STEP’s Response to COVID-19


Letter from CEO January 2021

CEO Letter to Parents January 2021

Below are links to key pieces of government information, which you may find useful:

Further information which you may find useful can be found at:


30th March

Safeguarding during partial closure

During the school closure, children are likely to be spending even more time than usual online – either to do work set by the school or to socialise. The Government have published some material intended to support parents and carers during this time to keep their children safe whilst online. This can be accessed via the above image or by clicking here.

You may also wish to look at the following advice and guidance about digital safety, found here.

Support from the NSPCC

Guidance and support for parents and carers has also been published by the NSPCC which can be found here.

Domestic Violence

The London Borough of Sutton have published support for anyone who has concerns regarding domestic abuse, which can be found here.

Support from the DFE

The Department for Education has suggested that parents and carers might find the following resources useful to help them keep their children safe online:

Internet matters – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online

London Grid for Learning – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online

Net-aware – for support for parents and careers from the NSPCC

Parent info – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online

Thinkuknow – for advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online

UK Safer Internet Centre – advice for parents and carers

If you are worried about your child’s safety or well being, please contact the school by phone – 020 8688 1390 – or by email

Message to children

Don’t forget there are also other people you can contact if you need to talk:

Childline – 0800 1111

Samaritans – 116 123

Hopeline – 0800 068 4141

School nurse duty line – 020 8770 5409

NSPCC – 0808 800 5000  and

CAMHS – 0203 513 3800

Off The Record:


Young Minds:



2nd April

Support for Parents during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Summer holiday provision: Parents looking for childcare  over the summer should contact the Family Information Service  – 020 8770 6000 or

E-Book – Everybody Worries 

We understand that lots of children will feel worried during this time. This e-book can be shared with children of all ages and can support you in discussing Coronavirus with them. You can find this e-book by clicking here.

Speaking to your children

We have also attached a simple cartoon that you may wish to share with your child in order to help them understand what is currently happening COVID-19 Cartoon Story  Please still explain the significance of the virus and the importance of washing hands for at least 20 seconds, as well as keeping a safe distance from others. You may also find the following guidance useful during this time – developmental trauma.

Parental Support

You may also wish to look at the following Parent Support Guide which offers further advice and support during this time. COVID-19 Parenting Support

Mental Health 

Mentally Healthy Schools has created a free toolkit with resources and tips to help you address anxiety arising from these challenging times. It can be found here.

The London Borough of Sutton have also produced some supportive materials regarding Emotional Health and Well Being during this time, which can be found here.

Social Media

We also know that many of you will be using social media and apps to communicate with friends and family during this time. Whilst these applications are essential in order to communicate with those that we know, unfortunately they can also pose risks. Here we have attached a parents guide from National Online Safety regarding a popular app called ‘House Party’. We hope that you will find this useful. NOS-Houseparty-App-compressed

Risk of Fraud
The following information has been sourced from the ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency).

Information: increased fraud risk during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Periods of instability, such as during the coronavirus pandemic, bring an increased risk of fraud. Fraudsters will actively exploit these difficult times and will target vulnerable areas for financial gain.

ActionFraud reported a 400% increase in reports of coronavirus related fraud in March 2020. The reported frauds are varied and include:

  • charity fraud
  • online shopping fraud
  • phishing emails

Further information is available on the ActionFraud website.

Periods of instability lead to increased pressure, which in turn may lead to reduced internal controls and management oversight, making organisations more vulnerable to fraud risks.

During these periods staff wanting to be helpful and flexible when dealing with suppliers can be more susceptible to targeted attacks from fraudsters, particularly around changes to payment details.

Remember, fraudsters can be very convincing, they are used to exploiting organisations and will have prepared thoroughly.

Organisations should continue to follow all business processes and procedures designed to protect them from fraud. Below are some key actions for all organisations during the corona virus pandemic and other periods of instability:

  • Maintain effective governance and financial management and oversight. Periodically remind staff that, despite the instability, the organisation continues to implement and require compliance with internal controls.
  • Maintain strong internal controls and retain and implement clear policies and procedures. Provide further training on these policies and procedures where required.
  • Maintain and promote strong anti-fraud controls. Review internal control risk assessments and fraud risk assessments. Ensure that staff know how to report suspected fraud.
  • Undertake internal audits to monitor internal controls and segregation of duties to ensure they are operating effectively.


Cybercrime is an increasing risk to all business, including the education sector, and is a particularly vulnerable area in the current situation. We have published a guide on cybercrime and cyber security to help raise education providers’ awareness.

Further guidance on reducing fraud risks is also available.

Scam alerts

We have been informed that some parents have received an email stating the following: ‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’.

We can confirm that this is a scam email and is not official. We urge parents that if you receive any emails like this, please do not respond, and delete it immediately.