Children, Young People, Education and Skills
STAY HOME APRIL
In this document you will find questions and answers and information on:
- Critical Workers and childcare
- Youth Service
- Support contacts for young people, parents and families
- Student finance
Schools and Nurseries
Will schools be closed after the Easter Holidays?
The majority of schools will be closed until the end of April, but will remain open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children.
The schools’ Easter Holidays run from 3 April to 20 April, but school closures will extend until the end of April as the Government announced that all Islanders should stay home in April.
Will schools open during the Easter Holidays for critical workers?
We are keen to do our part to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic by ensuring that the children of critical workers can still attend to vital services over Easter. We are working with childminders, nurseries, headteachers and staff unions to see if this is possible.
I am concerned about my child’s learning: what should I do?
Schools have already been sharing home learning resources for children. In addition, the Children, Young People, Education and Skills Department is developing a new “Learning at Home” project to provide parents with practical advice and resources to help with home learning, while schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools will continue to do everything that they can to support your child to learn at home.
This new resource will be aimed at all pupils aged from 4 to 16.
The main aim of this project is to provide the parents of primary and secondary school pupils with the necessary tools to support them in home schooling their child or young person.
Which schools are open?
All Government schools (and some non-provided schools) reopened on 23 March to two groups of children: those whose parents or carers are critical workers, and those who are deemed vulnerable.
Special schools and some provisions have remained open.
A number of nurseries and childminders have also opened to accommodate the children of critical workers.
Can all nurseries open?
All school nursery classes are open. In relation to care in private and voluntary sector nurseries, it is at the discretion of the individual nurseries whether to open or not, having to consider staffing available, the number wishing to take up the offer and indeed those parents who have made alternative arrangements.
Childminders, who wish to remain open to care for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children, can continue to do so, with up to three children at any one time.
Who is expected to be working in schools?
All school staff are expected to be working, unless they are unwell, or have an underlying medical condition. Staff are working at either school or at home. Most are preparing work for the majority of children who are learning from home. We are working to ensure that the minimum number of staff attend school to ensure the safe provision on offer for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers.
Some staff may be at home and unable to work, because they have young children or are caring for a dependant relative who is self-isolating. These staff will be expected to share this responsibility with partners wherever possible. They could also find some time in the day or evening to prepare resources. Headteachers will need to confirm this with individual members of staff.
What is the guidance for social distancing in nursery settings?
We recognise that full observation of social distancing in early years and special school settings is not possible due to the levels of support required by children, the need to provide intimate care and toileting and the ways in which children naturally interact with each other and the adults who care for them.
We are ensuring that enhanced hygiene is a top priority. All staff and children must wash their hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, are encouraged not to touch their face, and to use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze into and to use bins for tissue waste.
Will the school be cleaned during the day?
All contract cleaners have been communicated with and have been asked to support schools during the day with continual cleaning of all touch points, such as handles, light switches, horizontal surfaces and toilets.
Will children still be able to use outside play equipment?
We will ensure that play equipment, both in classes and outside, is cleaned on a more regular basis. Regular handwashing by pupils is essential to help reduce the spread of the virus.
Are schools expected to deliver the full curriculum?
Schools will not be expected to deliver a normal school day covering the full Jersey Curriculum. The expectation is that children are completing the work that those at home are doing. The most important thing is that the children of critical workers and vulnerable children are supervised and properly cared for at school.
My child has additional needs but has not been offered a school place. How can I access one now?
Places have been prioritised for those children considered most vulnerable in the Island and the total number of places available in each school is being kept low, to ensure that children and staff can practice safe social distancing. If your child has not received an offer of a school place, and you believe them to be vulnerable, please contact the school and discuss this. If there is a new vulnerability, other than their additional needs, please contact the Children and Families Hub on 01534 519000.
My child has additional needs and has been offered a school place, but not for the whole school day. Is this right?
Schools are providing as much time for children as they safely can. In some cases, they have had to undertake a specific assessment to ensure children’s needs can be met. The school will provide you with materials and strategies to support your child’s learning at home for the remainder of the school day.
If you would like further advice in supporting your child’s learning, please call the Children and Families Hub on 01534 519000 and they will ensure that someone with the right specialist experience contacts you.
