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Last reviewed: Tuesday 25 August at 3pm

What is the current position for schools?

Here in Solihull we are continuing to work in partnership with schools to ensure they are ready to welcome pupils back from next week.

We fully understand that as the start of term gets closer, parents and pupils may have some mixed feelings. Although some pupils have been in school up until the end of the summer term, others have not been back since March.

The government has been clear that attendance is now compulsory and all pupils, except those who have been identified as being extremely vulnerable, should attend school full time. If your child is anxious in any way then we encourage you to speak to your school - who will work with you to ease those anxieties and enable your child to return successfully.

These videos help explain to children what to expect when they go back to school or a nursery/childcare setting.

We are aware that there is a lot of information and support for parents coming out from local and national organisations, so this has been collated into one document: back to school transition guide.

Further information may also be found on your school’s own website, details for these can be found here. All schools and settings have carried out risk assessments and have put in place a range of protective measures to ensure they were able to safely re-open to more children and staff.

It is really important that you help nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges to implement these actions by following the advice set out here and wider public health advice and guidance.

Do not send your child to their nursery, childminder, school or college if:

Arrange a test if you or your child develops symptoms. Inform your nursery, childminder, school or college of the results.If the test is positive, follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, and engage with the NHS Test and Trace process.

Please see our letters to parents and carers in mainstream and special schools for more information.

You may also find What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak from the Department for Education helpful.

If your child lives in Solihull but attends a school outside the borough, please contact their school directly to find out what the arrangements are for pupils returning.

Community Educational Psychology Service

We are offering additional support to families through a telephone consultation service. Parents and carers can contact us Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm, and have a personal consultation with one of our educational psychologists. They will offer support to help with any concerns you may have. For example how to manage difficult behaviour or how to talk to children about Covid-19 and their worries related to it.

To book a free 30 minute telephone consultation please call 0121 779 1734. Find out more about the service here, including some basic information you will be asked prior to the consultation.

Solar - Solihull's Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service for 0-19 year olds

During the current pandemic, Solar is still open and continuing to provide care to all young people.

The team can be contacted Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm on 0121 301 2750. The out of hours crisis contact is available 7 days a week between 8am-8pm on 0121 301 5500.

If children and young people do require mental health support, Solar is providing video and phone calls routinely. Ch ildren and young people can access Solar without getting referred. Families can call directly or fill in the ‘self-referral’ form on their  website. 

Support for children who receive free school meals

Parents of children eligible for free schools meals are being supported with vouchers to spend in supermarkets and local shops, to the value of £3 per child per day.

Schools will contact parents directly about the vouchers or advise of alternative arrangements, if necessary.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus and would like to find out more about eligibility for free school meals, please email edfreesm@solihull.gov.uk or call 0121 704 6611.

School transport

Latest information on transport for children with SEND

Latest information for users and operators of school buses

Exams

For those receiving A-Level and GCSE results. Kooth provide free online mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people. Their campaign ‘Positive Futures’, to help young people at this time, will be on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. More information about the awarding of qualifications this summer can be found here.

 

Information for families to support children during the coronavirus outbreak

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.

This video explains what children can expect when they go back to school. Thank you to Warwickshire County Council for sharing this.

Here are some other resources which we hope you will find useful:

Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) - the charity has produced resources for very young children to help them understand coronavirus. The video at the bottom of the page called 'While we can't hug' aims to support the understanding of social distancing.

Home-schooling helpline for parents - The Department for Education (DfE) has announced that STAR Academies Trust has launched StarLine - a national helpline for parents who are home-schooling in England. The free telephone helpline aims to offer confidential advice to families from qualified teachers and parenting experts, including advice on behaviour and timetabling, as well as help for those looking after children with special educational needs or disabilities.

Oak National Academythis is an online classroom and resource hub created by teachers to help teachers and parents to support their pupils and children. The Academy provides a plan of video lessons and learning resources covering a range of subjects including maths, English, art and languages. Teachers can use these resources to complement their own lesson planning and remote teaching. Parents can access all the resources to support home learning, as guided by their child’s school.

Government guidance on supporting your children's education - this website provides information, guidance and support for parents and carers of children who are learning at home.

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.

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 - 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.

Coronavirus (Covid-19): online education resources - this Department for Education website provides online educational resources for schools and parents to help children to learn at home. 

Here is a list of tips and resources for primary and secondary pupils that you may find helpful while children are learning at home. 
 

Leaflets for Parents

There are also leaflets available for parents to help explain what measures have been put in place. You can access these leaflets here for early years education, primary school and secondary school. These leaflets are also available in different languages below.

Urdu:

Early Years Leaflet, Primary Leaflet and Secondary Leaflet

Polish:

Early Years Leaflet, Primary Leaflet and Secondary Leaflet

Punjabi:

Early Years Leaflet, Primary Leaflet and Secondary Leaflet 
 
Gujurati:

Early Years Leaflet, Primary Leaflet and Secondary Leaflet

Chinese:

Early Years Leaflet, Primary Leaflet and Secondary Leaflet

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