DfE information below relating to School closures and Contact Tracing during February 2021 half term.
February 2021 half-term
Schools will close as usual over February half-term and are not expected to remain open to vulnerable children and the children of critical workers during that week.
Schools do not need to provide lunch parcels or vouchers during the February half-term. There is wider government support in place to support families and children outside of term-time through the Covid Winter Grant Scheme. The £170 million scheme is being run by local authorities in England, with at least 80% of the funding earmarked to support with food and essential utility costs and will cover the period to the end of March 2021. It will allow local authorities to directly help the hardest-hit families and individuals over the winter period. Local authorities have local ties and knowledge, making them best placed to identify and help those children and families most in need.
Contact tracing over the February 2021 half-term
Schools continue to play an important role in contact tracing for those pupils and staff who continue to attend their school. We recognise the challenges of this responsibility during holidays. Given limited numbers on-site, we expect contact tracing activity to be reduced but this remains vitally important in the continued national effort to limit the spread of the virus.
Where pupils or staff still attending their school test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) during the holidays, having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, schools are not required to take any action. Staff, parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace. However, where pupils or staff still attending their school test positive having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, the school is asked to assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school.
Staff responsible for contact tracing are not asked to be on-call at all times and may designate a limited period in the day to receive notification of positive cases and advise close contacts to self-isolate (this can be done by text or email).
Where schools can do so, staff assuming responsibility for contact tracing during half-term can be offered equivalent time off at an agreed point during term time.
The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline and the PHE Advice Service will remain open over the February half-term to answer any questions you have about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care.
Testing over half-term
Where schools are regularly testing staff, this does not need to take place during the holidays and can resume after the half-term.
Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline and the PHE Advice Service (option 1) is available to answer any questions you have about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care.
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm
Please listen carefully to all of the available options before selecting the most appropriate option for your nursery, school, college or university.
Department for Education guidance
Our guidance to support education providers, local authorities and parents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be accessed using the links below:
The YCA in Sandwell have been in contact with ‘Changing Our Lives’ who are starting a project called ‘Beyond the Stigma’. The project aims to bring together young South Asian women from across Sandwell to design and lead a social media campaign that will challenge the stigma that surrounds mental health within their communities and encourage others to engage in the online conversation. There will be a series of virtual workshops held between February and May this year with Shareefa Energy and these will be held over Zoom or Teams (whichever platform is preferable). At the end of the project, there will be a poetry slam and campaign to share the work of those involved. The work of young people will also feature in a digital book. A link to the webpage is here https://www.changingourlives.org/beyondthestigma
For more information, please click on the link
A video of Shareefa talking about the project can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJWjW4TlJaI
Following the announcement of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the YCA have decided to move all activities online. Our programmes and support will be as follows from week beginning Monday 11th January 2021:
- Advice and Guidance with Abdul Hakeem: Please call the office to discuss your needs on 0121 525 3909 and to make an appointment. Additional colleagues have also been trained and are ready to help.
- Job Club: Please call the office on 0121 525 3909 to make an appointment for online or telephone support.
- The ICT course can be started/ completed at your own time by logging on or registering: https://bt.learnmyway.com.
When asked for the centre information please put NSEES Birmingham
- Language classes will be run online via Zoom. These classes include: Let’s Talk English, ESOL, IELTS and Club Convo. All current students will receive joining instructions for online lessons.
- Women’s Wellbeing programme will be run online via Zoom. All current students will receive joining instructions for online lessons.
- NEW Men’s Wellbeing programme will be run online via Zoom. To join please see registration details below.
- Maths and English sessions for current students enrolled will be run online via Zoom. Educational resources can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize. All current students will receive joining instructions for online lessons.
- Appointments for the Listening Line for brothers/sisters can be made by calling the office. Arabic and English available.
- Arabic School and Tahfeedh classes will be run online via Zoom. All current students will receive joining instructions for online lessons.
- YCA Cultural Centre will be temporarily closed for all congregational prayers from Wednesday 6th January 2021 until further notice. Visit https://www.yca-sandwell.org.uk/cultural-centre for more information.
To join any of our programmes you can register here: https://forms.gle/CHYFiV21HU7jbbqu8
Once you have registered please call 0121 525 3909 to inform the office so you can be sent all the information you need.
To join the Men’s Wellbeing group which will feature weekly workshops please email: Rohim@yca-sandwell.org.uk or call 0121 525 3909.
Our commitment to the community:
- We will monitor all calls and will be open to take calls for support, advice and guidance Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. If support beyond these hours is required, we will arrange appointments.
- The wellbeing and mental health of our community is vital to us. We will offer or refer members for counselling where required
- We will continue to run all programmes and adapt to ensure our community continues to benefit from our services and assistance
- If access to technology is required to support the participation in online learning, we will work with you to access this support.
- Our weekly reminders on Friday serve to offer the community positive reminders from a place of faith and community
Please see the full timetable below:
We have now re-opened the YCA Cultural Centre for the daily congregational prayers.
Please visit www.yca-sandwell.org.uk/cultural-centre for more information.
As the masjid is closed, we will have a reminder/talk on Eid day at 10am (Friday 31st July) on Zoom:
There will be no Friday reminder talk at 1pm on the day & it will resume as normal next week inshaAllah.
We ask Allah (SWT) to protect everyone & to lift the harm of the Coronavirus from humanity. Aameen.
Jazakum Allah Khair.