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)

Do you understand what your child does online?

There are lots of great apps and games online and your child is bound to have their favourite, but we know lots of parents worry about balancing their enjoyment with managing their time online and keeping them safe. The NSPCC have teamed up with O2 to give simple bitesize information and advice on the latest apps, sites and games your child might be using.

To find out more about children’s online favourites and get tips and advice on settings and how to reduce risks, visit Net Aware

Victim Hub, Domestic, Sexual Violence & Stalking Services in Sussex

From the 1st April 2021 there will be some changes to the provision of services in Sussex. Firstly four Victim Hubs will go live across the County (in Eastbourne, Hastings, Horsham and Brighton). Each Victim Hub will have a multi-agency function, comprising police and partners from the main commissioned victim support providers. The Hubs will follow the principles of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs (MASH) by co-locating the main commissioned victim support service providers in a single consolidated hub. The Hubs will reduce duplication and provide an enhanced victim experience by ensuring a more co-ordinated and co-located approach to victim support provision, and will reduce the risk of re-traumatising victims by having to retell their story to multiple providers. In addition they will support a common needs assessment for victim support across service areas. The hubs will also enable a more effective feedback loop between victim support providers and investigators within the Police.

The specialist domestic abuse support in Brighton & Hove will be delivered by Victim Support: For general enquiries please contact sussexadmin@victimsupport.org.uk  For more information: Sussex – Victim Support

The specialist domestic abuse services for East Sussex will be provided by CGL. Please call:  0300 323 9985 for general enquiries. For more information: Domestic Abuse Service – East Sussex | Change Grow Live | Supporting survivors of abuse and violence

The specialist rape and sexual violence abuse service for Sussex will be provided by Survivors Network. For general enquiries email info@survivorsnetwork.org.uk or for further information: Home – Survivors Network

The specialist stalking advocacy services for Sussex will be provided by Veritas Justice: For enquiries please email: info@veritas-justice.co.uk  or please call: 01273 234773. For further information: Vertitas Justice | Stalking advocacy and advice services (veritas-justice.co.uk)

The Brighton and Hove Refuge provision for Women aged 18+ and their children (aged 0-18) will be provided by Stonewater. For more information please either call 01293 780419 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm or email Brighton.Refuge@stonewater.org. For further information: Worried about domestic abuse? (stonewater.org)

Other services that fall outside of the above will also continue to operate as they currently do. The current Safe Space Sussex Website holds details of these services: www.safespacesussex.org.uk

e-Scooters

To use a motor vehicle legally on the road, it must meet certain legislation and construction requirements. These also apply for e-scooters, meaning they would need to be registered, insured, taxed and comply with all the relevant safety standards.

Unless a privately owned e-scooter, and its rider, could meet all the required legislation, using one on the road is illegal.

Separate rules apply for those used in designated official e-scooter trial areas, where rental e-scooters may be used on the highway.

Use an e-scooter on the pavement in modern times and you run the risk of a fixed penalty notice.