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spacer image Early Years Essential - Edition 22 January 2021 spacer image
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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
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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 advice or guidance regarding EYFS.


We’ve updated the flowchart for schools and settings that outlines the local process that must be followed for confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Please save the latest version now, for future reference, and share it with staff.

Remember, you only need to use the online form to report confirmed cases in staff or pupils who are attending school. You don’t need to report confirmed cases in staff or pupils who aren’t accessing school - because they will engage with NHS Track and Trace.

If you have a confirmed case of Covid – 19 and you need guidance, please contact me as the Key Education Contact for settings on 01908 254929 or 075 865 542 79.

If you are unable to contact me, please ring Jenny Bargrove on 01908 254071/254509 or 075 573 135 37


Best wishes

Belinda Woodcock

Improvement Partner Early Years

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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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Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) for early years setting staff and childminders

We’ve opened a rapid COVID-19 testing centre for frontline workers at the Central Library.  The scheme, which uses a lateral flow test to give a result within 30 minutes, is now open to the staff of MKC early years settings and childminders.

The centre is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. You cannot book, you just need to turn up and wait. We understand these times may not be convenient to everyone but we are working behind the scenes to make the times more accessible.

You’ll need to bring your smartphone with you to complete a five-minute pre-registration form, and your test result will be sent to you by text message shortly afterwards.  Please wear a mask and observe social distancing at all times. 

Remember, this is only for people who have contact with the public or have to come into a site to work during lockdown.


MK weekly COVID-19 summary

Please see our weekly ‘snapshot’ of provision that we’re using to monitor demand and capacity in MK settings and schools.  We’re still using this to ensure that there are always places for the pupils and families who need them.

For the very latest on COVID-19 in Milton Keynes, watch this week’s video update with Council Leader Pete Marland.

If you missed Michael Bracey’s recent update on what action we’ve been taking to prevent COVID-19, it is available to watch.


Primary school asymptomatic testing

Basic information about asymptomatic staff testing in primary schools, school-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools has now been published online by the DfE.

More detailed information can be found on the primary schools document sharing platform.

If you missed or were unable to access the primary school testing webinars that took place earlier this week, recordings of them can now be accessed using the links below.

Introduction to testing in primary schools

Monday, 18 January, 10am to 11am

Monday, 18 January, 2pm to 3pm

Reporting and recording of results

Tuesday, 19 January, 10am to 11am

Tuesday, 19 January, 2pm to 3pm

We understand that more information will be coming soon. As soon as we know more, we’ll provide you with an update and any additional local guidance that may be needed.

Finally, the DfE are now asking you to contact their COVID-19 helpdesk (0800 046 8687) if you haven’t received your tests Wednesday 27 January.


DfE guidance

Prevent management support

Partial setting and school closures pose challenges for safeguarding children and young people from extremism and radicalisation. Prevent is often seen as something separate to other types of safeguarding, which is why the Channel Team provided advice to settings on managing Prevent processes during the partial closure of settings in March 2020.

They’ve now updated the advice to setting and school leaders on Prevent management during COVID-19 to reflect the current guidance for settings, schools and colleges. It provides public facing advice around Prevent during COVID and further clarifies how the vulnerable children definition applies to Channel cases.

Prevent referrals can still be made using existing referral processes. Please remember the definition of ‘Vulnerable Child’ is flexible.  The LA, and the school should determine whether a pupil on Channel should be allocated a school or college place.


Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 

KCSIE has been updated to reflect the legal changes following our EU exit.  This is particularly important in the context of checking the past conduct of individuals who have lived or worked overseas.


Early Years framework disapplication – EYFSP and PFA

The DfE has updated the early years foundation stage: coronavirus (COVID-19) disapplications guidance to reflect that it will not be mandatory to complete the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) assessment in 2021.  This applies to early adopters of the EYFS reforms too.

This means that:

•          there will be no LA moderation

•          you don’t need to submit EYFSP data to the LA

•          you don’t need to confirm with the DfE that you’ve completed EYFSP

However, the DfE and MKC ask that you use your best endeavours to complete the EYFSP for children this summer.

We know that you understand how important it is to support transition to key stage 1 and the continuation of children’s learning.  Year 1 teachers really need EYFSP information to ensure that their planning meets the needs of pupils in 2021-2022.

The updated guidance also explains that Paediatric First Aid (PFA) certificates can be automatically extended (if requalification training is prevented due to the pandemic) to 31 March 2021 if they expired on of after 1 October 2020.   You need to do your best to arrange requalification training as soon as possible.


MKC services

MKC covid19forschools (and settings) webpages

Thank you for your patience while we updated the webpages for you.  Everything has now been updated and aligned to the most recent national guidance.

Please remember that the webpages contain more information than we can provide here.


Violence against women and girls

The Home Office has launched a call for evidence to inform the development of the government’s next Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy.

Views are sought from:

•          those with lived experience of harm

•          those with expertise in working with victims and survivors

•          those involved in preventative activity

•          those involved in providing services such as social care, education, law enforcement, local government, public health and healthcare.

Anyone aged 16 or over is welcome to contribute by completing the public survey. Participants don’t need to have experienced violence or abuse to take part.

Further information on this consultation and how to get involved can be found in the Home Office violence against women and girls call for evidence.


Using video conferencing securely

The National Cyber Security Centre has issued guidance about how to set up and use video conferencing services securely.  This might be useful to you, governing board members and/or parents and carers.


Useful Information

EMA Spring Training Information

EMA have produced their latest training guide (PDF, 166KB).  Booking is now open for these courses.  


Free Courses – Open University Badged Courses – Supporting Children’s Health and Wellbeing

The Open University offers a suite of free badged courses to support your continued personal development (CPD).  These courses could be helpful to staff, in particular, those who may be currently working from home.  A new course has recently been added Supporting Children’s Health and Wellbeing and is particularly pertinent and relevant to supporting children during the Coronavirus pandemic.  This course takes approximately 24 hours to finish, but can be completed at the individual’s own pace.  Certificate and badge are downloadable after completing the course and passing the quizzes.


Please continue to forward this newsletter to relevant colleagues.  You can also contact EY Enquiries if you wish to add any colleagues.

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

By working together and keeping each other well informed, we can reduce anxiety and workload across the MK education system.

Note: Please do not respond directly to this email.

Thank you

Belinda Woodcock

Improvement Partner – Early Years


MKC contacts

Please contact EY Enquiries 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:  

EMA (Ethnic Minority Achievement Service):

Early Education Funding: 01908 254522


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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