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spacer image Early Years Essential - Extra Edition 13 July 2020 spacer image
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left menu image spacer image spacer imageImportant information and updates during the Coronavirus pandemic
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Dear Colleagues

I hope you are finding the EYE useful as a means of keeping up to date with local and national news.

Best wishes


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In This Issue
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tag spacer image spacer imageImportant information and updates during the Coronavirus pandemic spacer image spacer image
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MKC covid19forschools webpages – EY providers will find these useful too

We’re glad that the webpages continue to be helpful to you.  Since last week, the following pages have been updated:

•          Accountability – aligned to latest DfE guidance and information about 2021

•          Accountability – aligned to Ofsted plans for autumn 2020

•          Attendance – aligned to latest DfE guidance

•          Cleaning – aligned to latest DfE guidance

•          Free School Meals – aligned to latest DfE guidance

•          Free School Meals – added information about the Covid Summer Food Fund

•          Health and Safety – aligned to latest DfE guidance

•          Online Resources and Online Safety – aligned to latest DfE guidance

•          Parental Support – aligned to latest DfE guidance

•          Planning and Implementing the full opening of schools – aligned to latest DfE guidance

•          Planning and Implementing the full opening of schools – updated Return and Recovery Tool and Aide Memoire tools added

•          Premises and Property Maintenance – aligned to latest DfE guidance

•          Premises and Property Maintenance – updated COVID-19 checklist added

•          Safeguarding – aligned to latest DfE guidance


Sharing information

Please continue to help us by sharing this EYE with other relevant EY colleagues including governors and committees. By working together and keeping each other well informed, we can reduce anxiety and workload across the MK education system


DfE guidance

Case studies: schools opening to all children in autumn

United Learning has worked with a range of schools to publish some useful case studies on how they're planning to re-open in the autumn term.

The case studies draw on examples from headteachers as to how they will implement the DfE guidance for the return to school in September.  They’re offered purely as a set of ideas which other school leaders might use, adapt or simply find helpful as stimuli for their own thinking and planning.


EHCP provision from September 2020

A modification notice issued by Gavin Williamson has temporarily (until 31 July) amended special educational needs and disability legislation during the COVID-19 outbreak.

On 2 July, Mr Williamson confirmed that all children and young people, including those with EHC plans, will return to schools and settings full time from September. The DfE have since said that he does not plan to issue any further notices to modify section 42 of the 2014 Act.  This means that schools, local authorities and health commissioning bodies need to secure the full range of provision specified in EHC plans from the start of the autumn term.

If, and only if, there is a potential need to re-introduce flexibility this will only be considered at a local level and in response to a local COVID-19 outbreak.


Managing school and setting premises during the COVID-19 outbreak

The ventilation and fire safety sections of this DfE guidance have been updated. Information about social distancing guidelines has also been added.  The updated guidance is available.

In response to the changes, we’ve updated the checklist for schools.  We suggest that you consider this and act accordingly if required.

Please contact Hannah Mayer if you need any further help or support. Providers can also contact Hannah for support.


MKC ‘Return and Recovery’ tool

We’ve updated the MKC return and recovery tool in light of the most recent DfE guidance.  As before, the questions in this are designed to support leaders to plan a full return to school that’s structured and safe.  This tool is useful for EY providers and can be amended to suit each setting.

The central idea of recovery is linked to three main aspects:

•          restoring the school’s ethos, culture and ways of working

•          ensuring that the wellbeing of pupils and staff is prioritised

•          getting pupils back on track in their learning as quickly as possible

The questions have been designed so that they can be used flexibly.  While clearly not exhaustive, they provide a useful tool to support your thinking.  Central to each section is an emphasis on establishing and maintaining clear, effective communication with all stakeholders.


MKC ‘Aide Memoire’ tool

In recognition of safety being a continued area of concern, we’ve updated the Aide Memoire Tool so that it aligns to the most recent DfE guidance.  This will help you to review controls, protective measures and safeguards ahead of your school fully re-opening in September. This tool is useful for EY providers and can be amended to suit each setting.

As a reminder, the Aide Memoire and Return and Recovery tool (above) are designed to complement each other and work hand-in-hand:

•          The Aide Memoire tool addresses the controls, protective measures and safeguarding issues for leaders and governors in preparing for full reopening.

•          The Return and Recovery tool supports leaders and governors in their strategic thinking and planning in the short and medium/longer term.

Neither tool replaces the need for a school risk assessment.  The MKC risk assessment template is available.


Required actions for suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in MK schools and settings

Public Health has recently combined the flowcharts for schools and settings to create one version for all educational settings.  This outlines the actions that you must take in the event of having a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

•          Flowchart for all educational settings (PDF)

Please save this for future reference now and note the requirement to complete the online form.  Thank you.


Do you know of any families who have children recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder? 

They may be wondering what to do next.  Please can you make families aware of our virtual Post-diagnosis Information Sessions

They will find out more about Autism, including the local and national support available to them. 

These sessions will use Microsoft Teams – for more information, please contact or call our Duty Desk on 01908 657825.


Public Health

0-19 Children’s Universal Health Services (Health Visitors and School Nurses) new Website.

We are a service that is available for all pregnant women, children, families and young people in Milton Keynes. All our services are provided within the integrated 0-19 team and include Health Visiting and School Nursing.  We aim to help to empower parents, children and young people to make decisions that affect their and their family’s health, development and wellbeing. 

Our staff consists of health visitors, school nurses, staff nurses, nursery nurses, healthcare assistants and administrators. Health visitors and school nurses are all qualified nurses or midwives who have undertaken specialist training in public health, child development and health needs assessment.

We have a single point of access via our administrative team. You can call us on 01908 725100 Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 4.30pm where there is a duty Health Visitor/School Nurse available to speak to you and help and support you or email is available. Visit our website.

We are closed on bank holidays.


Useful info

Supporting pupil’s mental health and wellbeing

The NAHT, Anna Freud Centre and PSHE Association have worked together to produce guidance to help you support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

The guidance outlines approaches for all pupils, including those with low-level mental health needs, and also provides links to supportive resources.

As a reminder, there is further information about supporting the mental health and wellbeing of pupils on covid19forschools


MKC contacts

Please contact us if you would like any additional colleagues to receive copies of this regular update.

For general schools queries: Sufficiency and Access Team 01908 253338 or email:

EY Enquiries:  01908 254071 or 01908 254509 or email:

Safeguarding: 01908 253169 or 01908 253170

SEND Team enquires, support, advice and information 01908 657 825 or email:

Early Education Funding: 01908 254522


Thank you

Belinda Woodcock

Improvement Partner – Early Years


We want to ensure that this newsletter reaches the correct individuals.  Please email   if you would to subscribe or unsubscribe.

EYE is a quick way of accessing both local and national news. It is published regularly as early years updates become available and is part of the core offer to schools and providers.

Disclaimer: Milton Keynes council accepts no responsibility for the actual content of any materials suggested as information sources in this publication, whether these are in the form of printed publications or on a website. Their use should not be interpreted as an endorsement of particular companies or their products.

The websites referred to in these materials existed at the time of going to print. Please check all website references carefully to see if they have changed and substitute other references where appropriate. Also, check all signposted training (whether MKC or independent) meets the needs of your setting.

Your email contact details will only be used to send you copies of EYE. If you no longer want to receive EYE, please contact to remove your contact details from out mailing list.

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