Coronavirus

School is now CLOSED until further notice, ‘except for children of key workers and vulnerable children’  You will be contacted if your child, or child in your care, has been identified within these government categories.

Further details on exams and grades announced

New details regarding the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on summer exams has been released. AQA sent this letter to schools:

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Dear colleague

I hope that you and your students are keeping well, and are able to adapt to new ways of teaching and learning in these strange and challenging times.

I wanted to get back in touch to reassure you that we’re still working hard with regulators, government and other exam boards to make sure young people who were due to take our exams this summer get the qualifications they deserve.

Associations representing teachers, schools and colleges are also involved and are helping create a process that’s fair for everyone affected. As you’ll appreciate, this is a complex piece of work that isn’t quick and easy to do.

I’m pleased to say that Ofqual expects to publish detailed information about the process for GCSEs, AS and A-levels next week. This will include the steps for teachers to follow and detailed guidance on how to consider the full range of evidence available when submitting grades. Our customer service team will be available to answer any questions you might have about the guidance issued.

By Easter, Ofqual will also outline the process for making sure grades are fair across schools and colleges, as well as their proposals for appeals. If you haven’t already seen it, the Department for Education has published a useful set of questions and answers about the special arrangements for this summer.

We’ve been getting quite a lot of questions from private candidates who are understandably concerned about how the arrangements for the summer will work for them – and I realise that you may be getting these questions too. The sector is still working hard on this so, while I’m afraid we don’t have the answers right now, we’ll have them soon.

Just one final thing – I’m sorry if you’ve been trying to contact us and have had to wait longer than usual for answers to your questions.

Our customer service team is facing many of the same challenges facing many organisations right now, but they’re working hard to support you through this unprecedented situation. They’ll help you as soon as they’re able to and I expect them to be able to respond much more quickly next week.

Best wishes

Mark Bedlow
Chief Executive

The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to students whose exams have been cancelled this summer, following our actions to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Ofqual and exam boards will be discussing with teachers’ representatives before finalising an approach, to ensure that it is as fair as possible.

Find details on the impact on summer exams here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced

More information will be provided as soon as possible.

Information to cascade to parents and carers

Dear All,

BCP Council has launched a Volunteer Hub and dedicated helpline to support vulnerable people who need vital support while isolating at home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Thededicated helpline can provide a range of support, from organising deliveries of food and household supplies to people in need, and providing information and advice. Additionally, staff working through the Volunteer Hub can make regular telephone calls to help keep people’s spirits up during periods of isolation.

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said, “We are delighted to launch the Volunteer Hub and dedicated helpline to support our most vulnerable residents across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. 

“Through our Together We Can community response we have more than 1500 volunteers plus council staff who can help our most vulnerable residents with picking up food and household supplies, as well as provide a cheerful voice to break up those long days of self-isolation. 

“I know that this is a stressful and worrying time for everyone and there are some residents across our three towns who desperately need help with accessing food and every day household items.  I would encourage anyone who is in this position to call our dedicated helpline so that we can connect you with our volunteers and get you the support you need.”

The dedicated helpline is 0300 123 7052 and will be open 8am – 8pm seven days a week 

Residents, businesses and charities are being encouraged to share the dedicated helpline with anyone they think may be vulnerable and without support.

Want to volunteer?

People wanting to get involved and help with the Together We Can Volunteer Hub can register their details by visiting: bcpcouncil.gov.uk/TogetherWeCan.  Please do not call the helpline number as this is only for vulnerable residents who need vital help.

Many Thanks

Cllr Simon McCormack

We have published guidance for parents and carers:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Critical workers

If parents’ work is critical to the coronavirus response, their children will be prioritised for early years and education provision.

The Government has published a list of critical workers:

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

Please cascade the above information to parents and carers where possible.

Attendance reporting for educational settings to start from Monday 23 March

From Monday 23 March, educational settings should complete a short form to notify the Department for Education about their status regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

The form will ask you to confirm whether your setting is open and, if so, provide information about numbers of pupils and staff attending. It will take you less than 2 minutes to complete. You should submit it by noon of each weekday.

Your data will help us build a national picture of educational provision so that we can focus support more effectively. It will also help the Government monitor the impact of the virus.

You will need a ‘DfE sign-in’ account to access the form. We are writing separately to DfE Sign-in approvers in all education settings to help you with this.

We will send more information about recording attendance and completing the form tomorrow.

Further details on exams and grades announced

New details regarding the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on summer exams has been released.

The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to students whose exams have been cancelled this summer, following our actions to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Ofqual and exam boards will be discussing with teachers’ representatives before finalising an approach, to ensure that it is as fair as possible.

Find details on the impact on summer exams here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced

More information will be provided as soon as possible.

Funding to support schools

To ensure schools can continue to pay their staff and meet other financial commitments, schools will continue to receive their budgets for the coming year regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure.

We will put in place a new process that allows us to reimburse schools for exceptional costs that they face as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Details of the scheme will be published in the coming days.

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.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

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.

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

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

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Educational resources:

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resourceshttps://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

Latest Department for Education information:

https://twitter.com/educationgovukhttps://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/