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spacer image Early Years Essential - Edition 13 November 2020 spacer image
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Dear Colleagues,

I hope you find the information in this edition of EYE useful. As always, please contact me if you need to.

Best wishes


Belinda Woodcock

Improvement Partner for Early Years


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spacer image spacer image spacer imageIN THIS ISSUE
bullet left bullet right spacer image spacer image Important information and updates during the Coronavirus pandemic
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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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Process for managing confirmed cases of COVID-19

The local process that must be followed for confirmed cases of COVID-19 has been updated.

Please see the updated flowchart for schools and settings and save this latest version now, for future reference, and share it with staff.

You should continue to report confirmed cases using the online form, as embedded within the flowchart. It simultaneously notifies Public Health and Education colleagues at Milton Keynes Council so that they can work together to ensure you get the local support and advice you need.

About half of the schools in MK have now experienced confirmed cases of COVID-19. If you haven’t experienced this yet, please ensure that you tick the box on the online form when notifying us of your first confirmed case. This will help us to identify the schools who need support as opposed to those who are reporting additional cases but don’t need more help at this time.


Message from Council Leader Pete Marland

Today's COVID-19 update from Council Leader Pete Marland focuses on schools and the ways you have adapted to face current challenges.  He also outlines some simple ways that parents and carers can support schools.

Please feel free to share this video with your own school communities.


DfE guidance

EEA sanctions – impact of Brexit

From 1 January 2021, regulators in the EEA (EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) will no longer share information about sanctions imposed on EEA teachers with the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA).

This means that, from 1 January 2021, the TRA will no longer maintain a list of EEA teachers with sanctions.

You must continue to carry out safer recruitment checks on all applicants. So, for applicants that have lived or worked outside of the UK, you must make any further checks you think appropriate so that relevant events that occurred outside the UK can be considered. This includes obtaining an enhanced DBS certificate (with barred list information) even if the teacher has never been to the UK before now.

Remember that teachers may be able to provide proof of their past conduct as a teacher, issued by the professional regulating authority in the country they worked in. Where available, this can be considered alongside other information obtained through pre-appointment checks to help assess suitability.

For more information please see guidance on the changes to checks for EU sanctions on EEA teachers.


Early years foundation stage statutory (EYFS) disapplications

The DfE has updated the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework disapplications guidance to clarify:

•          when the disapplications apply in a period of local or national restriction

•          how requirements for staff to self-isolate are considered for disapplications

•          details of paediatric first aid certification requirements for providers on the general childcare register

The date for extensions of paediatric first aid certificates is currently under review and will be confirmed shortly.


Ofsted interim visits – now taking place remotely

Ofsted has announced that during the period of national restrictions, they will carry out their work remotely where possible.  This means that they will only visit school and setting sites where it is necessary to do so, or in response to urgent concerns.

Further information on Ofsted’s plans for remote inspections during the period of national restrictions can be found in the Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update.

You may also be interested to read about Ofsted’s COVID-19 briefing on Early Years.


Virtual School conference

We’ve decided to reduce the planned full day conference on 17 November to just the afternoon.  This is in recognition of the logistical implications of the current national restrictions.

The agenda for the afternoon will be:

•          1.00pm: Introductions

•          1.15pm - 2.15pm: Key note speech from Marie Delaney ‘Show Me The Way: A practical approach to trauma and attachment in your school’

•          2.15pm - 2.45pm: Virtual School input – DT forum re-launch, top tips, Reading lists, training opportunity

•          2.45pm – 3.00pm: Questions and answers

Designated Teachers (DTs) have already been invited to the session but headteachers and governors are also welcome to attend, supporting you towards having a whole school approach to trauma and attachment.

The session will be recorded and sent out afterwards to ensure that anyone who can’t attend the session in real time can still benefit. 

To book a place please email Rhian Williams



The national risk of a terrorist attack has now been raised to severe, meaning that a terrorist attack in the UK is highly likely.  To support you at this time, we’ve collated some new online advice and resources for schools and settings:

•          Educate against Hate – how extremists are using COVID-19 to promote disinformation, misinformation and conspiracy theories

•          BBC Bitesize – how false information spreads

•          Radio 1’s Dev – how many fake news buzzwords do you know?

•          Radio 1’s Dev – spot the difference between fake and real news

You may also wish to refer to this Q&A briefing based on questions submitted by those who attended a virtual conference hosted by the DfE and LGfL, in August.


Stress and wellbeing in the workplace

The Milton Keynes Talking Therapies (IAPT) team is offering all early years staff, teachers, teaching assistants and support staff an opportunity to attend a free ‘Stress and Wellbeing in the Workplace’ webinar.

This is being offered in recognition of the stress and anxiety that working in the current climate can bring.  The team is looking forward to sharing their experiences of managing this with you and see this as a way of ‘giving’ back to the educational community.

Sessions will be facilitated on Saturday 28 November (11.00am) and Wednesday 2 December (6.00pm).

The webinar is open to all school and setting staff in the Milton Keynes area (you don’t need to live or have a GP in MK, just work here).

To sign up for the course please follow this link: and follow the instructions within the flyer above.


Useful info

National Family Mediation (NFM) support for families

You may find it useful to know about these two offers for families in dispute:

  1. Separating Couples

•          NFM are providing video conference advice sessions for separating couples who are struggling to make future arrangements about parenting, money and property.

•          The 1 hour meetings are facilitated by a family dispute resolution expert

•          More information is available

2) Co-parenting through Coronavirus

•          NFM are offering video conference advice sessions for separated parents who are worried about co-parenting arrangement and are struggling with communication as a result of the national restrictions.

•          The sessions help parents to work out what they can do now to reduce the impact of the restrictions on the lives of their family members.

•          More information is available

For more information, or to discuss how these services can be of use to the families that you work with, please call 0300 400 0636 or visit the National Family Mediation website.


MKC covid19forschools webpages (and settings)

We’re glad that these webpages continue to be helpful.  Please remember that they contain far more information than we can include here.

For weekly video updates from Council Leader Pete Marland, plus weekly data slides, please visit our Covid Outbreak Control page.


DfE COVID - 19 guidance

The DfE has grouped their Covid - 19 guidance into ‘collection pages’ to make information easier for different users to access. 

These can be accessed using the links below:


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.  You can also contact the Early Years Enquiries if you wish to add any 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.

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