spacer image
spacer image
spacer image Early Years Essential - Extra Edition 22 September 2020 spacer image
spacer image
spacer image
spacer image spacer image spacer image IN THIS ISSUE spacer image logo sidebar image spacer image spacer image
left menu image spacer image spacer imageImportant information and updates during the Coronavirus pandemic
spacer image
spacer image
spacer image
spacer image spacer image
spacer image
In This Issue
spacer image
spacer image spacer image
tag spacer image spacer imageImportant information and updates during the Coronavirus pandemic spacer image spacer image
spacer image spacer image

Message from Mac Heath

Dear Colleagues,

Since re-opening this month, schools and settings across the country have been impacted by the increased presence of COVID-19. Five schools in Milton Keynes are currently taking precautionary measures after positive cases have been confirmed within their school community. Parents have been informed in all cases, and all schools are following proper processes and precautions.

I want to thank school and setting leaders for taking swift, measured action and working with health and education colleagues to protect children, staff and families. I appreciate the huge efforts underway to safeguard the education of children and young people in Milton Keynes in these challenging circumstances.

I hope that the following information is useful to you and your teams.


Update on process for managing confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19

The local process that must be followed for confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 has been amended.  This reflects your valuable feedback and the most recent guidance from DfE.

The updated flowchart for schools and settings is available.  Please save this latest version now, for future reference, and share with staff.

***You NO LONGER need to report suspected cases.  You should however continue to report confirmed cases using the online form, as embedded within the flowchart.***

The online form simultaneously notifies Public Health and Education colleagues at Milton Keynes Council.  They will then work together to ensure that you get the local support and advice you need.  Schools in MK that have experienced confirmed cases have been very positive about the timeliness and quality of support from local public health colleagues.

The flowchart to support parents and carers has also been aligned to the most recent DfE advice and guidance. 

We’ve also put together a set of flowchart FAQs that may be helpful.


Protecting COVID-19 testing capacity

The Department of Health and Social Care, NHS Test and Trace, and Public Health England issued a letter to school and college leaders providing clarity on when students and staff should be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19).

It’s vital that children and staff are only tested if they develop one of the three key symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19):

•          a high temperature,

•          a new, continuous cough, or

•          a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Capacity must be protected for people with symptoms of the virus.



What about siblings across different schools where one child is impacted by COVID-19 procedures but is not unwell themselves?

Siblings who attend different schools can usually still attend their own schools. Whilst a child at one school may be asked to stay at home, this does not automatically apply to their siblings or other members of their household, unless:

  1. a family/household have a confirmed case – they should all self-isolate
  2. a family/household has a suspected case – they should all self-isolate pending results of a a test
  3. a family/household have all been advised to self-isolate by public health as a result of contact tracing

What about children who have symptoms of a common cold?

As long as children do not have any of the three symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or loss/change in smell/taste), providing the child is well, they can attend setting or school.

Runny noses and sneezing are not symptoms of COVID-19. Children displaying these symptoms alone would not be expected to be sent home from school or setting and do not need to access tests.

Likewise, staff members with symptoms of illness not associated with COVID-19 and well enough to teach, are not expected to self-isolate unless advised by a doctor.

When can children return to setting or school after receiving a negative test result?

In accordance with DfE attendance guidance - if a child tests negative they can stop self-isolating and return to setting or school if they are well enough to do so.

There is a slight discrepancy with current guidance for households. Public Health England is aware of this and are in the process of amending the latter. Their advice is for schools to follow the attendance guidance.


Dr Mac Heath

Director of Children’s Services

Milton Keynes Council



SENCo and SEND Team Meetings - Autumn Term

Dear SENCo,

I am writing to share with you the upcoming dates and agendas for our SENCo and SEND Team Meetings this term. The focus of these meetings will be to support and guide you through the new SEND processes.

All meetings will be held via MS Teams and you do not need to have downloaded this to be able to join. Deputy SENCos and SENAs are also welcome to join alongside attending SENCos.

To request an invite to the meeting, please email your name, name of setting/school and which meeting/s you would like to attend to: Please also let us know if you only need one invite but more than one person will be joining the session in the room with you for our records.

Please book your place at least 2 days before the meeting. Invites and a link will be sent at least 24 hours prior to the session.

Additionally, please keep us informed and updated of your correct email details.


1) SEND Processes – SEN Support Plan Overview to Include Additional Funding Requests

With Sarah Ray – Assessment Manager and Nina Broderick – Inclusion and Intervention Team Manager
Early Years          Chaired by Sarah Austin        Thursday 24th September 5 pm – 6pm
Primary                Chaired by Nina Broderick     Wednesday 23rd September 3.45pm – 5pm
Secondary           Chaired by Nina Broderick     Monday 21st September 3.45 – 5pm

2) SEND Processes - EHCP requests

With Jac Ragozzino – Casework manager and Sarah Ray - Assessment Manager
Early Years          Chaired by Sarah Austin        Thursday 15th October 5pm – 6pm
Primary                Chaired by Nina Broderick     Wednesday 14th October 3.45pm – 5pm
Secondary           Chaired by Nina Broderick     Monday 12th October 3.45pm – 5pm

3) SEND Processes – Annual Reviews

With Jac Ragozzino – Casework Manager
Early Years          Chaired by Sarah Austin        Thursday 12th November 5pm – 6pm
Primary                Chaired by Nina Broderick     Wednesday 11th November 3.45pm – 5pm
Secondary           Chaired by Nina Broderick     Monday 9th November 3.45pm – 5pm

4) Outreach Team Support and Placement Change Requests

With Victoria Courtis – Outreach Team Manager (schools only)
Early Years Transitions - with Sarah Austin Deputy Inclusion & Intervention Team Manager & Joanne Friday – Specialist Teacher and PD lead (settings only)
Early Years          Chaired by Sarah Austin                Thursday 26th November 5pm – 6pm
Primary                Chaired by Nina Broderick            Wednesday 25th November 3.45pm – 5pm
Secondary           Chaired by Nina Broderick            Monday 23rd November 3.45pm – 5pm


covid19forschools and settings webpages

We’re glad that the webpages continue to be helpful.  They’ve all been updated, and the following new pages will be added shortly:MKC 

•          Ofsted – how they’re working in Autumn 2020 and guidance for providers

•          Catch up Provision – information about the DfE Catch Up Funding

•          Vulnerable Groups – FSM, PP, BME, LAC and post LAC


Virtual School

Michele Mellor, MK Virtual School Headteacher since 2014 and previously the Headteacher of Willen Primary School, has decided to take early retirement to spend more time with her family.  We’re sure that you’ll join us in thanking her for her contribution to the MK education community and wish her well for the future.

We’re pleased to announce that Rhian Williams has been appointed as the new MK Virtual School Headteacher.  We know that she’ll receive a warm welcome to Milton Keynes.  Rhian is contactable at


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


Please continue to forward this newsletter to relevant colleagues.  By working together and keeping each other well informed, we can reduce anxiety and workload across the MK education system.

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.


spacer image spacer image
spacer image  
social media   social media   social media   social media
spacer image
spacer image spacer image
spacer image Contact

01908 254509

Email newsletters by weblabs
spacer image Any comments? Please let us know.

To unsubscribe from future newsletters, click here
spacer image