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In the News Today:

DfE News Links

UK charities join together to boost vaccine drive

The R value and growth rate in the UK

Scientific evidence supporting the government response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities

Slides to accompany coronavirus press conference: 26 February 2021

Slides, datasets and transcripts to accompany coronavirus press conferences

COVID-19: supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

COVID-19: providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing guidance for employers

Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested

Surge testing for new coronavirus (COVID-19) variants

COVID-19: supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

COVID-19: providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing guidance for employers

Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested

Surge testing for new coronavirus (COVID-19) variants

Health and Social Care Secretary's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 26 February 2021

NHS Test and Trace: how we test your samples

Private providers of coronavirus testing

Awarding qualifications in summer 2021

Housing First Pilot: national evaluation reports

Latest findings from antibody surveillance study published

For the Attention of the CEO, Headteacher & Chairs of Governors - Surrey Education Covid 19 Coronavirus

Weekly Update

Dear Colleagues

This is your weekly COVID19 Coronavirus update that includes all the new and updated local information and guidance related to COVID-19 including links to information and guidance newly published on SCC dedicated webpages for School Leaders. DfE and government guidance continues to be published regarding Lockdown 2 and we will continue to update the webpages with any changes to our local response.
The county council has been advised by DfE colleagues that further guidance for schools is expected to be published soon which will include further detail regarding Extra Curricular activities, Face Coverings, Remote Learning, Ofsted and Children’s Social Care.

Following the publication by government of a Winter Package last week end, the county council are working with partners to develop a response. Any updates and further detail will be available in future weekly emails and/or the weekly Schools Bulletin.

...Read More

COVID-19: Latest updates

The NHS COVID-19 app launched today and will help the national test and trace effort and support those businesses that are required to collect customer data.

The app uses your phone to detect other app users nearby, and the NHS will let you know if you have been near someone who has developed symptoms.- Elmbridge Borough Council.

Download the app now and find out more about what the app does.


Education Secretary addresses Centre for Social Justice

Gavin Williamson speaks about the importance of family in levelling up outcomes and opportunities for young people

Good afternoon,

It is a pleasure to be here at the CSJ, and while it is a pity not to be joined by others, I am just glad to have the opportunity to talk about a subject that is all too often neglected by politicians in Westminster.

As the Cabinet Minister responsible for our public education system, can I start by saying a huge thank you to everyone who has worked so tirelessly throughout the pandemic supporting schools and colleges... Read More

New legislation to help transform opportunities for all

The Skills and post-16 Education Bill will support vital reforms to post-16 education so more people can gain the skills needed to secure great jobs.

The Skills and post-16 Education Bill will be introduced in Parliament today (18 May), underpinning the government’s skills and training revolution.

The Bill comes as new figures show that further and technical education provision is already estimated to boost the economy by £26 billion. This sets the stage for a new outlook for post-16 education where every young adult has a range of opportunities open to them, removing the illusion that a degree is the only path to a good career.

The reforms outlined in the Bill will help to create more routes into skilled employment in sectors the economy needs such as engineering, digital, clean energy and manufacturing, so more people can secure well-paid jobs in their local areas, levelling up the nation and supporting communities to thrive.

A range of policies are already in place to deliver the Prime Minister’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, as set out by the Prime Minister last year. Today, a new fund has been launched to future proof post-16 provision with a £83 million Post-16 Capacity fund.

Providers are invited to bid for a share of the fund, which will support projects to create more space for areas where there is due to be a demographic increase in 16-19 year olds in the 2022/23 academic year. This could include building more classroom space or technical teaching facilities, so providers can continue to offer places to every young person who needs one.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
Talent is everywhere in our country and the Skills and post-16 Education Bill marks a significant milestone in our journey to transform the skills, training and post-16 education landscape and level up opportunities across the country. This legislation will be vital so we can make sure everyone can gain the skills they need to get a great job locally and businesses have access to the qualified employees they need to thrive.

We’re also investing £83 million to create more classrooms and high-quality teaching facilities, to ensure that colleges can keep up with demand and offer a training place for all 16-19 year olds that want one.

The key measures introduced in today’s Bill are:
• Embedding employers in the heart of the skills system, by making it a legal requirement that employers and colleges collaborate to develop skills plans so that the training on offer meets the need of local areas, and so people no longer have to leave their home-towns to find great jobs.
• Supporting the transformation of the current student loans system which will give every adult access to a flexible loan for higher-level education and training at university or college, useable at any point in their lives.
• Introducing new powers to intervene when colleges are failing to deliver good outcomes for the communities they serve, and to direct structural change where needed to ensure colleges improve.

Many of the skills that employers are demanding require intermediate or Higher Technical Qualifications – but only four per cent of young people achieve a qualification at higher technical level by the age of 25 compared to the 33 per cent who get a degree or above. Evidence also shows these qualifications can lead to jobs with higher wages than degrees.

The measures in today’s Bill will bring greater parity between further and higher education, and help to deliver the Prime Minister’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, ensuring everyone is given the chance to gain the skills they need, when they need them, as set out earlier this year in the Skills for Jobs White Paper.

New analysis by the government demonstrates the importance of further and technical education to the country’s economic recovery, setting the stage for the latest reforms. An estimated £26 billion is expected to be generated from the training started by adults in further education in 2018/19 over their working lives.

Thousands more young people to benefit from Opportunity Areas

Fifth year of Opportunity Area announced, backed by £18 million to build back better for children and young people in disadvantaged regions

Thousands more young people in some of the most disadvantaged regions of England will benefit from a fifth year of investment in the flagship Opportunity Areas programme as part of the government’s commitment to levelling up.

Since 2016, the programme has invested £90 million on improving school standards, attendance, teaching quality and recruitment, careers training and advice, literacy and maths skills, alongside tackling barriers to learning that exist beyond the school gates.

An additional £18 million will now be invested in 12 Opportunity Areas across the country, which include Blackpool, Derby and Oldham. Each area will be ‘twinned’ with previous areas who have faced similar challenges so they can benefit from their expertise and collaborate more closely on the issues facing children and young people
... Read More

More support for local areas to drive up school standards

£10 million for intensive support in four areas of the country to increase proportion of pupils in Good or Outstanding schools

The government has today (Wednesday 19 May) reinforced its commitment to levelling up education across the country with new, locally targeted initiatives to make sure as many pupils as possible can benefit from being in a great school.

The funding and support for academy trusts is central to a transformative reform package set out by the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson during a recent speech to the Confederation of School Trusts.

The announcement is one of a range of new policies set out by the Prime Minister today which focus on better access to high-quality education, improved infrastructure in our town centres, and more public sector jobs outside of London – all of which are at the heart of levelling up.

Ten million pounds will be invested to support four areas - Plymouth, Ashfield & Mansfield, South Sefton & North Liverpool, and North Durham & City – where a low proportion of pupils go to Good or Outstanding schools and there is high potential for rapid improvement.

The investment will help local schools join strong trusts and drive up standards with the support of experienced school and trust leaders.

Up to half of the £10 million funding for the four areas receiving intensive support will be channelled through the Trust Capacity Fund, which opens for applications today from trusts looking to support more schools in those areas and across the country.

The Department is also providing £800,000 in setup funding towards a pilot of five new Catholic multi-academy trusts and two new Church of England trusts to provide more church schools the opportunity to join strong trusts across the country.

Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said:
I am determined to focus this government’s resources on the areas of the country where the number of pupils in Good or Outstanding schools is lower than average, as we build back better and recover from the impact of the pandemic.

An education at a great school is the best way to make sure pupils are supported to catch up on any academic learning or development they may have missed, and fulfil their potential. The best way to create more great schools is to give all schools the support of a strong multi-academy trust to help them improve.

I am encouraging all school trusts today to consider applying for funding to expand and support more schools, particularly in those areas of the country where there are still too few opportunities for children to attend a great school.

Chief Executive of Plymouth City Council, Tracey Lee, said:
I am delighted that Plymouth is one of the first few areas to have been selected to take part in this significant national initiative.

I am sure all education providers in the city share the excitement that Plymouth is recognised by the Government as an area that has good foundations with a place-based collaboration and is most likely to achieve success as a trailblazer of this national initiative.

