Bristol, and the rest of the UK, is now in lockdown. To protect your loved ones, please stay at home.

Schools, nurseries and further education providers have closed until further notice.

The Government has suspended all schools, nurseries and colleges until further notice. That means for most families in the UK, your child will not be going into school as normal from Monday, March 23rd onwards. 

How this works from household to household will vary. The Government has published a list of workers that can continue to send their child to school. Those who have a child with an Educational Health and Care plan or a social worker can also continue to send their child to school.

Those children that received Free School Meals will still be able to access nutritional assistance. This will likely be facilitated by Free School Meals Vouchers, although each school is handling this individually. 

Over the next days, I will be collecting useful information for parents and carers, including specifics about how each school in our constituency will be handling Free School Meals. 

bbc. learning, from, home

If you need advice about Free School Meals:

Right now, the best way to find out how your child can access Free School Meal assistance form Monday March 23rd will be to contact your school directly.

If you need any help during this process, please do contact me via email at darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk.

If would like support with helping your child learn and grow during this time:

Although this year’s exams and tests have been cancelled, there are lots of online resources that can help you keep your child learning, active and entertained.

The BBC offers advice on the basics of teaching your child from home. 

BBC Bitesize has intereactive learning resources for people of all ages and abilities.

School and Childcare FAQs

Should I be sending my child to school?

Unless you are a frontline Coronavirus support worker or your child has a social worker or educational health and care plan, your child will not be attending school from Monday, March 23rd.

The Government has published the list of workers that can continue to send their children to school. A summary is below, and if your profession is on this list you should check with your employer to see if you should still continue leaving home to work. If you are on this list, please only send your child to school if other care is unavailable.

  1. Health and Social Care.
  2. Education and Childcare.
  3. Key Public Services (workers and charities, delivering frontline services, justice system employees, religious staff, and journalists involved in public service broadcast).
  4. Local and National Government.
  5. Public Safety and National Security
  6. Transport.
  7. Utilities, Communication and Financial Services.

If you are a worker on this list and your school has been closed, you should contact your local authority who will give you further information and help you find a suitable local school.

Exams and Tests for this year have been suspended, and the Government is currently deciding on the best way to allocate qualifications to students.

I need support with looking after my child. Who can I speak to?

This will be a major change in day-to-day life for households across North West Bristol. Bristol Council has published a list of local and national services that can offer guidance to help with this transition and to ensure you and your child are supported,

Coronavirus support groups have been set up all over North Bristol, and you may access community help there. Please join this Facebook group to find information on the local groups in your area.

How will students grades and results be decided this year?
The Government has cancelled all summer exams (GSCSE, A-Levels and other Primary and Secondary assessments). Instead, teachers, schools, Government, exam boards and Ofsted will work together to assign calculated grades to students. Ofsted will develop a process for calculating student grades and exam boards will make sure this process is applied across the UK consistently. Teachers will be asked to provide their assessment of which grades their students would have attained this year.

This process will go through a series of checks and balances to ensure consistency and aims to provide fair grades for all students. The expectation will be that calculated grades will be assigned before the end of July. These grades will have equal weight and value to any other qualification from previous years. Students will have the ability to appeal grade decisions. There is also potential for students to sit exams early in the next academic year, or in the summer of 2021.

For vocational, technical and other skill-based qualifications, the Government is working with different examining bodies to set up a parallel grade calculation processes. When I have information about this, I will share it here.

There is a lot more we need to know about this process, and I will continue to press for more information. We must make sure that awarded grades are fair and reflect the talent of our students in Bristol North West”

How will my children access their free school meals?

Your child’s school will decide how Free School Meals support is provided. Depending on the arrangements that are made, you may have meals sent directly to your household or you may receive vouchers to purchase food from supermarkets and other shops. These vouchers will take into account the fact that individual households will not be bulk purchasing food. 

Your school is the best place to check how your child will access their Free School Meals support.

My nursery has closed, what child-care support can I access?

Government advice is for all nurseries to close. If you are a front-line coronavirus worker you will be able to access nursery child-care, and details about this are forthcoming. 

If you run a nursery that has closed, the government committed to continue honouring free child-care hours. In addition, the Chancellor has included nurseries in the businesses eligible for a business rate holiday.

How should I talk about the Coronavirus with my children?

Unicef have useful advice for talking about the Coronavirus with young people. Their advice is to give your child plenty of chances to talk about what they know and what they might be worried about by asking them open questions. They also say to be honest, use age-appropriate language and to not be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’.

Last Update: 31/03/2020 08:07