My child was being assessed for special educational needs. What happens now?
We have written to all parents and carers to whom this applies separately. Some assessments may be delayed, because staff have had to prioritise differently in response to COVID-19, but we will try to complete as many as possible.
My child has been offered a school place. What should I do if I don’t want it?
Please notify the school with your reason for not accepting the school place. Schools will monitor the attendance of all children who they are expecting to attend, as they normally would.
Critical workers and childcare
Who are the critical workers in Phase 2?
The full list can be found at this link:
FAQ: What’s the difference between essential workers and critical workers?
- Essential workers are people engaged in work that is essential to the continued safe running of the Island during the COVID-19 pandemic. The list of essential work is set out in the Stay at Home policy (https://www.gov.je/Health/Coronavirus/BusinessAndEmployment/Pages/CoronavirusBusinessAdvice.aspx)
- Critical workers are a smaller sub-set of essential workers in especially critical roles who, if they are parents and cannot make arrangements for their children to be looked after, ideally at home, are being offered school or nursery places by government as a last resort.
- (https://www.gov.je/Health/Coronavirus/Pages/CriticalWorkersAndChildcare.aspx )
- A further, very small subset of essential workers may need to travel into Jersey.
- Health and care workers arriving into Jersey since Sunday 22 March are required to self-isolate (like most travellers), and a risk assessment process is then undertaken by the Health and Community Services department to determine whether it is safe for them to leave isolation to go to work.
- Other essential workers arriving into Jersey since Friday 20 March are asked to self-assess whether it is really necessary for them to work on-site or whether they can isolate for 14 days like most travellers (e.g., working from home), so that risk is minimised.
I am a critical worker, but I am not listed?
If any organisation believes it undertakes essential work, but is not listed and has staff who will need to be exempted from the ‘Stay At Home April’ order at any time, they are asked to contact 1GCT@gov.je to be considered.
I am a critical worker, but my husband works in finance and is working from home. Can we send our children to school?
This provision is only to support our frontline critical services and parents must do everything they can to protect our health system and save lives.
80% of critical workers who have been offered provision so far for their children have found alternative arrangements and declined the offer of childcare, meaning that fewer teachers are needed to run this vital service.
This provision is only to support our frontline critical services and although we understand that home working with children around may be difficult, we cannot ensure social distancing guidance is followed if schools have more pupils in than we can safely accommodate.
Where possible, parents should be enabled to stay at home, so that their children can also be kept at home and to minimise demand for school places and childcare.
As a critical worker will I expected to pay for my childcare?
Where you have an existing arrangement with a private nursery, yes, your current contractual arrangements with your childcare provider will apply.
How do I contact the Critical Workers Hub?
The Critical Workers Hub is responsible for keeping the schools, nurseries and childminders open and providing childcare provision to critical workers and vulnerable children. The hub can be contacted at CYPESHub@gov.uk
What do I do if my usual childcare provider is now closed?
Contact the team at the Childcare and Early Years Service (CEYS) at firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to direct you to a nursery or childminders that are open and may be able to offer you a place for your child.
How can you ensure that the nursery is adhering to the public health guidelines and early years guidance?
All settings will be expected to follow the stringent guidelines announced by the Government. This means practicing social distancing; cleaning surfaces and touch points like handles, and resources that children will be touching and using; and following good hygiene practices, like frequent handwashing, not touching your face, sneezing into a tissue and throwing it in the bin immediately. The CEYS team will be in regular contact with those settings to work with them to ensure that guidance is being followed.
If my usual setting is closed, how can you guarantee the same level of care for my child in another setting?
All practitioners working in settings are experienced and have the best interests of the children in their care as a priority. CEYS officers will call daily to check that all children are settled and happy and that the setting has enough staff to run effectively, supporting the needs of all children.
How can you ensure that nursery staff are safe to be working and are not exhibiting symptoms or coming from households where family members or house mates are exhibiting symptoms?
Staff will only come into work if they or anyone from their home are not displaying symptoms. Managers and staff are fully aware of the public health guidance and CEYS officers will be following this up regularly.
Guidance for parents
Where can parents get more information?
