Sheffield schools prepare for Brexit

Schools are being given advice on teachers, dinners and pupil admissions ahead of Brexit next month.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 3:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 4:17 pm
Coun Abtisam Mohamed says schools are preparing for Brexit

Council chiefs say schools have had direct advice from the government on how to cope with Brexit and they are also being supported by a dedicated officer at the Town Hall.

The school meals service, provided by Taylor Shaw, has contingency plans in place following a warning from the Department for Education earlier this year that schools may need to “adapt menus” and allow for “product substitution”.

Liberal Democrat Coun Mohammed Mahroof asked the council what the plan was for a no deal Brexit and its effect on recruiting teachers and general education provision.

Coun Abtisam Mohamed, Cabinet member for education, said the council’s education service was working as part of the broader council team to mitigate against the potential impact of Brexit.

“The council initiated planning for Brexit earlier this year in advance of the original Brexit date in March,” she said.

“All local authorities have now been asked to identify a lead Brexit officer and in Sheffield this is Eugene Walker, executive director of resources.

“The council’s planning process continues ahead of October 31.

“Some of the Government’s larger spending departments, including the Department for Education, have issued direct advice to schools and to education services.

“These were last issued on August 19 and the council will, with Learn Sheffield, issue these to all schools in the first week of term.”

Coun Mohamed says the planning covers a range of areas. “The advice relates to staffing, safeguarding processes, pupil admissions and school meals among other things.

“We will continue to monitor Brexit preparation in schools and we do have existing business continuity planning systems in place for schools already.

“The school meals service provided by Taylor Shaw also has contingency plans in place.

“At all times, the aim is to mitigate, reduce or remove the impact of Brexit in schools whether it is without without a deal.”