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Education Bulletin - 6 January 2022

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Updated 6 January 2022

Important contact details

From Ming Zhang
Service Director of Education, Participation and Skills

Dear colleagues,

Hope you all had some break during Christmas holiday. I was most delighted to see so many of you at our Headteachers and MAT CEOs online catch up on Tuesday. While surely it is still a challenging time for school leaders and staff, your strong leadership was felt and seen through your calm response to every new development. While it is not always possible to avoid mentioning Covid even after two years, this week I would like to bring you up to date on some key developments of education partnership in the city.

Primary and Special School Improvement Partnership (PSSIP)

PSSIP has been formally established last month and the group met first time on 14 December 2021. Stuart Tulloch, Headteacher of Pennycross Primary School was elected as Chair of the Partnership while Simon Spry, MAT CEO of Learning Academies Trust was elected as Deputy Chair. Both Stuart and Simon will represent primary and special schools at Plymouth Education Board (PEB) and the Strategy Education Group (SEG) of the DfE's Place-based programme for the city. Congratulations to Stuart and Simon.

The purpose of the Primary and Special School Improvement Partnership is to improve educational outcomes in primary and special schools specifically as well as contributing to overall cross-phase city-wide education development planning.

Early Years Strategy Board (EYSB)

Likewise, the city's early years providers and child minders have formed their partnership Early Years Strategy Board and met first time on 7th December. Heidi Price, Chief Executive of Ham Drive & Plymbridge Nursery Federation and Yealmpstone Farm Primary School was elected as Chair of the group. In this new role, Heidi will represent the group at Plymouth Education Board (PEB). Congratulations, Heidi.

Getting Early Years right is absolutely a top priority. The purpose of the Early Years Strategy Board is to improve educational outcomes for children 0-5 years, incorporating the five year 'Bright Future' framework that aims to ensure the children and young people of Plymouth have the best possible start to life.

The EYSB will be accountable to the Plymouth Education Board (PEB), education settings and children, young people and families.

I am sure both these two newly formed collaboration groups, together with secondary school place-based partnership and Skills and Post-16 Board will build the synergy of all education and skills providers in the city to achieve best outcomes for children and young people.

New Appointment in PCC Education and Skills Services

On a related note, I am delighted to let you know that Jim Barnicott has been appointed to the Head of joint services of Education Improvement and Virtual School, Rob Diment has been appointed as Deputy Head with a focus on Virtual School. Most colleagues know both Jim and Rob well. Jim was an Education Leadership Partner of Plymouth City Council before being appointed to this new role with previous experience as an Assistant Headteacher. Rob was the Headteacher of Plymstock School with the previous experience as Director of Secondary Education of Westcountry MAT. I am sure the city's education will benefit from the valuable experience and expertise that both Jim and Rob will bring with them to their new roles. Congratulations to both Jim and Rob.

Covid Webinar for Education Settings

UK Health Security Agency and the DfE promote a webinar to explain the COVID-19 guidelines for educational settings. Anyone from an educational setting is able to attend by registering for a free ticket on any of the dates listed. In the webinar, the speakers will cover infection prevention principles and then discuss scenarios to illustrate this. This is the link to join:

The webinar will start today and then repeat every week for a period of time. I would encourage schools to take part.

Best wishes for the new school term.



Education updates

Change of date for KS2 Statutory Assessment session

Please be aware that emails have been sent today to all those teachers booked to attend the KS2 Statutory Assessment online training on 15.2.22; due to unforeseen circumstances this session will now take place on 1.2.22. All teachers who were booked on the original date can now either attend on this earlier date or on the same training set to take place on 16.2.22.   


Bristol Standard - relaunch in Plymouth

It is with great pleasure that we can announce that the Plymouth Early Years Improvement team are planning to re-launch the Bristol Standard Quality Improvement framework from September 2022. Involvement will be dependent on a minimum number buying in to our offer.

The Bristol Standard is a nationally and internationally recognised self-evaluation framework which helps to improve the quality and effectiveness of Early Years provision through an annual cycle of reflection. The Bristol Standard will help your school to establish a clear understanding of vision, values, principles and practice in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Please see the attached letter for more detail, cost and how to sign up.


Health, wellbeing and safety updates

Secondary schools and further education staff - free Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) training

Please see the fliers attached to this bulletin with details of four courses to help colleagues support UASC young people to identify and access appropriate support regarding their rights.The attached flyers contain dates, course outlines and booking links directly for Eventbrite to help you access the relevant course to support your practice.

Course 1 - ASIRT courses on UASC young people and ​​​​ children with migration issues in care /care leaver rights (full day/detailed course re legal rights and best practice). 25 places per course.

Courses 2 and 3 - Coram courses - A) Age assessments and B) Legal rights of UASC young people (full day- detailed Courses on legal rights and best practice) 25 places per course 

Course 4 - Refugee Council half day introductory and overview course for staff who require an overview to support UASC young people and signpost to advice. 20 places per course. 

All agencies have extensive experience of representing the rights of UASC young people and are experienced trainers.

These courses for staff working with UASC young people. For further information please contact Laura Ash who is providing admin support:

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