Education Bulletin - 29 April 2021
Updated 29 April 2021
Important contact details
From Ming Zhang
Service Director of Education, Participation and Skills
This week I have so far visited Riverside Community Primary School and Ernesettle Community School where I have had the pleasure of meeting the Headteachers and some middle managers. The conversations with school leaders were rich with valuable thoughts for me to take away. What I saw in the schools was equally impressive: a thriving learning community each in its own way; happy, hard-working and committed staff and pupils, as well as the evidence of strong values and high expectations. Thank you Brian and Aaron for inviting me to see their schools in action. I am looking forward to the opportunity of visiting all schools in Plymouth.
Primary and Special School Collaboration
Colleagues at primary and special schools will have received an introduction letter from Adrian Percival, who is commissioned by PCC, in partnership with the RSC to conduct scoping work to inform our plan for school-led collaboration systems among these two groups of schools in the City.
Some colleagues may already know Adrian, who is a school improvement expert with nine years' most recent experience as CEO of a successful MAT, professionalised the strong improvement collaboration of the schools in the Trust from its early inception, through to the high performing organisation it is now. After retiring from the CEO role last year, Adrian is advising several local areas on school improvement collaboration and system leadership, while being lead facilitator of Ambition Institute on the NPQEL Programme and an online tutor of Best Practice Network for the NPQH programme.
Prior to becoming a MAT CEO in 2011, Adrian had been a Head Teacher for over ten years and then worked as National Director of School Improvement in the DfE's National Strategies 2007-2011. As a member of the NS senior leadership team, Adrian played a leading role in the successful delivery of the national school improvement projects, working at a high level with senior civil servants and ministers at the Department for Education in leading support for school improvement and facilitating collaboration for primary and secondary schools in the target areas.
I am sure we are all looking forward to working with Adrian.
Education Secretary's Speech to the CST
Gavin Williamson addressed the Confederation of School Trusts (CST) Annual Conference on a renewed vision for all schools to be part of a multi-academy trust. In his vision, an education at a Good or Outstanding school that is part of a strong multi-academy trust is a key part in building back better from the pandemic. In his speech he said the government's vision is for the school system to continue to move decisively towards a single model built on strong multi-academy trusts as its foundation, bringing the current what he considers a "pick-and-mix system" of local authority maintained and standalone academy schools to an end.
It is proposed that all schools will now have the option to 'try the academy experience before they buy' - associating with multi-academy trusts for a defined period to experience the benefits for themselves and their students, with no commitment.
While we are working with the DfE to keep abreast of the controversial development, it is in my plan to co-ordinate some local discussions among the schools leaders to explore the opportunities, challenges and impacts that the Secretary of State's vision will bring about.
Look forward to seeing you at your school soon.
CLSG Privacy notice for schools
Please find attached the new approved CLSG Privacy notice for schools.
Long Covid in Children Webinar
Please see the information attached relating to Long Covid. There will be a Webinar on Friday 21 May 2021 from 9.30am to 10.30am to go into more detail about Long Covid in Children. If you would like to attend this Webinar then please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Funding opportunity available now for secondary schools - addressing the impact of Covid on autistic young people
Please see the attached flyer to secondary schools and colleges you feel would be interested in this opportunity. Sheila Coates Foundation has set up a fund to support autistic young people in mainstream education in the South West region of England. The fund specifically targets issues highlighted in recent reports about the impact of COVID-19 and offers awards of £1,000 and £5,000.
More information at www.sheilacoates.foundation/covid-fund
Secondary school summer schools
DfE recently shared with schools that, as part of the wider recovery package to support children with their mental health and wellbeing, and to catch up on missed face-to-face learning, the Government is providing £200m to enable as many secondary schools as possible to deliver face-to-face summer schools this year.
Schools will be able to identify pupils who would most benefit from summer school, i.e. incoming year 7 pupils, giving those pupils an opportunity to build a community with their new classmates and teachers and familiarise themselves with their new school environment.
Funding will be made available to state-funded secondary and special schools, non-maintained special schools and pupil referral units. It will also be made available to alternative provision for any pupils whose education was funded by the local authority outside of state place funded schools. It is calculated based on 50% of your year 7 cohort being offered a place on a two-week programme, or 100% of the cohort being offered a week-long programme, and equates to £597 per two-week place (£1,791 for pupils in special schools or units and alternative provision). Each school's individual funding allocation has now been published. Further information is available in our guidance on summer schools and any questions should be directed to email@example.com.
DfE are currently surveying Local Authorities to ascertain how many schools plan to offer summer schools over the summer break, and schools will be asked for further details in June. To help us gather details please can secondary schools provide us with answers to the following questions by Friday 7 May, information should be sent via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Is your school planning to offer summer schools over the school holiday; if so what summer schools will you offer?
- If your school is not planning on running a summer school, what are the main reasons for this?
- What support can DfE or the Local Authority provide to support interested schools/academies in making this type of offer?
Early Career Framework - changes to NQT induction
The Local Authority act as Appropriate Body, overseeing and supporting the new teacher induction process for many schools in the city. To support schools in preparing for the September introduction of the new two year Early Career Framework for new teachers we provided the first of two online briefing sessions via Microsoft Teams for school leaders and/or NQT mentors earlier this week. This was evaluated as being extremely helpful. For any who missed the first session, we encourage all schools to attend the repeat session, being held at 4.00 - 5.30 pm on Wednesday 12 May.
