Attendance Expectations as from 1st September 2020
Definition of Clinically Vulnerable Children
We have published information on what the new national restrictions mean for education and childcare settings. This guidance is for early years providers, schools, further education providers and children’s social care settings.
We have also published information for higher education providers on how the new national restrictions affect the higher education sector.
Our guidance on the new national restrictions makes it clear the government is continuing to prioritise the long term future of children and young people therefore early years settings, schools, colleges and universities will remain open.
It is very important for children and young people to attend their education setting for their wellbeing and long-term development.
School attendance continues to be mandatory although the expectations have changed for children who have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable.
Schools should consider any concerns from pupils, parents and households, who may be reluctant or anxious about attending school and put the right support in place to address this.
The usual school attendance powers and duties continue to apply, including schools and local authorities’ ability to use parental responsibility measures, such as fixed penalty notices, where appropriate.
Further information can be found in our guidance on recording attendance in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19) during the 2020 to 2021 academic year.
The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19).
This guidance advises individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable to work from home and not to go into work. Individuals in this group will have been identified through a letter from the NHS or from their GP. Staff should talk to their employers about how they will be supported, including working from home where possible, during the period of national restrictions.
All other staff should continue to attend work, including those living in a household with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.
We now know more about the virus, and most children who were identified as clinically extremely vulnerable at the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak are no longer identified as such. Schools should encourage parents to speak to their GP or specialist clinician, as soon as possible, if they have not already done so, to understand whether their child should still be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.
Those children whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school whilst this advice is in place. Where a conversation with a GP or specialist clinician has not taken place, the public health advice is that the child is still clinically extremely vulnerable and they are advised not to attend school. In these situations, we expect schools to be able to offer clinically extremely vulnerable children access to remote education, in line with previous guidance.
Staff and children who are clinically vulnerable or have underlying health conditions but are not clinically extremely vulnerable, may continue to attend early years, childcare and school settings in line with current guidance.
After school club advice
Actions for Schools
Guidance for Parents attending after school events
Important message for Parents/Carers
It has been great to see so many children and young people returning to school and the work that has been conducted locally to ensure a safe return. It is inevitable that for some children and young people they will feel unwell and for many this could include Covid related symptoms.
This message contains important information about how you can get a test. You cannot get a test by arriving at the Testing Centre without an appointment and you should not go to the hospital (Emergency Department) or your GP for a test.
Evidence to date has shown that children usually have much milder symptoms and they have tended to pick up the infection from home rather than from school. However it remains extremely important that any child with symptoms of Covid stays away for school, to avoid the risk of spreading infection to others, including the more vulnerable. These symptoms are:
• high temperature – feeling hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
• new, continuous cough – coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
• loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different from normal
Over the last week we have seen a number of children being referred for a Covid 19 test in accordance with national guidance. If your child has been in close contact with a confirmed case, they will be asked to self-isolate at home. Please DO NOT try to get your child tested unless they have developed the symptoms of COVID19. A negative test result does not mean that they can go back to school; it simply means that they had not fully developed the illness at the time of the test, and they could develop the illness at any point in the 14 days.
We are very aware that in Plymouth, as elsewhere, there have been delays in accessing tests. This is a national issue as laboratory capacity for analysing tests is being directed to areas in the country with the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases. We are doing all we can to work with national agencies to increase the capacity available.
We understand how frustrating this can be, particularly with children returning to school and being asked to stay off school until they can get a COVID-19 test. However, it is crucial that we keep our schools open, and continue to keep our children and communities safe.
We therefore ask that you continue to follow government guidance and keep your child at home, and book a test as soon as you are able. You only need to get a test if your child has the symptoms listed above. If your child has these symptoms, it is really important that you do not send them to school. The test is best done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.
The current routes for getting a test are :
• Parents book a test online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/coronavirus-in-children/ or by calling 119
• If parents or carers are unable to book a local slot then they can email email@example.com explaining that the test is for a child attending a Plymouth school and they will be supported to access local testing.
If you cannot book a test immediately, we ask that you try again as the system is currently very busy and your patience is appreciated.
If you are not able to secure a test, it is important that your child remains away from school for the 10 day isolation period. As part of creating a Covid safe school, children must not return before the isolation period is over. Please work with your school to keep all children and young people safe.
You can also use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
• you're worried about your symptoms
• you're not sure what to do
Call 111 if you cannot get help online.
More advice on what to do can be found here. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/
We would like to reassure you that we are working hard to put additional local arrangements in place to boost our local testing availability until national testing capacity can be increased and we will update you as soon as the situation changes.
Service Director for Education, Participation and Skills
Education, Participation and Skills
Plymouth City Council
This is the Government's published strategy
Useful guidance which has unsurprisingly changed since I looked at it in March!
Please check Facebook for updates and importantly your class web page on our website here. Each member of staff is updating regularly their pages with activities, games, quizzes, challenges, learning packs and ideas for you to do at home. Staff are regularly providing hard copies of learning packs each fortnight which can be collected at the main reception foyer and you are able to maintain social distancing as you collect.
Here are some recent posts.
The sector-led Oak National Academy has today launched its online classroom and resource hub. The Academy offers 180 video lessons each week for schools to use, across a broad range of subjects. The lessons cover children in Reception through to Year 10 and are free to use by both teachers and young people.
The Oak National Academy can be accessed here:
The BBC has today launched an education package across TV and online, featuring celebrities and teachers, helping to keep children learning at home and supporting parents.
BBC Bitesize can be accessed here:
Sir David Attenborough will be teaching online Geography lessons via the BBC, for children being homeschooled during the coronavirus pandemic. The historian and broadcaster will be hosting live-streamed classes as part of the BBC Bitesize Daily learning series focused on offering at-home education.41 mins ago
We have published information, guidance and support for parents and carers of children who are learning at home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Guidance on helping children aged 2 to 4 learn at home can be found here:
Guidance on helping primary school aged children learn at home can be found here:
Guidance on helping children with special educational needs and disabilities learn at home can be found here:
The guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings has been updated with additional information on the support available for parents, online educational resources and support for vulnerable children.
The guidance can be found here:
The guidance for education settings and local authorities on supporting vulnerable children and young people has been updated. This update includes clarification to the existing guidance on attendance.
This guidance can be found here:
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
8am to 6pm – Monday to Friday
10am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.
It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.
The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found at:
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 and at home:
All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.UK at:
Our main guidance for schools, the ‘school closures guidance’, will be regularly kept up-to-date. Any new advice for schools on specific issues, such as food, exams or safeguarding, will be linked from it: