Notice: 12 January 2021

Welcome to Tuesdays edition of the Education Noticeboard, designed to keep you up to date with current information.

Included in this update:

Director update

Dear Colleagues,

Over the next few weeks we will be publishing the Education Noticeboard on a Tuesday and a Thursday, this is so that we can effectively share information with you regarding the support and services that are available to schools and settings.

On this first ‘Tuesday’ Noticeboard you will find updates from the DfE including a request to complete the educational settings attendance monitoring form. This uses the same portal as last term. Please submit the information requested by 2pm each day. Thank you for your help here as this what we use to gauge the attendance picture locally. Information from the DfE is also provided around Free School Meals (FSM) and Mass Testing.

Updates from the Local Authority include information targeted at Designated Safeguarding Leads and remote learning. We are also pleased to share an update on the Winter Coat project, applications can still be made if families meet the criteria.

Simon Wellman
Director: Education and Skills

Educational Settings Attendance Monitoring – Monday 11 January 2021

From, Monday 11 January, the DfE are asking schools and colleges to resume completing a revised educational setting status form.

Following the announcement of the national lockdown, we have made changes to the educational setting status form to reflect the position on attendance of pupils and students due to the lockdown.

The information you provide through the form continues to support the government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Your data will help us build a national picture of educational provision, including attendance of vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers in school or college. This will enable us to focus support more effectively, help inform the government’s response and ensure children and young people are safe.

The DfE are asking you to provide information on:

  • the number of pupils or students and workforce on site
  • the number of pupils or students with a social worker or an education, health and care plan; children of critical workers; and eligible for free school meals
  • the provision for free school meals for pupils or students on site and those learning remotely
  • pupil or student absences due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Further guidance on completing the educational setting status form, and the full list of questions for schools and colleges, can be found in the guidance on recording attendance during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Please provide your data by 2pm each working day.

If your school or college is closed for any reason other than a planned holiday (e.g. on public health advice due to coronavirus, for non-coronavirus reasons or a planned teacher training inset day), please continue to complete the form.

If you have any questions that are not answered by the guidance, please call the Department for Education’s coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline on: 0800 046 8687.

Information and Guidance from the DfE

Free school meal provision in schools

During the period of national lockdown, schools should provide meal options for all pupils who are in school, including vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. Meals should be available free of charge to:

  • all infant pupils
  • pupils who meet the benefits-related free school meals eligibility criteria.

During the national lockdown, we expect schools to continue supporting children eligible for benefits-related free school meals who are at home during term time. Schools will continue to receive funding to cover benefits-related free school meals and they can claim additional funding to help support eligible pupils at home.

We strongly encourage schools to work with their school catering team or food provider to provide food parcels to eligible free school meal pupils who are at home. Where school kitchens are open this should be the approach taken by schools. Schools can claim for additional funding of £3.50 per week for each eligible pupil receiving food parcel provision at home.

If the school has confirmed with the school catering team or food provider that they cannot provide food parcels for pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals who are at home, you can consider other local arrangements, which might include vouchers for local shops and supermarkets. Schools can claim to be reimbursed up to £15 per pupil eligible for benefits-related free school meals per week.

We will open a national scheme to provide supermarket vouchers via an online portal as soon as possible. Further details will be published shortly.

Further details on how and when additional costs can be reclaimed will also be provided shortly.

Information on options for provision of free school meals to pupils who are at home, and the funding available, can be found in our updated guidance on providing free school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Free meal provision for further education students

Further education institutions should continue to provide support for students who are eligible for free meals, whether they are attending or studying remotely due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Institutions should continue to provide support in the most appropriate way based on their local circumstances.

Further information is available in the 16 to 19 free meals in further education guidance.

Vulnerable children and children of critical workers who can attend school

Schools should remain open to vulnerable children and children of critical workers. Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical workers can go to school if required. This includes parents who may be working from home. The guidance sets out that parents and carers who are critical workers should keep their children at home if they can.

Schools should speak to parents and carers to identify who needs to go to school. If it proves necessary, schools can ask for simple evidence that the parent in question is a critical worker, such as their work ID badge or pay slip.

We know that every school will have a different number of children of critical workers who need to attend. It is important that on-site provision is provided for these pupils, and there is no limit to numbers of these pupils who may attend and schools should not limit attendance of these groups. This is because we are reducing overall social contact across the country rather than individually by each institution.

Ordering laptops and tablets

All schools in England have now been invited to order their full allocation of laptops and tablets. This may have happened in the autumn term or following the announcement about national lockdown and restricting attendance in schools.

If you have not ordered your full allocation and have not received our email inviting you to order, please check your spam or junk folder. Alternatively, you can sign in to the get help with technology service and follow the instructions to check your allocation and place your order.

We are also providing internet connections through free mobile data increases or 4G wireless routers for students who meet all 3 of these criteria. The student:

  • does not have fixed broadband at home
  • cannot afford additional data for their devices
  • is experiencing disruption to their face-to-face education.

Today we have announced that we will provide a further 300,000 laptops and tablets to schools, colleges and further education providers. We will provide information on how these devices can be ordered soon.

Please note that only schools can place orders. Parents, carers and pupils cannot order devices or internet access through our service.

Rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in secondary schools and colleges

Secondary schools have now received lateral flow device test kits and many schools have now started testing. Rapid testing helps identify those asymptomatic cases that might otherwise not be detected, causing the virus to spread further.

Secondary schools should now offer:

  • initial testing of vulnerable children and children of critical workers who are on school and college sites (two tests, three to five days apart)
  • weekly testing of staff who are on school and college sites
  • daily testing of close contacts of positive cases in schools and college as an alternative to self-isolation, reducing disruption in schools and colleges.

Staff, pupils and students who are on site can take daily lateral flow device tests for seven days. As long as their results are negative, they will be able to continue to access school as usual.

The military can offer support on setting up the provision and give advice both virtually and on the ground. To request support, please contact the Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline on 0800 046 8687.

Registering test site team leaders and recording lateral flow test results

Thank you to all who have registered your team leaders for the digital system used for recording lateral flow test results.

If you are a secondary school or college and have not yet registered your test site team leaders, please complete the online registration form by Wednesday 13 January 2021.

You can only register one team leader at a time using the registration form. To register multiple team leaders, please complete the form as many times as needed. The registration process takes around 5 minutes per team leader.

Once a team leader has been registered, they will receive an e-mail containing details on how to record lateral flow test results on your site using the log test site COVID-19 results service. Further information on how to register a test site team leader and registering lateral flow test results can be found in the NHS Test and Trace guidance on the digital services you will use.

If you have any questions, or require support registering your team leaders, please contact the Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline on 0800 046 8687.

Missed deliveries of lateral flow test kits

All schools with secondary-age pupils, including independent schools, special schools, alternative provision, sixth-form and further education colleges, should now have received an initial delivery of lateral flow device test kits to support asymptomatic testing from the start of the spring term.

If you have not received your initial delivery or have missing or damaged items, please complete the contact us form. You will need the URN for your school or college to complete this form.

Rapid testing in secondary schools and colleges

Last week, we held a series of webinars for secondary schools and colleges that provided information on the rapid testing programme. Recordings of these webinars have now been uploaded onto the Department for Education YouTube page and can be accessed using the links below:

  • Webinar 1 – site set up, equipment, supplies, logistics and waste management
  • Webinar 2 – workforce and training, consent, and engagement
  • Webinar 3 – clinical compliance, incidents, outbreaks and recording results and digital journey.

Further information, guidance and resources to support rapid testing can be found on the schools and colleges document sharing platform.

To help you find the information that you need, we have created a read first index. This document provides the details of guidance and materials available to schools and colleges to support them to deliver coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid testing in their settings and will be updated when new information is available.

Guidance for special schools, special post-16 providers and alternative provision

We are working to update our guidance for special schools, special post-16 providers and alternative provision to provide additional information and support in delivering education during the national lockdown. We have consulted with the sector including special school head teachers and representatives from special post-16 providers. We will publish this guidance later this week and will provide a link to it from the sector email once it is available

Updated guidance on Ofsted inspections

Ofsted has updated their rolling update to include information on monitoring visits. From 18 January, Ofsted will start making monitoring inspections to primary, secondary and special schools and colleges graded inadequate or requires improvement. These will not result in a grade.

Monitoring inspections will look at how well schools are educating pupils in the current circumstances, which for most pupils means being educated remotely. They will also consider complaints made by parents about remote education to help resolve issues and make sure children are being well served. If parents feel their child’s school is not providing suitable remote education, they should first raise their concerns with the teacher or headteacher. If issues are not resolved, parents can report the matter to Ofsted.

Remote education framework for schools and further education providers

We have published a framework to help schools and further education providers in England identify strengths and areas for improvement in their remote education provision. This framework is not intended as a compliance or accountability tool and should be adapted to fit your individual context. The framework is for internal use and to support detailed discussions with staff and governors/trustees on appropriate next steps.

Further guidance on providing remote education can be accessed through our get help with remote education service. Ofsted has also published a short guide on what is working well in remote education, which draws on findings from their interim visits, research and literature review.

Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline and the PHE Advice Service (option 1) is available to answer any questions you have about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care.

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
  • Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm.

Please listen carefully to all of the available options before selecting the most appropriate option for your nursery, school, college or university.

Guidance: What’s working well in remote education? 

Published 11 January 2021

Ofsted has published short guide to what works well in remote education.

Including advice to help school leaders and teachers with their remote education offer.

The guidance refers to the November 2020 briefing which outlined how schools were managing their remote education, and continuing to teach a broad and balanced curriculum.

The guidance also clarifies what is meant by ‘remote learning’, as well as debunking common myths about remote learning. Most importantly it emphasises the need for positive pupil engagement.

It identifies seven things to think about when planning and delivering remote learning.

  1. Remote education is a way of delivering the curriculum.
  2. Keep it simple.
  3. When adapting the curriculum, focus on the basics.
  4. Feedback, retrieval practice and assessment are more important than ever.
  5. The medium matters (a bit).
  6. Live lessons aren’t always best.
  7. Engagement matters, but is only the start.

Finally it refers to useful resources from the DfE and the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to support remote learning.

The guidance draws on their findings from the interim visits last term.

Ofsted will also resume the monitoring inspections of those schools judged to be inadequate from the 18 January 2021.

Attendance recording in schools

Information from the DfE Guidance 12 January 2021.

While parents and carers who are critical workers should keep children at home if they can, children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school if required. Schools should speak to parents to identify children of critical workers who need to go to school; those that do not should be recorded as Code X.

  • where parents of critical workers only need their child to attend school part-time, schools should use Code X to record the sessions that the child is not expected to attend
  • where the child of a critical worker is expected to attend a session and does not do so, the school should record the absence as Code C (leave of absence authorised by the school) unless another authorised absence code is more applicable
  • as usual, Code X should be used if the child is self-isolating or quarantining because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

As vulnerable children are still expected to attend school full time, they should not be marked as Code X if they are not in school (except if they are shielding, self-isolating or quarantining). If the parent of a vulnerable child wishes their child to be absent, the parent should let the school know. The Department expects schools to grant applications for leave of absence given the exceptional circumstances. This should be recorded as code C (leave of absence authorised by the school) unless another authorised absence code is more applicable.

Where schools grant a leave of absence to vulnerable children they should still speak to parents and social workers (where applicable) to explore the reasons for this and any concerns raised. The discussions should focus on the welfare of the child and ensuring the child is able to access appropriate education and support while they are at home.

All pupils who are not eligible to be in school should be marked as Code X (not attending in circumstances related to coronavirus (COVID19)). They are not attending because they are following public health advice.

Addendum to the Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy, and information relate to remote learning

Covid 19 Partial and Full Closure document.

This is a document that will be familiar to you. It was issued as an addendum to your Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy in September in anticipation for your need to prepare for the situation we are now in. It has had a minor update to reflect the most recent announcement.  You should have been working to this as a preparation and now using it. It should already be active as an addendum.

Download: Covid-19 Advice for Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL's) - Partial and Full.

Remote Learning Information for Schools. 

This is a short cover document to assist your thinking regarding Remote Learning.  Each school will have different needs and considerations dependant on the age and stage of learning of your pupils and also the technology and platforms you are using.

Download: Remote Learning Information for Schools - National Lockdown January 2021.

Your template Child Protection and Safeguarding policy already has a paragraph (p 26 of the template), related to online safety and already includes reference to how you will keep your pupils safe on line and reference to how you carry out regular reviews of online safety arrangements and that, if pupils are to learn at home, that you will consider the DfE guidance to ensure that they are safe.    This should already be in place and you will be working to it.  The attached note is to support any further thinking for you in case is helps in any way.   You may wish to add to that section to reflect your expectations in relation to remote learning or you may feel that what you have already added previously is sufficient.  Equally you may wish to add a note to your statement detailing your Remote Learning on your website or you may wish to reference your Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.

Please contact us by email if you would like any further information or guidance:

Safeguarding Training update

As you know all staff must receive Safeguarding and Child Protection training as part of their induction.  This training must be updated in line with advice from the Safeguarding Partnership. In Telford and Wrekin this means that all staff must have undertaken a full update within 3 years.

The Education Safeguarding Team provide a training unit on Raising Awareness for schools which can be delivered in 1 ½ hours and all schools are entitled to 1 ‘free’ delivery per year.  Additionally we offer access to places on ‘mop up’ sessions for staff who have recently joined your school. Some schools opt to utilise us annually, whilst some prefer a whole school delivery on a three yearly cycle.

We have now added a new unit on Domestic Abuse and updated our Prevent training and these units can now be used as part of schools three yearly cycle if they wish to. Each unit can be delivered in a hour and ½ although it should be noted that the Domestic Abuse unit and the Prevent unit do not replace the requirement to access the Raising Awareness as a part of induction.

The Prevent unit has been updated in conjunction with the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit to reflect the local context and contains updated information on:

  • The Prevent duty and our responsibilities
  • Definitions of terrorism
  • The Government’s Contest strategy
  • Developing a whole school culture
  • The promotion of British values
  • The process of radicalisation
  • Vulnerability factors
  • The local context
  • An overview of key groups, their signs and symbols
  • Making a referral to Channel
  • The Channel process.

The team have also developed a unit for school staff on Raising Awareness of Domestic Abuse.   
This unit has information on:

  • Developing knowledge of domestic violence and abuse
  • Understanding the different types of domestic abuse
  • Supporting the confidence of staff in understanding domestic abuse
  • How to identify signs and the effect on children
  • How children are affected by domestic abuse
  • Local reporting processes
  • Helping children to understand domestic abuse
  • Resources for school staff.

Schools may wish to utilise these three units within a three yearly cycle, with one unit per year. 

If you wish to book one of these units for your staff as part of your safeguarding training please email:

Criminal Exploitation Update

Following on from the recent Criminal Exploitation (CE) Pathway Launch at the end of Practice week Retta Tranter and Deb Thomas have put together some information for practitioners as to how the work on criminal exploitation will look operationally.


The Children Abused through Exploitation (CATE ) team are going to be holding consultation sessions every Thursday Morning between 9.30am and 11.30am. The consultations are for Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Criminal Exploitation.

They will be 20 minute sessions to discuss the Young Person that there may be concerns about.  

The session will need to be booked in advance via the email address:

The session can be booked by any professional working with the young person however, if there are other workers involved it would be beneficial to ask that they attend with you. If school staff wish to raise a concern at a consultation the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) should link directly to the Primary Worker (Social Worker, Strengthening Families Worker and Family Solutions Practitioner) for them to formally request the consultation. If the young person does not have a primary worker already attached then the DSL can request the consultation direct.

You will be asked to complete the Criminal Exploitation (CE) Consultation Form and send this in with your consultation request.

You do not need to complete a CATE referral form at this point. (This is available for download for your information only.)

Please review the Exploitation Risk Threshold Tool when considering a request for a Consultation and completing the CE Consultation Form.

Our first consultation session will take place on the 21 January 2021

Criminal Exploitation Multiagency risk panel

Our Multiagency Criminal Exploitation (CE) Risk Panel will be moving to Thursday afternoons, 1pm until 5pm from the 21 January 2021.

They will take place weekly.  

They will alternate between Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) risks and Criminal Exploitation (CE) risks starting with:

  • Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) on the 21 January 2021 
  • Criminal Exploitation (CE) on the 28 January 2021.

Criminal Exploitation: update and awareness drop in sessions

We are providing Bi-monthly update and awareness sessions and that professionals from all agencies are be able to attend these.

We asked that requests on any particular Topics/areas that people would like up to cover are shared via the CATE email address:

These sessions will be available to book onto via Ollie.

Our first Session will take place on Tuesday 2 February 2021 9.30am until 11.30am.

This will cover a brief over view of the Pathway, referral form, Exploitation Risk Threshold Tool and The use of Language.

We will then use the requests made to tailor on going sessions.

We will complete the sessions via Microsoft Teams.

Future dates for the year are:

  • Tuesday 30 March 2021
  • Tuesday 25 May 2021
  • Tuesday 20 July 2021
  • Tuesday 28 September 2021
  • Tuesday 23 November 2021.

