Please click here to view all the current COVID-19 guidance and documents for educational settings from Somerset County Council in one place via the SSE website.
*SAVE THE DATE* - SSE Conference - March 23rd 2021
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we unfortunately had to postpone our SSE Conference that was due to take place on the 26th March this year at Dillington House in Ilminster. We are pleased to announce that we have rescheduled and have a new date of Tuesday 23rd March 2021, so please save the date in your diary!
The venue will remain the same and we will be working to ensure that there is a variety of workshops and exhibitors available.
All bookings from this year's postponed conference will automatically be transferred to the new date. Further information will follow shortly.
If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact SSE@somerset.gov.uk
Summer Holiday and Out of School Clubs
Please find attached a letter from Julian Wooster, Director of Children’s Services, regarding holiday activities, provision and childcare during the summer. The letter includes important sources of information for signposting to parents and a request for all holiday providers to update their details on Somerset Choices.
If you are providing any type of holiday activity, provision or childcare during the summer holidays and have any questions please email:
Reading Together Day - 16th July 2020
Families and schools across the country are invited to take part in the celebration of reading together on 16 July as part of the Reading Together Day, coordinated by The Reading Agency.
The day will showcase a shared schedule of events featuring collaborators including Authors Aloud UK, Arts Council England, ASCEL, BookTrust, British Library, CILIP, Coram Beanstalk, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Department for Education, Dollywood Foundation, Libraries Connected, National Literacy Trust, Open University, Pearson, Publishers Association, School Library Association and World Book Day.
As families and individuals grapple with the challenges of school changes, loss of support networks and the implementation of social distancing, the aim of the Reading Together Day is to bring families, friends, schools and wider communities together - starting conversations, sharing stories, making connections, celebrating reading and having fun. People of all ages are invited to take part in sharing the love of reading for pleasure, to help build skills, increase confidence, support educational attainment and improve wellbeing.
All collaborators will participate in a shared schedule of events, delivering a programme of activities to get everyone reading together, with the aim to reach as many families and young people as possible.
For more information, please visit here.
Free School Meals during Summer Holidays
The DfE have agreed to fund £15 a week for food for free school meals for students entitled to free school meals for the summer of 2020. Please visit here for more information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools
Year 11 Leavers- End Date
*On 26th June, it was advised via the SCC daily bulletin that schools should:
- Apply a leaving date for non-FSM year 11 students of 26th June 2020.
- Remove the leaving date for year 11 students in receipt of FSM or those who may be eligible for the COVID-19 Summer Food Fund.
This was to enable SCC to seek clarity on the eligibility of Year 11’s for the above scheme.
The FSM policy team at the DfE have now confirmed that the COVID-19 Summer Food Fund is available to provide support where needed to Y11 and Y13 pupils, who were confirmed as eligible and claiming benefits-related free school meals during the summer term, regardless of whether they remain registered with the school.
Therefore once schools have generated vouchers for these students for the remaining term and summer holiday period they should be given the same leaving date as the other pupils within Year 11 recorded as; 26/06/2020.
If you need any assistance in amending or removing leaving dates please contact the SIMS Support Helpline on 01823 355090.
Alternatives to Edenred
Where eligible families would be unable to access any of the supermarkets available through using Edenred eGift cards, schools can make alternative voucher arrangements with a local supermarket that is not listed above.
Schools can claim for the £90 per pupil costs incurred in supporting benefits-related free school meal pupils through this alternative support during the summer holiday period.
Schools can claim for this through the exceptional costs fund in the autumn, providing schools have ordered their vouchers one week before their school term ends. Further details on when and how schools can claim for this will be confirmed in due course. Read more about claiming for exceptional costs associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).
In rural areas we have been providing food boxes as 10% of our pupils are not served by Edenred Supermarkets (Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose, M&S food, Aldi, McColl’s and Martin’s). As expected families do seem to prefer the option of buying their own food and therefore we have looked at how all Somerset families can access the vouchers. This will mean that the food boxes will stop from the end of the summer term.
Schools can make arrangements for other local supermarkets.
Families who find it difficult to travel to the shops
For those families who are not able to travel, we with have partnered with Somerset Community Foundation Village Agents who will work with families to ensure they can get their food:
The village agents will help families secure on line supermarket delivery slots. This will be helped by DFRA securing additional supermarket delivery slots for rural homes and in West Somerset, the area most challenged by the lack of Eden Red Supermarkets the Opportunity Area has funded pupils laptops which will help the families connectivity. The village agents are coordinating the slots.
For families both unable to travel to the supermarket and are unable to access on line shopping; the village agent will facilitate the family getting their shopping by making a local arrangement with a neighbour or another local volunteer.
If your school would like to work with the village agent please contact: https://somersetagents.org/find-an-agent/