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spacer image Early Years Essential - Extra Edition 17 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


The end of the academic year is a time of reflection and this one has been like no other any of us have experienced. I want to thank you all for your hard work, expertise and commitment in what has been a challenging time for early years.


I know, like me, you will be more than aware of some of the challenges the autumn term is likely to bring so we will continue to send you the EYE with any information you need for September.


Colleagues from across Children’s Services would like to wish you all a very relaxing, healthy and peaceful summer break.  It’s thoroughly well-deserved after the last few months.


We look forward to working with you all during the next academic year.


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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Message from Mac Heath

Dear Colleagues

A message to schools and early years settings

Cllr Zoe Nolan and I have prepared a short video message for you to express our thanks.  

[Video includes subtitles]


Provision across Milton Keynes

Here is the weekly snapshot of provision across MK.

As was the case last week, attendance at primary schools and settings in MK continues to be higher than that seen nationally.  Also, the total number of children attending school in MK (19%) is higher than the national average (17%).

I continue to be grateful for all that you’ve done to ensure that pupils and families across MK have had access to the school and setting places they are entitled to and need.


A letter to parents from Public Health

Muriel Scott, the Director of Public Health, has written to parents thanking them for all that they’ve been doing to help control the spread of COVID-19.  The letter also offers advice about keeping safe over the summer holidays.

Please share this important message with the parents and carers of pupils at your school and setting.  By supporting them to act safely over the summer break we can all play our part in keeping the virus under control in MK.

Letter to parents (PDF document)


Summer support

We’re still working with colleagues and partners to create a local ‘map’ of the provision that will be on offer over the summer holiday.  We’re doing this to gain an understanding of the opportunities on offer (including from MKC) and to understand where places might be available for the children and families who need them.

Please email us by Monday 20 July if you’re running something over the summer holidays or if you are aware of anything else that’s taking place within your community.

Thank you in advance for your help.  Through working together, we can ensure that we have a fuller and more comprehensive view of the MK summer offer.

Dr Mac Heath

Director of Children’s Services

Milton Keynes Council



MKC covid19forschools webpages

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

Accountability – added information about the phonic screening check in 2020-2021

Admissions and appeals – information about the DfE consultation on changes to the admissions code

Mental health and wellbeing

– updated to align with most recent DfE guidance

– added information about the Recovery Curriculum

– added information about transitioning back to school following the pandemic


Nominations open for honours

The government is seeking honours nominations for people who have contributed to the COVID-19 response.

National honours will be given to UK residents who have either been on the frontline providing critical services, volunteering in the local community or developing innovative ways to support the vulnerable and isolated.

If that sounds like someone you know, you can nominate them.


Sharing information

Please continue to help us by sharing this EYE with other relevant early years 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.


Keeping the focus on Black Lives Matter (BLM)

The Economist Education Foundation has produced a two-part guide to teaching about racism: What is Racism? A child-led learning resource.  There’s no cost for the resource, but you do need to sign up to the website to access it.  The site also contains a wide range of regularly updated resources addressing Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) issues.

Other sources of useful information include:

•          Collaborative Learning - Black history resources

•          The Guardian - Black history timeline

•          British Red Cross - Talk to children about racism

At a recent full council meeting, there was a motion on Black Lives Matter.  Councillors firmly restated their commitment to tackling racism.  Milton Keynes is a diverse place and we believe that racism and hate have no place here.


Psychological first aid training

Staff and volunteers at the forefront of the COVID-19 response across England will now be able to access a Psychological First Aid (PFA) training course.

The free online course teaches you how to give practical and emotional support on issues such as job worries, bereavement or isolation to those affected by the pandemic.  No previous qualifications are required to enrol and the training is free to access.  For more details of the training please visit the Future Learn website.


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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