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Education Bulletin - 11 November 2021

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Updated 11 November 2021

Important contact details

From Ming Zhang
Service Director of Education, Participation and Skills

Dear colleagues,

Following a most productive meeting with the three Secondary School Inclusion Cluster Leads last Friday, this week I had the opportunity to visit the two primary school nurture groups: Edison and Star, run by Discovery and Cast. These engagements were all about how to move toward an early intervention model of the school-led inclusion system in Plymouth.

The potential of the nurture provision excited me when I saw how staff in the Centres were enthusiastically and successfully engaging with the children in the well-tailored learning and other activities for behaviour improvement. It certainly impressed me most when the polite and well-mannered pupils, in their home schools' uniforms, came towards me to talk about their work and to demonstrate the activities that they obviously enjoyed doing. What I have observed in the nurture groups gave me the hope that Plymouth will soon end the practice of permanent exclusion in a minority of primary schools. As a city we are committed to inclusive education and that is why we have invested in these two nurture groups to enable early intervention, improving behaviour for learning through positive interventions and for sharing of good practice through the groups' CPD offer to schools and their outreach work. I would encourage primary schools to make look at the nurture groups' offer and to use the service for early intervention.

Thank you, Alison, Neil, Lyndsay and Vicky and other staff, for showing me around the two nurture centres. This is the link to the website of the nurture groups:

SEND Leadership CPD Offer

After my school bulletin's message last week on the SEND Leadership CPD training opportunity, I am pleased to say that numbers of bookings are already looking impressive across the city for the Every Leader a Leader of SEND (64 bookings so far) and Every Governor a Governor of SEND (50 bookings so far). Thank you for the schools who have signed up thus far to get us to the high level of engagement.

For the schools that have not signed up, the offer is still open to registration in the coming 2 weeks. Please use the following link to the portal booking page:

On the related note of SEND, I am pleased to let you know that Penny Whitell has been appointed to the position as Head of SEND and Disability, after a thorough and robust recruitment process. Many colleagues may also know Penny well, who has been Service Manager of SEND with PCC for many years. I am confident that Penny will build on the strength of our SEND and Disability Services to lead the teams to achieve further success.

Revised Guidance on Ventilation and Thermal Comfort

In conjunction with our Facilities Management colleagues the PCC HSW team have revised the information and guidance on ventilation and thermal comfort for schools as below. Thermal comfort is how you interact with your environment and whether you are satisfied with temperature, humidity and air movement. In schools we need to balance this with making sure that we minimise airborne particles that could transmit COVID-19.

The information and advice on the process can be found on the following POD pages:

Risk assessments (COVID-19) - Plymouth Online Directory

Remember: you should continue with basic existing preventative measures and controls such as handwashing, hygiene and cleaning regimes contained within your COVID risk assessment

If you have any questions, please contact the Health and Safety Team at Plymouth City Council at or 01752 312523 or PCC HSW Team Schools Officer Shaun Badmin on 01752 304661, mobile 07747 565189

School Leadership Event

As one of the five priorities of Plymouth Place-based Programme, school leadership CPD will be available to all schools in the city. Led by Greenshaw Trust, there will be a Plymouth School Improvement Leadership conference on 1 December at the Crowne Plaza, Plymouth at 9.30am.

This event is for all Plymouth school leaders, including MAT CEOs, Headteachers, Deputy Headteachers, Assistant Headteachers, Trustees and Chairs of Governors, and is the first in a series of free leadership events. The event will have contributions from school leaders with strong track records of success from multiple schools and Trusts.

Alongside this, there is a Teaching and Learning conference, open to all Plymouth teachers and leaders. It will take place on the same day in the afternoon. This would be ideally suited to curriculum leaders and senior leaders responsible for teaching and learning. There will be a particular focus on creating an effective teaching and learning narrative in schools, as well as developing teaching principles and coaching models. I have attached the event flyers in today's bulletin, which include the sign up links. The sign-up links are also here for ease:

1st December Leadership event:

1st December T&L event:

Kind regards.



Education updates

Y2 autumn phonics screening checks

All schools have received an email from Sue London outlining how to upload results of the Y2 autumn phonics screening check before the deadline on Monday 13th December 2021. The email provided clear instructions on how to upload data and further guidance is available at:

For any questions or queries regarding the data submission process, please contact Susan London at:


Health, wellbeing and safety updates

Kooth Eventbrite Sessions

Kooth have two Eventbrite sessions coming up that you are welcome to attend and share out to any contacts you think might be interested. The first session on Monday 15 November 3.30-4.30 is an information session aimed at professionals. Book your place HERE The second session on Wednesday 8 December 4-5pm is aimed at parents and carers. Book your place HERE

Please share with any parents, carers and professionals you feel may benefit from these sessions.


