January 2021 Email Update #4

Information email sent 27th January 2021

January 2021 Email Update #4


Includes links to information about coronavirus, remote learning, mental health, younger children, surveys and consultations and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.


This update was emailed to parents on 27th January 2021.

Dear Parents’ Voice Supporter


Hello, how are you? Whether you’re working from home, furloughed or staying safe while looking after your children, we hope you’re looking after yourself and finding something to look forward to each day.


Once again there’s lots of information relating to coronavirus and the national lockdown, especially about homeschooling (avoiding stress and potentially useful resources/activities).


You are welcome to share this email with your friends and family (but maybe they’d like to receive our emails too? Do suggest this to them, it’s easy to sign up here: http://bit.ly/18NZgXZ),


Without further ado, on to the main part of the email ….


1) Parents’ Voice news

2) Coronavirus/Covid-19

3) Remote learning, activities, events and resources

4) Mental Health

5) Younger Children

6) Surveys and consultations

7) Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)




1) Parents’ Voice news


i) Our first Virtual Coffee and Chat of 2021 was small in number but large in chat (yes, we had a very enjoyable time). If there’s a time/day which is good for you and you want to join in, send us an email so we can try to arrange one that fits! We are going to continue holding these online Chat sessions during 2021 and welcome suggestions.

ii) The coronavirus page of our website was updated yesterday (26th January) – you can find it here: https://bit.ly/PVusecv2.  There is also new lockdown-specific information on a separate lockdown page: https://bit.ly/PVl0ckdn.

2) Coronavirus/Covid-19

There have been some updates to guidance and other news around lockdown arrangements.

i) The National Lockdown Guidance was updated again today, 27th January: https://bit.ly/GOVl0csthm.

ii) Guidance on forming a support bubble was updated on 15th January: https://bit.ly/GoVsupbub.

iii) Guidance on forming a childcare bubble was updated on 15th January: https://bit.ly/GOVc0vch

iv) Guidance on shielding and protecting clinically extremely vulnerable people was updated again on 22nd January: https://bit.ly/GOVc19exvln.

v)  Worcestershire County Council’s Rona Hub aims to  provide young people with factual information about coronavirus: https://bit.ly/WCCrona21. It also has a film of  Ellie Dart’s Resilience poem: https://bit.ly/WCCxovp3m.

vi) A quick reminder that some Worcestershire Minor Injury Units are now closed until the end of February while staff are redeployed into Community Hospitals in response to pressures being felt across healthcare. Find out more about the current situation here: https://bit.ly/WHCTmiu.

3) Remote learning, activities, events and resources

See also the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) section.

Several organisations are providing resources and activities for families who are at home. Some are for adults, some are for all ages and some are intended to help families who are learning at home. We’ve been sharing details of these, plus other information (eg: about how to make the most of video conferencing software and manage any stress!) on Twitter using the #ParentTips hashtag. It seems that children will not be able to return to school until 8th March at the earliest, so we hope you’ll find some of the following useful:

i) https://bit.ly/3pbpniI – You might like Worcester’s Tudor House  free Tudor Thursdays online sessions (tomorrow it’s about food & drink).  Find out more & book a place here: https://bit.ly/3pbpniI. (There is an email address which may take late bookings after Eventbrite closes them.)

ii) https://bit.ly/368ieIK – Premiership Rugby Learn with Us lessons are streamed live, every Wednesday & Friday at 10am. Free to watch live or on demand.

iii) https://bit.ly/PZhmscldn –  ParentZone’s article may help with questions about remote learning [link removed, page no longer available]

iv) https://bit.ly/IMz00mcon – Internet Matters’ guide to controls and privacy settings when using Zoom.

v) http://bit.ly/IMt3ams –  Internet Matters’ guide to controls and privacy settings when using Microsoft Teams.

vi) There are places available on a couple of Worcestershire County Council’s Family Learning courses.

