8th April – Coronavirus – Regular Update to all Early Years, Children’s Social Care, Schools and Further Education Providers
Please find attached the latest update from the Department of Education to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Covid 19: Advice for Schools on Free School Meals, access to Food and supporting Families in Food Poverty (UPDATED 31 MARCH)
Please find attached a comprehensive document sharing information on Free School Meals, access to food and supporting families in food poverty at this difficult time.
This guidance shares national and local information, advice and guidance for how to support your pupils and families to access meals and maintain a balanced diet.
You will find it helpful in supporting those who may be at risk or food poverty or who are entitled to Free School Meals.
Please see the link below for an update on Free School Meals (FSM) and Covid 19.
This will be of use for any schools who have wanted to set up a food voucher scheme but have been waiting for national guidance before doing so.
The vouchers can be emailed to families, printed off for them to collect or forwarded to local supermarkets to be accessed directly. It’s important to ensure you communicate with parents and carers that the vouchers are to be used for food, and not products such as alcohol or cigarettes.
The vouchers will be of the value of £15 per week per FSM eligible child.
How to order vouchers:
You will be able to access the voucher scheme using the Edenred portal.
Edenred will send schools an activation email, explaining how to access the portal and order vouchers.
The email will be sent on Tuesday 31 March to the email address DfE holds for your school.
If you have not received the email by Thursday 2 April, please check your ‘junk’ folder then email Edenred firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you have activated your account on the Edenred portal, you can begin to create vouchers.
Edenred will provide schools with a step-by-step guide to ordering vouchers through their online portal.
If you already have your own scheme up and running, that’s fine. There’s no need for to switch to the national model as the DfE have reassured us that they’ll still meet the costs of any reasonable local initiative.
If your school is already providing meals, then you are able to consider a combined approach. Please speak with your Catering Provider to discuss this.
A level and GCSE results
A level and GCSE results
Long awaited guidance on how GCSE and A level grades will be awarded has been published in two key documents by Ofqual today.
In brief, exam boards will asking schools to submit, no earlier than by 29th May 2020, a centre assessment grade for every student in each of their subjects: that is, the grade they would be most likely to have achieved if they had sat their exams and completed any non-exam assessment. Judgements should balance different sources of evidence such as classwork, book work, performance, non-exam assessment and mock exams.
They will also require the rank order of students within each grade for each subject – for example, for all those students with a centre assessment grade of 5 in GCSE maths, a rank order where 1 is the most secure/highest attaining student, and so on. This information will be used in the statistical standardisation of centres’ judgements – allowing fine tuning of the standard applied across all schools and colleges.
To make sure that grades are as fair as possible across schools and colleges, exam boards will put all centre assessment grades through a process of standardisation using a model being developed with Ofqual. This will be consulted on, but is expected to look at evidence such as the expected national outcomes for this year’s students, the prior attainment of students at each school and college (at cohort, not individual level), and the results of the school or college in recent years. It will not change the rank order of students within each centre; nor will it assume that the distribution of grades in each subject or centre should be the same. The process will also recognise the past performance of schools and colleges. However, if grading judgements in some schools and colleges appear to be more severe or generous than others, exam boards will adjust the grades of some or all of those students upwards or downwards accordingly.
Schools and colleges have been told that they must not share their centre assessment grades with students, parents or carers, under any circumstances, until after final results are issued. This is to protect the integrity of centres’ judgements, and to avoid anyone feeling under pressure to submit a grade that is not supported by the evidence. Since the final grades for some or all students in a centre could be different from those submitted, it also helps to manage students’ expectations. Results won’t be delayed after the dates they were expected in August and ideally will be released a little earlier, so students can have the certainty they need.
DfE have confirmed that they will not hold schools/colleges to account on the basis of exams and assessment data from summer 2020, and that the data should not be used by others, such as Ofsted, local authorities, academy trusts, etc to hold schools/colleges or teachers to account. DfE will not be publishing, or sharing, institution-level school/college accountability measures, such as Progress 8 and Level 3 Value Added, using the summer 2020 data.