There are many challenges in improving the educational achievements for all children and young people in Plymouth, and we do not underestimate these. This initiative will support us in facing these head on and achieving our vision that all children and young people in the city are able to aspire and achieve and have a bright future. An additional Catholic ‘turnaround trust’ is also being set up as a joint pilot with the Catholic Education Service and Catholic Dioceses in the North West. It will work with Catholic schools within the Dioceses of Liverpool and Shrewsbury that require swift support from a strong trust – providing an additional boost to efforts to secure rapid improvement in the South Sefton & North Liverpool area.

Director of the Catholic Education Service, Paul Barber, said:
As the second largest provider of schools in the country and one of the government’s longstanding partners in the delivery of education, we warmly welcome this announcement.

Catholic academies and multi-academy trusts play an important part in our education landscape and it is essential that they are allowed to flourish in a manner that respects their Catholic ethos. We strongly believe these pilot programmes will give Catholic schools the confidence to join a suitable Catholic Academy Trust and witness the benefits of working within a family of schools.

Chief Education Officer at the Church of England, Nigel Genders, said:
This pilot together with the Government’s financial commitment will enable Church of England dioceses to use their broad experience to further enrich the academy sector by growing distinctive diocesan MATs that will sustain and improve the experience of hundreds of thousands of children in Church of England schools, supporting our aim of serving the whole community, and allowing young people to flourish and live well in an ever changing educational landscape.

SAfe Easter Governor Bulletin

SAfE has published thier first Edition of our Governor's Bulletin!

"We are excited to launch our new Governor's bulletin and we were happy to see such a strong response to our initial invitation to subscribe.

Before we head into the Easter break we are pleased to share this first edition of the new bulletin, with an update from SAfE, the latest information to support governors, and signposting for events next term.

In this bulletin you will find:
An Introduction from SAfE
Upcoming events
Governor Blog: Feedback from our first Governor Roundtable
SAfE Guidance: Internal Headteacher Recruitment
Further Reading

If you're not already subscribed to this bulletin and would like to receive it in future, please click the link below to sign up for this bulletin and information from SAfE".

Subscribe here

SGA Bulletin Spring 2021

Click here to read the PDF

The government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England

The Prime Minister has announced the government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England.

In a statement to parliament this afternoon he paid tribute to the extraordinary success of the UK’s vaccination programme and the resolve of the British public in following the lockdown restrictions, which has helped to cut infection rates and reduce the spread of the virus.

He also set out the latest vaccine efficacy data, with Public Health England finding that one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduces hospitalisations and deaths by at least 75%. Analysis of the AstraZeneca vaccine efficacy continues, with promising early results...

Read more in the Spring 2021 Buletin Page 3

A message to school leaders from Rachael Wardell - Executive Director of Children, Families and Lifelong Learning 20.04.2020

Dear colleagues,

Welcome back. I hope you were able to take some time to relax over the Easter holidays in preparation for the Summer term ahead.

Like me, you may have been monitoring the situation with disclosures made on the Everyone’s Invited Website and the subsequently announced Ofsted review. Not all testimonials on the platform are about schools and settings, but many of the circa 15,000 accounts do name the settings where the alleged perpetrators attend and where some of the incidents occurred. I anticipate that this number will grow, given the significant media attention.

Where testimonials do mention schools or settings, the allegations range from misogynistic behaviour to verbal harassment, sexual assault, exploitation and rape. In some cases, adults in a position of trust have been mentioned as alleged perpetrators of sexual abuse and harassment. There are multiple instances where reports made to individuals in positions of trust by pupils have allegedly been suppressed, dismissed, or ignored. As a result, the surge of emotion and anger that has been expressed by young women, and many young men, is understandably significant. I am sad to say a small number of Surrey schools and settings have been specifically mentioned on the website.

