Advice for our members who are working in educational settings.
Update 26th March at 6pm
Initial Teacher Education
As a result of school closures, Trainee teachers are unlikely to have completed the necessary number of school based hours to qualify for QTS. Whilst different the UK Government has issued a statement to initial teacher education partnerhsips advising that the result, the DfE will enable providers to make judgements on trainees “based on assessments already completed and each trainee’s current trajectory of progress towards meeting the teachers’ standards”.
Key points in the statement are:
- ITE requirements in respect of time spent in school and number and location of placements are suspended.
- ITE programmes can continue through on-line learning , the setting of assignments to be completed at home and in other ways that providers think appropriate.
- Where at the end of the programme students are judged by the provider to be on a trajectory towards meeting the teacher standards they can, on normal timescales, be recommended for the award of QTS.
- Arrangments for students who could clearly not be judged to be on a trajectory towards QTS at the end of their programmes will be announced in due course, along with details of any financial provision.
- Additional support for next year’s NQTs who are awarded QTS will also be announced in due course.
- ITE providers can continue to recruit students for 2020/21, using Skype or other on- line mechanisms for the conducting of interviews, and the checking of documents.
- Normal timescales for Rejection by Default and Declined by Default have been suspended
- Detailed Q&A from DfE will follow, as will updated ITE criteria
NSEAD will be working to support our student and NQT members with a programme of activity and resources will be developed over the coming weeks and months
Impact on self employed and freelance earnings
Many of our members providing contracted services to educational settings have been hit particularly hard by the closure of schools and other settings. The Chancellor has announced measures to support those who depend on self employed and freelance income.
Self employed workers will be able to apply for a taxable grant of up to £2500 a month, however it will not begin to arrive until June at the earliest. The grant will be for 80% of average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2500. Where freelance and self employed earnings do not go back that far, mechanisms to calculate average earnings are still being investigated, they are not covered under this scheme.
There are remaining concerns for these workers and how they will manage until grants become available, with eligibility for universal credit not applicable to all. Specifically, those who have a part-time PAYE contract are not eligible for lost income from their self-employed work. Also those who have savings over £16,000 that may be set aside to cover tax bills and business liabilities cannot apply.
The Cultural Learning Alliance have been speaking on this issue and say:
“Freelancers are absolutely essential to the cultural sector’s ability to offer cultural learning opportunities to all children and young people. Most of our major institutions use these individuals for the majority of their delivery, and the skills, expertise and relationships with young people are often based within this workforce.
Contracts with schools and with arts organisations have been cancelled for the immediate future and well into the autumn. Most have no work now on their books.
Some arts organisations are honouring current contracts and paying for work due to be done in March. Schools much less so.”
Although some schools are still open, it is not really possible for freelancers to continue working with them.
Postponement of work is, in effect, lost income as it leaves an immediate cashflow problem, and will take the place of future paidwork”
NSEAD applauds the work of school teachers and managers to mobilise online learning resources and programmes to provide a planned curriculum timetable for those learning at home. We are concerned however that there are pupils who will not be able to access remote learning provision from their homes.
We urge school leaders to consider the extent that those learners will be supported and not left behind because of inequalities of access. NSEAD are working to share resources that can be shared with learners who do not have access to online learning and have minimal equipment, materials and space at home.
Update Wednesday 25th March
Impact on examinations
NSEAD wrote to both Ofqual and SQA last week, asking for clarfication and confirmation at the earliest possible stage of arrangments for assessment, moderation and awarding of grades for students taking qualifications in Art and Design. We await further communication with detail about their decsions. We have made it clear that Art and Design has particular needs unique to the subject and that any decisions should be made with input from those with appropriate specialist knowledge.
The SQA have moved from their position last week that coursework be submitted for external assessment, observing deadlines as originally set. Yesterday, they announced that they have reversed this decision that for this year, schools and colleges are not required to submit learner coursework for marking, in Higher and Advanced Higher courses. Where learners may have already completed their coursework for Higher and Advanced Higher courses. This work can still be used as part of the suite of evidence for teachers and lecturers to draw on as they consider estimated grades. SQA have said that they will provide further details on the estimation of grades, needed from teachers and lecturers to inform certification, and fuller details of our approach to certification, as soon as possible.
Ofqual have made no further announcement since Monday 20th March.
We have written again today to express our concern that the continued lack of information is causing high levels of stress and anxiety amongst teachers of Art and Design. We have reports of teachers being asked by their management teams to collect work from students, others to run exam and coursework sessions in school putting themselves and their students at risk. This is not acceptable, and we look forward to receiving clear guidance for teachers as soon as possible.
Vulnerable groups and SEND children
The DFE has made a number of announcements about arrangements to support vulnerable children. This letter from Vicky Ford MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families sets out the guidance and measures that are being taken to support the needs of SEND children and young people and their families and carers, and safeguarding these vulnerable groups. Click
We are concerned at the growing stress and anxiety that we are seeing amongst our members and the wider education community as they rise to the challenge of maintaining education in a transformed landscape. Teachers are being asked to adapt to a whole new model of remote learning, responding and learning at a rapid pace. They are creating and sourcing resources, setting up remote work spaces and routines where very little is already in place. Some schools are setting unrealistic expectations and making unreasonable demands of their staff to deliver an equivalent level and standard of provision, remotely.
NSEAD repeats our advice that it is the responsiblity of employers to ensure that staff have the necessary resources and support to be able to work remotely. They are responsible for the health, safety and safeguarding or those employees who are now working from home. We implore all schools to prioritise the health and well being of their staff as they rise to the challenge of continuing to educate their students in these expceptional circumstances.