should be mindful of the following guidelines:

  • Please do not to enter if you or family members living with you are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Please do not form any gatherings within the grounds or at the gates
  • Please observe social distancing as  children arrive at the education or childcare setting and reduce any unnecessary travel on coaches, buses or public transport
  • Please use the hand sanitizer before entering or on exit
  • Please wash your child's clothing

Key workers can find further information about childcare on Cumbria County Council’s website at  https://cumbria.gov.uk/coronavirus/serviceupdates.asp

Emotional wellbeing and mental health support - 31 March 2020

Please find below a list of Emotional Wellbeing (EWB) and Mental Health sources of advice, consultation and support for staff, students and their parents and carers. This is a summary.

Most of the general advice for professionals, parents, carers and young people can be found at:

Professionals: 
https://cumbriasafeguardingchildren.co.uk/LSCB/CSCP/covid19informationforprofessionals.asp

Parents:
https://cumbriasafeguardingchildren.co.uk/LSCB/CSCP/covid19informationforfamiliesandparents.asp

Additional sources of advice and support:

Young Minds: The Young Minds Website has a parents and professionals section as well as advice and moderated blogs for young people and a free telephone.
Parents Helpline Tel: 0808 802 5544.
https://www.youngminds.org.uk

Rise Above: Health and wellbeing website by Public Health England that covers everything including emotional wellbeing, friendships, self-care; also has games, videos etc.
https://riseabove.org.uk/

Kooth.com online support for young people: Kooth is a web-based confidential support service available to young people aged 11 to 18yrs, providing a safe and secure means of accessing mental health and wellbeing support designed specifically for young people. It offers the opportunity to have a text-based conversation with a qualified counsellor.
Counsellors are available from 12noon to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10 pm at weekends, every day of the year on a drop-in basis. Young people can access regular booked online counselling sessions as needed. Outside counselling hours’ young people can message our team and get support by the next day. Support can be gained through counselling and also articles, forums and discussion boards.  All content is age appropriate, clinically approved and fully moderated.
To find out more visit www.Kooth.com  where young people can register and others can find out more about the service.

Laura Berry, Kooth Integration and Participation Worker for Cumbria can be contacted at lberry@xenzone.com or by calling 07535 088117

5 – 19 School Age Public Health Nurse Practitioner Service: E-school Nurse it is now available for professionals AND parents across the age ranges – however it is about general health needs not just mental health.  See attached for details.
5-19 PH Website – the team are constantly updating with information and ideas on their website.  https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/ph5to19/

The link below takes you to a recently published guide for educational settings and schools on sudden traumatic death and bereavement prefaced by a COVID 19 section:
http://localoffer.cumbria.gov.uk/kb5/cumbria/fsd/advice.page?id=fLsuj6aGToc

My Time Cumbria (Barnardos) Primary Care Mental Health Service: Initial telephone advice can be obtained from the Primary Mental Health Workers who can be contacted as below:
Nikki.swan@barnardos.org.uk   (Tel 07510 586358)
Annabel.nicholls@barnardos.org.uk (Tel 01539 742626)
My Time has put in place a new model of working throughout Cumbria, to provide support during the COVID-19 Pandemic. All new referrals will have a Primary Assessment Meeting online, through an approved platform, or by telephone as part of a three stage process. The administration team will continue to allocate assessments as referrals are received. Those who are currently receiving a service will continue via telephone. Young people who have been contacted are continuing their interventions with the practitioners allocated to them.

Referrals can be made directly by contacting My Time on the number below:
MyTime Cumbria Telephone: 01539 742626 (Working Days: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm)
My Time will continue to triage with CAMHS on a daily basis and will also support Early Help to ensure that young people referred to services access the correct service at the earliest opportunity.  They will continue to offer online and telephone support to professionals across the County and support them with identifying suitable and relevant interventions that are available.

CAMHS Support (North Cumbria): Where CYP are experiencing serious mental health issues (currently as staffing allows). The West Team can be contacted on 01900 603985.  The East Team (includes Carlisle) can be contacted on 01228 608870.

North Cumbria Crisis Assessment and Intervention Service (CAIS): Where young people feel they are in a mental health crisis, referrals can be made by any professional (with appropriate permissions) by ringing 01228 603964. Telephone assessment and support will be given initially.  Available 9am-8pm Monday-Friday and 9am-1pm Saturday and Sunday. (This service is now part of the Adult MH Crisis Service).

South Cumbria CAMHS (South Lakeland & Barrow): For advice and support please ensure that in the first instance your worries about a child/young person with an escalating mental health difficulty, are discussed with a My Time Primary Mental Health Worker (contact details at the top of page) or a senior Health Practitioner or Social Worker.  They will advise if a referral to Specialist CAMHS is the appropriate next step and support you through that referral process.

Educational Psychology: Educational Psychology consultancy will be available to settings, to discuss children’s needs. The setting should get parental permission, before discussing children’s needs with an educational psychologist. If children and young people are already known to the County Psychological Service (CPS) through SEND Early Help work, we will try to get the psychologist/BEWO who already knows them to offer the advice. Each setting will also have a named educational psychologist (usually the same one who regularly visits that setting);  this psychologist will be able to be consulted about the needs of children not already known to the CPS.  Settings will be contacted at the start of the summer term, with the details of their educational psychologist. A dedicated phone line is also being set up, for settings to request advice about children who have EHCPs; those requests will be looked at by a panel, and the most appropriate professional will be asked to respond.

SAFA Self Harm Awareness for All Support Service: SAFA continues to work with self-harm clients and have moved from face to face counselling to virtual counselling. Office staff are working from home. All counsellors have been trained to deliver the service via on-line support. They are also able to support friends/family members that need support. Until June SAFA will be working across the whole of Cumbria, after then they will switch to working only across South Cumbria.
SAFA can be contacted on 01229 832269 during normal business hours.
Referrals are accepted via their website at https://safa-selfharm.com/referral-forms/

Childcare for those in Priority Jobs - 27 March 2020

Cumbria Education Trust will continue with childcare provision for the children of our key workers, according to local demand. Our websites will be updated daily in relation to which of our schools are open. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all well and hope that you and your family remain safe during these uncertain times.

These are the CET schools opening for key worker childcare on Friday, 27 March 2020

Childcare for those in Priority Jobs - 26 March 2020

Cumbria Education Trust will continue with childcare provision for the children of our key workers, according to local demand. Our websites will be updated daily in relation to which of our schools are open. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all well and hope that you and your family remain safe during these uncertain times.

These are the CET schools opening for key worker childcare on Thursday, 26 March 2020

Childcare for those in Priority Jobs - 25 March 2020

Cumbria Education Trust will continue with childcare provision for the children of our key workers, according to local demand.

Our websites will be updated daily in relation to which of our schools are open. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all well and hope that you and your family remain safe during these uncertain times.

Priority Childcare for those in Priority Jobs - 22 March 2020

Please complete our survey if you would like Key Worker childcare.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7JQCDJ2

Before completing our survey please read the diagram and DFE guidelines below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

You will have received a message form us if there is childcare in place for your son/daughter on Monday, 23 March 2020.

We will be reviewing the requests again on Monday, 23 March 2020 and will be back in touch with you to discuss provision from Tuesday, 24 March 2020.

Priority Childcare for those in Priority Jobs - 19 March 2020

Now that we know that schools will close from Monday for all children, we are planning for the necessary arrangements for priority childcare. We are exploring the possibility of opening for priority childcare in the short term. As with the rest of Cumbria, we are working to ensure that key essential personnel such as NHS and social care employees can attend work knowing that childcare provision is in place. This will enable them to care for seriously ill people and ensure public services are maintained.

We are asking families in these circumstances to give us the key information:

REQUIRED INFORMATION

1. If you require priority childcare, please complete the following survey by 9am on Friday, 20 March:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7JQCDJ2

The information collected will be deleted if it is not required.

2. Please also complete Cumbria County Council’s online form at the following link:

hhttps://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BMQHDGY

This is our short-term response to events as they develop. We will keep in close contact with all parents as we work together with Cumbria County Council to ensure we can provide the best possible support to our children, parents, county and country.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update 18 March 2020

Following the Government’s announcement this evening, 18 March, regarding school closures. Cumbria Education Trust will post further information, advice and guidance tomorrow to all staff and parents.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update 17 March 2020

New guidance for households with symptoms

Yesterday, the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

The symptoms are:

A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
A new, continuous cough

The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

The Prime Minister’s statement from Monday 16 March can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-on-coronavirus-16-march-2020

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance:

https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU

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
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.

