SARS-CoV-2 variant Delta – Update for Educational Settings

SENT FROM DAN FLECKNOE – CONSULTANT IN PUBLIC HEALTH 7th June 2021

Dear Colleagues,

As you may have seen in the news, over the last week evidence has emerged that the SARS-CoV-2 variant Delta (formerly “India”) has overtaken “Alpha” (formerly “Kent”) to become the dominant form of COVID-19 both nationally and locally. This finding supports research evidence that Delta is significantly more infectious than Alpha, but importantly COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to still provide effective protection against it. In Buckinghamshire there has been a significant increase in COVID outbreaks in educational settings over the past 2 weeks, mostly caused by the Delta variant. Although no serious illness has been reportedly associated with these outbreaks, there are two major concerns resulting from this trend:

1. Secondary transmission from outbreaks among young and healthy people may go on to affect those more likely to become severely unwell (i.e. older family members), and
2. School/EYS outbreaks driven by a more infectious variant will lead to significant missed school time for a large number of children and young people who are identified as contacts of confirmed cases.

In view of this, I would recommend that:
• any planned loosening of in-school precautions should be delayed,
• bubbles should be maintained and kept as small as is practical,
• the whole school community should be reminded of the importance of practicing the principles of ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ whenever possible.
• anyone who is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination but has not yet taken up the offer, or who has not taken up their second dose when invited, should be encouraged to do so ASAP,
• and – perhaps most importantly with a more easily transmissible variant – immediate self-isolation by the entire household when any person in the house develops possible COVID-19 symptoms or gets a positive LFD result must be strongly emphasised. There is some evidence that the Delta variant has a shorter incubation period (that is, people may become infectious more quickly after being infected), so if household members wait for PCR confirmation before self-isolating then they could already have unknowingly passed the infection on to non-household contacts and thereby turned a cluster into an outbreak.

I know that these will be unwelcome tidings at a time when we have all been looking forward to further easing of restrictions on June 21st and possibly a more normal end to the school year. Obviously I can’t say for sure what the national decision will be about how this new evidence affects the planned progress of the Roadmap, but I suspect that Step 4 may be delayed until a larger proportion of the adult population have been vaccinated. In the meantime, it is important that we do what we can locally to restrict or slow down the spread of this variant in schools/EYS in order to safeguard both the education and wellbeing of pupils, and the health of vulnerable individuals in our communities.

Regards,
Daniel Flecknoe
Consultant in Public Health
Adults and Health Directorate
Buckinghamshire Council

Governor Training Dates, Summer 2021 Update

Dear Colleagues,

Please be aware that we have moved 2 dates of training in the summer term.

Preparing for the Ofsted Visit – Primary session has moved FROM 15th June to 7th July

The Role of the PSHE Governor has been moved FROM 14th July to 17th June

All registered have been contacted directly.  The revised summer timetable is below, click on the titles to book:

Educational Visits and Outdoor Learning 9th June 18.30 – 19.30 Wed MS Teams Mike Harwin
The Role of the PSHE Governor 17th June 18.30 – 19.30 Thu MS Teams Carol Stottor
Exclusions – Guidance for Governors 23rd June 18.30 – 20.30 Wed MS Teams Bernadette Little & Rose Lindsay
Health & Safety 29th June 18.30 – 19.30 Tue MS Teams Caron Owens
Preparing for the Ofsted Visit Secondary 6th July 18.30 – 19.30 Tue MS Teams Georgina Masefield
Preparing for the Ofsted Visit Primary 7th July 18.30 – 19.30 Wed MS Teams Naureen Kausar

I have also attached the troubleshooting document for course bookings.

Troubleshooting for Courses on emails

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

 

Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

 

 

For COVID-19 updates visit: https://schoolsweb.buckscc.gov.uk/covid-19-corona-virus-latest-advice/

BASG Executive Committee Meeting Minutes 10th May 2021

Meeting: BASG EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

Date & Time: 10 May 2021 at 5.00pm

 

Location: Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Present:

 

 

Paul Randall (Chair), Anne Sheddick (Vice Chair), Maggi Bull,

Peter Lerner, Bernadette Allison, Jo Pearce, Martin Baxter, Andrew Brown, Gwyneth Langley (Secretary)

 

   

Agenda Item

 

 

Action

1. Apologies for Absence  
 

 

 

There were no apologies for absence.