Additional Safeguarding training dates

The course with the most pressure for spaces is the Working Together to Safeguard Children Course. The PSCP has confirmed some additional dates for this session and want to offer it to education establishments in the first instance. Education colleagues now have the opportunity first to book a space and it is important that you book on as soon as possible. Details are below:

Working Together to Safeguard Children Course: Additional Dates

  • Wednesday 24 November 2021 10.00am - 12.30pm Webinar via Microsoft Teams
  • Wednesday 15 December 2021 10.00am - 12.30pm Webinar via Microsoft Teams
  • Tuesday 18 January 2022 10.00am - 12.30pm Webinar via Microsoft Teams

To request a space please complete the attached application form and return to

To attend the Working Together to Safeguard Children Course you first must attend the Understanding Child Protection Course. The PSCP has availability on all advertised dates for this course and if dates don't quite run in order, it's fine in this instance to attend the Working Together to Safeguard Children course first and then the Understanding Child Protection course.


The Norman Trust COVID Fund

The Norman Family Charitable Trust recognises that the Covid pandemic has placed an unprecedented strain on local communities and wishes to support non-profit organisations as they return to normal operations as restrictions are eased. To run alongside its ongoing Main Grants programme, the Trust has set up the Norman Trust Covid Fund.  Substantial funds are available and grant applications are invited from charities and other non-profit organisations (including schools). You can apply for the Covid Fund and the Trust's ongoing Main Grants programme during the current financial year if your organisation is eligible.

Deadline for applications is 10 December 2021 at midday. More details on how to apply here: Norman Trust COVID Fund - Norman Family Charitable Trust (


Independent Office for Police Conduct - Youth Panel Recruitment

The Youth Panel is an incredible group of young leaders who work alongside the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to enable young people to have a meaningful voice on policing and police complaints nationally. This role is open to young people aged 16-25 years old anywhere in England and Wales. The Panel are looking for a diverse group of people who are motivated to make positive changes in policing. 

This is a brilliant leadership opportunity for young people to gain valuable skills and experiences.

The application form and supporting documents are attached to this email. 

To read more about the Youth Panel go to

If you have any questions, please contact Amania Scott-Samuels at:

The closing date for applications from young people living in mid and south Wales or in the South West has been extended until 19 November. All applications should be returned


Brook Traffic Light Tool: free e-learning training to support Plymouth's response to children and young people who present with harmful sexual behaviour

The Brook Traffic Light Tool (BTLT) is a multi-agency practice tool that helps professionals identify, understand and respond appropriately to sexual behaviours in children and young people. It equips professionals to make consistent and informed decisions that neither stigmatise nor criminalise. The tool supports practitioners' knowledge of healthy sexual development and those harmful sexual behaviours that cause concern in children and young people aged 0-18.

The BTLT is embedded in Plymouth's multi agency harmful sexual behaviour practitioners' guidance and training and is widely promoted across the city as the recommended tool to use. Until recently it has been an open access resource freely available.

Brook significantly updated the tool and as part of this update decided to restrict its use and availability only to those professionals who purchase and complete Brook training. To ensure Plymouth's workforce continues to have access to the most up to date practice tools Plymouth Safeguarding Children Partnership have purchased several Brook eLearning courses on the tool.

One of these free eLearning courses has been given to you as the Designated Safeguarding Lead for your education setting. The intention is that those who have access to the tool become a 'Champion' for others in the school who may need support and consultation regarding identifying healthy through to harmful sexual behaviour. Of course, if you want to increase the reach across your school for more staff to have access to the tool then you can purchase extra capacity direct from Brook. If you'd like to do this the contact at Brook is Cameron Bewley

Here's how to complete the on-line course and start using the BTLT:

  1. You must register with Brook's on line learning platform first. Go to and then register by "creating a new account" You will be sent an email to activate your account. Please check you junk/spam folder for this. Activate your account via the email sent.
  2. Login to using the details set up when registering.
  3. Select the Brook Traffic Light Tool button on the homepage.
  4. Enter the following access code which is case sensitiveTLTpLy*Fg21T
  5. You will then be able to complete the on-line course after which you will have unrestricted access to the tool for a minimum period of five years. The on-line course takes about 60-90 minutes to complete with excellent content to help you explore healthy through to harmful sexual behaviour as well as detailed guidance of how to apply the Traffic Light Tool.
  6. If you need technical help with the Brook website please email

I hope the steps listed above are clearly explained and easy to follow. Please can you email me at once you have completed the course so we can keep an up to date record of staff trained in the tool.

As an additional note the Brook tool is the recommended tool for practice by the PSCP. Whilst we are adopting the 'Champion' model we appreciate there may be times that staff need to refer to information when a 'Champion' may not be available. Therefore, all practitioners still have access to the below freely available information on the topic of harmful sexual behaviour and should seek to consult with a 'Champion' at the earliest point possible to apply the Brook Tool:

  • The Lucy Faithfull Harmful Sexual Behaviour Prevention  ToolkitClick here
  • The Parents Protect Tool Click here
  • The NSPCC Harmful Sexual Behaviour Guide for Health Professionals Click here
  • The wider content contained in Plymouth's Harmful Sexual Behaviour Practice GuidanceClick here