As we start the summer term, I would like to reiterate Surrey County Council’s offer of support and advice to all school and setting leaders via the Education Safeguarding Team and the School Relationships Service. I have also noted below some important points for your consideration as we continue to work together to promote the protection and safeguarding of our children:

Embedding a safeguarding culture in all learning environments:
Lead by example: reinforce your own and governors’/trustees’ commitment to a safeguarding first philosophy and practice, including combatting misogynistic, sexist and other harmful and offensive behaviours
Ensure a whole-school approach that challenges harmful sexual behaviour and peer on peer abuse
Provide a safe environment where children and young people feel empowered to disclose their concerns and discuss worries with trusted adults
Understand and articulate your school’s/setting’s safeguarding offer to all stakeholders
Empower staff to actively promote the safeguarding and wellbeing of children by responding to suspicions and rumours.

Safeguarding in the curriculum:
Relationships and sex education: provide opportunities for learning that equips all children with knowledge, understanding and skills related to personal privacy, respect and consent
Online safety: encourage a culture across the curriculum that promotes safe online behaviours and develops children’s attitudes, skills and knowledge to enable them to navigate social media and the virtual world.

Review policies and procedures:
Be sure that your safeguarding statement is available to the whole school/setting community. It should set out your intention, implementation and how leaders and governors measure the impact.
Review your reporting frameworks and policies regarding allegations of sexually harmful behaviour between pupils and from adults Establish a culture which does not blame or shame victims/survivors. Children should not feel ashamed or to blame when making disclosures, so careful consideration must be given to your approach
Consideration should be given in your safeguarding and behaviour policies regarding children who have had allegations made against them. Put in place well thought out support and wellbeing action plans before, during and after investigations take place Enhance your training offer to ensure leaders, governors and all staff and volunteers have the expertise to respond to the signs, symptoms, and patterns typical of adult, peer-on-peer abuse and harmful sexual behaviours

Policies should include clear processes for dealing with concerns, complaints and allegations

Partnership is key:
Check that all pupils, parents, and carers know who the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and deputies are and communicate contact details clearly and regularly
Make certain that staff understand and implement your safeguarding policies and procedures – communicate and train regularly, provide space and opportunities for professional dialogue
Develop relationships and networks with other organisations that provide specialist services for victims and survivors of abuse Ensure that anyone concerned about the safety of a child or young person knows how to make a Request for Support via the Surrey Children's Single Point of Access (CSPA)
Signpost to other support organisations, so pupils, staff and parents/carers know where to seek support outside of the school environment. This may include Childline, the NSPCC Helpline, the Surrey Children's Single Point of Access (CSPA), Contextual Safeguarding Network

I hope this information is helpful but, as always, if you have any concerns or would like more information please reach out to the School Relationships Team.

Here is a short video produced by Paul Bailey, Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership Development Manager, in which he shares his thoughts on protecting children in response to the Everyone’s Invited Website.

While I’m writing, I also want to take this opportunity to thank you once again for your continued efforts in this extremely challenging year. I don’t underestimate the difficulties you have faced and continue to face and I want to share my sincere thanks and admiration for your commitment to ensuring children are learning, safe and secure.

With my very best wishes for an enjoyable and safe summer term.

Rachael Wardell

Executive Director of Children, Families and Lifelong Learning

Surrey County Council

Useful Resources/Links :

Surrey Children's Single Point of Access (CSPA) - If you are concerned about the safety of a child or young person you can contact the Surrey Children's Single Point of Access (SPA).

NSPCC – No One Noticed, No One Heard – This research assists us to reflect and improve our practice through the childhood experiences of abuse of young men and women and how they disclosed abuse and sought help.

NSPCC – Let children Know your listening – These evidence informed resources assist us in our practice to ensure children always feel listened to.

PSHE Association – A range of PSHE expertise and resources to assist in the delivery of PSHE.

CEOP Think U Know – A comprehensive toolkit of resources from the National Crime Agency - CEOP that supports the children’s workforce to deliver education and raise awareness of online child abuse and exploitation

DfE Publication: Teaching Online Safety in Schools - This DfE guidance, due for review this year, outlines how schools can ensure their pupils understand how to stay safe and behave online as part of forthcoming and existing curriculum requirements.

