Coronavirus

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Coronavirus advice for parents and families

Coronavirus may feel daunting, especially for families and children. Everyone is having to spend more time at home to help slow the spread of the virus.

Keeping up with school and working from home, exercising, limiting screen time, keeping occupied and motivated are all big challenges.

We’ve all worked hard to make our schools as safe as possible but we need our parents to play their part too. Parents and carers are encouraged to visit www.gov.uk/backtoschool for useful information and practical guidance to help them prepare for their children’s safe return to school.

Together we can play our part, and protect Dudley borough.

Read more in our returning to school section below.

Learning and parenting

Returning to school

Pupils aged between four and 18 will return to schools and colleges across the borough, with many children having been off school since March, due to the pandemic.

From week commencing August 31st it will be mandatory for school age children across England to be back in education and the local authority is working with educational settings to reassure parents and carers that it is safe to return.

Schools looking forward to welcoming back pupils.

We've pulled together a list of common questions asked by parents and carers about their child/ren returning to school in Dudley borough in the document below.

Follow your school's guidance

Each school will have it’s own guidance for parents, carers and children to follow for safely returning to school. Please check your school's website to make sure you’re up to date with your school’s latest advice and guidance, and importantly make sure you are social distancing when dropping off and picking up children from school.

Symptoms & testing

Do not send children to school if they or any member of your household is displaying symptoms - a fever or new continuous cough or a change in or loss of taste and smell – stay at home and book a test for the symptomatic person.

Only people who have one or more of the three COVID symptoms should book a test. Please persevere in accessing the national website www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119 for an appointment at a local test centre or a home test. Guidance on isolating should be followed until a test is taken and a result is received.

If your child is currently symptomatic or has had symptoms and is unable to get a test they must complete the ten-day isolation period and must not return to school. Everyone else in the household should isolate for 14-days.

Returning from foreign travel

If you have been on holiday abroad you may be required to self isolate for 14 days depending on where you’ve visited, please do not send children back to school until the 14 day period is over.

Reminder for young people

We know that children and young people will be excited to see their friends and will want to spend time with them outside of school.

But remember, we all still have a part to play and it's essential that we keep a safe distance, wash hands regularly and wear a face covering where appropriate. Together we can make a difference.

More information

Our five family centres can signpost you to advice and support.

The Family Information Service has information about childcare provision.

View the latest back to school e-bulletin.

View the recent webinar held by Dudley's Education Psychology and Parenting Service on Emotionally Supporting Children to Return to School in Dudley

To keep up-to-date with the latest schools information, sign up for our e-bulletin.

Translations of parent/carer information leaflet

Travelling to school safely

Get ready to travel back to school

We have been working closely with Transport for West Midlands to ensure that we can provide you with as much information as possible as your children head back to school in September.

We know that travelling back to school will be different. All buses, trains and trams will be out on the West Midlands network, ensuring that our students can get to and from school. However, capacity on board public transport will be reduced to support social distancing measures. This means there may be more of a wait during busy times so the advice is to plan ahead and leave more time for your journey.

Please note that face coverings are required on all public transport, including on dedicated school transport, for anyone over 11 years old, except those exempt with a medical or health condition.

Transport for West Midlands, who manage the West Midlands Network, have created a dedicated website that has the latest information on bus, train and tram services, helping you plan your journey back to school or college this September – wmnetwork.co.uk/schooltravel

Try something different this September

Cycling and walking are great ways to stay active and to complete shorter journeys, such as the journey to school (or college). Cycling and walking can also help cut delays around the school.

There are a number of cycling and walking schemes in place or being put in place across the region. You can check to see if there are any on your route to school here wmnetwork.co.uk/campaigns/roll-stroll/

If you plan to drive, consider parking or dropping off a few streets away from the school gates and walking the remaining short distance. This will limit congestion and keeps the roads safer around the school, reducing the chance of collisions or injuries.

Educational Psychology Community Support Line

This service has been opened up to parents as well as schools during the pandemic and offers support on
• Behaviour
• Learning
• Worries and anxiety
• Motivation
Call 01384 814381 or email epsupport@dudley.gov.uk Mon – Friday 9am – 5pm

Also you can view the recent webinar held by Dudley's Education Psychology and Parenting Service on Emotionally Supporting Children to Return to School in Dudley

Parenting advice

Parenting Service

The Parenting Team is offering virtual support to families in the Dudley borough during this crisis. Find out more information. 

Family Centres

Our five family centres can also offer advice and support on all things family

View the recent webinar held by Dudley's Education Psychology and Parenting Service on Emotionally Supporting Children to Return to School in Dudley

30 hours childcare update

The government has introduced some temporary measures that may affect you if you’re applying for, or already accessing tax-free childcare or 30 hours free childcare. More information on extra time for threes and fours 

Learning at home resources

We have put together a learning resources web page which includes information on online and offline learning, useful websites, arts crafts and discovery activities, that you can do with your child at home.


The government has issued a list of online resources for home education 
and also guidance on supporting your children’s education during coronavirus 

Closures (and reopening) of schools, childcare and other educational settings


Government guidance: What parents and carers need to know about schools and other education settings during the coronavirus outbreak which includes information on the reopening of schools for some school children.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Learning Support Service

Do you have a child with special educational needs?

Dudley’s Learning Support Service can offer advice and support to parents during the Coronavirus pandemic.

We can offer parents and carers valuable information and advice on what could work best for your child whilst learning at home.