Magnificent maths course for parents (of preschool and reception children)  (starts 4th February): http://bit.ly/3ag1eBA.

Nurture course for parents of children with SEND (starts 1st February): http://bit.ly/2KUMgYZ.

vii) Worcestershire Libraries are celebrating National Storytelling Week online with storyteller Sally Tongue on 2nd February –  interactive stories and songs for preschoolers and their parents.

The Lockdown page of our website has a homeschooling section with links to information – do check it out: https://bit.ly/PVl0ckdn.

4) Mental Health

i) Children’s Mental Health Week takes place 1st – 7th February; this year’s theme is “Express Yourself”. Time To Talk Day is also next Thursday (find out more here: http://bit.ly/T2talkday). Watch out for our Mental Health Special Update next week.

ii) Covid-19 is having an impact on family relationships. Family Lives’ advice for families about coping practically and emotionally during the  pandemic has been updated: https://bit.ly/FLcopc0v.

iii) The Mental Health Foundation’s article about parenting during the coronavirus pandemic may also be helpful for family relationships: https://bit.ly/MHFparc0v.

iv) Young Minds has some tips for dealing with the January Blues while in lockdown:  https://bit.ly/2MdDTb9.

Do check out the Mental Health section of our Coronavirus page: https://bit.ly/PVusecv2 and also our Lockdown page: https://bit.ly/PVl0ckdn.

5) Younger Children

See also the Remote learning, activities, events and resources section above.

i) Lockdown has affected many routines which children rely on to feel secure, so they may be more anxious. If you’re seeing more challenging behaviour, try Action For Children’s tips.

ii)  If your child is under 5 years old and you need advice on issues such as feeding, behaviour, or toileting, the Health Visiting Team is still available for you. You can contact the telephone advisory service (TAS) on: 0300 123 9551 Mon – Fri 9am – 3pm. Find out more here: https://bit.ly/SWPhvis20.

iii) The Institute of Health Visiting’s coronavirus page has lots of information for families with young children.

iv) Action For Children also has information about coping with lockdown as a single parent (this may be useful whatever age your child is!).

v) The Mental Health Foundation has information for parents of young children entitled Coping with coronavirus: through babies’ eyes – about the possible effects on both parents and their children.

6) Surveys and consultations

i) The Department for Education announced an extremely short open consultation after our last email went out about how this year’s exams (GCSE, AS and A-Levels etc) should be awarded. Parents and young people can take part and it is due to close at 11.45pm this Friday, 29th January and you can find it here: https://bit.ly/GOVexamqr.

ii) A quick reminder that HealthWatch Worcestershire’s survey for 13 to 19 in about the impact of Covid-19 and lockdown on their emotional wellbeing and mental health closes at the end of this month! Please tell any local teenagers about this survey which can be found here: http://bit.ly/HWWcovsvy.

iii) Worcestershire Children First has a survey to help the development of a new Children and Young People’s Plan. If you are a child, young person, parent, carer, or practitioner living or working in Worcestershire, they want to know what is important to you, or if you have an interest in how Worcestershire works for its Children and Young People. All questions are optional and the information you provide will be kept confidential (they do not ask for your name or contact details). The results will be used by Worcestershire Children First, Worcestershire County Council and relevant partners only for the purposes of developing Worcestershire’s new Children and Young People’s Plan. The survey is open until the end of March.


7) Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)


i) University College London’s Institute of Education has resources to help parents homeschooling their children with SEND, including tips on managing the transition (& structuring the day. 

ii) WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport, has some lockdown wheelchair workouts.

iii) The BBC Bitesize Parents’ Toolkit site has SEND activities, resources and support to help families during lockdown.


That’s all for this update, thank you for reading it!  Stay safe everyone!


You are welcome to share this email (or parts of it) with your friends or groups, but please mention that it came from Parents’ Voice if you do, thanks.


Thank you for all your continued support in 2021, we really do appreciate it 🙂


Sue and the Parents’ Voice Committee


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