A new page has been created for new guidance, advice and information for parents and carers:
Support for young people
The Youth Service is extending the YES Helpline, to a Freephone number from Monday to Sunday from noon until 8pm.
YES has just launched a new Freephone number which is 08007350010
YES website www.yes.je is available 24 / 7 for a range of advice and information
If you have an emergency and require immediate help, please phone the emergency services on 999.
If you are calling because you are concerned for yourself or for someone you know, please contact the Children and Families Hub on 01534 519000.
If you are under 19 and would like someone to talk to, please contact NSPCC Childline on: 0800 1111.
If you have a concern about Coronavirus please contact the Coronavirus helpline on: 01534 445566.
Youth Enquiry Service
From Monday, 30 March The Youth Enquiry Service (YES) will be extending its opening hours to 12pm to 8pm, 7 days per week, so that any young person or young adult under 25 years old can call, email, text, WhatsApp, or contact through the YES website to talk to one of the Youth Workers who can provide relevant information, advice and support.
Who will I speak with when I call?
When you make contact with YES, it will be one of the youth workers who you will talk with, and for those of you that visit YES (not at this COVID time) they will always offer to make you a cuppa!
You can tell the youth workers whatever you like as they will not be judging you, just listening and provide you with the correct advice or information and sign post you to the right service that can help you if necessary.
Will I have to give my name?
When you call YES, if you did not want to give your name that is ok, the important thing is that you have made the call and we can listen to you. The worker will always give you their name so you will know who you are talking to.
Is YES still doing counselling appointment
During COVID time we are still delivering a counselling service and our counsellors are working by using WhatsApp video and telephone.
Am I able to visit YES?
While staff are working in YES, the drop-in is closed. We have take this action so that our awesome staff do not become ill, as we need them being fit, strong and healthy to answer your calls.
Some of the Youth Workers who are working from home, are busy working on plans to introduce a new youth club online, Visit the JYS Facebook or Instagram account to keep a look out for what they have planned.
When is club opening again?
All youth clubs are now closed and will reopen when we get permission, at this time we do not have any idea when this might be, but as soon as we know, you will be the first person to know.
Can I contact my Youth Worker?
If you need any support and you would like to call your youth worker, then please feel free in doing so. If you need any numbers visit www.yes.je for their number.
Children and Families Hub
The Children and Families Hub supports children and families to access the right help at the right time. The hub also responds to any safeguarding concerns you may have for a child or young person.
How do I contact the Children and Families Hub?
You can call the Hub on 01534 519000 or email email@example.com
Will the Hub be available 24 hours?
No. The Hub will be open from 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Friday.
If there is an urgent concern about a child’s safety outside of these hours, you should call the Police on 01534 612612.
Children’s Social Work offer an on-call service outside of these hours through the Jersey General Hospital switchboard, which can be accessed by calling the Hub on 01534 519000 and pressing option 1.
Who will be answering the telephone? What qualifications do they have?
The telephones are answered by people who have skills and experience in working with families and professionals, and who know what services are available in Jersey. They will come from a range of backgrounds, including parenting support, education, children’s health, children’s mental health and social work.
What difference will this really make to children and families?
The Hub is part of our aim to help families by making sure that they get the right help at the right time, and at the earliest opportunity. This means that any problems can be picked up and dealt with before they become too difficult.
Central to the Right Help Right Time approach is that children and families who need support from more than one agency have a lead worker. This lead worker works alongside the family, getting to know their circumstances and making sure that the support they need is co-ordinated.
The Hub aims to streamline some of the current processes, to reduce bureaucracy and bring the right support to children and families at the right time.
Will it cost more?
The Government Plan committed investment to Put Children First. Some additional funding is needed to strengthen a team of existing staff who will work in the Hub as part of a programme of investment in early intervention.
There is clear evidence that helping families as early as possible and providing support at the right time can reduce the likelihood of problems escalating (and the need for more serious interventions). If we offer the right help at the right time, we will improve long-term outcomes for children, young people and their families. This reduces costs to them, to services and to the whole community in the long term.
Why are you doing this now, just when there is so much else going on?
The Children and Families Hub was planned as part of the Right Help, Right Time project. We have brought it forward by around six weeks, because we recognise that families will experience challenges from the response to COVID-19. Having the Hub in place as soon as possible is important to ensure that families are supported and children are safeguarded in these unique circumstances.
