Education newsletter Autumn Term 2020 edition
3 September 2020
For some of you it will have been a short break over the summer before preparations for re-opening in September began. We have been working with a number of schools over the summer on a range of projects and this Autumn Term newsletter is intended to share some of the knowledge and practical tips that we have encountered along the way.
Our 'new term checklist' article focusses on the priorities for this Term. We look at contracts, force majeure and cancellation rights as well as fee and debt recovery for both summer and Autumn Terms of 2020. Other frequent queries have related to governance in the COVID-19 climate - we have also included a note on The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020.
The new KCSIE was published on 1 September 2020 and we have summarised the key changes for you. With pupils returning to school post lockdown, there may be an increased number of safeguarding reports made to your DSL, so ensure that your teams have sufficient capacity to deal with any issues arising.
Headline topics include: face masks for students and teachers, risk assessments for SEND pupils and exam grade disputes.
We wish you all the best for the forthcoming academic year.
New Term Checklist
Preparations for September 2020 were likely to have started earlier than usual as more pupils are welcomed back to school. What should be your priorities?
It has been the Government’s plan for several months that all pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full-time from the beginning of this term. As part of this plan, independent schools are also expected to follow the control measures set out in the DfE guidance when reopening.
Given the potential for further disruption over the course of the next academic year, schools will be looking at practical implementation issues, operating costs and the efficient provision of services, with the aim of minimising risks and maximising control over reopening. With a focus on commercial contracts, this article addresses a variety of issues that schools will encounter next term and provides some general guidance on where to start with contracts, fee recovery, school governance matters and commercial issues, including an update on the new insolvency legislation.
Key changes to 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' in 2020
The Department for Education have this week published the new version of 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' (KCSIE), the primary statutory guidance concerning safeguarding in schools.
Our education team have reviewed the new guidance and summarise the key changes that schools should be aware of, including:
1. Mental health guidance
2. Children with social workers
3. Allegations of abuse against staff
4. Teaching safeguarding
5. Further safeguarding information
6. Training and responsibilities of DSLs
Headline topics for schools
We have collected some of the most important issues and recent headlines which schools should be aware of to ensure that they are fully prepared in preparation for the return of pupils in September, including:
- Face masks for students and teachers
- Risk assessments for SEND pupils
- Nursery fees for Summer Term 2020
- A-Level and GCSE grading disputes
Education updates for the week ending 28 August 2020
The Department for Education (DfE) issued a flurry of new and updated guidance at the end of last week. This article looks at a selection of the key update including:
- School meals during the Autumn Term
- Safety measures for schools under local lockdown
- Attendance at temporary schools and school inspection requirements
- Arrangements for Autumn Term exams
This update is of a general nature and is not a substitute for professional advice. No responsibility can be accepted for the consequences of any action taken or refrained from as a result of what is said.