Surrey Healthy Schools – an evidence based approach and Self Evaluation toolkit for schools to co-ordinate, develop and improve provision to support personal development, behaviour, teaching and learning and leadership and management in line with Ofsteds Framework for Inspection, the Surrey 2030 Vision and the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Contextual Safeguarding Network – Beyond Referrals - Harmful sexual behaviour in schools: a briefing on the findings, implications and resources for schools and multi-agency partners – This research briefing paper presents findings from a two-year study into harmful sexual behaviour in English schools, Beyond Referrals Two. It builds on an initial two-year study (2017-2019) into multi-agency enablers and barriers to addressing harmful sexual behaviour in schools

DfE Publication : Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and college - This is advice is focused on child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment at schools and colleges. The advice covers children of all ages, from the primary through secondary stage and into colleges. The advice sets out what sexual violence and sexual harassment is, how to minimise the risk of it occurring and what to do when it does occur, or is alleged to have occurred.

HM Government Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy 2021

SCC dedicated webpages – Covid-19 Information for School Leaders: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/people-and-community/emergency-planning-and-community-safety/coronavirus/school-leaders

Upcoming SAfE Events for Governors

Governor Roundtable
April 21st - 10-11.00am

For this roundtable we will be looking at the theme: 'Exploring the options for Collaboration', particularly for small schools seeking ways to support sustainability.

These roundtables will run alongside our half-termly Governor Webinars, held by SAfE’s Governance Adviser Ruth Murton. If you would like to participate in this event, please contact r.murton@schoolsallexcel.com.

Special School Governor Network
April 29th - 5.30-6.30pm - Click here to book your place!

In this Network we will be exploring the CPD and general development needs of Special School Governors; how these are different to mainstream school governors and how they should be met.

Support for Governors Webinar
May 5th - 7.00-8.00pm - Click here to book your place!

Our next Webinar will be held on May 5th and will approach the topic of exploring the options for collaboration of schools both informal and formal, as well as any ‘key news’ from Surrey and the Government.

For more information about how we are supporting governors and booking details of our upcoming events, please visit the SAfE website.

Best wishes, on behalf of
Schools Alliance for Excellence

Governing Board Meetings Autumn Term 2020/Spring 2021

Dear governors and clerks,

We have received many calls and e-mails since the start of the academic year regarding the question of whether governor meetings this term should continue to be held virtually or is it now appropriate to revert to face-to-face meetings in school. The most recent guidance from the Department of Education (DfE) was published on 17th July in School Governance Update. The guidance on this subject is identical for maintained schools and academies. The DfE advice is not explicit on meetings but falls under a general heading of Governors (and Trustees) Visiting Schools. The DfE view is that governors can visit schools subject to appropriate risk assessments having been conducted and subsequent control measures related to the risk assessment being in place. It includes this statement:

If your visits can happen outside of school hours, they should. A record should be kept of all visitors. Depending on their risk assessment, schools may choose to continue to host governor meetings virtually.

Our advice is first and foremost governing boards should consider the health, safety and well-being of school pupils, staff, and themselves before contemplating face-to face meetings. Appropriate robust and rigorous risk assessment is a statutory requirement and should consider:

Where meetings could take place with social distancing n.b. to be two metres apart, each person would need to be two metres away in every direction from the next. This would require a large space and brings with it issues of acoustics etc.
Who will be responsible for cleaning the space used for the meeting before and after the meeting, including all touched surfaces, furniture used etc.
Can toilets be accessed and if so, who will be responsible for cleaning the area and when.
Refreshments should not be made available.
Contextual issues, such as age, health, ethnicity, family dependants etc of governors.

If risk assessment results in procedures being implemented to mitigate the risks associated with these factors, governors should then consider:

What impact, if the meeting takes place in school, will there be on staff well-being? Given the increased pressures of a typical day in school at present, is it reasonable to expect leaders and staff governors to stay on for out-of-hours meetings? Is it reasonable and fair to necessitate additional cleaning and sanitizing costs solely to enable a face-to-face meeting to take place?

Our advice

Based on the considerations above our advice is, given the current infection rate and new rule of six regulation (although education is excluded), we suggest all governing boards think long and hard before pressing ahead with in-school meetings. Common sense and care for others suggest virtual is best right now.

Please remember that governors do not have right of access to the school and whilst decisions should be made by the full governing board, the headteacher’s view should be taken very seriously as they know the fragility of keeping schools safe.

Kind regards.

