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This page aims to keep you up to date with the latest news related to Education HR.

21 July 2021

Invitation to respond to LGA consulation on proposed changes to teachers’ pay and conditions for 2021

Following Gavin Williamson’s (Secretary of State for Education) announcement late on 21 July, on the proposed pay pause for qualified teachers pay and the £250 pay award for eligible unqualified teachers for 2021, the LGA is inviting you to complete a short survey by no later than 2pm on 24 August 2021 on behalf of your local authority. This should take no more than 15 minutes and enable the LGA to best represent your local authorities views and inform the National Employers Organisation for School Teachers (NEOST) response back to Government on the proposed changes (listed below):250 consolidated pay awor eligible unqualified teachers.
Reintroduction of advisory pay point structure for the unqualified teacher pay range.

Reflects a change in the number of days that teachers must be available to work as a result of the additional Bank Holiday on Friday 3rd June 2022 to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Incorporates the statutory induction changes for Early Career Teachers (ECTs).

Introduces flexibilities around TLR3 by removing the consecutive use clause, which could introduce a payment mechanism for tutoring when being delivered by main pay range teachers and upper pay range teachers, to address learning disruption as a result of the pandemic.

To support you we have a ‘one stop webpage’ for all the information you should need to understand the proposed changes and respond to the LGA’s consultation survey.

Please note we will only accept 1 online response per authority. If you are not able to answer all of the questions, its fine to skip onto the next and submit the responses to the questions you are able to respond to.

Any questions please email SchoolTeachers@local.gov.uk and we will be happy to assist.

Schools – high needs and central school services funding

Yesterday the Department for Education published provisional funding allocations for 2022 to 2023 through the schools, high needs and central school services national funding formulae (NFF). The allocations reflect further increases to the funding blocks in 2022 to 2023 including: an increase in high needs funding of £780 million, or 9.6 per cent, with every council receiving an increase of at least an 8 per cent per head of population. Central schools services funding will increase to £284 million for the ongoing responsibilities that councils continue to have for all schools, while funding for historic commitments within this block will decrease by a further 20 per cent for those councils in receipt of this funding.

It is welcome that the Department has listened to our concerns regarding high needs block pressures with additional short-term funding. In the longer-term the on-going review of the SEND system must provide councils with certainty of funding and the powers to better manage demand for SEND support. The pandemic has highlighted the crucial role that councils have played in supporting all local schools and it is positive that this has been recognised through the increase in central school services funding. The Department has also published school-level provisional allocations that can be accessed via an online tool.

And while not Teacher related, worth highlighting the latest NJC Circular for Green Book staff:

New working arrangements

The National Joint Council for local government services has issued guidance on working arrangements now that COVID restrictions have been lifted. The circular provides advice on face coverings, self-isolation and considerations to be made for clinically extremely vulnerable people when returning to the workplace.

July updates

Tuesday 20 July 2021

Contact tracing in educational settings  

When restrictions lift on Monday, education and childcare settings will no longer carry out routine contact tracing. Responsibility for identifying and contacting close contacts will move to NHS Test and Trace which will speak with the individual who has tested positive – or, depending on their age, their parent or legal guardian – to identify close contacts. Contact tracers will provide support on how to identify a close contact.  

The Government therefore expects that schools and colleges will not routinely be contacted to provide details of close contacts. However, there is a recognition that schools, colleges and nurseries may need to be contacted in exceptional cases to help with identifying close contacts where there is a local outbreak, and we are explaining that the local response may therefore vary between areas. We are also pointing out that some schools wish to continue with their existing arrangements until the end of term and will share any further feedback with the Department for Education.  

 

Mental health and wellbeing support for young people   

Meeting for the final time this week, the Government’s Mental Health in Education Action Group has shared the output of its work such as continuing to signpost training opportunities, resources and investment in mental health and wellbeing for staff and settings across the education sector from early years through to higher education. Co-chaired by Universities Minister Michelle Donelan and Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford, the action group also included Mental Health Minister Nadine Dorries, Youth Mental Health Ambassador Dr Alex George, and representatives from leading mental health and education organisations.    

As we have highlighted before, information to support schools and colleges is available as well as a series of free wellbeing support videos, for summer schools and Holiday, Activity and Food Clubs co-created by Dr Alex George, First News, Sky Kids, the Department for Education and Public Health England, to offer tips and tricks to improve children’s mood in a positive, energetic way. Each episode highlights the importance of being physically and mentally healthy and will air on Sky Kids and Now TV throughout the summer. We have fed into this group and have highlighted the need for ongoing work to support children and young people’s mental health as we move into the next phase of the pandemic. 

Mental health support teams initial evaluations  

As part of the Green Paper, Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision, mental health support teams, mental health support teams have been rolling out across the country since 2018. The first initial evaluation of the programme has been released. Main findings included that schools and colleges welcomed the funding of additional capacity to provide in-house mental health support, and the programme’s focus on prevention and early intervention. Participants raised concerns about remaining gaps in support, especially for children and young people whose needs were not ‘mild to moderate’ (the group that the teams are designed to support) but also not serious enough to meet the referral criteria for specialist services. Finally, the new education mental health practitioner (EMHP) role and training programme had proven popular but retaining EMHPs once in post was widely reported as a challenge. The final evaluation will report in 2022.  

 

Senior mental health lead training in schools

The Department for Education’s (DfE) Mental Health Delivery Division is hosting an explainer webinar and Q&A session to explain what this provision is, how it can be accessed, and what councils need to know. The session will also provide an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. The webinar is being held on 20 July between 2pm and 2.45pm.

  

Strategy to tackle online harm   

Teachers, library staff, youth workers and carers are to be trained to help young people spot disinformation online, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has announced. Its new Online Media Literacy Strategy will aim to improve media literacy in the UK and to help children better navigate the internet safely. The past year has emphasised the importance of being able to understand rapidly changing information online. As we said in our media response, this timely strategy is not only an important step towards ensuring all UK residents can navigate the online world safely but recognising the role that libraries can play in achieving this. 

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