Our expertise can help you identify the right apps, games & support to help your child reach their potential

Learning Support Service - support line

Dudley's SEND Local offer

The local offer supports children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities to live independent and fulfilling lives. Visit their webpages

 

Family Fund

The Family Fund can provide support with on line learning and other support.

Adult Community Learning online

Fancy learning a new skill whilst at home?

Dudley’s Adult Community Learning Service is offering many classes through online learning. Please contact Glen on 01384 816471 for more information or to enrol on a course.

We are also offering an employability support package for residents and
businesses and one -to-one support for those seeking employment or volunteering.

Awarding of GCSE, AS and A level

Ofqual has published guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers following the decision to issue results using centre assessment grades or calculated results where higher.

The guidance aims to provide teachers, students, parents and carers with answers to some immediate questions about how grades are now being awarded in summer 2020.

Staying happy and things to do

Parents and families are having to live work and play together more than ever before. Our sense of well-being is being tested during this pandemic. In this section we have listed information and services where you can get support on things to do and how you can stay informed.

Lets-get resources

With everyone forced to increase the amount of time they stay at home while the coronavirus takes it course, the public health team has uploaded pages on its Let Get website to support and nourish the bodies and minds of children, young people and their carers.


Pages for parents of primary school-aged children, 11 – 16 year-olds and 16 – 19-year olds have been set up at www.lets-get.com in the ‘starting well’ section.

Readers can then select the right age section.
Under the banner of ‘information and ideas to support children while staying home’ age appropriate topics include:

  • Childcare for key workers
  • Things to do while home
  • Talking to children/young people about coronavirus
  • Staying healthy (physically and mentally)
  • Staying safe
  • Bereavement
  • Places to find support

#stayalert and Dudley Council E-Bulletin

It’s not always been easy to keep our spirits up over the past couple of months but we’ve been encouraging people to keep busy and share how they’re passing the time with us by posting on our social media channels.

  • Twitter:@Dudleymbc
  • Facebook Dudley Borough

We’ve seen trampolining, paddling pool fun and lots of arts and craft activities.

Subscribers to our ebulletin have also been signposted to a whole host of home based entertainment for families.



Discover Dudley on-line

Dudley’s tourist attractions may offering limited opening times but there’s a wealth of information on their websites. Learn a new skill, delve into the borough’s history or if you need something to keep the kids entertained and educated, here’s a few ideas

  • Dudley Council: find out about the Dudley Collection & heritage, local fossils, glass & geology, and the Castle Dig finds
  • Black Country Museum: learn about the area’s history and explore its 80,000 item collection
  • Canal & River Trust: take virtual trips along our canals, enjoy photographs and take part in quizzes
  • Dudley Canal & River Boat Trust: find out about canal geology, local history and micro ecology
  • Dudley Zoo & Castle: download animal and castle themed activities and enjoy a wordsearch
  • Lace Guild: learn how to make simple lace creations
  • Black Country Geopark: find out about the Black Country’s geology and our bid as an aspiring global geopark

Visit our Discover Dudley website for more details.

Dudley's Cultural and Educational Partnership (DCEP)

The DCEP website has online activities and information on a number of projects including the Dudley Fountain, Market Place in Dudley.

Dudley's Museums

You can also visit the Dudley Museum website where you will find activities for the family to take part in.

Discover libraries on-line

As of Monday 6th July, library and archive services in Dudley will begin to reopen in a phased manner.

You can still access a world of books, music and other resources from the comfort of your own home.

Library members can access the online catalogue of e-books, renew their books, access magazines and journals as well as listen to all of the latest music.

More information is available on our Libraries' pages.

 

Things going on in your community and Family Information Service

Things going on in your community
Dudley Council’s Community Information Directory is an online resource that provides information about local groups, support services, activities, and health and care services for individuals and families. Explore your Dudley today, visit:  Dudley Council’s Community Information Directory

Dudley's Family Information Service  has also compiled a list of resources, which are worth checking out. It includes ideas to keep children fit and active!

Ever thought about fostering?

Having a lot of time at home recently has meant many people are natuarally taking stock of their lives and careers, many have been furloughed, some have lost their jobs, others are thinking about changing their career completely.

Despite these unprecedented times we still need new foster carers. We know that fostering isn’t easy but the difference you can make to a child’s life is profound.

The Fostering Service is encouraging people to take the first steps in to fostering and transforming a child’s life by finding out more on their website.
Find out more by visiting our Fostering website

Sycamore Adventure

Play leaders at Sycamore Adventure are offering exciting ideas, including games and fun play, on how to keep children busy during the coronavirus lockdown.


Content is being shared on the centre’s Facebook page @adventureplay as part of the #DudleyStaysHome campaign, which encourages people across the borough to share ideas and activities on social media.

Dudley Performing Arts

Dudley Performing Arts (DPA) is supporting more than 500 youngsters aged six to 18 to continue with their weekly music sessions through a virtual portal as #DudleyStaysHome due to the coronavirus crisis.

Schools across the borough are working with DPA to keep children and young people engaged with music throughout the crisis. Options include one to one lessons for existing students and a range of purpose made videos that anyone can access.

At present, the online lessons are only for existing pupils, but anyone can view and use free videos on the group’s YouTube channel ‘Dudley Performing Arts’, which has received more than 9,000 views this month.

People can find out more about DPA at @arts_dudley on Twitter, @dudleyperfomingarts on Facebook or at their website

Further support