News item

January news round-up

28th January 2021

We’re in week four of the school term and plenty has already happened to keep us all busy. We thought, therefore, we’d bring together a few new or recent updates in this news item to help keep you up to speed.

Coronavirus Resources and Updates

The national testing programme in schools has already had a number of twists and turns. We published staffing FAQs on the website on 14th January and these will continue to be updated as necessary over the coming weeks.

Our national lockdown page and other coronavirus resources will also continue to be reviewed and revised as the situation develops.

This week we also recorded a Covid-19 HR Q&A video to cover some of the questions we’ve been asked so far this term. You may find this worth a watch if you've been in the midst of having to manage Covid-related staffing issues.

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) Consultation

You may be aware that the DfE has commenced consultation on a revised version of KCSiE which is intended to come into force from September. This largely resurrects the changes included in the previous consultation last year, most of which were dropped from the September 2020 version due to the pandemic.

You can download our detailed briefing note on the changes, focussed on the HR implications.

We will, of course, keep you updated on the outcome of the consultation in due course.

Right to Work Checks from 1st January 2021

The end of the Brexit transition period means that EEA and Swiss citizens who were not resident in the UK on or by 31st December 2020 must now have a visa to take up employment in the UK (this does not affect Irish citizens). A new points-based immigration system is also in place.

Right to work checks are, however, currently unchanged and EEA/Swiss nationals can continue to use their passports and national identity cards as evidence of right to work. The checks will, however, change from 1st July 2021 and more information will be published closer to the time. Our right to work guidance page has been updated to reflect the end of the Brexit transition period but, as noted above, there is no immediate impact on the checks which employers must undertake.

If you are recruiting any EEA/Swiss nationals who were not already resident by the end of last year, remember they will now need a visa which will usually mean you must hold a sponsor licence (or, for some maintained schools, you may be able to sponsor workers via your LA).

Webinars

If you missed our free webinar, Supporting Staff Wellbeing During Covid-19, on 21st January, it is running for a second time on 9th February. You can find out more and get the link to book on this term’s webinars page.

On the same page you can also find the dates of this term’s HR briefings, aimed at those with an HR responsibility in schools, which are starting next week. A shorter, pre-recorded version of the termly briefing will also be made available on the website during February for anyone who wants to catch up at a later date (we’ll circulate the link when it’s available).