Letter to parents from the Secretary of State for Education

Today the Secretary of State for Education has written an open letter to parents encouraging continued regular testing, to support all the hard work schools and colleges have been doing to increase participation.

The Public Health England COVID-19 resource centre has been updated with new testing resources to support your outgoing communications to parents and students in secondary schools and colleges. This includes:

social and poster resources – to stress the importance of continued testing and reporting in settings and on school social media channels
a test explainer kit with practical resources to support self-testing at home, including the vital step of reporting

Update to the contingency framework following the announcement on enhanced response areas

We have updated the contingency framework following the government’s announcement on enhanced response packages to tackle the Delta variant in some areas.

The contingency framework describes the principles of managing local outbreaks of COVID-19 in education and childcare settings. It covers all types of measures that settings should be prepared for, which includes those that may be recommended as part of an enhanced response area.

All education and childcare settings should have outbreak management plans outlining how they would operate if any of the measures described within the contingency framework were recommended in their area for any reason.

Secondary schools and colleges should ensure their outbreak management plans cover the possibility that it is advised that face coverings should temporarily be worn more widely in settings in their area and that asymptomatic testing sites (ATS) may be required. Additional guidance has been issued to the Directors of Public Health advising that they work in partnership with schools and colleges before reinstating ATS. The green ‘How to Guide’ details how schools and colleges should set up and run an ATS, as they did in March 2021.

If settings are concerned about COVID-19 issues in their area and think additional measures in their setting may be required, they should discuss with their Local Authority, Department of Public Health or Health Protection Team.


The information below has not changed since our last update


Department for Education COVID-19 helpline

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

Department for Education guidance

Our guidance to support education providers, local authorities and parents during the COVID-19 pandemic can be accessed using the links below:

Guidance for early years and childcare providers
Guidance for schools
Guidance for further and higher education providers
Guidance for local authority children’s services
Guidance for special schools and other specialist settings

Supporting a child with anxiety and building resilience

I’d like to let you know about a series of free online workshops that we’re running to support parents/carers whose children may be struggling with anxiety, self-esteem and with showing resilience. 

The sessions are for small groups of parents/carers who would like to support a child who is troubled by anxious thoughts and behaviours, and to develop strategies to build resilience.

 Feedback from parents has been very positive:

 “Listened to our concerns and gave us some great advice and tools.”

“Gave me confidence in my parenting skills.”

“It was good to meet other parents going through similar things with their children.”

“Gave practical tips as well as reassurance. I feel I’m better able to support my child with their anxiety.”

Supporting a child with anxiety (2 x 75 minute sessions):

  • Recognise the signs of anxiety and anxious behaviours
  • Find the language to discuss worries with children
  • Get practical tips to support a child through anxious thinking. The sessions encourage parents to reflect on their responses to their child’s anxiety to help the family make progress

 Date of workshops:

Mondays 7 and 14 June 10-11.15am

Tuesdays 15 and 22 June 1-2.15pm   

 Building a child’s resilience (3 x 1 hour sessions):

  • Parents can learn ways to help a child to make sense of their feelings, not be overwhelmed by them and to self-regulate
  • Encourages parents to reflect on their expectations of their child
  • Shows parents how to build a positive mind-set in their child so they’re not afraid of failing   

Date of workshops:

Tuesdays 8, 15 and 22 June 10-11am

Tuesdays 29 June and 6 and 13 July 10-11am

Parents and carers can book by email: FamilyLearning@brighton-hove.gov.uk, or  by visiting Family learning online classroom (brighton-hove.gov.uk)

Supporting a teenager with anxiety and building resilience

The Family Learning team are running a series of free online workshops to support parents/carers whose teens may be struggling with anxiety, self-esteem and with showing resilience. 

The sessions are for small groups of parents/carers who would like to support a teenager who is troubled by anxious thoughts and behaviours, and to develop strategies to build resilience.

Supporting a teenager with anxiety (2 x 75 minute sessions):

  • Recognize the signs of anxiety and anxious behaviours
  • Find the language to discuss worries with teens
  • Get practical tips to support a teen through anxious thinking. The sessions encourage parents to reflect on their responses to their child’s anxiety to help the family make progress.

 Date of workshops:

Monday 24 and Wednesday 26 May 10-11.15am

Mondays 21 and 28 June 1-2.15pm   

 Building a teenager’s resilience (3 x 1 hour sessions):

  • Parents can learn ways to help teens to make sense of their feelings, not be overwhelmed by them and to self-regulate.
  • Encourages parents to reflect on their expectations of their child.
  • Shows parents how to build a positive mind-set in a teenager so they’re not afraid of failing.   

Date of workshops:

Tuesdays 18, 25 and Thursday 27 May 2-3pm

Wednesdays 23, 30 June and 7 July    10-11am

Parents and carers can book by email: FamilyLearning@brighton-hove.gov.uk, or  by visiting Family learning online classroom (brighton-hove.gov.uk)