DfE guidance to support schools re-opening from 1 June – Friday 15 May 2020

This week I report on a series of guidance the DfE has published to support the Government’s desire for a phased re-opening of schools from 1 June and a free webinar for governors on safeguarding during this pandemic.

DfE guidance on preparing to re-open schools to specific year groups
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that there would be a phased re-opening of schools from 1 June at the earliest, the DfE has published various guidance documents to help schools to plan for this.

Primary schools have been advised to welcome back Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils, alongside priority groups. Yesterday the DfE published a planning guide for primary schools to compliment the initial planning framework and guidance on implementing protective measures that was already available.

Secondary schools, sixth forms and further education colleges are to offer some face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of Year 10 and Year 12 students who are due to take key exams next year, alongside the full time provision they are offering to priority groups.

The DfE is also asking nurseries and other early years providers, including childminders, to begin welcoming back all children. Alternative provision settings should mirror the approach being taken for mainstream schools and also offer some face-to-face support for Year 10 and Year 11 students. Special schools, special post-16 institutions and hospital schools will work towards a phased return of more children and young people without a focus on specific year groups.

Teachers’ unions are to meet the Government’s scientific advisers later today to seek assurances that it will be safe to open schools in England. The meeting follows challenges to the DfE to publish the scientific evidence on which the return to school has been based.

Free webinar on Safeguarding during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Governors for Schools in conjunction with Better Governor are hosting a free new webinar on Thursday 21 May from 8-9 a.m. on safeguarding during the current pandemic.

The webinar will explore the potential current threats to children and young people’s safeguarding and well-being and encourage those involved in school governance to reflect on how these should be monitored by governing bodies. Please use this link to register.