All of the above updates are on a trial basis initially and may need to be tweaked along the way.

Available to download are useful documents which you will need, please look at them and ask any questions you may have.

Just one final point to clarify,  our pathway clearly states that:

“If Parents/Cares  are implicated or knowingly fail to prevent Exploitation, or if a child is 13 years or under, Child Protection Procedures Followed”
This does not mean that the CATE team cannot work with the Young Person Alongside the Child Protection Procedures, a request can still be made for a consultation and a referral.

For further enquiries please contact us by email:

Barnado’s Beacon Service is launched, supporting victims and survivors of child sexual abuse

Barnado’s have launched a service to support victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

The Beacon project is a coordinated offer to support children who have been sexually abused across 4 police force areas, West Midlands, West Mercia, Warwickshire and Staffordshire.

The service supports young people aged 0 – 19 through an on-line information sharing hub for young people, families and professionals to fund useful information to support themselves and others.

They provide support for organisations that work with children affected by sexual abuse through training and consultancy and will give support to other partners to deliver counselling services for children.

Download: Barnardo’s Beacon Poster.



Telephone: 01384 411722

Big Winter Coat Project provides its first 100 coats and expands to shoes!

In December we let you know about the launch of the “Big Winter Coat Project”.  We are pleased so say that schools have been referring to the project and by Christmas more than 100 coats had been delivered to children meaning they could enjoy the snow in the warmth of a nice coat! 

We have also heard how some families have been unable to buy suitable shoes for their child and we have now expanded the project to include shoes.

If you are working with a child who you think might benefit from this project here’s what you need to know:

Who is eligible?

Any child 16 and under who has no winter coat or has no suitable shoes as the family are unable to afford these items. 

How can I apply?

Speak to the family to ask if they are happy to be referred and let them know you will be sharing their personal details with us.  If they agree, complete the online form, you only need to complete one form per family. 

What next?

A member of staff will contact them to find out what size coat and/or shoes they need and any preferences.  Our partner, The Anstice will order the coat and/or shoes and arrange for one of their volunteers to deliver it to the family address

Please note, we need to ensure that this funding is used where it is needed the most.  We are therefore opening referrals to schools and professionals working directly with families only, please do not advertise this more widely.

Referral form

For further enquires please contact us at:

Preventing and Dealing with Racist Bullying

Telford and Wrekin are aware of the ever increasing need to ensure racial incidents are identified and recorded.
The session will provide an opportunity for participants to:

  • meet the statutory duties of schools in this area in the light of current legislation
  • develop confidence in the identification of racist incidents
  • consider best practice in preventing and responding to incidents for the most positive outcomes
  • review the process of recording and reporting internally, and to the Local Authority.

Delegates will receive guidance on how to:

  • recognise racist incidents
  • meet statutory requirements
  • implement strategies to minimise racist incidents and redress the damage caused by them
  • explore strategies to prevent racist incidents and bullying.
  • Wednesday 20 January 2021
  • 1.15pm. - 4pm
  • Online via Microsoft Teams.

Download: Course Flyer.

MDT support for individual schools to deliver quality bespoke CPD is available upon request.

If you would like to attend or express an interest in the training, please contact the MDT team.

To book a place on the training course please view the Telford Education Services website.


Website: MDT Website.

Telford and Wrekin 0 - 19 Public Health Nursing Service and Family Nurse Partnership

Please find the January 2021 Telford and Wrekin 0 - 19 Public Health Nursing Service and Family Nurse Partnership Newsletter available to download.

Download: Telford and Wrekin 0 - 19 Public Health Nursing Service and Family Nurse Partnership Newsletter.

Storytelling by Arthog “Queen of the birds”

The story is a retelling of the old story “King of the Birds”. I have used a more modern form of the story borrowed from several story tellers, with my own twists and tweaks. This makes the story softer, with no birds harmed in the telling.

View the Video on YouTube.

There is a break in the story towards the end which, if you like, could be used to let children finish the story themselves. This could be in the form of spoken word, written word, art etc.

I am sure that there are many other ways to use a story in your teaching.

If you do use the story I would love to hear about it!

If I can be of any help to you in any way please don’t hesitate to ask; I work part-time, so if you don’t get an answer from me please contact the Centre, and that can help or track me down. 

Email: or

By phone: 01341250455


Every week during term time we publish a new update for the education community. It includes essential briefings and specialist information about education.

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