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Social workers to work with teachers in some schools

By | National News | No Comments

Social workers will be placed in schools to help spot the signs of abuse and neglect more quickly and work with teachers to support children at risk.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced nearly £10 million for projects aimed at boosting the educational outcomes of vulnerable children, and to keep them safe from harm.

This includes £6.5 million to involve more than 150 schools in a project that will place social workers in schools to work with teaching staff, reflecting that the second largest source of referrals to children’s social services is schools (18%).

For more information go to the Government website (opens in a new tab)

Further visa extensions for those unable to return home due to coronavirus

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Overseas nationals who cannot return home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will be able to extend their visa until the end of July to give them peace of mind that they can stay in the UK until they are able to return home safely.

The extension will last until 31 July and will apply to anyone whose leave expired after the 24 January and cannot leave the country because of travel restrictions or self-isolation.

While the government has offered this extension to help those who are unable to get home prior to 31 July, those currently in the UK on temporary visas, such as visitor visas, should return home as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

For more information go to the Government website (open in a new tab)

Safeguarding during coronavirus: voluntary and community groups

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The voluntary and community sector has always had an important role in supporting children and families. Over the last few weeks, many new community groups have been set up to support vulnerable people across the UK. Other groups and organisations are adapting their services so they can continue to engage with and support young people throughout the pandemic.

The NSPCC have pulled together some resources that can help everyone in the voluntary and community sector safeguard and protect children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes information about:

  • writing and updating safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures
  • making sure your staff and volunteers are safe to work with children
  • supporting children and families
  • recognising and responding to abuse
  • carrying out online activities and events.

You can find the resources here (opens in a new tab)

Coronavirus and the social impacts on the countries and regions of Britain: April 2020

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has been helping to inform understanding about the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on people, households and communities, with a series of weekly reports.

Today’s analysis of survey results from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) explores differences and similarities in those impacts on the countries and regions of Great Britain.

Commenting on today’s findings, James Harris, Cities Statistician at the ONS said:

“This is the first time we have analysed the country and regional differences in our regular research into how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting people’s lives.

“Levels of worry and concern are high across all countries and regions, with many of us keeping in touch with families and friends, but we also find differences in how lockdown has affected people around Great Britain.

“People in London were more likely to be working from home, with those in the East and East Midlands least likely, for example. Those in Scotland and the North East were most optimistic about their household finances. People in the South West have been most likely to check on their neighbours. We also found that people in Wales tend to have access to a garden, unlike Londoners, who were more likely to use public parks.”

You can read the results here (opens in a new tab)

Stay alert and safe: social distancing guidance for young people

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Published 24th May

According to the Government website

The government has developed a plan to allow people to gradually go back to the way they were living before coronavirus. This will not be happening immediately, and may happen in different stages for different people. Our goal is to “stay alert, control the virus, save lives’.

“To stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading, everyone should be staying at home as much as possible. Some young people, who are clinically extremely vulnerable, should stay at home all the time. This is called ‘shielding’. Guidance on ‘shielding’ for these clinically extremely vulnerable young people is available here.

“This guidance is about social distancing and what you can do to stay alert and safe during this time, and explains the new measures that will help you to stay safe as rules on being outside, or at school or work, change.”

For more information and to read or download the guidance go to the Government website (opens in a new tab)

Coronavirus sick pay scheme opens for applications

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Small businesses and employers across the UK who have paid statutory sick pay to staff taking coronavirus-related leave will be able to claim back the money from today, 26th May.

The new online service is being run by HMRC, and, after making an application, employers will receive the money within six working days.

To get the rebate, employers will need to go online and input simple information on the employees being claimed for.

The service can be accessed here (opens in a new tab)

£300 million additional funding for local authorities to support new test and trace service

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Local authorities will be central to supporting the new test and trace service across England, with the government providing a new funding package of £300 million.

Each local authority will be given funding to develop tailored outbreak control plans, working with local NHS and other stakeholders.

Work on the plans will start immediately. Their plans will focus on identifying and containing potential outbreaks in places such as workplaces, housing complexes, care homes and schools.

As part of this work, local authorities will also need to ensure testing capacity is deployed effectively to high-risk locations. Local authorities will work closely with the test and trace service, local NHS and other partners to achieve this.

For more information go to the Government website (opens in a new tab)

Prime Minister sets out timeline for retail to reopen in June

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On 25th May the Prime Minister informed us that

Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. As with garden centres, the risk of transmission of the virus is lower in these outdoor and more open spaces. Car showrooms often have significant outdoor space and it is generally easier to apply social distancing.

All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines, giving them three weeks to prepare.

For more information go to the Government website (opens in a new tab)

Planning guide for early years and childcare settings

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The government announced a roadmap towards recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and plans for welcoming all children back to early years settings and a phased return of some children to school from 1 June at the earliest.

This planning guide, published on 24th May, is intended to provide information and support for all early years providers in England as they prepare to open for all children.

It is for:

  • local-authority-maintained schools
  • non-maintained schools
  • independent schools
  • all providers on the early years register
  • all providers registered with an early years childminder agency

This guide does not cover nannies or au pairs, as they work in the child or children’s family home.

You can read the guidance here (opens in a new tab)

Reopening High Streets Safely Fund guidance

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The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund is providing £50 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to councils across England to support the safe reopening of high streets and other commercial areas.

This guidance provides details of the activities that can be supported through the Fund and an overview of how it will be administered, as well as key ERDF contractual requirements.

For more information go to the Government website (opens in a new tab)

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