 

 
2 Notification of Any Other Business  
   

There were no items tabled for discussion under Any Other Business

 

 
3 Declarations of Interest  
 

 

 

Gwyneth Langley – BEP

 
4 Approval of Minutes From the Meeting Held on 19 April 2021 and Review of Actions  
 

 

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 19 April 2021 were approved.

 

BASG Bank Account (Minute 4) – JP / PR continued to progress the change of names on bank account correspondence.

 

Networking Groups (Minute 5) – Networking group meeting dates had been signposted this term’s Executive Director briefings.

 

Networking Groups (Minute 7) – GL would contact Sally Brooks to see if there had been any interest in the Marlow Networking Group.

 

Schools Forum (Minute 7) – JP had circulated details of Schools Forum, including the constitution.

 

BASG Event 27 May 2021 (Minute 10) – AS / PR were discussing a potential alternative platform for future events.  The event on 27 May 2021 would go ahead via MS Teams.  There were currently 130 governors registered.

 

 

 

 

JP / PR

 

 

 

 

 

GL

 

5 Local Networking Groups  
 

 

 

 

 

Aylesbury Group

 

The Aylesbury Group had met on 4 May 2021 and MB had circulated notes from the meeting.  Discussion had included:

 

·         Headteacher Recruitment. There was input from a Chair who was going through the Headteacher Recruitment process.  There was limited support from the Local Authority.   There was discussion on the options should the Governing Board be unable to appoint.   AB highlighted that the Oxford Diocese gave good support for Headteacher recruitment processes.

·         Feedback on the Executive Directors Briefings this term. These were considered to have been poor.

·         Feedback on the Closing the Gap events, which was more positive.

 

The Executive Directors Briefings this term were considered to have been rushed.  There had been some confusion with the agenda in the lead up to the events.  It was suggested that the change of name from Leadership Briefing to Executive Directors Briefing had altered the positioning of these session and it was now unclear what the purpose of these sessions was.    It was understood that the LA were planning to keep these meetings virtual in the future and there was some concern with this.

 

Jordans Group

 

The next meeting would be on 12 June 2021.

 

Chesham, Great Missenden, Amersham and Wendover Group

 

The next meeting would be on 24 May 2021 at 7pm.   This had been communicated out via the LA and GovernorHub.    8 governors had currently confirmed their attendance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 BEP  
   

GL gave a brief update:

 

BEP continued to support a number of Governing Boards with Headteacher Recruitment processes.

Recent events for Chairs had included discussions on governance arrangements going forwards and governor recruitment.  Many Governing Boards had been successful in recruiting governors during the pandemic.

 

There would be a BEP newsletter published towards the end of term and there was the option for BASG to include information within this. PR / GL would discuss this.

 

The BEP Chairs Briefing would take place on Friday 28 May 2021 and Annual Conference on Friday 18 June 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR / GL

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Communications with Bucks Council  
   

AS / PR had met with Hero Slinn regarding the upcoming SEN training for governors. They may be some SEN networking arranged for governors in the autumn term.

 

There had been some slowdown in feedback and action from the LA. This was frustrating. It was thought this could be linked to the management changes and council election processes. PL highlighted the difficulties of the purdah period for LA employees and the numerous demands on them during this time.   It was agreed that BASG should continue to work with the LA and flag challenges and issues despite the difficulties and frustrations.

 

It was noted that a Side By Side meeting had been planned for 27 May 2021. An agenda had not yet been received.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 BASG Newsletter  
   

PR / GL would discuss this.

 

PR / GL

 

9 Buckinghamshire Challenge Group  
   

The Buckinghamshire Challenge Group would next meet on Monday 17 May 2021 and MB would share notes on this meeting with the group.

 

Governor training arrangements had not yet been agreed.  Proposals were still being reviewed by Gareth Drawmer and Georgina Masefield.

 

 

 

MB

 

 

10 BASG Event  – Governance for SEND and Inclusion – 27 May 2021  
   

Approximately 130 governors had registered for the event to date.  This would take place via MS Teams.  A plan for administrative support for the event would be discussed.

 

PR would contact Adam Boddison to discuss arrangements.

 

 

 

 

AS / PR

 

PR

11 Governance Consultative Board  
   

The next meeting of the Consultative Board would take place on 8 July 2021. PL suggested that it would be helpful to get some clarity on the sense of direction from the new cabinet / cabinet member for education at this meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

12 AOB  
 

 

 

There was no AOB.

 

 

 

13 Dates / Times of Future Meetings  
 

 

 

 

A date / time for the next meeting was agreed as follows:

 

Monday 21 June  2021 5pm

 

 

Chesham / Amersham/ Wendover / Great Missenden – Networking Group Meeting – Monday 24 May 2021 7pm

As requested by attendees at the Spring term meeting I have set another Chair/Vice-Chair meeting for those in the Chesham/Amersham/Wendover/Missenden area on Monday 24th May at 7pm.  Please let me know (abrown1@chacademy.co.uk) if will be attending as well as any specific topics you wish to cover (see starting list below).  Do pass this on to your Vice-Chair as they would be welcome.

Here is a list of topics I think are relevant to discuss but it will change based on feedback.

1. Wellbeing of staff

2. Remote Education

3. Closing the disadvantaged gap including summer schools

4. Ofsted

5. Pupil mental health

6. Exam arrangements (Secondary)

I intend to use the breakout feature so we are in small groups to enable real discussion and idea sharing to happen; that worked well in the Spring Meeting.

The link for the meeting is here: Click here to join the meeting

BC Free Governor Training – New Dates for Summer Term 2021

Easter
Internet Safety 27th Apr 18.30 – 19.30 Tue Alison Watts
Monitoring the Single Central Record 5th May 18.30 – 19.30 Wed Pat Stappard
Prevent Duty – Guidance for Governors 13th May 18.30 – 19.30 Thu Alison Watts
The Role of the SEND Governor 18th May 18.30 – 19.30 Tue Hero Slinn
Embedding Equality and Diversity in Your School 26th May 18.30 – 19.30 Wed Yvette Thomas
Half Term
Educational Visits and Outdoor Learning 9th June 18.30 – 19.30 Wed Mike Harwin
Preparing for the Ofsted Visit Primary 15th June 18.30 – 19.30 Tue Ralph Batten

 

Exclusions – Guidance for Governors 23rd June 18.30 – 20.30 Wed Bernadette Little & Rose Lindsay
Health & Safety 29th June 18.30 – 19.30 Tue Caron Owens
Preparing for the Ofsted Visit Secondary 6th July 18.30 – 19.30 Tue Georgina Masefield
The Role of the PSHE Governor 14th July 18.30 – 19.30 Wed Carol Stottor

 

Corporate Director Briefings April 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Please find attached the presentation from the Corporate Director (DCS) Briefings held on the 22nd and 23rd April 2021.

CDB Presentation April 2021

Regards,

Hazel

Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

 

Governor Training, Booking Process

Dear Governors and Clerks,

Troubleshooting for Courses on emails, Eventbrite and Teams

I have created a document (attached) which includes questions I am frequently asked and problems that some encounter with our booking/meeting process.  I hope that this helps to make things clearer, unfortunately I can’t fix connection problems, sound issues or missing chat bars.  If you are unsure of your permissions check with the school IT team as we are unable to assist. Troubleshooting for Courses on emails

I have also attached the list of sessions available, the next being on the 5th May, Monitoring the Single Central Record at 6.30pm. Bulletin April 21

Regards,

Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

Buckinghamshire Governor Free Training for the Summer Term 2021

We are pleased to announce new online training dates for the Summer term.  These sessions are free to all Buckinghamshire Governors and Clerks.