Steve Barker Head of Governance Services
and Carole Ford Clerking Service Manager

Current government lockdown Guidance and regulations
5th Jan 2021

The following links are advice on the current lockdown for all.

National lockdown: Stay at Home - GOV.UK

Publication of Remote Education information

Critical Workers and Vulnerable Children

Education Secretary speech to NASUWT Annual Conference

Thank you very much for inviting me to join your conference today. I’m delighted to have this opportunity to speak to you personally.

You will often hear people say that the most important person in a classroom is the one that’s standing at the front of it. That has never been more true, even though over the past year, you may not always have had a classroom to stand in front of.

I have taken every opportunity to repeat my thanks for the way everyone in our teaching communities has responded to the covid pandemic and before I go any further, I want to do so again.

I want to thank you for the way you have kept schools open.

I want to thank you for the inspiring way you switched to remote learning. And I want to thank you for the huge lengths you have gone to, to keep everyone in your school and wider community safe.

This has involved overseeing some important safety measures, such as lateral flow tests, which have enabled all our school children and students to return to classrooms after this latest lockdown.

We have all faced many challenges over the past 12 months and often this has meant doing the day job but learning to do it in an entirely different way...Read More

Education, health and care plans: England 2021

Data on the number of children and young people with a statement of special educational needs (SEN) or education, health and care (EHC) plan in England. 13 May 2021

Statistics: special educational needs (SEN)

Statistics on pupils with SEN, including information on educational attainment, destinations, absence, exclusions, and characteristics. 13 May 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) local restrictions in education and childcare settings

How settings can prepare for restrictions to help contain community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
13 May 2021

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam highlights the importance of continuing to follow the guidance, even after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.

The 30th January 2021 marks the first anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and next Sunday will be one year on from the first case of COVID-19 detected in the UK. It has been a terrible year as the virus has spread across the world causing misery, hardship, death and severely disrupting all of our lives.

The silver lining has been the incredible work of scientists and healthcare professionals across the world. If you had told me 12 months ago, that the UK would have discovered, in dexamethasone, the first treatment proven to reduce COVID-19 deaths, and vaccinated over 5 million people by this point, I would have been astonished. But that is the place in which we find ourselves. Hardship, but also hope.

Many people have played an important role in getting vaccines in arms, including the teams of researchers behind the development of the vaccines, the volunteers who took part in clinical trials, the Vaccines Taskforce who ensured we had supply of vaccine and the NHS staff and volunteers who are now working hard to administer them to people quickly and safely.

Their work has been incredible and we should rightly celebrate this.

Vaccines do offer the way out of the pandemic and a return to life as we knew it – having a pint before watching your local football team, multigenerational family gatherings and big weddings. These really will return! But to make that happen as quickly as possible we need to bring the number of cases down as soon as we can whilst we vaccinate our most vulnerable. To do that there are some important scientific points I want to highlight:

No vaccine has ever been 100% effective so no-one will have 100% protection from the virus. The way to reduce everyone’s risk is to break the chains of transmission and really push down the number of cases.

Vaccines work by tricking your body into thinking it has to fight the virus. It trains you for this fight by making antibodies and stimulating T-cells; then you are ready if you do come across the real thing. However, like any training, getting up to ‘match fitness’ takes time. Your body’s response, the immune response, is only fully trained up around 2 or 3 weeks after you have each of your 2 jabs. If you are older it’s better to allow at least 3 weeks. You can still get COVID in this time.

Even better and longer lasting protection then comes from the second dose so it is really important that everyone gets the second jab.

Really importantly we do not yet know the impact of the vaccine on transmission of the virus. So even after you have had both doses of the vaccine you may still give COVID to someone else and the chains of transmission will then continue. If you change your behaviour you could still be spreading the virus, keeping the number of cases high and putting others at risk who also need their vaccine but are further down the queue.

We still have a very high number of hospitalisations and deaths. A quarter of hospital admissions for COVID-19 are in people under the age of 55. Despite the speed of the rollout, these are people who will not have the vaccine for a while yet.