Together for Childhood

Together for Childhood is a city-wide project to prevent child sexual abuse and includes a workstream on preventing sexual harm. As part of this work, we will be delivering a city-wide campaign in February 22 in partnership with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation. The campaign will focus on promoting available confidential help to adults who may have inappropriate sexual thoughts about children, adults who are harming children, or people worried about the sexual behaviours of others. We recognise that this is a sensitive subject and you and your teams may need support to feel able to be involved. You may also feel it is not possible for you to be involved. Please ensure that support is accessed via your own organisation and that support is offered to team members who are being asked to be involved. If you wish to talk to me about this more then please do not hesitate to contact:

Please find attached a partner briefing which provides more context and information. As partners of Together for Childhood we are asking for your full support with this campaign which is a significant activity in our programme of work to prevent child sexual abuse. As a strategy the partnership believe to have the most impact this campaign is conducted as a universal approach. This ensures help is offered to all without judgement or prejudice showing our ambition and resolve to prevent child sexual abuse. 


School Health Related Behaviour Survey 21/22


All secondary schools should have received a communication by now from the Schools Health Education Unit (SHEU). This will enable the schools to access the survey through a web based portal for use by their year 8 and year 10 students. We would ask that the survey is completed by 30 June 2022. Please note this survey is free of cost to schools.

If you are not aware of any communication to your school or have any queries, please contact one of the following local contacts within Plymouth City Council's Public Health Team:

Dave Schwartz or Carol Harman


Primary Schools

We will be asking theSchool Health Education Unit to communicate with all primary school's week commencing 22 November with information on how to access and use the Survey. It will be down to each primary school to decide whether they wish to participate. The Survey will need to be completed by 30 June 2022 at the latest.

The Survey is primarily for Yr. 6 but primaries may choose to include Yr. 5 - that would be a choice for the school. It is carried out every two years.

The survey is undertaken through a portal on the web and answers are the click a response type.

It takes around 45 minutes but could be done in two goes (sittings) - if you chose to do it this way it will be important to inform the SHEU first.

The product will mean that each school will receive its own report and PCC will receive amalgamated data for all taking part which provides city wide findings. Where post code is provided PCC will be able to present the data by geography. PCC do not receive school level data.

The findings help schools understand pupil behaviour and need providing good insight. Findings can support curriculum and pastoral support. The findings can also be useful regarding Ofsted -especially where linked to actions that follow or are proposed. Data can be used to support additional funding / projects. From a city wide perspective, the findings support strategic decision making regarding priorities and commissioning of services to meet need.

The Survey is funded by Plymouth City Council, specifically through the Public Health Team. Originally the survey was driven in partnership with secondary schools for their own secondary school survey. This secondary school data now goes back to 2014.

We would be happy, in the future, to work with colleagues from the primary sector to develop a partnership approach in both design, content and implementation. We had hoped to press on with that, but COVID has impacted on our capacity and so this year's offer is built upon the previous survey. Please let us know if this is something you would be interested in looking at over 22/23.

This year the survey provides an opportunity to get a snapshot of need / behaviours after 18 months of the pandemic. This will be an important opportunity to identify and evidence need or behaviours that may require additional focus or support.

If you need to talk this through, then contact one of the following within Plymouth City Council's Public Health Team:

Dave Schwartz or Carol Harman


Government updates

Consultation reminder: Reforming how local authority school improvement functions are funded

The local authority role in school improvement has changed significantly in recent years, with the growth of school-led approaches, such as multi-academy trusts, putting school improvement in the hands of the strongest schools and school leaders.

In turn, the local authority role in school improvement in maintained schools is increasingly focused on helping their schools access the support they need from the school system. Given these changes in respective roles and responsibilities, the DfE believe now is the right time to revisit local authorities' school improvement functions and how they are funded.

This consultation which closes on 26 November 2021.


New teaching facilities as more people enter post-16 education

Teaching facilities across England will be extended and transformed for 16-19 year olds as part of a new £83 million investment in post-16 providers. Demand is expected to increase for post-16 places as more young people continue with education or enter skills training. This investment will mean schools and colleges can continue to offer places to all young people who want them, increasing access to a range of education options, including A levels, T Levels, apprenticeships or traineeships, and ensuring young people can gain the skills they need to progress into a well-paid job.


Education Secretary puts climate change at the heart of education

Young people will be empowered to act on the environment as part of new measures designed to put climate change at the heart of education.

Teachers will be supported to deliver world-leading climate change education through a model science curriculum, which will be in place by 2023, to teach children about nature and their impact on the world around them. Children and young people will also be encouraged to get involved in the natural world by increasing biodiversity in the grounds of their nursery, school or college by taking small steps like installing bird feeders.


Open letters: arrangements for GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2022

Letters to centres, students and private candidates about arrangements for GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2022.


Contingency plans confirmed for GCSEs, AS and A levels

The government and Ofqual have confirmed contingency plans if exams planned next summer are unable to take place. The government intends for exams to take place next summer. But if they cannot go ahead safely or fairly due to the pandemic, contingency arrangements will be in place to ensure that schools and colleges are well prepared to enable students to achieve their qualifications.

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