Liverpool City Region COVID-19 Updates - 2020-07-20

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Liverpool City Region COVID-19 Updates
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This page last updated on 20 July 2020

Every pupil in North West to see another rise in funding in 2021

SCHOOLS across the North West are set to receive ₤5.3 billion in 2021, which is a ₤221 million increase from 2019, in the next step to level up funding across the country. Funding figures released, on Monday, 20 July 2020, show how every pupil is to benefit from the 2nd year of the Government's School funding settlement worth a total of ₤14.4 billion nationwide over 3 years; the biggest increase in a decade. The investment will continue to deliver on the Prime Minister's pledge to level up education funding and give all young people the same opportunities to succeed, regardless of where they grow up or go to School. Funding is being allocated through the transformative national School funding formula, which ensures Schools from the largest City Secondary's to the smallest Community Primaries are allocated funding more fairly to meet their pupils' needs. This has replaced the unfair and outdated previous system, where Schools with similar characteristics received very different levels of funding with little or no justification. New data that has been published shows that ⅔ of Local Authorities have now moved towards allocating their funding for Schools based on the national funding formula, meaning that funding for Schools is fairer. Schools are also set to receive significant investment from the Government's ₤1 billion Covid catch up package next academic year, with guidance and funding for Schools published on Monday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:-
"Every child deserves a superb education; regardless of which School they attend, or where they happened to grow up. That is why we are providing additional funding now and for the future for every School' with those historically underfunded receiving the greatest increase. I want to again thank Teachers, Childcare Workers and Support Staff for the brilliant work they have done throughout the pandemic, and for the preparations underway to welcome back all children from September 2020. Our ₤1 billion Covid catch up package, on top of these increases in per pupil funding, will help head teachers support those who have fallen behind while out of School, and deliver a superb education for all children across the country."

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:-
"This year has been incredibly challenging for Schools, Teachers, and students due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with everyone working in education going to incredible lengths to support children and ensure they can get back to the classroom. Not only are we confirming another year of increased and better targeted funding for our Schools, but with our transformative national funding formula we are making sure the money is distributed fairly across the country so all Schools can drive up standards. With of Local Authorities now having moved towards the national funding formula, it is time for the remainder to follow suit and ensure fairness for every child. Our ₤1 billion Covid catch up fund comes on top of this ₤14.4 billion 3 year School funding boost, meaning that this Government is leaving no stone unturned in levelling up opportunities for every young person up and down the country. Each Secondary School will attract a minimum of ₤5,150 per pupil and each Primary a minimum of ₤4,000 per pupil under the national funding formula from 2021, up from the ₤5,000 and ₤3,750 which Schools are receiving this year in the 1st year of the funding settlement. Extra funding for small and remote Schools will increase by over 60%, reflecting the financial challenges that these Schools can face, and the unique role they play in local communities. Pupils and families in rural areas from Cumbria to Norfolk will benefit from support for their local Schools to remain financially secure. An additional protection built into the funding formula means every pupil, regardless of the amount of funding they currently receive, will attract a year on year increase of at least 2%. Funding to cover increases to teacher pay and pensions worth ₤2 billion will also be included from 2021 rather than paid separately, reassuring Schools that the funding will continue to be provided in their core budgets. Whilst the number of Councils moving closer to the national funding formula is significant progress, there is still more to do, and we will soon put forward plans to deliver funding to Schools directly through the national funding formula so that all Schools receive the funding they deserve. We have also confirmed that allocations from the ₤650 million catch up premium, 1 part of the overall ₤1 billion Covid catch up package, will be based on the number of pupils and paid once a term over the 2020/21 academic year. A 1,000 pupil Secondary School will receive ₤80,000 and a 200 pupil Primary School will receive ₤16,000 to tackle the impact of lost teaching time on pupils as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Head Teachers can decide how best to use their Schools' premium allocation to tackle the impact of lost teaching time on their pupils, but are encouraged to spend it on evidence driven approaches including small group or 1 to 1 tuition, support over the summer, or additional support for great teaching. Disadvantaged pupils in Schools and colleges will also benefit from the second part of the catch up fund, a ₤350m tutoring fund. From the 2nd ½ of the 2020/21 autumn term, the National Tutoring Programme will provide support to disadvantaged pupils aged 5 to 16 in 2 ways:- Schools in all Regions will be able to access heavily subsidised tuition from organisations on a list of approved partners, while some of the most disadvantaged Schools will be supported to employ in house academic mentors to provide intensive support to pupils. Teach 1st has joined a coalition of charities with investment from the National Tutoring Programme and today begins recruitment of the 1st cohort of academic mentors. These recruits will work in Schools serving  disadvantaged communities to support pupils through 1 to 1 and small group tuition next academic year. As part of the tutoring fund, we will also provide a 1 off, ring fenced grant of up to ₤96M for colleges, 6th Forms and all 16 to 19 providers, to provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged 16 to 19 students whose studies have been disrupted."