Is this just the MASH (a referral to social care for children) in a new guise?
The Children and Families Hub is not the same thing as a referral to MASH. It is wider than this, and all requests for support will be looked at by a skilled team of staff, who will then decide which is the best agency, or best approach for the child and family. Of course, if a safeguarding concern where a child may be a risk of significant harm is identified, the request will be referred to the MASH team for assessment and a decision on next steps.
Will parents know if someone rings in about their child or family?
Yes. Practitioners making a request for service are required to discuss the request with parents/carers and ask for consent beforehand. The only exception to this is when a child’s safety may be compromised.
If a member of the public rings in about a child or family, a worker from the hub will contact the parent(s) to let them know about the enquiry
What sorts of questions or problems will this new service deal with?
The Hub will be able to deal with a variety of problems that families face. For example, perhaps a family needs advice on managing a child’s behaviour, or maybe a family is finding it difficult to cope with relationship, or financial difficulties. While the Hub will not be able to solve all problems, it will be able to provide some advice or signposting, as well as looking to find a lead worker for a family who needs one.
Families can also be directly signposted to the Parenting Support Helpline available Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm on 449481, or at email firstname.lastname@example.org
What will they do with information about families?
Information will be recorded on an electronic system so that the Hub team can consider the family’s needs and provide the best response to meet them. Retention of data follows the requirements for compliance with data protection legislation (GDPR).
How do families know their information is safe?
Data is recorded on a secure electronic database and it is confidential. Access to a family’s information is limited to those staff who require it to provide them with a service.
Who can refer into the Hub?
The Hub has been open since Monday, 23 March to referrals from practitioners from all agencies, including GPs and other health workers, schools, the police and charitable organisations. From the beginning of April, families and members of the public will also be able to ring in or send a request form or email.
What will be different for families as a result?
Families will get a more streamlined and speedy service, with reduced bureaucracy. The right help at the right time is our aim.
What is the College doing to support students?
Highlands College has been working to ensure that our students are supported throughout this unique period. The aim is to ensure:
- Learning continues
- Students are supported.
The College has prepared and delivered a suite of guidance and training for staff to ensure that they can continue to support the education of students while working or studying remotely.
Students can access office 365 accounts directly from the website https://www.highlands.ac.uk/
Will University College Jersey (UCJ) also be closed?
Yes. However, we are working closely with our university partners to ensure minimum disruption to learning. Due to the nature of our partnerships across the University of Plymouth, University of Sussex, London South Bank University and Pearson, each programme is subject to a bespoke plan for continued learning. These plans are held, managed, actioned and shared by each programme leader within UCJ.
How will remote learning actually work?
Lecturers and Heads of Department have planned and communicated with students. Our expectation is that lessons will continue within current timetabled slots, albeit remotely. Students should be prepared to learn and be logged into Microsoft Teams, Moodle or UCJ alternatives. Lecturers will conduct session activities via these platforms. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback during these sessions. In some cases, lecturers may need to adjust timetables and this will be communicated to our students.
If classes are available online, but students do not have access to a computer, will you provide one?
We have a small stock of laptops available for loan to students. Please contact the college directly should you require assistance. Alternatively, while not ideal, our primary platform ‘Microsoft Teams’ is accessible on most mobile devices.
Can I obtain hard copies of learning documents?
Where necessary, the college will provide printed copies of learning documents. Students wishing to obtain printed resources should place requests directly with personal tutors or programme leaders.
When will College open again? How long will you be closed for?
This is under constant review by the Government. For updates, we advise you to visit gov.je regularly, alongside the College website and social media channels.
How will the College keep in contact with me?
Periodically, students and parents will receive a text message from the College’s leadership team, with a link to the latest information. Students will also be in regular contact with our teaching team online, in relation to all course matters. The College will also regularly update social media and our website.
Can I access central College services, such as learning support or employability advice?
Yes, these services are still available to our students, albeit via telephone or on our Microsoft Teams platform. The College is currently working on a guide to accessing services and self-referring online. This will be shared soon.
Please be assured that there is a multi-agency approach being developed to support young people. The Youth Service is currently exploring a range of options and we will update you as soon as this is confirmed.
Will this affect future University places or Year 1 to year 2 progression?
The College has assessed the risks in relation to our students’ progression and controls are in place to mitigate these potential risks. These range from guaranteeing internal progression to brokering university places on behalf of students, should we need to.
What does this mean for my apprenticeship?
As an apprentice you’ll continue to work with lecturers remotely via Microsoft Teams. Lecturers will particularly focus on assignments and the theoretical elements of your programme during the closure period. The College will then work with you and your employer to develop a plan of how and when practical assessments will take place.
I’m a school pupil and come to College one day a week. Will I remote learn with Highlands too?
Yes. Where possible, your study with the College will continue to be a part of your school’s plan to ensure your GCSEs success.
I’m currently enrolled on an adult course. What will happen? Will I be refunded?
For now, your course will be ‘postponed’. The College will explore options to extend courses, offer credit notes or to issue refunds. We ask that you are patient as this situation is unprecedented.
What can parents do to help through this time in terms of learning and emotional wellbeing?
Information will soon be published and circulated to parents by the department of Children, Young People, Education and Skills, along with information about school/college closures.
With examinations cancelled at the end of this academic year, what will happen for acceptance into university and also student finance?
With the announcement that examinations in May and June will be cancelled and that grades this year will be done on a predicted basis, please see the following additional information.
- GCSE, A and AS level students will be awarded a grade based on teachers’ predictions (see “Teachers’ role in the awarding process” section below, for how teachers will be expected to make a prediction/what evidence they should use).
- Ofqual will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student, which reflects their performance as fairly as possible.
- The aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July 2020.
Teachers’ role in the awarding process
- For all examination boards, teachers will be asked to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead.
- To produce this, teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data, including performance in mock exams and non-exam assessment. Clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly this will be provided to schools and colleges.
- The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in.
- Pupils will also have an option to sit an exam early in the next academic year (2021) all being well with the COVID-19 developments.
- In terms of a permanent record, the grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years.
- If students do not believe the correct process has been followed in their case, they will be able to appeal on that basis.
- In the UK, the Department for Education, working with the examinations regulator Ofqual aims to ensure that the distribution of grades follows a similar pattern to that in other years, so that this year’s students do not face a systematic disadvantage as a consequence of these extraordinary circumstances.
- The May 2020 examinations, for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme students, which were scheduled between 30 April and 22 May will no longer be held.
- Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate, which reflects their standard of work. This is based on the student’s coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes.
For our BTEC vocational qualifications, the awarding bodies will work closely with teachers to collate completed student grades, taking into account student progress on assignments and course work to date and by sampling and verifying student work. The awarding bodies are working to understand the implications of the current context for BTECs and other applied general qualifications and will communicate with learners as soon as we can.
What happens if I cannot drop my paperwork off to student finance?
We would not expect you to drop off your paperwork while the island is in lockdown, if you are able to scan your documentation in please do so and the staff will pick up and process as soon as they can. Please be patient in these unprecedented times, our safety is of paramount importance to the GoJ and we will get to paperwork as soon as we can.
What will student finance be doing in lockdown?
Student Finance will be working remotely and will attempt to process in the usual way. We will not be able to collect hard copies of any paperwork whilst in lockdown, so please try to scan/photograph any paperwork and then these can be processed in the usual way. Please bear in mind that this might take much longer than normal and we would ask for your patience in this time.
As the deadlines for academic year 20/21 are for the application is 31 December 2020 and for income assessment is 31 March 2021 we will not look to change it at the moment but will keep it under review and change as needed.
What happens if I need to speak to someone urgently?
Our preferred method of communications will be email as any member of the team will be able to pick up. However, there are three mobile numbers that you can ring if your query is urgent, these are:
07797786356 from 08:00 – 09:00, 12:00 – 13:00 and 16:00 – 17:30
07797717394 from 09:00 – 12:00
07797774381 from 13:00 – 16:00
How do I find out about what the university is doing?
Skills Jersey have been in touch with universities by email and telephone and the overwhelming message is that is these uncertain times, due to workloads, they will only speak with the individual student. Please if you have any concern that cannot be answered by the university’s website, please get in touch with the university yourself, bearing in mind that they will be working differently too.