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Kingsbridge Partnership Update - COVID 3.0

7 January 2021 (by admin)

As we enter the first week of another unprecedented term, we hope that the following may be of some help in your planning.

Kingsbridge Partnership Update


5th January 2021

Dear Colleagues

Welcome back to a new term and a new year. I know that many of us were hoping that thing might settle back to normal in 2021; by now you will all be aware that England has entered a further national lockdown.

Despite all of this, we very much hope that our colleagues have managed to take some much-needed downtime over the past couple of weeks.

As we enter the first week of another unprecedented  term, we hope that the following may be of some help in your planning.

Key Worker Status

We remind our partners that trainee teachers (both salaried and tuition fee) have been designated as critical workers. This means that their children are able to attend school, where provision is being made for the children of critical workers, and that they are entitled to (and should follow) any established protocols for staff testing and attendance in their placement schools.

Core Training Arrangements

Given the severity of restrictions in the majority of areas and the understandable concerns from many Headteachers about ensuring safe environments in their schools, we will continue to offer core training via online and distance learning to minimise contact outside of school communities and reduce exposure for trainees and centre-based staff. Training days will continue to be Thursday and as such, these days should remain designated on Associate Teacher Timetables for training and development.

Return to Placements

Throughout the National Lockdown, trainee teachers are considered on programme and their experiences throughout this term are still considered assessed placements. As such, please continue to work together as trainees, mentors and schools to continue with your teaching practice in line with your school’s processes and procedures for this time. It is important that trainees still maintain regular contact with their mentors and teams and, where possible, we actively encourage trainees to engage in any teaching rota or real life teaching experiences possible. Real life teaching and chances to be in school ensures that ATs still have access to a bank of skilled professionals from whom to draw on advice and gives a network, albeit socially distanced, for trainees teachers to develop and learn from. In addition, we encourage mentor meetings to go ahead virtually to maintain contact and support.

Observations and Assessments

It would be great if, in the first instance, mentors work to support and monitor the quality of teaching and planning by Associate Teachers. Kingsbridge are awaiting guidance from the National Association of School Based Teacher Trainers and from the DFE to clarify how this National Lockdown will affect Teacher Training Assessments and as soon as we have more clarification to provide, we will do so.

Ongoing Absence

Where trainees are unable to attend school placements due to self-isolation, school closures, shielding, etc., they should continue to be offered opportunities to support placement schools with online teaching opportunities, pupil support, resource preparation, marking, assessment, moderation, etc. They will also be offered distance learning and online development opportunities in line with your central training plans and, unless they unwell, should continue to attend to be considered ‘on programme’ and attending. We continue to work with NASBTT and the DfE on contingency arrangements for assessments should the next few months prove to be continually interrupted.

Union Advice

We are aware that some trainees are being advised by their unions not to attend school placements. Trainees enjoy the same rights as all staff to follow their union advice if they wish to do so. Where they choose not to attend a placement, online and distance teaching and learning opportunities should be offered (see guidance for ongoing absence above). It will remain the responsibility of Kingsbridge to fairly and equally assess all trainees for the award of QTS at the end of the programme, in line with any assessment advice that may be published at that time.

Headteacher Board Meeting – 19th January 2021

As the papers for the next Headteacher Board meeting have been uploaded to GovernorHub. We will write separately and in due course with details of a revised date and time for this meeting to take place as understandably partners have many pressing matters to oversee.  

We thank you for your patience and support during this difficult time and will continue to be in touch regularly with guidance as it is updated.

We know we need a strong workforce of teachers – now more than ever. We appreciate the part you are playing in maintaining that work force to ensure that our children continue to receive a strong education.

If Kingsbridge can offer you any further support or assistance please do not hesitate to contact us by telephone or email.

With our very best wishes,


The Kingsbridge Team