Some people are questioning the UK policy of trying to give as many at-risk people as possible the first dose of vaccine in the shortest possible time, inevitably extending the interval before the second dose is given. But what none of these (who ask reasonable questions) will tell me is: who on the at-risk list should suffer slower access to their first dose so that someone else who’s already had one dose (and therefore most of the protection) can get a second? Everyone on the JCVI priority list is at risk from this nasty virus, and vaccines just can’t be produced at an unlimited rate.

It has been a very difficult year for us all and everyone, including me, is desperate to return to seeing the people we love. The vaccine has brought considerable hope and we are in the final furlough of the pandemic but for now, vaccinated or not, we still have to follow the guidance for a bit longer

Measuring the net present value of further education in England 2018 to 2019

This report estimates the net present values (NPVs) of Further Education (FE) qualifications started in 2018/19. It is an update of a 2015 paper by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills1.

Children's Social Care Innovation Programme: insights and evaluation

Evaluation and summary reports for the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme (CSCIP) grouped by theme. Added ‘Firstline project evaluation – round 2’ report. 20 May 2021

Get school-to-school support from system leaders

Get help and support from system leaders to improve your school.
Added information about the recommendations of the advisory group for a reformed NLG programme to the ‘National leaders of governance’ section. 20 May 2021

Early-career payments for teachers

Mathematics, physics, chemistry and languages teachers can check whether they can apply for the early-career payments pilot. The amount teachers get depends on where they teach in England. 21 May 2021

Find a free level 3 qualification

Details of free level 3 qualifications available to eligible adults and the colleges and training providers who are currently able to offer free places. 10 May 2021

Education staff wellbeing charter

An explanation of the education staff wellbeing charter and the benefits of using it. 10 May 2021

Free courses for jobs

Details of the free courses and qualifications for adults (19+) available through the Lifetime Skills Guarantee including eligibility criteria and how to apply. 10 May 2021

Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak

We have updated our guidance in line with Step 3 of the roadmap, including information on face coverings, attendance, pupils travelling to the UK from abroad, educational visits, wraparound provision and extra-curricular activity, music, dance and drama, pupil wellbeing and state-funded school inspection. We have also added further guidance on domestic residential educational visits and a section on transitional, taster and open days.10 May 2021

Free schools: pre-opening guide

The processes proposer groups will need to follow and the resources they can use to open successfully. Updated ‘Free school pre-opening guide’ and ‘Annexes A to F: checklists and briefs’.18 May 2021

Free school staffing issues

Information on free school pensions issues.
Removed ‘Underwriting a principal designate’s salary: letter to free school trusts’ – this guidance has now been included in the Free school pre-opening guide. 18 May 2021

Recruit teachers from overseas

How schools can hire teachers who are not UK or Irish nationals.
Added information about the Acclimatisation pilot scheme.19 May 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for children's social care services

Advice about coronavirus (COVID-19) for local authorities and their partners to help support and protect vulnerable children.12 May 2021

Foreword from Liz Mills

For the full bulletin see SCC page

Dear colleagues,

I hope you have had a good week so far. On Monday, we stepped cautiously closer to normality with the latest lifting of some of the COVID restrictions. We have all experienced or heard from those close to us about how the pandemic has impacted our young people and children. In light of this, I also wanted to draw your attention to some really helpful local resources that your school community may find helpful sharing with parents and carers in terms of their child’s mental health and emotional wellbeing:

  • For parents and carers worried about a child’s mental health, Healthy Surrey has advice and information including:
    trusted apps, helplines, and advice how to access counselling through kooth.com for over ten year olds.
  • Free online guides for understanding your child across all age groups

  • In addition to the emotional wellbeing of children, I wanted to highlight an article from Surrey Healthy Schools about the DfE’s ‘Education Staff Wellbeing Charter’ which holds links to further resources to help the school workforce. I hope you find the resources helpful for your school community.

    Also this week at Surrey County Council, we have been celebrating Surrey’s fostering community as part of Fostering Network’s ‘Fostering Fortnight’. With over 1000 ‘looked after children’ in Surrey, it is a great opportunity to celebrate the commitment, dedication and passion of our foster carers. The fortnight is also about celebrating the community that supports children and foster carers and of course Surrey schools are a major part of this. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you do to help, develop and support some of our most vulnerable children.

