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Updated 30th March 2020

Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Support During Coronavirus

This resource is available to support Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health for you, your staff and your families.
Useful sections for parents include:
- Advice and guidance on self-isolation
- Emotional wellbeing whilst in self-isolation
- Parent/adult resources
- Child/young people resources (including apps, activities and guidance)
- Helplines
- Crisis management


Letter from Clare Kershaw 24th March 2020


Tuesday 24th March 2020

Dear Parent / Carer,

This letter follows the Government action taken yesterday (23rd March 2020) to restrict all non-essential travel of action and the decision taken on the 20th March 2020 to close all early yearssettings, schools and colleges. Both decisions have been taken as part of the Governments response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. This is a direct intervention to reduce the spread of the disease and to prevent unnecessary deaths. The Government has directed early years settings, schools and colleges to remain open to provide support to vulnerable children and their families and for people identified as critical to managing the outbreak of the virus.

I need to make it clear that school closures are critical to reduce the spread of the virus to a level the NHS can cope with. This is essential to save lives. If a substantial number of children continue to attend school this will unravel this initiative and make this pandemic likely. The Government have also stated that all non-essential travel must be stopped.

Children of Critical Workers

Schools are remaining open only to the children of workers critical to the ongoing management of Covid-19, that are unable to safely stay at home.

We need to ensure that the number of children and young people accessing the offer of provision in a setting, school or college is kept to the lowest number possible. Therefore, even if you have been deemed a critical worker, if your children can remain at home rather than attend school, on some or all days, then they should. Please only use the offer of provision when it is crucial for you to undertake your critical role.

The list of critical workers can be found here:

If the school, setting or college feels that your role does not fit the critical worker criteria, you may be asked to verify this or to keep your children at home. If you have a partner who is not a critical worker, you may be questioned as to why they are not able to stay at home as per the Government’s guidance.

Schools, settings and colleges are open to provide care to enable critical workers to respond to the crucial role you will play in the response to the COVID-19 emergency, but you must also support your school, setting and college and only use this offer of support if you have no alternatives for childcare for your child(ren). Clearly the more children and young people that attend an education setting the wider the risk of spreading the virus grows.

Children with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) or a Social Worker.

If your child has an EHCP and/or an allocated Social Worker and it is not possible to safely keep them at home, they may attend school, college or early years setting. Please only use the offer of provision when it is absolutely necessary and let your education provider know what you decide.

If you do decide to keep your child/ren at home and you need additional support, please contact your school and they will work with the local authority to support you.

Government Advice re Leaving Children Unattended

There is no law about when you can leave your child on their own but it is an offence to leave them alone if it places them at risk. As parents, you should use your judgement on how mature your child is before you decide to leave them at home.

If you are at all unsure, the NSPCC recommends that children under 12 are rarely mature enough to be left alone for a long period of time, children under 16 shouldn’t be left alone overnight and babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone.

It is important to note that schools, settings and colleges will not be able to provide an education offer to your child(ren) but will be able to provide facilities to enable you to go to work and/or keep vulnerable children safe. All normal and usual education activity has been suspended during this emergency period.

Schools continue to work closely with the Local Authority and the Headteacher Associations in order to offer a consistent and safe response to the current crisis. The health and safety of your children and your family is everyone’s first priority.

Thank you for your co-operation at this time.

Kind Regards,

Clare Kershaw Director of Education Sent on behalf of: Essex County Council The Association of Secondary Headteachers in Essex Essex Primary Headteachers’ Association Essex Special Schools Education Trust

Links to the government's information about school closures - 20/03/2020

Latest Information updated 3pm 17th March 2020

New guidance for households with symptoms

Yesterday, the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

·         if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started

·         if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community

·         for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

The symptoms are:

·         A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)

·         A new, continuous cough

The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here:


Educating pupils at home – Resources for Families

The below links are sites that have been set up with links to resources ideas, solutions, plans and support.


The sites can be quite overwhelming, so think carefully about what you are looking for to make it easier to search. You should be cautious about trying something wholly new.

 Resources for pupils

  1. Learning by Questions offers 60,000 questions, allowing pupils to deepen their knowledge, freeing up what limited time teachers have…
  2. Me Power provides more than 100 practical tactics and tips to improve examination performance.
  3. KAZ-Type is a typing software that is differentiated in order to be accessible to both mainstream students and those with special educational needs.
  4. has GCSE quizzes that relate to different specifications and are set up and ready to go.
  5. allows teachers to create simple quizzes that students can take quickly.
  6. can be used to create keyword flashcards online and give out to students.
  7. Another great app for creating timed quizzes is for added competition for keywords or ideas.
  8. is a useful app for all languages and uses videos to help learners.
  9. Tableau Public is a great platform to connect to a spreadsheet and create interactive visuals.
  10. Looking for visual thinking? Try, to help students better understand, remember and generate new ideas.
  11. can provide short bursts of revision for many GCSE topics and tracks progress too. It even allows the pupils to access past papers and mark schemes.
  12. allows pupils or teachers to create mind maps and flashcards using key terms.
  13. app uses a dictionary with a focus on key terms and a content-rich curriculum.
  14. Introduce creativity into your English classes – try Young Writers.
  15. Exam season can be stressful for pupils and mindfulness can be a way to combat this and improve grades overall.  helps pupils focus and relax can be a useful tool for achieving top grades.
  16. Poll Everywhere is a vital tool to gain feedback; ideal for voting and gathering data online.
  17. Brainpop has a great set of videos, freely available for pupils.
  18. Choose a video, give it your magic touch and track your students’ comprehension. Try Edupuzzle.
  19. Make beautiful boards, documents, and webpages that are easy to read and fun to contribute to. Try Padlet.
  20. Seneca Learning offers many online courses for pupils.
  21. There are loads of online resources pupils and parents can use. Safer Internet Day is all-year-round in my opinion.
  22. Young Money supports teachers to develop and deliver high-quality financial education…
  23. Super Movers is an initiative from the BBC and Premier League and is designed to help primary school teachers inspire children to become more active throughout their school day.
  24. Unio creates lesson plans, content and provides feedback and evaluation tools.
  25. Finally, it’s been around for a while and just as good, BBC Bitesize resources and videos.



A non-exhaustive list that might help those affected by school closures due to coronavirus, compiled by home educators.


  • Khan AcademyEspecially good for maths and computing for all ages but other subjects at Secondary level. Note this uses the U.S. grade system but it's mostly common material.
  • BBC LearningThis site is old and no longer updated and yet there's so much still available, from language learning to BBC Bitesize for revision. No TV licence required except for content on BBC iPlayer.
  • FuturelearnFree to access 100s of courses, only pay to upgrade if you need a certificate in your name (own account from age 14+ but younger learners can use a parent account).
  • SenecaFor those revising at GCSE or A level. Tons of free re