COVID 19 – Free School Meals pre vouchers
Food Parcel Delivery
National Lockdown January 2021
On Tuesday 5th March 2021 the Prime minister announced that schools in England would should close to curb the spread of coronavirus including new variants discovered in Kent and South Africa. Having learned many lessons from the first Lockdown Summerfield was able to remain open and quickly implement the emergency protocol offering five levels of service:
- Physical school places for vulnerable pupils and children of critical workers
- 100% teacher remote learning for pupils in small groups with the support of a restorative academic mentor
- 100% teacher remote learning for pupils one to one
- Work packs for students who feel uncomfortable using the computer to access learning. Work packs are delivered and collected weekly.
- Alternative Provision pupils, in education with safe and well visits/calls
Our principal aims are:
- Secure physical places to provide continuity of education for our more vulnerable pupils and children of critical workers
- Protecting continuity of education for children who are too anxious to physically attend
- Provide bespoke solutions for children with special education needs
- Safeguard our school community
- Reduce transmission opportunities
- Protect the health and wellbeing of our school community
National Lockdown – March to June 2020- a retrospective account
At the beginning of week commencing 18th March 2020 Summerfield obtained their first clue that extraordinary, unprecedented events were unfolding due to a covid-19 pandemic. The true serious nature began to hit home when Northern Island announced that all their schools were going to close the following week. At this point Summerfield staff began to put together packs of work in preparation for a pending school closure. Our parents were contacted and assured that we would share information as it came our way and continue to keep our children safe and well.
On Thursday 19th March the news of a National Lockdown commencing on Monday 23rd March 2020 was rife in all forms of media. Summerfield began to send out work packs and arrange for the safe provision for vulnerable pupils and children of key workers (freeing up parents to work) would need to be provided a place in school while other pupils stayed at home.
Initially this period of lockdown was thought to last a couple of weeks at the most leading us into the Easter Holidays (commencing 1st April 2020) enabling one month for the country to get to grips with the virus. With regard to providing of work, brief appeared to be that academic work was not required as there may be equitable differences between children required to go to school and those required to stay at home. Summerfield sent work packs regardless, with an aim of keeping the children in a routine as best as possible. During these last few days Summerfield contacted each parent to establish their status regarding:
- Family circumstance (vulnerability)
- Key worker status
- Availability of learning device and Wi-Fi (in case teaching could be done online)
National Lockdown (from 23rd March 2020)
The welfare and wellbeing of our pupils has always been the greatest concern of Summerfield. One of our largest challenges was to ensure that the large proportion of children with free school meals status were looked after. There were rumours of a voucher service to be launched by the government but not providing immediate assistance. Summerfield managed to negotiate a packed lunch service through the local authority catering service and Monday 23rd March saw the start of a meal delivery service, where the SLT used their own cars to deliver food to the most vulnerable pupils. This also served as a valuable safe and well service allowing trained safeguarding personnel to see these pupils on a daily basis. The rest of Summerfield pupils were telephoned on a daily basis by our attendance officer and EWO service. The food delivery service and daily safe and wells continued for just over a month until the Edenred voucher service was embedded. The Voucher scheme continued throughout the Easter Holidays and the decision was to keep working throughout the Easter Holidays also maintained a face to face service because of the increasing difficulties the UK population developed through national lockdown, including:
- Loss of routine
- Loss of financial income
- Increased anxiety
- Sleep difficulties
Summerfield worked to provide a key worker and vulnerable children service to qualifying pupils. However, these places were not taken up until after the Easter Holidays as parents were anxious about the effects of transmission. At this time attendance legislation was suspended and parents exercised their right to keep their children at home. Most of the children at Summerfield have significant SEN difficulties including ASD, ADHD and Attachment Disorder, feeding off the mood of the country and stark message of the government to; ‘stay at home, save lives and protect the NHS’ it took much persuasion to entice pupils back after the Easter holidays to school. Part of the reason some parents allowed their children back was because of the many risk assessments, build and procedure modifications made by school staff who were continuing to come in during the National lockdown.
During the whole process work was being sent home weekly, by teachers, via email and Microsoft teams and chased up by nominated teaching assistants.
