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Education Bulletin - 24 June 2022

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Updated 24 June 2022

Important contact details

From Ming Zhang
Service Director of Education, Participation and Skills

Dear colleagues,

Our new Director of Children's Services Sharon Muldoon wrote to schools and settings this week to introduce herself while she has already hit the ground running engaging with the teams, partners, parents and young people. I enclose in today's bulletin the letter from Sharon. While Sharon brings with her a wide range of knowledge, expertise and new ideas to our children's social care and education services, we will definitely benefit from her most recent experience of transforming another area's SEND system.

Special Educational Needs in England

Last week, the Department of Education published its annual report on the current state of SEND in England. Just under 1.5 million pupils in England have special educational needs, an increase of 77,000 from 2021. Both the number of pupils with an EHC plan and the number of pupils with SEN support have increased:

  • The percentage of pupils with an education, health and care (EHC) plan has increased to 4.0% from 3.7% in 2021.
  • The percentage of pupils with SEN but no EHC plan (known as SEN support) has increased to 12.6% from 12.2% in 2021.

The trend of increase in demand both nationally and locally is continuing since 2016. It provides a serious challenge to current SEND system and culture. This is one of the main drivers of the Green Paper and our local inclusion transformation programme to review Plymouth's SEND and inclusion system and to develop new ways of working to deliver the right support, in the right place and at the right time.

Annual Report - Special Educational Needs in England.

Inclusion and Behaviour Management in Schools

While we are facilitating the city's collective response to the SEND/AP Green Paper, many schools already have excellent inclusion systems in schools successfully applying various prevention and early intervention approaches that the Green Paper has set out. I am excited to note that inclusion is now a hot topic that all education partners and school leaders are passionate about and want to share their successes and practice. We may have some fierce but healthy debates on the best ways to deliver inclusion in schools and settings, education leaders in the city all want to have an early intervention model with the right support delivered at the right time and in the right place.

Earlier this month, Siobhan Meredith, Headteacher of Marine Academy Primary School of Ted Wragg Trust gave an impressive presentation to the Inclusion Strategy Board on her

school's success in behaviour management which leads to the recognition as a DfE Behaviour Hub Lead School, one of the 22 in the country. I am sure we all want to benefit from this fantastic opportunity afforded to Plymouth schools. The Behaviour Hubs programme funded by the Department for Education on the principles outlined in the review, 'Creating a Culture'.

By developing good behaviour, routines and structures in schools, all pupils are supported in improving their engagement, mental health and wellbeing. As a Lead School Marine Academy Primary will have shown exemplary behaviour practices and will help partner schools within the programme to implement lasting whole school culture changes by providing tailored one-to-one support, training and advice needed to improve behaviour culture and generate lasting cultural change that is tailored to each individual school. Behaviour Hubs is a one-year programme for schools, with the option to extend for a second year if needed, and a two-year programme for MATs. The programme is fully funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and provides schools with bespoke support, training and advice aimed at improving behaviour culture, which is tailored to each individual school.

For schools/MATs wishing to seek support from a Behaviour Hub Lead School, they can apply online link to further details:

In the meantime, as part of the Plymouth Place-Based Strategy the Ted Wragg Trust have been awarded the contract to support the development of Plymouth's Primary and Secondary Transition process. The project will start with immediate effect and continue into the Academic Year 22/23. We are excited about the prospect of working with stakeholders and an evidence informed model of primary to secondary transition will positively impact on pupil progress and wellbeing in KS3, as well as reducing the achievement gap for disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND.

With this in mind, the two Transition Leaders on the programme, Nicola Keeler and Tracy Stephenson, would appreciate the support of Headteachers in ensuring that every school in the city is represented at the first Cross Phase Transition session on 12th July at the Elfordleigh Hotel. I attached in today's bulletin a letter from the project leaders.

Please sign up and confirm your name and school by 1st July.

If you have any questions in advance of the event, please email

Summer Opportunities for Young People with Additional Needs

As part of the SEND Respite Innovation Programme which Plymouth is one of nine pilots in the country, there will be two specialist youth groups that we run in the city. These are offering various opportunities across the summer with day sessions, residential sessions and evening sessions. There will also be online safety sessions for young people to help keep them safe when using the computer online, specifically designed for young people with additional needs.

In addition I would like to remind colleagues once again of the summer school at the City College Plymouth. I have attached the flyer about the offer. Please could you send this out to families so that they are aware of the opportunity for their children.

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