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spacer image Early Years Essential - Edition 5 March 2021 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 find the information in this edition of EYE useful. As always, please contact me if you need advice or guidance regarding EYFS.

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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MKC testing flowcharts

MKC Public Health colleagues have created a new flow chart to help you interpret the DfE guidance about asymptomatic testing:

ASYMPTOMATIC LFD at home testing - educational staff (PDF)

This is guidance about carrying out twice weekly LFD tests at home. It’s for all staff who work in nursery, primary, secondary or college settings.

For queries regarding the asymptomatic testing flow charts please email Debra Richardson or Liz Wilson.

For urgent out of hours support you should contact


MKC process for managing confirmed cases of COVID-19

The local process that must be followed for symptomatic and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19 must still be followed from 8 March.

This is outlined on the updated SYMPTOMATIC AND CONFIRMED CASES flowchart for MK schools and settings (PDF)

You should still report confirmed cases of COVID-19 using the online form, as embedded within the flowchart.

You may also find the following helpful:

For queries regarding these flow charts, or the FAQs, please email Debra Richardson  or Liz Wilson.

For urgent out of hours support you should contact


Asymptomatic LFD testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff

On Sunday 28 February, the Department of Health and Social Care announced that all households with children of school age can test themselves twice a week at home as schools open to all pupils from next Monday. 

Households, childcare and support bubbles of primary, secondary and college staff can also be tested. Twice-weekly testing will also be offered to adults working in the wider school community, including bus drivers and after school club leaders.

The twice-weekly test kits can be accessed:

•          via employers - if they offer testing to their employees

•          at a local test site

•          by collecting a home test kit from a test site

•          by ordering a home test kit online

Schools should not give school test kits to parents, carers or household members. Neither should schools order additional test kits for this purpose. We understand that letters containing advice about where to access home test kits will be made available to schools shortly – the intention is that schools can share these with parents if they ask you for help.

Rapid lateral flow testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff provides further information about who can be tested and how to get a test.

We recommend that you advise parents and carers that they can access LFD tests.


DfE guidance

Face coverings in primary schools and early years settings

From Monday 8 March, new advice applies to the use of face coverings by staff, pupils and students in schools in England.

Further information can be found in the guidance for schools, guidance for further education providers and guidance for early years and childcare providers.


Safe working in education, childcare, and children’s social care

The DfE has updated their guidance on safe working in education, childcare, and children’s social care.

This now includes information about changes to the system of controls so that there is alignment with information already published in guidance for schools, guidance for specialist settings, guidance for early years, guidance for further education and guidance for higher education.

The information includes:


Online safety

Harmful online challenges and online hoaxes has been provided by the DfE in collaboration with partners in the UK Council for Internet Safety’s Education subgroup and the Samaritans. It’s intended to provide advice to support your school’s approach to tackling harmful online challenges and online hoaxes, whilst keeping children safe online.

The UK Council for Internet Safety’s Education subgroup, in consultation with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, have also recently updated guidance for education settings working with children and young people. The guidance provides advice on responding to incidents and safeguarding children where nudes and semi-nudes are shared, including images, videos or live streams online.

In addition, the DfE has added extra resources to Coronavirus (COVID-19): keeping children safe online. This is the advice for parents and carers about how to keep children safe from online harm.

Keeping children safe online remains a high priority for all of us. Even though all pupils will return to school on 8 March, we need to recognise the increased amount of time that children and young people will continue to spend online. This was recognised in Gavin Williamson’s speech at the launch of the digital learning review - about the future of online learning.


MKC services

MK weekly COVID-19 summary

Please see our weekly ‘snapshot’ of provision that we use to monitor demand and capacity in MK schools.


Reducing Parental Conflict Training

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) invested £39 million into a new Reducing Parental Conflict (RPC) Programme until 2021. This has been extended to support the supply and demand for evidence-based interventions at a local level. Locally, we know that supporting parental relationships is recognised as a significant issue.

Strengthening Families are pleased to announce that you can now rebook on to the Reducing Parental Conflict Training (Module 3 Virtual Training, E-licences: Modules 1-4 and Train the Trainer Virtual Training).

Dates and times:

•          Module 3 virtual Training - 5 March (9.30am – 1.00pm)

•          Train the Trainer Virtual Training (this is a 2 day course that has been divided into 4 half days)

Day 1: 16 March (9:30am – 1.00pm)

Day 2: 17 March (9:30am – 1.00pm)

Day 3: 18 March (9:30am – 1.00pm)

Day 4: 19 March (9.30am – 1.00pm)

•          E-licences: Modules 1-4 can be completed in your own time.

You can read more at Reducing Parental Conflict Training.  If you do need further information, please contact


Prevent overview and information

We’ve updated the MKC Prevent overview slide set for settings and schools.

Please note: It’s password protected (Hope) and is NOT be circulated outside of MK settings and schools.

As a reminder, the slide set has never been intended to be used as a full training presentation and should never be used as such. Instead, it’s more of an approved reference material containing an overview of key information. You can extract certain slides if you plan to deliver your own training with the emphasis on using the materials flexibly.

You should now delete any previous MKC Prevent overview slide sets that you have on file.


Useful info

“Growing from within: Hearing Children’s voices. Opportunities, challenges and impact”

The Open University’s Children Research Centre (CRC) are facilitating this seminar on March 31 from 2.30pm – 4.00pm.

Join Clare Brumpton (Head of Research Centre, International School of London) and Eleonora Teszenyi and Natalie Canning (The Open University) as they discuss the different ways in which we hear and empower children’s voices through 2 innovative and stimulating projects – with children at the heart of the research process.

The seminar will consider the challenges involved, especially working with very young children, and the different ways in which children’s views can be expressed. It will also consider the impact of children being involved in research both on their immediate community and in terms of future practice, learning, development and policy.

You can register using this eventbrite link.

Follow the CRC on twitter @OpenUni_CRC


MKC covid19forschools (and settings) pages

As we explained last week, all the webpages are being updated to align with the most up to date national guidance. They will also continue to provide information about local initiatives and ways of working.

This will be completed by the end of this week. Thank you for your continued patience.


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) Network:

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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