Schools information for parents - Coronavirus

Information for parents about changes to education services due to the Coronavirus situation. 

Letter to parents (Friday 15 May)

Current situation

Northamptonshire schools are closed except to:

  • children with social workers
  • children of specified key workers who cannot stay at home safely
  • some children with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) who are safest at school at this time (other children with EHCPs remain at home)

Key information for parents and carers is being kept up to date by the Department for Education:

We understand from recent interactions with parents and carers that not all questions will be answered in this document and so have provided more detail in the sections below:

I am a key worker and require provision for my child - what should I do?

In the first instance, this should be addressed directly through the school that your child normally attends. All schools, where possible, should remain open to provide care for the children of critical workers.

If you are being told that there is no provision available, email CustomerServices@northamptonshire.gov.uk and they will ensure that your query is sent to the correct department within the Education team and dealt with. This may involve a member of the Education team speaking directly to the school to seek a resolution or may require us to seek a place for your child at another school.

Provision should remain in place during the holiday period. Where you are experiencing difficulties accessing holiday provision please email CustomerServices@northamptonshire.gov.uk.

School transport for children of key workers

Northamptonshire Highways continue to operate a home to school transport service to support key worker families and vulnerable children and adults. We do not want childcare to be an added stress to their already demanding situation.

Educational Psychology Service (EPS) - guidance regarding children in care

Is my child a vulnerable pupil and should they attend school?

Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

Children who have a social worker include children in need, children who have a child protection plan and those who are looked after by the local authority.

There is an expectation that vulnerable children who have a social worker will attend provision, so long as they do not have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk than others.

If you do not want your child to attend school, and your child is considered vulnerable, the social worker and school should explore the reasons for this directly with you in order to find a solution.

Those with an EHC plan should be risk-assessed by their education setting in consultation with the local authority and parents, to decide whether they need to continue to be offered a school/college place in order to meet their needs, or whether they can safely have their needs met at home. This could include, if necessary, carers, therapists or clinicians visiting the home to provide any essential services. Many children and young people with EHC plans can safely remain at home.

See the Free School Meals page for the latest information.

Home education

Our Local Offer team has put together a document packed full of useful resources to help with educating your child at home:

The BBC has published this article on home-schooling:

Action for Children have put together home schooling tips and resources. They also offer free and confidential live chat with parenting coaches.

  • Home schooling tips - Action for Children

Mental health

Adults need to attend to their own wellbeing before they can effectively support others.

It can be difficult trying to talk to children and young people about coronavirus but there are lots of resources and helpful websites for you to use, such as:

  • Talking to children and young people about coronavirus (PDF 468KB)
    Guidance put together by the Educational Psychology Service.
  • Children's guide to coronavirus
    This guide from the Children's Commissioner aims to answer children's questions about coronavirus, tell children how to stay safe and protect other people, and how to help them make the best use of their time at home.
  • Educational resources - Gov.UK
    Online educational resources for schools and parents to help children to learn at home.
  • Parenting support
    This website provides useful information and advice for parents and carers during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • BBC Newsround
    This website has a section on coronavirus with text and video guidance, focusing on tips if a child is worried, how to wash your hands, and what self-isolation means.
  • Mencap easy read (PDF)
    Mencap have produced an easy read information sheet about coronavirus. This would be particularly useful for children, young people or adults whose understanding is improved with visuals and when information is given in bitesize chunks.

Bereavement

School allocations

Admission appeals

See updates on school appeals.

Contacting school admissions

School Admissions are currently not taking calls due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation, however if you have an urgent query please email the school admissions team.

In-year admissions

We are changing the way in-year applications are processed by School Admissions during the COVID-19 crisis.

The local authority (NCC) will prioritise supporting those children most in need at this difficult time.

​​Ofqual have published details of how GCSEs and A levels will be awarded following the cancellation of this year's exams, information regarding this is available on the GOV.UK website.

Government advice for parents and carers looking after children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND):