School Closure Instructions and Information on GIS
What to do and what you need to know if you need to close your school - planned or unplanned.
The decision to close a school or setting is taken by the Headteacher/Manager based on a risk assessment considering a number of factors:
• Local management;
• Conditions at the school/setting; and
• The health and safety of staff and pupils.
Issues considered could include, but are not limited to, whether there is catering available; public transport services are running; the site is safe for pupils/staff and, if conditions worsen, will pupils/staff be able to return home safely.
If at all possible, the school/setting will remain open for as many children as possible. Schools/settings will do all they can to re-open as soon as appropriate.
If a school/setting has to close, information will be made available to parents/carers through the school's/setting's normal communications channels (including their website).
Instructions for 'closing' and 'reopening' your school on the Dorset Council GIS system are available in our Instructions for Schools Closure document - attached.
Latest information on school’s correct status is shown going to https://mapping.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/closedservices
The Department for Education website has further detail on how to manage your schools open status in a variety of emergency scenarios. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/emergencies-and-severe-weather-schools-and-early-years-settings
This includes guidance on marking pupil attendance and what to do if limited numbers of staff are available.
If flooding has significantly affected your school or early years setting, you should contact DfE directly using firstname.lastname@example.org
Early Years providers who have had to move to temporary premises should check to see if they need to register with Ofsted at their new premises.
NEW: Children's Advice and Duty Service
We have made some improvements here at Dorset Council that we hope will improve the lives of children and families and provide better support to you as the professionals working with them.
We want to make sure that every child receives the right help - regardless of whether social care involvement is needed or not. We know you'll all agree that it is important to help families before they reach crisis point, as that's ultimately better for our children and young people.
Sometimes families need the support of social workers and when this is the case, we need to ensure that this is provided without delay. However, we also know that very often early support from other agencies can prevent concerns escalating.
Children and families have told us that, wherever it is safe, they would prefer this support to be provided by professionals they know and trust. We want to work more closely with you and your staff to agree together what support children and families need and who is best placed to meet the need.
On 2 October we launched our new Children's Advice and Duty Service. If you are concerned about a child and need support or advice from Children’s Services, you will be able to call a professionals-only number to discuss your concerns rather than complete a referral form. You will immediately speak with one of our consultant social workers who will go through these concerns with you. We'll continue to make the same safeguarding checks with partners in health and police as we do now within the current Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), but you will not need to complete a referral form. The intention will be to agree together what should happen next - whether this is allocating a social worker, family worker or supporting you in meeting the need through an early help assessment and team around the family approach. Our ethos is 'never doing nothing' so that families are supported as soon as they need help.
This has been designed with renowned safeguarding expert, Professor David Thorpe. He has worked with over 20 children’s services teams to create a single point of contact that provides better support for families and partner professionals to improve the lives of children and families by ensuring the right support is provided, at the right time. Our colleagues in Norfolk implemented Professor Thorpe’s model nearly a year ago and they have already seen an improvement in services offered to children and their families. We have visited their team and have seen for ourselves the benefits and how valued the support to partners is.
We’re really excited about launching the new service and are confident that it will help us work together to ensure that children and families in Dorset are supported at the right time, first time.
Answers to some frequently asked questions are attached to this article. If you have any other queries, please contact Service Manager, Maggie Aldwell at email@example.com or on 01305 225829. Or Susan Blizzard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Director People – Children
Appraisal and Capability Training Feedback
The HR Advisory team held an Appraisal and Capability training session at the Blandford School earlier this week and we've so far received some great feedback shown below;
"I have learnt a tremendous amount, particularly around performance management. The Course allowed for lots of informal discussions which was very valuable. A great course!
"I enjoyed this more than I expected to".
"Thanks HR for Joining up with Education to make it more relevant".
Don't worry if you missed the session as we are holding a second training event on Wednesday 16 October, again at the Blandford School. For further details and to register to attend click here, or search 'Appraisal in the Training section of Nexus. Spaces are limited so don't delay!
Strengthening Families Programme - Dorset Youth Association
Find out more about how you and your child can understand each other better and build a stronger relationship for the whole family.
Schools - please let you parents know ...
The Dorset Youth Association (DYA), with funding from with the Royal British Legion, are running several FREE parenting support sessions in September and October in Bovington.
The sessions give parents and their children a safe, supported space to build their relationship by learning skills and coping techniques for difficult situations. They provide help to recognise good choices and healthy ways of managing those more difficult and challenging times together.
The sessions are FREE and lunch/refreshments will be provided. They will be held at at the Royal British Legion Club, King George V Road, Bovington BH20 6JQ
This programme is open to all families with 6-10 year olds. Parents or young people can refer themselves onto the programme by contacting DYA or by speaking to the school practitioners they are already working with.
To join in with your child and make sure you don’t miss out on your FREE place, just ring or email for a booking form and take that first step to making yours a STRONGER FAMILY.
It may be possible to assist with childcare or transport costs. Specific requirements will be looked at on a case by case basis.
More information is on the Dorset Youth Association website including:
Family Application Information
Programme Training Dates
Family referral form
Family referral information form
If you have any questions please contact Lynne Rockey on 01305 262440 or email email@example.com