Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Please find below some updates on recent activity facilitated by the TSC to help support the system at this difficult time, which I hope you find useful:
1. Team South West met remotely on Monday 23rd March to reflect on the impact of COVID-19 and on the decision to close schools the preceding week.The opportunity for representatives from across the sector to feedback to the RSC and RDD Office on the challenges being experienced by school leaders/Trusts 'on the ground' and local responses was hugely helpful. This information has been shared with senior DfE colleagues and central teams who are developing guidance to support schools as the situation evolves
2. Consequently, a decision was made to form a smaller SW COVID-19 Education Task Group who will meet weekly with the RSC, for the foreseeable future to continue to share live intelligence about ongoing issues in schools and across other partner organisations. The Task Group has representatives from the main sector networks (eg. LA, TSC, RDD, Special Schools network, SWALSS, NLG, Curriculum Hubs, Headteachers, MAT CEO network) and will have three main objectives:
To create a live channel of communication for the RSC/RDD office that can be shared with colleagues in central teams developing policy and national guidance over the coming weeks/months.
Find solutions for the challenges identified above and share resources and guidance across networks to support the delivery of remote learning and CPD during closure if needed, whilst being sensitive to the danger of overloading colleagues who are already working very hard.
Align network communications where possible so that SW system and school leaders feel connected and supported during this time to complement the great work that LAs, Diocese and Trusts are already doing in this regard. Communications will be shared via usual TSC routes - through REP Board networks, NLE/TS Head networks and via the SW CPD Portal and Twitter.
3. The CPD SW Portal is currently being adapted to offer support and guidance for school leaders dealing with the impact of C19 on their communities: https://www.cpdportal-sw.org/ Please keep an eye on developments and share across your networks when possible.
In addition, Gavin Richards (CPD Portal Architect) has developed a new online community to support teachers, leaders and parents who are trying to manage remote learning which can be found here: https://www.remote-learning.online/
A resource from the Centre for Education & Youth : Nine thoughtful and insightful panellists recently took part in an online discussion on supporting vulnerable learners through COVID-19. Pannelists included school leaders, a university professor and an Education Psychologist, alongside an audience of nearly 200 teachers, youth sector professionals, local authority staff, policy makers and governors. As part of the discussion, Leora Cruddas, Chief Executive of the Confederation of School Trusts spoke for many saying: This is business as unusual.