A flurry of guidance updates were published last night – clearly the DfE didn’t want you to be bored over the weekend!
The most important of these is the safeguarding guidance for schools and colleges: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers
It reinforces the messages in KCSIE, and suggests where schools and colleges might consider safeguarding policies and processes differently from during business as usual, including:
- updating your child protection policy, or adding an addendum, to reflect the current circumstances
- ensuring the DSL or deputy are contactable if not on site, and that all staff and volunteers know how to contact them
- safeguarding training / induction for new staff or volunteers during the pandemic, and
- online safety, including around remote learning
The guidance on vulnerable children has been updated (at points 13, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27 and 30): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people
It now includes:
- clarification that many children with EHCPs can remain safely at home
the Coronavirus Act powers for the Secretary of State to temporarily lift the duty on LAs to secure EHCP provision and use ‘reasonable endeavours’ instead, and
proposals to make EHC timescales more flexible
Please note the section about LAs maintaining payment is now 29, and not 30 as we had previously been quoting.
And finally, guidance on school closures is also updated, largely to reflect the updated language in the above guidance on vulnerable children, and to set out what to do if vulnerable children do not attend provision: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing
As always, we will continue to update you as further guidance is released, and we hope you get some time to recharge this weekend.
Claire, Karen, Kate and Jenny