It is gratifying that the system proposed acknowledges teachers’ integrity and that they are the ones who know best their pupils and what they can do. There are difficulties, however, about the ranking. Ofqual recognises this:
Where there is more than one subject teacher, they will need to agree one rank order for all students within the centre who are taking that subject. To do this, teachers within a subject department will need to discuss the rank order and come to a shared view of the standard being applied within their centre. We recognise that this will be challenging for some centres and in some subjects, and in the current circumstances. However, the rank order is important for the statistical standardisation process.
Where a centre has a large entry for a subject, with many different teachers, we recognise that this will be challenging. There are a number of ways in which this could be done, including for example, for each teacher initially to grade and rank order their students; discuss and compare the qualities of students at the top and bottom of the rank order within each grade to ensure that a consistent standard is being applied; adjust the grades accordingly; and then integrate the rank orders by discussing individual students beginning at the top of the rank order and working down.
Leeds Libraries From Home #2
Welcome to issue 2 of the Leeds Libraries & School Library Service newsletter, featuring links to online resources, as well as our top picks from all the incredible content currently available from authors and illustrators.
Leeds Libraries Digital Resources - supporting school and home learning
Reading for Pleasure
We have over 19,000 comics and graphic novels, suitable for all ages, available for you to borrow https://www.rbdigital.com/leeds/service/comics
We have added a number of extra eBook and eAudiobooks for children to our library catalogue, which can be downloaded by multiple people at the same time through Borrowbox https://leeds.ent.sirsidynix.net.uk/client/en_GB/default.
This week’s title highlight: The Boy Who Grew Dragons - Andy Shepherd (KS2 eBook and eAudio)
Join the Library - https://leeds.ent.sirsidynix.net.uk/client/en_GB/default/search/registration/$N/SYMWS/true
If you are having issues with joining please contact email@example.com or 01133785005
For those of you taking part in local walks why not find out more about how your neighbourhood used to look. The Leodis website has over 66,000 images of Leeds dating back to the 1690s, see if your house is on there, your school or your local shops and parks. http://www.leodis.net/
Code Clubs in libraries have paused for a while but you can still access all the brilliant resources online. Most of the projects are web based and won’t require any equipment. https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/codeclub
World Book Day UK has created a Book Ideas Hub, containing resources for educators/students/parents to use at home https://www.worldbookday.com/
The Leeds Year of Reading Team continue to update their detailed list of resources to support teachers and families, and to sparkinspiration around the Year of Reading. http://www.leedsforlearning.co.uk/page/15600
Top Picks of the Week
Under 5's – Join in with Michael Rosen (@MichaelRosenYes) as he reads his much loved story, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt https://www.youtube.com/embed/2OI7fe766nk
Children (5-7) – Join picture book author/illustrator Rob Biddulph (@RobBiddulph for #DrawWithRob every Tuesday and Thursday http://www.robbiddulph.com/draw-with-rob
Children (7-11) – visit Faber Booktime and hear Chris Mould (@chrismouldink) talk about his role as illustrator for the new edition of Ted Hughes' The Iron Man. Hear Chris read from the book and draw the Iron Man along with Chris. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FtNE2Fm-3Y
Young People – Marcus Sedgwick (@marcussedgwick) has recorded an audio version of his brilliant novel, Floodland https://marcussedgwick.com/floodland/
Understanding COVID-19 for children – https://nursedottybooks.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/dave-the-dog-coronavirus-1-1.pdf
And finally, visit MyLearning and access free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations. Managed by our partners @LeedsMuseums https://www.mylearning.org/
COVID 19 - Frequently Asked Questions around Attendance
For School and Settings Leaders/Managers - please download attached document for a list of frequently asked questions.
Additional Notice 30/03/2020
Under these unprecedented circumstances, the School Attendance Service will no longer be undertaking work on existing Traded Cases.
All time left under a school’s/cluster’s SLA will be ‘banked’ for use when all schools are fully open again. This means we will not be undertaking any ‘normal’ work with any current traded cases.
Additional Notice 27/03/2020
The DfE has published some useful FAQs regarding the self-reporting of attendance
which you can access here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-attendance-recording-for-educational-settings/educational-settings-self-reporting-online-form-frequently-asked-questions-faq