Please ensure you read all available links and guidance on this page, and those available on the DfE / Public Health and Essex County Council websites before making contact. Should your question(s) still not be answered, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, if you need to speak to the DfE directly then use the following contact details:
- Telephone Number - 0800 046 8687
- Email - DfE.email@example.com
- (Opening hours 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)
- Please note: If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the helpline.
This page will be updated daily with the most recent communications sent from Clare Kershaw, Director of Education - see below.
Different sets of Frequently Asked Questions have been put together which again, will be updated as and when new queries arise:
If you need to report a school closure, please log this (for every day you are closing) via the My School Page in the usual way. Further information can be found on the School Closures page.
There are a number of documents and resources also available for you:
Re-opening - guidance, information and resources to support preparations to reopen
- Letter to school leaders and all school staff from Cllr Ray Gooding - 17 July 2020
- Getting your child to school - information on options and guidance on travel
- Letter to parents from the Directors of Education and Public Health - letter from Clare Kershaw and Mike Gogarty, Director of Public Health. The letter outlines the preparations that are taking place to prepare for all children and young people to return to school, and important information for parents and carers 15 July 2020
- Joint Union Checklist - commentary and checklist from the NEU, GMB, UNISON and Unite unions. This document is based on the current DfE advice for schools and follows its structure. 15 July 2020
- Ofsted Activity in the Autumn - summary of conversations Michelle Winter, Senior Her Majesty's Inspector, had with Essex schools last week about Ofsted's activity in autumn
- Request for LA officer session - booking form to request support with preparation for wider reopening 13 July 2020
- Presentations from LA ASHE Meeting 10 July 2020:
- Maximising School Attendance - things to consider when addressing attendance in September 2020
- September Opening - supporting documents to prepare for opening in September:
- DfE Guidance for September Opening - summary of DfE guidance for full opening in September 2 July 2020
- Overnight Short Breaks - guidance on children who are accessing both school, and their overnight short breaks 22 June 2020
- Guidance for Before/After School Providers - 22 June 2020
- Transition Guidance - these documents are designed to act as an aide memoire, recognising that all schools and settings have individual contexts, processes and procedures already in place to support and enable effective transition
- Maintaining Bubbles - guidance on merging, splitting, adding to and staffing school bubbles 18 June 2020
- Wider Opening Guidance - guidance for scaling up onsite provision (primary schools) 18 June 2020
- Flexibility Guidance - flexibility guidance on the wider reopening 16 June 2020
- Responding to a case of Covid19 - guidance and FAQs on how to respond to a suspected or confirmed case of Covid19 in school 12 June 2020
- Wider Opening Schools - statement from Gavin Williamson 10 June 2020
- Principles to support the wider opening of secondary schools - 8 June 2020
- Attendance Coding - guidance on attendance coding during Covid19 1 June 2020
- Transition Guidance for Educational Settings - guidance around transitions for children and young people 1 June 2020
- Behaviour Management Policy Support - advice that was included in the home school partnership arrangements and some examples that schools have subsequently used 29 May 2020
- Model Health and Safety Policy - this should be considered as an addendum to any existing Health and Safety Policy you have in place, to cover the Covid19 response period 29 May 2020
- Liability Guidance - guidance on employment law, personal injury claims and insurance liability 22 May 2020
- Re-opening Framework for Special Schools - May 2020
- Creating Safe Environments guidance - support for reopening 20 May 2020
- Looking after Staff guidance - support for reopening 20 May 2020
- Home School Partnership Arrangements - updated to reflect preparations for re-opening
- Model School Reopening Letter for Parents - letter template to share with parents 20 May 2020
- Weekly Survey w/c 18 May 2020 - word version
- Support for Reopening Proforma - 18 May 2020
- Reasonable Endeavours - guidance and key messages in relation to the temporary amendments to the EHCP legislation, the Essex plan to implement the guidance and support available for schools and settings
- PPE Suppliers - list of suppliers who have advised Essex County Council that they have Personal Protective Equipment for those that require it 18 May 2020. Please note: The information provided by the Suppliers and the products on offer are in no way warranted or guaranteed by the Council. The products on offer or the numbers available may differ from those published.
- Risk Assessment and Action Plan - template for risk assessments and action plan15 May 2020
- Planning Guide for Primary Schools - Summary 15 May 2020
- Early Years
- Primary Schools
- Secondary Schools
- HR Self Declaration Letter - 14 May 2020
- Letter from Clare Kershaw - to send to parents outlining the governments announcements and how we are working with schools 14 May 2020
- Re-opening Framework for Mainstream Schools - 13 May 2020
Governors - information and guidance for governing bodies during the coronavirus outbreak
HR - guidance and resources for managing your workforce
Medical - supporting students with medical needs through closures
Mental Health and Wellbeing - support and advice for staff, students and families
guidance, information and resources on various aspects of schooling and more during the coronavirus outbreak
Parent Information - information for parents and templates for you to use to communicate with them if needed
Remote Learning - guidance, support and resources for remote learning for schools, students and families
Safeguarding and SEN - information and resources to help ensure the safety and protection all students, as well as support for vulnerable children and children with SEND
Any documents referred to in the below statements, can be found above in the list of resources.
Latest email update from Clare Kershaw - Wednesday 12 August 2020
Latest DfE and ECC Guidance Updates - 8 August 2020
I am mindful that I said I would only send one communication a week during the summer holiday period, but given the upcoming results days and the associated media attention I wanted to share some information that I hope secondary and college colleagues will find helpful.
Please see below supporting documents regarding the examination re-sits and appeals processes and also below, link to the updated DFE guidance.
Responsibility for autumn exams
The DfE guidance for schools and colleges on who should enter students for autumn exams. I would draw your attention to the explanation around the support DfE is giving for sites, invigilators and exam fees: “The Department for Education (DfE) Exam Support Service will launch at the beginning of the autumn term and will help schools and colleges to book sites and invigilators where required. Schools and colleges will also be able to claim funding through the service if their autumn fees exceed any fee savings that awarding organisations are returning to them, following cancellation of summer exams. We expect schools and colleges to pay fees for all students who were due to sit exams in the summer, rather than passing the cost on to students or their families."
I hope the A Level results day runs smoothly, and you enjoy the weekend.