Advice to schools responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Update 16 March 2020 from Cumbria County Council

This is a worrying time and many of you will have concerns about how to keep your family and loved ones safe.

Last week Government changed the national approach to managing Coronavirus (COVID-19) but as yet has not provided updated guidance to schools about how to respond. While we await new Government guidance, Cumbria County Council is advising all schools in the county to take the following precautionary action.

• Remain open unless advised otherwise by Public Health England.
• Take steps to reduce contact with people outside of the school. For example, only essential visitors, stop non-essential out-of-hours meeting/gatherings, postpone school trips. Consider alternatives to parents evenings to share progress.
• In school, stop large gatherings unless educationally essential.
• Expect that some pupils and families may develop symptoms and will have to self-isolate. The school should remain open unless advised otherwise by Public Health England. There is not an expectation that schools will inform other parents in this situation.
• If staff absence means that staffing ratios become too low to operate safely, schools should close.
• Where pupils have specific vulnerabilities that put them at higher risk, particularly in Special Schools, individual risk assessments should be carried out. It may be appropriate for parents/carers to remove their child from school and self-isolate. Some parents/carers may already have done so and should be supported, Special School Head Teachers should make this recommendation to parents where risk assessments indicate this is necessary.

We understand that these measures may cause disruption, but it is important to take proportionate steps to slow the potential spread of infection in communities. We would ask parents/carers to support the decisions schools are taking to keep people safe. This is a fast developing situation and it is likely that the advice to schools may change over coming days and weeks, please be prepared to respond quickly.

Thank you for your understanding.

Dan Barton
Assistant Director for Education and Skills
Cumbria County Council

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update 13 March 2020

The DfE has opened a helpline to support educational settings with their queries regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The helpline is available for staff, parents and young people to contact.

Following the government COBRA meeting yesterday, England has now moved to the ‘delay’ phase. This means advice to schools and families has now changed. School will currently stay open, and you are advised to take these actions if your children display any of the following symptoms:

a. Fever
b. Persistent dry cough
c. Shortness of breath

If any of these symptoms are present your child must not come to school for seven days.

School Actions

I would like to reassure you that the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff is our top priority. Having carefully considered the current situation, we are going to take the following measures with immediate effect:

1. In school pupil events are going ahead as normal and if anything changes we will communicate this via the school website and text message.
2. Trips and visits to high population areas will be cancelled or postponed in line with the government’s guidance. We will endeavour to communicate any changes made in a timely fashion.
3. All sports fixtures will be cancelled.
4. We will minimise visitors to school. Anyone who does come into reception will be asked to sanitise their hands and be shown a copy of the Public Health England leaflet ‘Advice on coronavirus for places of education’.

Health Advice

If pupils display mild symptoms parents/carers are asked not to call 111 unless these symptoms become severe or you are worried in any way that you or your child may have contracted coronavirus. If you have contacted the NHS, please then notify the school about the action you have been asked to take.

The current guidance is that if there is a confirmed case in the school then Public Health England (PHE) will advise on the appropriate and proportionate steps to take. Where a pupil is self-isolating due to contact with a confirmed case the current national advice is that schools should remain open.

The most important advice is to limit the spread of the virus. Health-care professionals stress the importance of hygiene and hand washing. They recommend:
● Wash your hands often with soap and water
● Catch it, Bin it, Kill it: Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin
● People who feel unwell should stay at home

Students, staff and visitors should wash their hands:
● After using public transport
● Before leaving home and on arrival at school
● After using the toilet
● After breaks and sporting activities
● Before eating any food, including snacks

We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation closely and keep in touch with you. We will follow the advice from Public Health England and the Department for Education. The Department for Education’s advice page for schools can be found using the link above

We have put together plans for continued education in case we need to close and we will let you know the plans in due course.

DfE Coronavirus Helpline
The DfE has opened a helpline to support educational settings with their queries regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The helpline is available for staff, parents and young people to contact.

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

The importance of hygiene

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.

How to wash your hands properly

Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance: https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU

Teach young children how to wash their hands with the NHS handwashing song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VjeIWLnEg

Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Educational resources

The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene.

Resources are currently available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and can be used in various settings including schools: https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

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 Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the helpline.


Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Guidance for educational settings: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Educational resources:

Latest Department for Education information: