Government demands to know what schools are doing to prepare for Brexit

PUBLISHED: 13:19 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:19 18 September 2019

A 'Get ready for Brexit' sign on display in public. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty

A 'Get ready for Brexit' sign on display in public. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty

David Cliff/NurPhoto

The government has demanded to know what schools and councils are doing to prepare for Brexit.

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In a letter schools minister Lord Agnew said the government needs "a clearer understanding of school preparedness" for the UK leaving the European Union.

It urges schools to contact their food suppliers to ensure they will be able to continue supplying food if Brexit goes ahead on October 31, according to the Times Educational Supplement (TES).

The letter also says that schools should raise any concerns they have about meeting their legal duties to pupils with special educational needs and disabilities, pupil health and safety or safeguarding, with their local authority or academy trust.

And it asks councils, and multi academy trusts (MATs), which run chains of state schools, to "reach out" to school leaders to make sure that guidance on food supplies, medicine and data protection is followed, the TES reports.

The TES reports that the letter says: "The government is already engaging with a wide range of school food stakeholders, including working directly with suppliers, to support industry preparedness and ensure continuous supply ahead of 31 October.

"Schools should contact their food supplier(s) if they procure food directly (and the same goes for local authorities and academy trusts where they arrange food on behalf of schools) to ensure they are planning for 31 October.

"This is to ensure that suppliers are making the necessary arrangements to continue the supply of food to schools, and to make sure that schools can continue to meet nutritional standards, accommodate special dietary needs and manage allergies, for example when introducing any substitute products."

Lord Agnew's letter also attaches a survey.

"As part of wider activity for preparing to leave the EU, we now require a clearer understanding of school preparedness.

"As a priority, therefore, we would be grateful if you could please arrange for an appropriate person in your local authority or academy trust to complete the following relevant short survey."

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