Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for education or work placements overseas
The DfE has published guidance on what providers and individuals need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak when planning education and work placements abroad. The guidance is for providers managing and participants taking part in educational and study placements overseas, including the Turing Scheme, Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps placements. All education providers managing mobility in education should follow the relevant Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice. They should highlight this to their participants, being aware that the situation can change rapidly. All education providers should also ensure mobilities are safe for the students involved and keep usual safeguarding arrangements in place. The guidance for participants can be found here.
Recruit further education (FE) teachers from overseas
The DfE has published guidance on how FE providers can hire teachers who are not UK or Irish nationals. Candidates from overseas must undergo the same checks as all other staff in FE settings, including obtaining an enhanced DBS certificate with barred list information. This still applies even if the candidate has never been to the UK. All applicants must have the right to work in the UK. Providers can use the Checking a job applicant’s right to work service if the applicant has got a share code.
Get help with technology for remote education
The DfE has updated this guidance by adding information about ordering devices.
Using pupil premium: guidance for school leaders
The DfE has updated the guidance for school leaders on the pupil premium. They have added pupil premium statement examples for primary, secondary and special schools. From the 2021 to 2022 academic year, you must use the template provided to publish your statement – this is a condition of your funding. If you have already adopted a multi-year strategy that will continue this academic year, you do not need to develop a new strategy, but must use the new template to outline your existing strategy by 31 December.
School-to-school support directory
The DfE has updated the school-to-school support directory by removing the national leaders of governance (NLGs) section from the directory. The directory will be updated to show the names of the new designated NLGs in November.
Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE): course directory
The DfE has updated the SKE course directory to include changes to the biology, chemistry, computing, English, languages, mathematics, physics, religious education and primary mathematics sections.
Digital Functional Skills qualifications
The DfE has published this guidance outlining subject content, aims and learning objectives for digital Functional Skills qualifications from 2021. It provides the framework within which awarding organisations create the detail of their specifications. Digital FSQ specifications must use the subject content listed for each level and reflect the learning aims and outcomes set out at each level.
Schools financial value standard (SFVS) and assurance statement
The DfE has updated this guidance by adding the template for recording related party transactions.
Skills and Post-16 Education Bill: impact assessment and JCHR memorandum
The DfE has updated the information on the measures set out in the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill. They have replaced ‘The skills and post-16 Education Bill impact assessment’ with ‘The skills and post-16 Education Bill: updated impact assessment’. They have also added ‘Skills and post-16 Education Bill: supplementary European Convention on Human Rights memorandum’.
Ofqual seeks views on accessible assessments for students
The DfE has launched a consultation from Ofqual on draft guidance for awarding organisations on producing accessible assessments – including exams. The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 24 January 2022. Students are set to benefit from proposed Ofqual guidance on how to make exams and other assessments accessible and user-friendly for all. The proposed updated guidance will support awarding organisations to design and develop assessments that meet our rules on accessibility. Students with particular backgrounds, needs and disabilities are among those who stand to gain. They will not make changes to the Conditions themselves, so obligations on awarding organisations will stay the same. They expect to announce the outcome in spring 2022.
Reforming how local authority school improvement functions are funded
The DfE is seeking views on proposals to reform how local authorities’ school improvement functions are funded. The local authority role in school improvement has changed significantly in recent years, with the growth of school-led approaches, such as multi-academy trusts, putting school improvement in the hands of the strongest schools and school leaders. In turn, the local authority role in school improvement in maintained schools is increasingly focused on helping their schools access the support they need from the school system. Given these changes in respective roles and responsibilities, the DfE believe now is the right time to revisit local authorities’ school improvement functions and how they are funded. The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 26 November 2021.
Digital functional skills qualifications: subject content
The DfE has added the consultation outcome on ‘Subject content for digital Functional Skills qualifications: government consultation response’ and equality impact assessment. The consultation response sets out the feedback received, explains the changes made and explains decisions taken to finalise the subject content. Full details of the changes made to the consultation are in Annex B of the consultation response.
The subject content for digital Functional Skills qualifications is also available.
Data and Research
Risk protection arrangement (RPA) summary provisioning analysis
The DfE has updated this page by adding the ‘Risk assessment arrangement provisioning summary 31 March 2021’ report. The risk protection arrangement (RPA) is an alternative to commercial insurance for public sector schools. Previous reports, published before 2017, can be found at the National Archives.
Teacher, school and post-16 institutions surveys
The DfE has updated this collection of research reports by adding ‘School snapshot survey: COVID-19’ and ‘School snapshot panel: COVID-19’.
Early education and development: Coronavirus (COVID-19) study
The DfE has published research on the experiences of children and parents from the study of early education and development (SEED) longitudinal study during the COVID-19 pandemic. This report examines findings from Wave 5 of the SEED longitudinal study. It focuses on experiences of children and parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, including both at the time of data collection in September-October 2020 and retrospectively. However, it is important to note that it is not possible to attribute the findings in this report directly to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and their families. This is because there is no equivalent population who did not experience this event who can be used as a comparison group in these analyses. As part of the SEED study, the DfE has also published Early education use and child outcomes up to age 7 which looks at the impact of early education at ages 2 to 7 on child outcomes.
Parent and pupil panel: omnibus surveys
The DfE has published findings from regular surveys with school pupil’s parents or carers and secondary school pupils. Two surveys included post-18 school leavers. The coronavirus (COVID-19) parent and pupil panel was set up to provide robust, rapid research on the impact of COVID-19 and experiences of pupils and parents. The panel replaced the Pupils and their parents or carers: omnibus survey.
Early education and development: alternative quality scales
This research by the DfE examines whether current quality scales used to assess childcare settings are the best predictors of children’s cognitive and self-regulation development. The brief explores: whether the ECERS-R, ECERS-E and SSTEW quality scales provide the best predictors of children’s cognitive and self-regulation development and if effective predictors of the effects of early childhood education and care (ECEC) quality on children’s development could be derived from a smaller collection of individual quality items.
Pupils' progress in the 2020 to 2021 academic year
The DfE has updated research reports presenting findings from analysis into the progress pupils have made during the 2020 to 2021 academic year. They have added 2 reports, ‘Understanding progress in the 2020 to 2021 academic year: complete findings from the spring term’ and ‘Understanding progress in the 2020 to 2021 academic year: findings from the summer term and summary of all previous findings’.
School snapshot survey: COVID-19
The DfE has published research and analysis on the Covid-19 school survey. The school snapshot survey is conducted twice a year and gathers views from senior leaders and classroom teachers in state-funded primary and secondary schools. The survey covers a wide range of topics relating to the department’s aims, priorities and policies. A summary of responses to questions asked in the summer 2020 school snapshot survey.
Senior mental health lead training
The DfE has updated the ‘How do I apply for a grant’ section for training to help develop a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing. The grant application service is now available for schools and colleges to apply for a senior mental health lead training grant. If a setting is eligible and intend to book a course soon, apply for a grant before booking a course. The guarantee to reserve a grant for schools and colleges who booked a course by 11 October has now ended. Grants are now available on a first-come, first-served basis until they have issued all available funds for this financial year. Once they have issued all the available grants, the application system will ask if settings want to join our waiting list and DfE will confirm future grant funding in the spring of 2022. The DfE has also updated the list of ‘DfE assured senior mental health lead training courses’ with courses SMHL072 to SMHL084.
School staff instructor grant
The DfE has published guidance on how much grant funding a school with a Combined Cadet Force will receive for a school staff instructor and advice on how it should be spent. This guidance is for schools that have a Combined Cadet Force with a school staff instructor. The school staff instructor is vital for the sustainment of the school cadet unit. The effectiveness of the school staff instructor is enhanced the more time they can carry out the role in the school.
Pension grants for schools, local authorities and music hubs
The DfE has updated the guidance on the pension grant, supplementary fund, and pension funding for local authority centrally employed teachers, and music hubs. They have amended the ‘Pension grants for schools, local authorities and music education hubs’ to reflect allocations published in October 2021 for September 2021 to March 2022.
PE and sport premium for primary schools
The DfE has updated the information about carried forward unspent PE and sport premium grant funding, added the payment dates for 2021 to 2022 and a link to the conditions of grant. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government relaxed the ring-fencing arrangements for the PE and sport premium in the 2019 to 2020 academic year, to allow any unspent grant to be carried forward into the 2020 to 2021 academic year. Due to the continuation of the pandemic, this has also been applied to any unspent funding for the 2020 to 2021 academic year. Any unspent funding that has been carried forward must be spent in full by 31 July 2022. Schools will need to factor this into spending plans for their 2021 to 2022 PE and sport premium allocation. The conditions of grant reflect this.
All schools and colleges to receive extra funding for catch up
The DfE has published a news story on extra funding for schools and colleges. Every pupil in every school to benefit from significant new investment in education to help young people catch up on lost learning. Schools will receive an additional £4.7 billion in core funding in 2024-25, including £1.6 billion in 2022-23 on top of already planned increases from the 2019 Spending Review, and meaning a total cash increase of £1,500 per pupil between 2019-20 and 2024-25. The funding takes the government’s direct investment in education recovery to almost £5 billion, building on the high-quality tutoring for millions of pupils and world-class training for thousands of teachers and early years staff, already being provided.
Ofsted calls for stronger oversight of early years multiple providers and social care groups
The DfE has published a press release on Ofsted’s research reports looking at early years multiple providers and providers that own more than one children’s home. The reports find that current legislation does not reflect the level of influence that early years multiple providers and social care groups have on individual nurseries and children’s homes, respectively. The reports call for stronger regulatory powers to make sure multiple providers and groups are having a positive impact on children.
Students urged to take a rapid COVID-19 test before end of half term
The DfE has published a news story from the UK Health Security Agency and ministers are calling on young people to make sure they take a rapid COVID-19 test before returning to school after the half term. Covid-19 cases among 10- to 19-year-olds are currently the highest of any age group, with a weekly rate of 1,201 per 100,000 population. After Covid-19 vaccines, rapid testing and appropriate isolation is one of the most important ways to break chains of transmission and prevent the spread of the virus, especially as we enter the winter months. Many families already have rapid tests at home that could be used. Families can also collect testing kits from their local pharmacy.
The government recommends that schools ask pupils and staff to test twice a week, and that families continue this during the holidays. Taking a rapid test before going back to school will help prevent hidden Covid-19 cases from entering the classroom and ensure that children can continue to learn free from disruption.