These briefings are the first in a series of regular CPD sessions supporting schools step by step in preparing for roll out of the new ECF which will be provided online over the summer term. There is no need to book in advance, please use the link below to attend:
Transitions: Early Years - Primary
Early years allocations are now confirmed. Please see attached letter which describes the transition process for working together for those children with additional needs.
Decolonising the Curriculum - NQT training
Several NQTs were unable to access the above training session this week. We apologise for the technical difficulties and will offer the session again on Thursday 13 May at 3.30pm. If you are an NQT and would like to access this training please email Lucinda.email@example.com for a link to the online session.
Supporting Children and families in education
The next DSL briefing session will be on 1 July, 15:30 - 17:00 - more information will follow.
Nurture Provision Pilot
The Nurture Provision Pilot developing Nurture Groups across the city as part of the inclusion strategy has got off to a good start and we now seek a third partner to deliver this project. Please see the attached request for expressions of interest to join this project. All expressions of interest need to be submitted in writing to Janet Greaves-Stocker @ Janet.firstname.lastname@example.org by midday 28 May 2021.
New dates available: Sharing the Brain Story workshops.
The free Sharing the Brain Story workshop aims to introduce participants to a cutting edge approach of using tested metaphors that explain the science of brain and child development and the impact of trauma. It aims to support professionals to help others think about what they can do to encourage healthy development in children and to create a shared language across the Plymouth workforce around child development and to strengthen multi agency working/relationships.
3 new workshop dates available delivered virtually via ZOOM.
- Friday 21 May 9.30 - 12.30
- Monday 21 June 1.00 - 4.00
- Tuesday 6 July 9.30 - 12.30
To book a please contact the NSPCC Plymouth service centre Plymouth.Servicecentre@NSPCC.org.uk with your name, email address, agency, and preferred date.
Guidance for schools and further education (FE) providers on the initial supply of coronavirus (COVID-19) home testing kits for pupils, teachers and staff. Updated to explain when schools and FE providers may provide PCR test kits to staff or students who are showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and how they can order further PCR tests for symptomatic testing.
The summer schools programme is open to secondary schools. The aim of the programme is to deliver a short summer school, offering a blend of academic education and enrichment activities. Funding will be made available to:
- state-funded secondary and special schools
- non-maintained special schools
- pupil referral units
- alternative provision for any pupils whose education was funded by the local authority outside of state place funded schools, including:
- independent schools
- non-maintained special schools
- other providers
Eligible secondary schools can access the funding allocations to view the maximum available funding for their school, based on numbers of year 7 pupils.
Guidance for schools, colleges and exam centres on who should enter students for exams, the health arrangements for exams and the support DfE is providing. 'Exam centre responsibility for students retaking qualifications from summer 2020' has been updated to explain responsibility for entering students for exams or alternative arrangements to exams and how the cost of fees will be covered.
Find out which schools are eligible, what the funding is for, when payments will be made and how funding can be used to help pupils catch up on missed education. Updated information on carrying funding forward beyond this academic year and Ofsted monitoring.
Funding rises by over 20% to £1.8 billion this year, so that schools can keep on top of their maintenance and repair. The first wave of the School Rebuilding Programme announced last year is also on track, with site inspections and detailed planning work with the 50 schools involved meaning the first rebuild projects will start from this autumn. Further details about the School Rebuilding Programme will be set out later in 2021. Projects will range from replacing or refurbishing individual buildings through to whole school rebuilds. The department also plans to consult this year to gather views on how schools are prioritised for future rounds of the long-term programme, including how evidence about schools' condition need may be provided to support prioritisation.
Information for heads of centre, heads of department and teachers on the submission of teacher assessed grades: summer 2021. Guidance updated 22 April to include details of the evidence that exam boards will be expecting, and the timescales teachers need to work to.
Gavin Williamson addressed the Confederation of School Trusts (CST) Annual Conference on his renewed vision for all schools to be part of a multi-academy trust. An education at a Good or Outstanding school that is part of a strong multi-academy trust is a key part in building back better from the pandemic. In his speech he said the government's vision is for the school system to continue to move decisively towards a single model built on strong multi-academy trusts as its foundation, bringing the current pick-and-mix system of local authority maintained and standalone academy schools to an end.
All schools will now have the option to 'try the academy experience before they buy' - associating with multi-academy trusts for a defined period to experience the benefits for themselves and their students, with no commitment.
Ofqual has confirmed details of how data and evidence of a student's grades will be submitted in this summer's awarding. Schools and colleges (centres) will be submitting their students' grades from 26 May until 18 June 2021. Once the grades are received, every centre will be asked to provide samples of student work, as described in our recent blog, Quality assurance for GCSE, AS and A level: information for schools and colleges. Centres should retain the work and records of marking or grading judgements as exam boards will request samples after 18 June. It will also be needed if a student wishes to appeal their result.
The results of Ofqual's annual survey on perceptions of AS, A levels, GCSEs and Applied General qualifications in England. Key findings from the qualifications perception survey found:
- Confidence in GCSE, AS, A level and Applied General qualifications in general
- An increase in the overall level of agreement that, in general, GCSEs and AS and A levels are well understood by people.
- Overall, 16% of respondents in wave 19 agreed that, in general, Applied General qualifications are well understood by people (an increase since the last wave).
Ofsted has published the first review in a new series looking at what makes for a high-quality education in different subjects across the curriculum. The review focuses on science. It explores a range of research and evidence to identify factors that can influence the quality of science education in schools in England. It also highlights some of the barriers that prevent their implementation.
HM Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman discussed the impact of COVID-19 and Ofsted's work at the annual Annual Apprenticeship Conference.