Update for schools: 16 July 2021

This update includes a message from Kevin Crompton, Interim Director Education and Skills, a video from Dr Justin Varney and a DfE video on stage 4 of the lockdown roadmap.

Message from Kevin Crompton, Interim Director Education and Skills

Dear colleagues

Much has happened since I sent that first message to you back in May and apologies for this coming so late but an Ofsted/CQC revisit and an unfortunate fall off a wall rather disrupted my plans for better communication and indeed visits to schools and staff.

The outcome of the Ofsted revisit is now public and we have much to do to make sure that these services do deliver for families, carers and their children.  Their experience of the system is not good enough despite there being many examples of good support in mainstream, special schools and other services.  At the heart of the problem I believe is the way we manage families’ interaction with us and I don’t think the way we work enables staff to give a good service either.  I think there are lots of other issues around capacity and resourcing which also need to be addressed.  We are committed to working with all stakeholders as a new improvement plan is designed and agreed over the coming months.  I will keep you informed on progress.

This has of course been another academic year affected by Covid and I want to thank everyone in schools for your tireless work and unwavering commitment to children, young people and families. I hope you will able to enjoy a well-deserved break over the summer holidays.

Thank you all for what you do every day for the children and young people of the city.


Advice video from Dr Justin Varney, Director of Public Health

Step 4 of the Roadmap will proceed as planned on Monday 19 July, the Prime Minister has confirmed. However this does not mark the end of the need for caution and restraint. Although many of the legal restrictions will be lifted, cautious guidance will remain which makes it clear that this not yet a return to normal. While cases are high and rising, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. We will continue to manage the virus and provide guidance over the coming months. In a video available at this link, Dr Justin Varney highlights why we should all continue to follow safe guidance despite the lifting of restrictions and why getting vaccinated is so important.

DfE video on what Step 4 changes mean for education and childcare settings

As most restrictions across all parts of society are relaxed from Monday 19 July, the DfE wants to keep schools, colleges and early years settings informed on what Step 4 changes mean.

To help with this, they have recorded a webinar which provides information on the key changes to COVID-19 measures such as ‘bubbles’, contact tracing, face coverings, self-isolation and testing, in addition to providing answers to some frequently asked questions.

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