Advice and Guidance
On Wednesday 18th March 2020, the Secretary of State for Education gave a public statement that all state-funded schools in England would be closed from the end of the school day on Friday 20th March. Schools, and all childcare providers, were asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home. Vulnerable children includes children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans. Following on from this it was announced that academic year’s exams would not go ahead in England and Wales.
On the 24th May 2020 the PM confirmed Primary schools will welcome back children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, while nurseries and other early years providers will begin welcoming back children of all ages. In the coming days, the Prime Minister will set out the government’s progress in meeting these five tests, which are:
- Protect the NHS’s ability to cope. We must be confident that we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK
- See a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates from COVID-19 so we are confident that we have moved beyond the peak
- Reliable data from SAGE showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board
- Be confident that the range of operational challenges, including testing capacity and PPE, are in hand, with supply able to meet future demand
- Be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelms the NHS
In these unprecedented times the Berlesduna Trust is following the guidance issued daily by the government to back the national effort in tackling the coronavirus. These extraordinary circumstances are placing pressure on all parts of society and the Berlesduna Trust staff have been doing all they can to support since this crisis was announced.
Advice and guidance for individual schools in the Trust such as provision for keyworkers, accessing free school meals, online learning and home study will be available on the school website and communication will be direct from the schools to parents. Links to all our schools’ webpages is available by CLICKING HERE.
As new guidance is released from the government we will endeavour to place links on this page signposting the information for ease of access, along with links and information to external organisations who can offer support to parents and children.
All our schools have been working tirelessly since this announcement to complete risk assessments to ensure there are a range of measure to protect children and staff. Each school has now completed its risk assessment and made a decision as to what year groups are able to retain at present whilst social distancing still remains in force. Each school has communicated with its community.
Our staff have been doing all they can to keep our school open, or partially open, since this crisis began and I would like to pay tribute to their remarkable commitment. They have been extraordinary and we will continue to play our part over the coming weeks and months.
Young Minds Helpline for parents and young people
Young Minds – Talking to your child about Coronavirus and 10 tips from their Parents Helpline to support family wellbeing: www.youngminds.uk
Parents Helpline: If you are a parent who needs advice about your child’s mental health you can contact the Parents Helpline directly on 0808 802 between 9:30am-4pm
Young Minds Crisis Messenger: If you are a young person experiencing a mental health crisis you can text YM to 85258 for free 24/7 support
The Young Minds website is: youngminds.org.uk
Self-Isolating & Dealing With Conflict (The Children’s Society)
With the current Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak and Government recommendations to limit social contact, many people will be spending more time at home than they are used to.
This may mean spending more time with family, carers or friends and this may create difficult situations, especially for those coping with pre-existing family problems.
The Children’s society asked one of their well-being practitioners to share her top tips for dealing conflict at home.
Coronavirus: resources for Mental Health and Wellbeing (Heads Together)
Heads Together have published a free toolkit with resources and tips to help address anxiety arising from these challenging times.
The toolkit includes a booklet to support schools, videos to provide practical guidance and tips to schools, parents and carers about coronavirus (COVID-19) and mental health, activities to ease anxiety that can be done at school or at home and other helpful advice, helplines and resources for adults and children.
Resources for Parents and SEND Learners
- National Autistic Society – guidance and helpline for parents’, young people and staff: autism.org.uk
- Mencap – Easy Read guide to Coronavirus: mencap.org.uk
- Place2Be – Guide to helping parents answer questions from their children and to support family wellbeing: place2be.org.uk
- Carers UK – Guidance for carers: carersuk.org
- Covibook – an interactive resource designed to support and reassure children aged 7 and under, designed to help children explain and draw the emotions that they might be experiencing during the pandemic: mindheart.co.uk
- National Deaf Children's Society - Families with deaf children. It covers things that parents need to be aware of in the coming days and weeks, such as school closures, access to hearing aid repairs and batteries, and supporting deaf children during the spread of coronavirus. National Deaf Children's Society
Whilst the specialist teachers for pupils/parents with hearing, visual and physical and neurological impairment, autism, speech and language are unable to visit pupils at school, advice and support is offered remotely for those that may need it.
Contact numbers for students and parents during a period of school closure:
Child Line: 0800 1111 www.childline.org.uk
Food Bank : www.trusselltrust.org
KOOTH : www.kooth.com
Samaritans : 116 123
Social Care Hub : 0345 603 7627 Option 2
National Health Advice Line : 111
- Government Information on the Closure of Educational Settings CLICK HERE
- Government Information on Keyworkers CLICK HERE
- Government Information of cancellation of tests and examinations CLICK HERE
- Government Information of Further details on exams and grades CLICK HERE
- Government Information on Support for Free School Meals CLICK HERE
Staff, parents and young people can contact the DfE helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
You can also find the latest information updates on COVID-19: www.gov.uk/coronavirus