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DfE guidance on January back to school/college

Posted in News

With thanks to our colleague Ian Noon at the NDCS here is a summary of what DfE has published today to mark the new term.

  • DfE infographic summary
  • Early year settings to stay open
  • Primary schools expected to stay open except in some areas where a ‘contingency framework’ applies (e.g. London. See end of email for where else this ‘officially’ applies*). Expected to remain open for vulnerable children and children of key workers if otherwise closed.
  • Staggered re-opening for secondary schools and colleges
  • From 4th: open for vulnerable children and children of key workers and focus on remote teaching for exam students. Extra week off for everyone else.
  • From 11th: Exam students expected back in school, remote teaching for everyone else.
  • From 18th: Everyone expected back (except in areas where the contingency framework applies – tbc)
  • More detailed guidance from DfE for professionals. Information for parents.

An obvious point but guidance is literally changing by the day and the above is fast-moving.

One thing to note is that the definition of ‘vulnerable’ children now seems to be slightly wider than it was last year.

  • As before, includes children with EHC plans. No ‘qualifier’ this time around that I can see for those with plans but who can be safely educated at home
  • “those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study)”

The latter may be important for deaf children where remote learning is extremely difficult. On the face of it, guidance would allow these children (regardless of whether they have an EHC plan or not) to go into school for face-to-face support. In practice, I’m assuming schools will be using their discretion around this, with advice and support from Teachers of the Deaf.

DfE is also strongly pushing the line that more and more laptops are getting out there to those that need it.

As more deaf children will be expected to access remote teaching, NDCS’ existing blogs for parents and teachers around this may be helpful.


Support for home learning


Deaf friendly remote teaching checklist