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General Update

Covid - 19 has proven to be a challenge for all of us and will continue to be so for some months to come.


Here at Penn Fields, like many schools we are working with a heavily reduced staffing body due to shielding, but we continue to create & upload educational resources and communicate with parents, carers & students (via e mail or telephone) ensuring everyone’s safe. We acknowledge that all of our students are vulnerable, however we also know that that our parents and carers are doing a wonderful job as home school teachers.


We would love to have all of our students back in and we look forward to when this day comes, hopefully soon. In the meantime, we are assessing daily which students are to continue to attend, slowly increasing the numbers each week whilst continuing to ensure good social distancing and following Government guidance around supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID - 19) outbreak. Below is an outline of who is classed as vulnerable and the action that should be taken.


During the coronavirus (COVID - 19) outbreak, for the purposes of continued attendance at educational settings, vulnerable children and young people are defined as those who:


Are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked-after child:


  • These children and young people are encouraged to attend provision, unless their social worker decides that they are at less risk at home or in their placement, for example, due to underlying health conditions. None attendance is followed up, shared with relevant professionals and agreed.


Have an education, health and care (EHC) plan whose needs cannot be met safely in the home environment:


  • We are asking local authorities to work with educational providers, families and the child or young person to carry out a risk assessment to judge whether the child or young person’s needs cannot be met safely at home.

  • Where the risk assessment determines a child or young person with an EHC plan will be safer at home, our recommendation is that they stay at home. Where the risk assessment determines a child or young person with an EHC plan will be as safe or safer at an education setting, our recommendation is that they attend the education setting

  • Providers should follow up with the parent or carer – and social worker/local authority, where appropriate – to explore reasons for absence.

Have been assessed as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities (including children’s social care services), and who are therefore in need of continued education provision - this might include children on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services, adopted children, or those who are young carers, and others at the provider and local authority discretion:

  • Educational settings should use their discretion to encourage the attendance of children and young people that they – or other local services, such as local authorities or the police – feel would be safer by attending provision.

  • Providers should follow up with the parent or carer – and other partners, where appropriate – to explore reasons for absence

We will continue to follow newly updated Government guidance and will continue to update parents via the school website.


Please remain safe and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.


Warmest Regards

Ms Thackaberry

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