- Academic engagement during this time was calculated at 54% of pupils. (31 pupils) this applies to remote learners, face to face vulnerable children, face to face key worker children during the lockdown period March – June 2020.
- Careers intervention & IAG engagement for Summerfield pupils was 100% (12 pupils) during the lockdown period March – August 2020.
- Destination education for Year 11 Summerfield leavers was 92% positive with 11 pupils successfully enrolled into college or apprenticeships. One child suffered health problems which involved her missing enrolment deadline however we are still working with this child to achieve a placement.
- Careers and IAG engagement for Year 11 leavers from Summerfield and AP was 87%. Two pupils would not engage with us after several attempts to telephone and door knock. We are currently working with Solihull NEET service to engage these pupils.
- All Year 11 pupils on roll at Summerfield (In school and AP) with a destination is 73%. One pupil is attempting to claim disability allowance using his EHCP (KH). Two pupils are not currently engaging with our service (JA & HT). One pupil is recovering from illness after hospitalisation (SB).
- Face to face engagement for pupils after 1st June 2020 when lockdown restrictions were lifted to certain groups was 52%. Summerfield did not restrict contact to year 10 and so contacted all pupils to offer them face to face tuition. As attendance legislation was still suspended at this time many parents declined our offer choosing to keep their children at home. This figure does include children who were remote learning at this time.
School Opening to Year 10 – 1st June 2020
Having worked since the beginning of Lockdown to ensure contact and safety of the school community the SLT decided that Summerfield was in a position to open to year 10 pupils (2 full weeks before mainstream contemporaries). The contact service for education and careers advice continued from June until the summer holidays and was taken up by 52% of pupils who attended Summerfield, including year 11 leavers who we supported with chasing college applications, interviews and finding courses as well as academic advice.
September re-opening 2020
Nationally, August provided a respite from the mood of confinement, with government offering an eat out to help out scheme designed to get the country financially back on its feet. During August Summerfield staff were preparing to occupy a newly developed premises, undergoing risk assessments, developing new protocols and ensuring covid-19 compatibility. Inevitably the building deadline was not met and unfortunately the beginning of school was delayed by one week as site health and safety did not permit the return of pupils.
During this week much work was completed by the staff in readiness for the start of the school term, including:
- New Staff Induction (8 new staff – 35% of work force)
- Staff surveys to establish needs for wellbeing of staff
- Protocols for safety in new building – Covid safe, fire safety etc…
- Time to move in and occupy new classrooms, turning them into meaningful learning spaces
- Covid-19 recovery plan for child behaviour, mental health, readiness to learn and SEN.
- KCSIE – 2020 updates and specific individual safeguarding updates
- Remote Learning plans and timetables
- Updated Pupil profiles for all pupils
- Risk assessments for all pupils
- Updated needs based plans for all children
- Teaching/Learning and Curriculum recovery plans for pupils
- New assessment, marking and data reporting protocols
- Teaching and learning pedagogy to deliver optimum recovery
School commenced fully on 7th September 2020 when a completely overhauled timetable ensures that every child who attends Summerfield receives 25 hours per week.
We considered that all staff and students are part of a ‘bubble’ because of smaller numbers. The new, overhauled, timetable involves staggered starts, breaks, lunch and finish aimed at reducing contact and transmission opportunities. Our daily operational routine has been carefully risk assessed (see risk assessment in folder) to take into consideration the enhanced lockdown measures Solihull is bound by and so all of our staff wear visors or masks in public areas of the school.
The SLT have been carefully monitoring the mental health of staff and pupils since the return to work. Surveys have been conducted to establish:
- Hardships that staff might have been subjected to whilst school operated in a different way?
- Who they have to talk to?
- If they are happy with the measures put in place to keep staff safe?
- If sufficient support is in place from SLT?
Responses indicate that measures are presently sufficient, however, this will need to be reviewed if the country goes back into national lockdown as our service has been categorised to stay open and difficulties like child care or shielding staff will arise. Independent supervision, from Solihull Inclusion Services has been offered to all staff on Wednesday afternoon via Microsoft teams.