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ESFA Update academies: 2 February 2022

1. Action: coronavirus (COVID-19) mass testing exceptional premises costs claim form now open

Schools and academics with secondary age pupils, along with colleges and other eligible establishments, can now submit claims for exceptional premises costs incurred during the mass testing of students and students on their return in January 2022.

The claim submission guidance is available on GOV.UK and the window to claim closes on Sunday 20 February 2022.

2. Action: Get Help with Technology: internet access and device claim form now open

The Get Help with Technology: internet access and device claim form is now live. The deadline to submit your claim is Sunday, 27 February 2022 at 11:59pm.

We have published guidance to help you complete the form.

You can read more on GOV.UK.

Join the next Power Hour on 17 February from 3pm to 4pm.

Find out about ESFA’s approval and declaration requirements for related party transactions.

The session will include:

  • what is a related party transaction (RPT)?
  • the declaration and approval requirement for RPTs
  • seeking approval for RPTs
  • Academy Trust Handbook requirements in agreeing RPTs
  • preparing to complete the online form
  • findings, themes, support and advice

There will be an opportunity to ask questions during the event. Register now to guarantee your place.

4. Action: gender pay gap reporting 2022

The statutory deadline for publishing gender pay gap data is approaching.

Schools, academy trusts and further education colleges with 250 or more employees should publish their figures by no later than Wednesday 30 March 2022.

If you have 250 or more employees, you need to:

If you previously reported but are no longer required to, please sign into your account on the gender pay gap service and change your reporting requirement.

5. Action: Sustainability and Climate Change Survey

DfE has launched an anonymous survey to gather feedback on our Sustainability and Climate Change Draft Strategy. We will use the results from this survey alongside feedback from focus groups and working groups to inform the final developments of the strategy before publication in April 2022.

Please read our draft strategy and then take part in our anonymous survey. Responses must be submitted by 23:59 on 20 February.

By submitting your response, you are consenting for us to use your answers as part of our analysis of the public’s opinion on the draft strategy.

We encourage you to share the survey amongst your networks in line with your own data privacy notices, as well as through social media.

6. Information: payments for Care to Learn and 16 to 19 Bursary Fund

We have published data showing aggregate payments made to childcare providers and education institutions, for both Care to Learn and the 16 to 19 Burs Fund for students in defined vulnerable groups. The data will show payments made from 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021.

The Care to Learn scheme helps young parents (aged under 20) to continue in education after the birth of a child. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) provides funding towards childcare and travel costs whilst the young parent is engaged in a study programme. The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to help care leavers, students in care, or in receipt of specific benefits, to remain in education.

Allocation calculation toolkits (ACT) confirming how we have used 2020 to 2021 data to calculate funding elements which will be used in the calculation of 2022 to 2023 16 to 19 revenue funding allocations have been made available for academics on Document Exchange.

If you have any questions after reading our guidance, please contact us using our online enquiry form.

8. Information: join these webinars on approved frameworks and see how you could save money for your school

The Department for Education (DfE) is hosting webinars on how using our approved frameworks could help your school get value for money.

If you are responsible for buying goods and services for your schools check out the range of informative webinars that could help you save time and money.

All sessions are free, use these Eventbrite links to join the Schools Commercial Team and take the opportunity to ask providers the questions you may have about outsourcing/procuring catering services, a self-service platform for buying printed material and ongoing building maintenance.

For the latest on our wide range of webinars, check out the events tab on our Buying for schools LinkedIn page.

9. Information: free checks to protect against cyber-attacks and spoofing

The National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) invites multi-academy trusts (MATs) to register to use 2 free services:

  • Web Check to find and fix common security vulnerabilities within your website

  • Mail Check to assess email security compliance and adopt secure email standards to stop criminals from spoofing email domains

After the testing phase with MATs is complete, we will issue further information when these services become available to all schools.

To access these services, you need to register for an NCSC account.

10. Information: funding for in-school breakfast provision

The National School Breakfast Program is funded by the Department for Education and run by Family Action to support schools in England to provide children with a healthy breakfast. The offer is available to all schools that have 40% or more children in bands AF of the income deprivation affecting children index (IDACI).

The program provides healthy free food delivered to schools until the end of July 2022. Schools are then asked to contribute just 25% towards the supply and delivery of breakfast food from September 2022 until July 2023.

If you have a school that meets the criteria and would benefit from the programme, please complete this expression of interest.

If you would like to find out more about the programme, please contact info@schoolbreakfast.org.uk.

11. Information: exceptional in-year growth for 2021 to 2022

Each year (subject to affordability) we award in-year growth funding to those grant-funded institutions which have recruited significantly more students than we assigned. In recognition of the funding pressures that many institutions are still facing this year because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we will continue to use the same methodology and thresholds for allocating these funds that were introduced for 2020 to 2021. The exception is a slight change to the method for awarding Element 2 funding for specialist post-16 institutions and the centrally funded exceptions.

We have now published the details of the calculation for awarding exceptional in-year growth for 2021 to 2022. We will be informing institutions eligible for growth by mid-February and revised funding allocations will be available through Document Exchange.

12. Information: The Big Assembly National Apprenticeship Week

The Big Assembly is an annual broadcast that provides apprenticeship advice to schools, parents, students and employers. Last year’s broadcast was watched live and on demand by over 60,000 people. The event is organized by Workpays, one of the ASK program delivery contractors.

This year’s event takes place on the Tuesday of National Apprenticeships Week 2022 at 11:10 broadcast live from Pret A Manger HQ in London.

The assembly will feature a panel made up of employers, current apprentices, former apprentices, and a representative from the Disabled Apprentice Network.

To watch the Big Assembly live sign up online.

13. Information: consultation launched on the teacher misconduct system operated by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA)

We have launched a consultation seeking views on our proposals to broaden the scope of the teacher misconduct regime in England.

Please use the Department for Education e-consultation platform Citizen Space to access the consultation. Please use the online survey to provide your feedback.

If you have any questions about this consultation, please email TRegulation.CONSULTATION@education.gov.uk.

The consultation closes at 23:45 on Monday 14 March 2022.

14. Information: publication of the revised ‘Teacher misconduct: the prohibition of teachers’ advice (the Advice), and government response

Following the consultation in autumn 2021, we have carefully considered all responses received and have, where possible, reflecting those responses in the revised version of the Advice, and addressed them in the government response to the consultation, both of which have now been published on GOV.UK.

Teachers are the single most important factor in a child’s education and the overwhelming majority are highly competent and effective, and never engage in any form of misconduct, but it is of paramount importance that children are protected when they are at school and college. The advice and the government response reflect the standards expected of all teachers and set out the robust arrangements in place to safeguard and students.

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