Russell Hobby, Chief Executive of Teach First said:-
"We're honoured to join the National Tutoring Programme and kick off recruitment of the 1st wave of academic mentors. Their salaries will be funded for Schools and evidence shows that by working under the direction of experienced teachers they can be precisely deployed to support the children who need them most."

Professor Becky Francis, CEO of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), said:-
"The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vital role of Schools at the heart of communities, a role which will only continue as the sector works to mitigate against the impact of School closures in the next School year and beyond. School leaders will need to make difficult decisions about what to prioritise in the coming months, so it is right to recognise the tremendous strain the pandemic has placed on the sector, and on the necessary level of support, through this catch up package. Our short guide aims to provide evidence and signposts to additional resources that Schools can use to support those decisions."

Leora Cruddas, CEO of the Confederation of School Trusts, said:-
"We are pleased that there will be a rise in per pupil funding in England in 2021. It is very important that there is also an increase in funding for special education needs where the sector has felt significant cost pressures. It is important that education funding is not left behind during the response to the global pandemic."

LGA responds to data sharing announcement

RESPONDING to the Health and Social Care Secretary's announcement that enhanced level data will be provided to Councils' Directors of Public Health, to help with locating and preventing potential future outbreaks, Cllr Paulette Hamilton, Vice Chair of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board, said:- "We are pleased the Government has heard our call for patient identifiable data to be provided on a daily basis, alongside other information. This will help give the level of detail needed for Councils' Directors of Public Health and their teams to track down and isolate future flare ups, to stop them spreading even further. Councils need all the tools at their disposal to help with locating and preventing future local outbreaks of Coronavirus in their communities. They already have extensive experience of using this type of data across a range of local services, including on how to handle this sensitively and carefully. Councils' Public Health teams also remain ready to use their unique expertise, including speaking other languages, and understanding of their communities to try to reach those who cannot be contacted by the test and trace system. They need information on who they should be trying to contact, including people who could not be reached by the system itself. With the right powers, flexibilities, data and long term funding, Councils can help to manage potential outbreaks and prevent the spread of infection."

Local Lockdowns looming in Lancashire, should we be worried?

WITH  2 infection hotspots within Lancashire and the worry that local lockdowns could be imposed if cases continue to rise, this is very worrying for those affected, within Pendle and also within Blackburn with Darwen. The worry for the neighbouring countries of Lancashire is that this could also affect them. Lancashire's borders Cumbria to the North, Greater Manchester and Merseyside to the South, and North and West Yorkshire to the East are all watching the developments very closely.  On the back of hearing that that a Mosque is "facing a Police probe" over 250 people attending a funeral and over the revelations that Contact Tracers had reached only about ½ of Covid-19 contacts in the area, the risk for the issue growing is very high.   Prof Harrison, Public Health Director of Blackburn with Darwen Council, has since warned a local lockdown could be imposed if things were not turned around, adding that:- "We would only use those powers as a very, very last resort. We have had good co-operation, so I would be very reluctant to use the powers." But this situation raises concerns that people are just not taking Covid-19 seriously and also the massive issues at stake in taking on the virus. The biggest issue facing Council's is that Government has not issued any extra support or helping for any the businesses affected by local lockdowns. If Government support is not agreed, should any local lockdown be required, Councils run the risk of crashing local economy's and all that goes with it. We all need to do are part and think sensibly, but the mixed messages, lack of joined up thinking by the Government could result in local lockdowns failing as financial pressures take over.  What are your thoughts about this very worrying issue facing us all now? Please email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com with your thoughts and views.

Benefit Capped Southport Mother wins Hugh Court Case against DWP

LOCAL grassroots charity "Compassion Acts" which is best known for running the town's Foodbank, has been supporting a local family over the last 12 months with a legal challenge against the DWP.

The charity said:- "Following a relationship breakdown, Sharon, a working Mum of 3 children was required to apply for Universal Credit. She worked 16 hours a week at National Living Wage and was paid every 4 weeks. As the Universal Credit system is designed to assess earnings across a calendar month, the DWP were underestimating her actual income each month. This resulted in her falling short of the income threshold to avoid the Benefit Cap and she instantly saw her monthly Universal Credit payment reduced by ₤463 per month. Had she been paid monthly, this reduction would not have been applied. The Southport working Mum cared for her Gran who suffers with Dementia, did initially approach her Employer to request her income be changed to monthly, but due to their payroll system, they were unable to accommodate this request. As Universal Credit had severely reduced her income, Sharon was forced to use the Foodbank to feed herself and her family. Our team were on hand to support her and immediately raised this as an issue and challenged the DWP directly. The team also contacted:- 'Child Poverty Action Group' (CPAG) for support and CPAG agreed with our Welfare Team that Sharon was being discriminated against and sought a Judicial Review through the High Court."

Sharon said:- "Given that I am working exactly the same number of hours and earning the same amount as somebody working 16 hours at national minimum wage who happens to be paid monthly I do not understand why my family's budget should be subject to the cap. It is difficult to explain to somebody not in my situation just how devastating an impact it has had and continues to have."