Click on the links attached to register your place on Eventbrite. You will receive an email to confirm your booking.

All events are conducted via MS Teams, please ensure the device you plan to use is compatible.

Internet Safety 27th Apr 18.30 – 19.30 Tue Alison Watts
Prevent Duty – Guidance for Governors 13th May 18.30 – 19.30 Thu Alison Watts
The Role of the SEND Governor 18th May 18.30 – 19.30 Tue Hero Slinn
Embedding Equality and Diversity in Your School 26th May 18.30 – 19.30 Wed Yvette Thomas
Educational Visits and Outdoor Learning 9th June 18.30 – 19.30 Wed Mike Harwin
Preparing for the Ofsted Visit Primary 15th June 18.30 – 19.30 Tue Ralph Batten

 

Exclusions – Guidance for Governors 23rd June 18.30 – 20.30 Wed Bernadette Little & Rose Lindsay
Health & Safety 29th June 18.30 – 19.30 Tue Caron Owens
Preparing for the Ofsted Visit Secondary 6th July 18.30 – 19.30 Tue Georgina Masefield
The Role of the PSHE Governor 14th July 18.30 – 19.30 Wed Carol Stottor

NGA Summer Term Events

Join us for a packed summer term of Networks, Forums, Webinars and Seminars

We’ve got a packed summer term of events for you with our new Governance Leadership Forums, Network meetings for Clerks and MATs, our Summer Conference seminar series and a SEND conference to finish the term off. All this and our monthly webinars starting with a focus on Pupil wellbeing.

Governance Leadership Forums
Book your place at NGA’s new Governance Leadership forums running this term. These forums will bring together those in leadership positions from both governance and executive tiers, split into four relevant settings:

LA Maintained Schools Governance Leadership Forum, 6 May
MAT Trust Board Governance Leadership Forum, 11 May
Local Academy Governance Leadership Forum (for academy committees/LGB’s and headteachers), 18 May
SATS Governance Leadership Forum, 8 June

The forums will allow you to share your experiences and practice with others in similar governance situations. We are keen to include the views of boards and school leadership, please invite your school leadership to join us. All forums run from 4.30-6.00pm  Book now

Join us at NGA’s latest webinar – Tuesday 27 April 4.30-5.00pm
Why pupil wellbeing should be top of your agenda
Join Emma Balchin, NGA’s Director of Professional Development, to explore how you can prioritise, promote and monitor pupil wellbeing in your role.  The webinar will cover:

  • The current situation – what data is telling us
  • Promoting a whole school wellbeing culture
  • Monitoring data on pupil wellbeing
  • Questions for boards to ask

Book here

Save the Date

June and July will see even more events for your diary, beginning with the second SATs Governance Leadership Forum, followed by a series of seminars on key topics in place of our Summer Conference. We end the term with our SEND conference running over two days.
14-17 June           Summer Conference Seminar series
22 June                Clerking Network
1 July                    MAT Network
6-7 July                 SEND Conference

 

Bookings for these events will open shortly.

Curriculum and Assessment Conference, 11th May 2021

Dear Colleagues,

You are invited to register for the Curriculum and Assessment Conference on Tuesday 11th May at 1pm.  This will be online, conducted via MS Teams.

This conference sets out to explore current and considered approaches to assessment and recovery learning in the light of lessons learned throughout the pandemic. Speakers with national, regional, and relatable individualised perspectives will present their thoughts on the future of assessment and curriculum design in schools.

The conference will offer a positive and proactive response to the unique circumstances that have engulfed the sector since March 2020, seeking to reflect upon challenges and opportunities in order to address losses and inequalities, as well as promoting and capitalising on gains and advances where these can be seen.

We invite practitioners and school leaders to rethink assessment and consider the curriculum afresh to best serve the needs of our pupils in a changed and changing world.

To register your place please click on the link HERE

Regards,

Hazel

Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

 

For COVID-19 updates visit: https://schoolsweb.buckscc.gov.uk/covid-19-corona-virus-latest-advice/