Returning To School - Mental Health and Wellbeing

The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown is an unprecedented situation. We do not know what the impact will be on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. But we do know that in many cases it will be teachers who will be in the front line dealing with pupils' anxieties, questions and behaviours.

Many mental health charities and organisations have produced materials, advice and guidance to help school staff during this challenging time.

The Mental Health Foundation is part of the national mental health response during the coronavirus outbreak. Its resources include:

Other useful resources include:

Place2be.org.uk is a children's mental health charity and has provided a number of recourses including assemblies and group activities for both primary and secondary aged pupils.

NSPCC  has pulled together guidance on 

  • safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures
  • recognising and responding to concerns
  • the impact of coronavirus on children’s mental health
  • supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing.

Mentally Health Schools has a produced a returning to school toolkit

Young Minds -Tips, advice and wellbeing resources to support pupils as well as staff and parents during the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition back to the classroom.

 

DfE changes to KCSiE

The new version of the DfE’s statutory safeguarding guidance “Keeping Children Safe in Education” was released on the 17th June. It comes into effect on the 1st September, so it is important that designated safeguarding leads and governors know what changes have been made.

Some of those changes include:

Covid-19

Mental Health

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)

Online safety

Supply teachers

The following places offer detailed break down of the changes:

Andre Hall’s video

Becki Avery’s blog from the Education People, formally Kent County Council

LGfL Digisafe’s  blog

What Really Happened Online During Lock Down?

As we begin to struggle back to some resemblance of normality and look towards fully opened schools in the autumn it is perhaps time to take a few minutes to consider what has just happened. For many people the pandemic was the first time that they have ever found themselves truly reliant on technology for such basic human needs such as food, company, work or education. And for some schools, online learning was a Godsend. It enabled staff to keep in touch with pupils, it provided parents support with hone-schooling and it gave many pupils a life line to trusted adults and the reassurance that they and their education were still importance.

We think that many of you will have done great things for your pupils during lock down and found creative ways to make the most of the technology you had available. We'd like to celebrate those things and share those fantastic ideas. Please no false modesty here - whether you kept your year 4's or you GCSE history class online and learning during the lockdown you did a great thing. Please let us know about it by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can help others learn from your experience.

You might also want to find out how your pupils felt about online learning. Our friends at LGfL have created a short questionnaire that you might like to use with your pupils.

We aren't asking you to share this information with us. However, if you think that your results highlight an important lesson that others could benefit from hearing about, again please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your contributions will be used anonymously.

And for a bit of a bigger picture about online learning in the time of coronavirus please read the Sutton Trust report. It highlights some really important points about technology, social mobility and the digital divide.

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Top tips for supporting Child Mental Health

The Milton Keynes SEND team have produced a short guide to supporting child and adult wellbeing during the Corvid 19 pandemic. It includes top tips and links to organisations that provide support and guidance. Download the .pdf 

DfE Funding for schools set up G Suite for Education

Schools can now apply for Department for Education-funded support to get set up on G Suite for Education

 
From April 24th, schools and responsible bodies can apply for Department for Education-funded support to get set up on one of two free-to-use digital education platforms: G Suite for Education and Office 365 Education.  As an accredited Google for Education partner and provider of this support, we’re here to help. 

 

Why G Suite for Education?

G Suite for Education contains a free set of productivity tools for classroom collaboration. Accessible from any device, it is used by over 120m+ users worldwide and enables teachers and students to continue teaching and learning remotely. Google Classroom helps teachers to organise learning activity, hand out & mark assessments and provide structure for students learning at home. Teach From Home provides teachers with easy-to-use resources to get started with G Suite and how the tools can be used during this time. 

 

To find out more about whether G Suite for Education is right for your school, sign up to join our virtual office hours. 

Is your school eligible for funding?

Schools that do not currently have a digital education platform are eligible for funding. Schools that already have G Suite, but are not yet set up to assign work and communicate with pupils, are also eligible. 

What is included?

The funding will cover the cost of service to carry out:

  • End-to-end set up of G Suite for Education

  • Integration with your Management Information Systems to provision Google Classroom

  • Core security settings to support remote education

  • Creation of a central “remote learning hub” site for your school

  • Handover training for your school’s staff Apply for funding

 

We can help to carry out a safe, secure and professional set up of your platform, including sharing best practices on domain settings and feature enablement. 

 

If you would like to apply for funding you will need to visit the digital education platform hub to get the ball rolling. We would encoursgae you to select our partner, Levett Consultancy, as your preferred supplier on the Deployment Support Request Form.

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