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Coronavirus FAQ's for education settings

Please also refer to the page: Coronavirus or Covid-19

Is Operation Encompass running during the crisis?

  • New guidelines have been issued and are available here: 

Is the SCSP considering any virtual staff training?

  • We are considering whether this is possible or necessary and will let you know when we are clearer

Is Operation Encompass still in place?

All Head's, including schools already signed up, must email SheffieldSafeguardingHub@sheffield.gov.uk with:

  • subject title 'Encompass Commitment during Covid-19'   

  • insert the following into e-mail: 

'As part of *school details* commitment to keeping children safe we have signed up to implement the principles and aims of the Encompass Model during Covid-19'

  • Once the email is received the Hub will send relevant notifications

  • When schools fully re-open, notifications will continue 

What staff training is available while working at home?

  • There are a number of free e-learning courses available for staff here: E-learning

How do I contact the LADO at the moment?

Is there a secure platform that can be used for virtual safeguarding team meetings?

  • The two most secure platforms are Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts

  • No platform is 100% secure but balanced against the support needs of students

  • Any virtual meeting MUST ensure:

    • details of people being discussed are sent to participants securely beforehand and 'coded' 

    • meeting details are shared by secure email

    • passwords must be used to access the meeting

    • participants are identified by face or voice before starting

    • no other identifiable information is discussed at the meeting

  • For further advice please email sfinnigan@sheffieldclc.net

How are social workers 'RAG-rating' the needs of children they are involved with?

  • Red: high risk, significant concerns, court proceedings, severe neglect, some Public Law Outline; children needing 2-weekly visit; children not receiving school meal, poverty, no food bank access, children at home with extremely stressed parents; families with no support network due to professional sickness;

  • Amber: children needing 4-weekly visit/contact from social worker; known risks being assessed & support required; concerns that risks could increase to 'red';

  • Green: family can wait 4 weeks or longer for visit & can support by phone; Social Care involvement to close; children stable on Supervision Orders; children considered under Section 7 (Children Act 1989);

How often should children receive contact from professionals in the current period?

  • Red: child contact at least fortnightly by social worker at home, school, video or phone call depending on risk assessment and whether seen by other professionals

  • Amber: child contact at least 4 weekly (12 weeks for Children's Disability Team) by a key childcare professional, as above;

  • Green: child contact at least 4 weekly by a social care professional by video or phone; families of children with disabilities with additional support, weekly contact

How are children's social workers deciding about their involvement being closed or 'stepped down' to other processes?

  • Children can only be removed from 'Child Protection' or 'Child in Need' Plans during the current period with the explicit agreement from ALL involved agencies and from senior managers in Children's Social Care that the child is safe at home

Our face to face Whole-School Basic Safeguarding Children in Education training is cancelled:

Ofsted have suspended the 3 year timescale for now; staff can complete the e-learning 'Safeguarding Children in Education' course while waiting for normal training to resume

What is the guidance from Children's Social Care for doing safe and well visits?

This has now been sent to all Head Teachers by Sheffield City Council

If the DSL/D's are not in the setting can we stay open with their support by phone?

Yes, this is a normal arrangement (see 'Availability' page 95, KCSIE 2019)

Does the Early Years Foundation Stage still apply?

The Gov.uk page: Coronavirus (COVID-19): early years and childcare closures says:

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework applies in full at this time, with the exception of the EYFS profile which has been cancelled for this year. We are keeping the regulatory position under review and will provide further information if any changes to the EYFS statutory framework are made during this period.

How do we 'socially distance' in our setting?

This Gov.uk guidance will help: Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings

What are the safeguarding requirements for teachers making one to one and other video calls to pupils whilst they are at home?

We have published online-safety advice here: Coronavirus or Covid-19

Education staff can also email: sfinnigan@sheffieldclc.net for online-safety support

What is the current protocol about Child Protection Conferences?

Are there any resources to explain Coronavirus to children?

What is the latest government safeguarding advice for education settings?

Are there any resources to support children, families and staff with bereavement?

  • Yes, please visit the Bereavement page on this website

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