As this whirlwind school term draws to a close hopefully you will be getting the chance to catch a breath and take some sort of break - whether you’re remaining open for Good Friday and Easter Monday or closing down for a few days.
If you do need any support, our colleagues at The Key have made some if their resources free for you, offering practical advice on challenges such as getting free school meals to children, managing staff and planning remote lessons for next term. You can view these resources below:
Free school meals over the holidays
As you will have heard, the DfE now expects schools to arrange free school meals for eligible pupils not attending school over the Easter holiday. Here's some guidance from The Key to help you work out what you need to do next:
Trying to put a plan in place to get free school meals to pupils may be a concern for you. Read this article for clear guidance on how to send food to pupils during the coronavirus outbreak.
This useful factsheet can be shared with parents to help them work out if their child is eligible for free school meals (FSM) while they're at home.
Staffing FAQs and remote recruitment
If you’re worried about how to plan your staffing structure, both during and after the Easter break, you can lean on the below guidance for support:
This resource has answers to all your questions about staffing, like whether you can furlough staff and how to pay your suppliers.
If recruitment is on your to-do list during the Easter holidays, use this guide. The Key worked with international recruiters with experience in remote interviewing to bring you the best advice.
Returning to remote learning
And finally, when you do start planning remote lessons again, take a look at how other schools are approaching this new world of virtual learning:
Some schools are using home-made teacher videos to continue education and keep pupils and teachers connected during this difficult time. Here’s how you can do this, with examples from schools that are making it work for them.
Schools are also finding creative ways to provide their pupils with feedback while they’re learning remotely - from informal Twitter comments to ‘voice notes’ in an app. See if one of these approaches would work for you.
I’ll be back with more guidance in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the ScholarPack team wishes you all the best and we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to all of the school staff keeping the sector afloat during this difficult time.