The Judicial Review took place on the 13 May 2020. The Judge, Mr Justice Garnham said:- "It would not be inconsistent with the overall UC scheme to devise an exception to resolve the problem."

"It is a matter of basic fairness and justice. Sharon was doing the right thing, working part time to support her family. However she was unfairly treated simply because she was paid 4 weekly. I'm sure this wasn't how the policy was intended but its how its been applied. It's a sad reflection on the system that there is a need for Foodbanks and the benefit systems are not sufficiently flexible to meet people's basic needs. We have a good working relationship with Southport Job Centre via our excellent Welfare Advice Team. The judgement is good news for everyone involved. In these extraordinary times, the charity is expecting a surge in Southport and Formby residents, who may be losing jobs, in debt or are unfamiliar with the benefits system. We are here for them to help and will help through the procedures. Simply text your details to:- 07526 897384 or for information:- CompassionActs.UK."
says Chair of the Trustees of Compassion Acts charity, Allan Salisbury.

Councils warn Leisure providers rescue package vital in flight against obesity

HUNDREDS of leisure facilities could close permanently or be unable to reopen without urgent funding which would damage the nation's health and undermine the Government's plans to tackle obesity, Councils have warn on Monday, 20 July 2020. Councils are working closely with leisure centres and swimming pools in their areas as they look to try and reopen from this weekend. However, significant losses of income during this period has left many leisure providers on the brink of financial collapse. The Government is set to announce plans to tackle the obesity crisis to get the nation fit and ready to deal with any second wave of COVID-19. The Local Government Association, which represents Councils in England and Wales, said that leisure facilities are a key tool in this national effort but they need urgent funding to cover loss of income, maintenance and utility costs. Many leisure providers are concerned that memberships and visits to facilities will not return to pre-pandemic levels for some time, meaning they will be unable to generate the income needed to cover the service costs of reopening. Whilst some people have been able to take the opportunity to try online classes and new forms of exercise during lockdown, many others have seen their activity levels decrease and a number of leading health experts, including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have warned that the lockdown has worsened the epidemic in childhood obesity. The LGA also said the Coronavirus pandemic has hit those from more deprived backgrounds and the black, Asian and minority ethnic community hardest, whether that be through deaths, digital poverty or a lack of accessibility to parks, private gardens and green spaces to exercise. Obesity and physical inactivity are the biggest public health challenges we face, and Councils are already stepping up and working with the Government and partners to help our communities live healthier and more active lives. With over a quarter of children aged 2 to 15 and 62% of adults in England overweight or obese, and at an increased risk from diseases such as diabetes and cancer, the LGA said access to leisure facilities will play a key part in managing and reducing long-term health conditions. Cllr Gerald Vernon Jackson, Chair of the LGA's Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said:- "Communities are excited by the return of cherished leisure facilities from this weekend. But many providers are in serious trouble and, without urgent Government support, there is a real risk that our leisure facilities will disappear. Exercising regularly is clearly a great way to get healthy and tackle obesity. A more active community is a healthier, stronger and more prosperous community but the lockdown has increased physical inactivity and unhealthy eating habits for some families. The Government urgently needs to provide funding to ensure leisure facilities stay open to all communities and recognises their role in the fight against obesity, inactivity and poor mental health, which in turn will help to save the NHS being overburdened in the future."

Total UK cases COVID-19 cases - update for Liverpool City Region and surroundings

THE total number of UK Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections that have been laboratory confirmed, within the UK, has risen by 580 cases and the total number now stand at 295,372, that includes tests carried out by commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National totals.

Daily number of COVID-19 associated UK fatalities added to the total, was sadly reported to be
11 according to the Department of Health. The total number of deaths of people who have had a positive test result confirmed by a Public Health or NHS laboratory is 45,312.

In England, there are a total of 254,120 confirmed cases. North West - total of 44,331 confirmed cases. The number of laboratory confirmed cases within the following Local Authorities, in and around the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-

► Liverpool, 2,484 confirmed cases.

► Sefton, 1,544 confirmed cases.

► Wirral, 2,044 confirmed cases.

► St. Helens, 1,199 confirmed cases

► Halton, 696 confirmed cases.

► Blackpool, 1,034 confirmed cases.

Blackburn with Darwen, 1,197 confirmed cases.

► Bolton, 1,902 confirmed cases.

► Bury, 1,302 confirmed cases.

► Cheshire West and Chester, 2,006 confirmed cases.

► Cheshire East, 2,224 confirmed cases.

► Lancashire, 6,877 confirmed cases.

► Manchester, 3,041 confirmed cases.

► Oldham, 1,917 confirmed cases.

► Rochdale, 1,755 confirmed cases.

► Stockport, 1,661 confirmed cases.

► Tameside, 1,547 confirmed cases.

► Trafford, 1,290 confirmed cases.

► Wigan, 2,147 confirmed cases.

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