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Children and Families Covid - 19 News & Updates



Update: Governement (DoE) issues funds to support children and young people who's wellbeing may be impacted during the pandemic (09.06.2020) 

A funding scheme for charities launched by the DoE to support children and young people who's wellbeing may be impacted during the pandemic. Please Click Here to access futher information. 


Update: Government issues funds to support children with educational needs and disabilities (19.05.2020)

Children with special educational needs and disabilities in England will benefit from £37.3 million of direct support in 2020-21, which is expected to help more than 75,000 families in England


Update:Actions for FE colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak (18.05.2020)

Guidance has been updated to include further information to plan for wider opening, including what to consider and steps to take when planning increased attendance. Other updates include vulnerable young people, safeguarding and mental health support.


Preparing for the wider opening of schools from 1 June (18.05.2020)

The government has published guidance for primary schools to help them prepare to open their schools for more pupils during the COVID-19 outbreak. Guidance includes:

  • 1. Preparing the site
  • 2. Reviewing your staff for availability in school
  • 3. Familiarise yourself with the maximum safe group size
  • 4. Creating and staffing your temporary teaching groups
  • 5. Practical steps to reduce risk
  • 6. External support for SEND and behaviour
  • 7. Changes to routines for staff and pupils
  • 8. Communicating with staff
  • 9. Communicating with parents
  • 10. Managing pupil and staff wellbeing and mental health
  • 11. Planning what to teach, and how
  • 12. Remote education during wider opening
  • Frequently asked questions


Safe working in education, childcare and children's social care (18.05.2020)

The government has published guidance on preventing and controlling infection, including the use of PPE, in education, childcare and children's social care settings during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

  • Effective infection protection and control
    • Maintain social distancing with individuals who are unwell
    • Maintain hygiene standards and frequently clean surfaces
    • Wear PPE when unable to maintain a distance of 2 metres with children who are showing symptoms
  • Testing
    • Access to testing is already available to all essential workers
  • What care should be taken in residential settings, including residential schools, residential special schools and children's care homes?
    • When no one is showing symptoms, respond like any other domestic household. However, do not share soft toys between children
    • When someone develops symptoms:
      • Staff can continue to enter and leave the home as required, consistent staff rotas should be used where possible and staff should follow good infection prevention control
      • The isolation guidance for residential settings should be followed
      • Staff should wear PPE for activities requiring close contact
      • Staff should adhere to social distancing guidelines as far as they are able to, but should take account of children's emotional needs
  • Foster Care
    • If a foster child develops symptoms their fostering service should:
      • Assess the ability of the carer to continue to deliver care to the child
      • Ensure the foster home follows the guidance for households to avoid the spread of infection
      • Consult the foster carer on how best to protect themselves and the child
    • If foster carers develop symptoms of coronavirus, their fostering service should:
      • Follow the same steps as above
      • If additional support is needed for the carer or child, ensure that staff providing this care provided with PPE
  • What care should staff visiting families in their own homes take?
    • Staff and their managers are best placed to make professional judgements of risk in each case
    • There are many ways to keep in touch with a child, young person or family without physical face-to-face contact. It is expected that these will be utilised appropriately and proportionately
    • Prior to undertaking a visit, an attempt should be made to ascertain whether any member of the household is suffering from symptoms of coronavirus
    • Where households report no coronavirus symptoms, no PPE is required, but a distance of 2 metres should be maintained where possible
    • Where households are reporting coronavirus symptoms, PPE should be worn if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained
  • Should social care visits to extremely clinically vulnerable children and young people continue?
    • Extra care should be taken visiting children and young people who are extremely clinically vulnerable
    • Visits to provide essential support such as social care or personal care should continue only following a robust risk assessment.
  • What specific steps should be taken to care for children with complex medical needs, such as tracheostomies?
  • How should I care for children who regularly spit?
    • They should continue to receive care in the same way, including any existing routine use of PPE
    • No additional PPE is necessary, but additional space and frequent cleaning of surfaces, objects and toys will be required
  • In non-residential settings, what should be done if a child, young person or other learner becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus and needs to be cared for until they can return home?
    • They must be sent home
    • If a child is awaiting collection, they should be moved, if possible, to an isolated room
    • An appropriate adult should supervise depending on the age of the child
    • PPE should be worn by staff caring for the child
  • What protection is needed when transporting children?
    • If the child has no symptoms there is no need for a driver to use PPE
    • If a child shows symptoms:
      • Use a vehicle with a bulkhead
      • The driver and passenger should maintain a distance of 2 metres from each other
      • The driver should use PPE, and the passenger should wear a face mask if they are old enough and able to do so
  • What care should be taken in early years settings?
    • Regular cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, objects and toys, as well as handwashing, are particularly important
    • The use of soft toys and toys with intricate parts or that are otherwise hard to clean should be avoided
    • Settings should manage risks by keeping children in small groups and trying, as far as possible, to keep the same children and staff members together from day to day
  • How should I care for young children or children with special educational needs who do not understand why they must stay apart or who ignore distancing guidelines?
    • It is imperative that education, childcare and children's social care settings conduct risk assessments around managing groups of children within the setting
    • As far as possible, small groups of children should be supported by consistent staffing, and groups should remain as consistent as possible throughout the outbreak.
  • How should PPE and face coverings be disposed of?
    • Used PPE and any disposable face coverings that staff, children, young people or other learners arrive wearing should be placed in a refuse bag and can be disposed of as normal domestic waste unless the wearer has symptoms of coronavirus, in line with the guidance on cleaning for non-healthcare settings
    • Any homemade non-disposable face coverings that staff or children, young people or other learners are wearing when they arrive at their setting must be removed by the wearer and placed into a plastic bag that the wearer has brought with them in order to take it home

Waste should be stored safely and securely kept away from children. You should not put your waste in communal waste areas until the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours

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