    With best wishes,


    Changes to the School Admissions Code

    We’re seeking views on a revised version of the School Admissions Code to support vulnerable children. 13 May 2021

    Every school with Reception class offered early language training

    Every school in England with a Reception class to be offered expert training in early language and communication 13 May 2021

    Agreement between an employer and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)g

    Employer agreement with the ESFA to pay training providers to carry out apprenticeship training.19 May 2021

    Geoffrey's Discussion Point

    Issues to resolve that we ought to talk about openly only we don’t
    Taking the positives of lockdown and turning them into a better place to live.

    So here we are 12 months through a massive pan- demic and slowly the light is appearing at the end of the tunnel and the echo quietly ringing out

    ‘Soon we can get back to how things used to be’

    ‘We’ve struggled through the battle and the future is looking good’

    ‘Tomorrow will be a better day’

    All of these thoughts and those like them are good signs but underlying these words of optimism is that burning desire of everyone to say - phew! It will be great to get back to normal; I can’t wait to get back to how things were.

    Now before we drift back to life as it was before the pandemic should we not consider what we and our neighbours would like to see change. Try to understand what might happen if we go back to the old ways rather than taking the opportunity to create a more caring society. One that takes care, shares and works for us all rather than the selfish and greedy society of me - me - me, that for many this millennium has so far fostered

    Perhaps having experienced the pain and suffering that we have all had to endure to survive, not only the rigours, the hardships and the deprivations of our own misfortunes but often those we have shared with our community, our family and our friends. Is it now time to engage in a serious look back over the last twelve months with them listening not only to all the negative experiences but recording the lessons and the positives with which we may be able to build or create a better place for the future. Designed not only for ourselves but especially for the next generations. What will be the major issues of the next 20 years that we all may share and wish to plan for in order to manage or avoid repeating problems? Below are a few thoughts for quick starters I am sure you can think of may more, what matters is to choose some topics for which you have a passion.

    What can we do to help:
    reduce the national debt - (without tax)?
    reduce global warming?
    improve the appropriateness of education?
    increase social care and community spirit?

    Why, with all our wit and new found grit don’t we try a one-world view. Making our focus on sincere sharing of and supporting endeavours to provide all with a fair, safe, inclusive, comfortable life. One of opportunity and hope for all and a ‘safety net’ rather than a ‘keep net’ for all those who need it.

    Now there are some who may think from their life experience thus far that we have all those things in abundance. Yet sadly for all those who think that way. I can find you just as many whose life experiences would lead them to relate with equally strong conviction from bitter experience that none of those joys, benefits or opportunities existed. Yet, more importantly for everyone of the above there are a hundred or more whose experiences would fall scattered like confetti between those poles of stark difference.

    Now is the time to ask some of those questions that will help us decide where we want or need to focus our thinking. Experience, tells me that when we have reflected on recent events and chosen the issues we would like to be different in order to find an harmonious answer, we will need a little of each contributors ideas in fair proportion, from which to shape a solution - ‘our plan’ for a better future.

    This little formula outlines how the procedure often works once we have identified the problem P we wish to change, next we seek a solution S then apply this to breaking down the problem P with energy and/or enthusiasm E for a set period of time T and hope for a desired result R.

    P / (S X E X T) = R

    After the period of time we will review the result and may find that our solution is not resolving our problem. Now guess what most people will now do? Yes - increase S,E or T and hope to get a different R.

    This rarely if ever works because surprise when you continue to do what you always do, you will always get what you’ve always got. Our life's experience should tells us all if we apply an alternative solution based on the experience of the failure we will often find the way to achieve our result. Still doggedly we believe in the past solutions fearing to change and fail again. Remember the words of Thomas Edison who said “I failed my way to success”.

    My question then is this; having suffered all that we have endured in the recent past and gained the result we have now, why do you want to go back and try the same again or will you engage in a constructive debate to find a better way forward based on our hard won experiences?

    Geoffrey Hackett

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    Current Consultations

    Publication of statistics on childcare providers and inspections

    This consultation seeks your views on proposed changes to our statistical release on childcare providers and inspections. 11 May 2021

    Recent Consultations Outcomes