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Education Bulletin - 28 April 2022

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Updated 28 April 2022

Important contact details

From Ming Zhang
Service Director of Education, Participation and Skills

Dear colleagues,

Hope you all had a restful break and enjoyed the glorious sunny days during the Easter holiday.

Shortly before the Easter break, a Plymouth school was appointed by the Department for Education as one of the 28 new behaviour hubs in the country. Behaviour Hubs is a £10 million scheme, led by government behaviour tsar Tom Bennett and involves schools helping their peers "diagnose issues and implement new behaviour approaches". My congratulations to Siobhan of Marine Academy Primary School, staff and pupils for achieving this well-deserved recognition. I am sure Siobhan will share with us the school's good practice and how Plymouth schools can benefit from the city's Behaviour Hub school.

Equally, my visits to Ford Primary School and Pennycross Primary School this week have left me with the confidence and reassurance that many Plymouth schools are delivering excellent education to their pupils in an inclusive way and often in very challenging circumstances. It was most encouraging to see that in every class I visited pupils were well motivated to learn and their behaviour was exemplary, including those with SEND and challenging backgrounds. Thanks David and Stuart for hosting my visits to the two schools where I saw good quality teaching and support for all pupils, in particular the most vulnerable learners in such an effective way.

As a learning community for sustainable education improvement, we have facilitated continued opportunities for us to share and learn from each other. Today I would like to highlight a couple of events that have been arranged for all schools in Plymouth.

Curriculum Excellence Conference

As you will be aware we had to postpone Event 1 of the Curriculum Excellence work across the City, hosted at the Crowne Plaza. The programme is designed for Primary, Secondary and Special School Governors and Leaders at both senior and middle leadership levels and will be led by the West Country Trust.

  • Event 1: Will now be 25th May 2022
  • Event 2: Will now be 24th June 2022
  • Event 3: Will now be 28th September 2022 (New Date)

All colleagues that had previously booked to attend the postponed event will receive an email directly to rebook. For colleagues who had previously been unable to attend, the booking window is open again -

The event is fully funded and is a key programme in The Plymouth Place-Based Plan. I look forward to seeing you there.

Ofsted EIF Roadshow for Curriculum Middle Leaders

Ofsted will deliver a roadshow explaining how inspectors use deep dives and other inspection activity to arrive at an evaluation of the quality of education. This will be of interest to primary and secondary colleagues who lead subjects or particular areas of the curriculum (e.g. faculty heads), as part of the roadshow will look at the role of these colleagues in the deep dive process.

  • Date - Monday 20th June
  • Time - 0915 - 1215
  • Location - Tor Bridge High
  • Venue capacity - 48
  • Audience - middle leaders from primary, secondary and special schools
  • Booking will be live on the Plymouth Place Based improvement portal shortly,

Schools White Paper Implementation Plan

Thank you for the thoughts and feedback on the School White Paper that some colleagues have already shared with me. It will inform my discussion with the DfE colleagues. My understanding is that the DfE is working on the White Paper's Implementation Plan.

Please drop me a line if you would like to discuss and share any comments or thoughts that you may have or would like me to covey to the DfE. I am sure it will help to inform the Department's implementation plan.

Kind regards.



COVID updates

Latest Respiratory Infection (COVID) tools and resources for schools and early years settings.

Colleagues in settings will be familiar with the 'warn and inform' letter template and the Outbreak Management Planning Tool. The Action Card is a useful summary for settings. The attached resources and tool are current i.e. reflect the position post April 1 2022. Please make yourself familiar with their contents. 

COVID-19 Coordination Hub - Vaccination Clinics

You may have recently heard that everyone over the age of 5 can now receive a 1st and 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. As such, we're contacting primary schools to request that the attached 'Vaccination Clinics School Bulletin' image is shared with parents so they can find out about upcoming COVID-19 vaccination clinics that would be suitable to take their children to.

If you have any questions and want to discuss further, please do get in touch at


Health, wellbeing and safety updates

Safeguarding Refugees and People Seeking Asylum /Rapid Read

Also included in today's bulletin is a rapid read to support health care workers, schools, early years and partners who may be in contact with refugees and people seeking asylum living in the UK. As with any safeguarding concern, usual referral processes in the area apply and do not differ for any non-citizen of the UK. There are also local processes for unaccompanied minors and children travelling with kinship carers and trusted adults, which must be followed.

Livewell CYP Speech and Language Service

The Livewell CYP Speech and Language Service would like to update you on our free virtual training offer to settings. Please see the attachment for further information on a range of packages to help you develop your awareness of speech, language and communication needs and supporting strategies. We offer training to whole settings as well as a rolling programme for individual bookings. We also offer a rolling programme of training for parents and carers. A leaflet is attached and further information can also be found on our webpage:

Section 175/157 Audit 2021/2022


Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 introduced statutory duties for Schools/settings, governing bodies and local authorities. Section 175/157 guidance, requires governing bodies to carry out an annual review of the school's policies and procedures and to provide information to the Local Authority about how the duties set out in the guidance have been discharged. Independent School's/setting's and Academies are covered under Section 157 of the same Act.

Education establishments in Plymouth completed the audit in the Autumn of 2021 for academic year 2020/21. The comprehensive annual audit captures qualitative and quantitative data and intelligence, facilitating a city-wide regular assessment of school safeguarding provision. The audit identifies themes and key areas of development for education settings across Plymouth and reflects the current versions of the 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' - 2021 DfE and 'Working Together to Safeguard Children' - 2018 DfE statutory guidance. PLYMOUTH CITY COUNCIL

The 2021/2022 section 175/157 process and initial findings

The data gained by the 175 / 157 process has been collated, analysed and a summary presented to the Safeguarding in Education Reference Group (09/03/22).The 2020/2021 Section 175 / 157 Audit was undertaken by 100 education settings (including Ham Drive and Plymbridge Nursery's), 1 education establishment did not submit a return - they are currently being supported to complete the audit. This cycle of review was undertaken in an online format for the first time.

The Education Participation and Skills Service team has analysed the data submitted and have identified the following key themes for further development (in this instance we have highlighted 10 elements of the audit where 10% or more of data submitting schools have indicated a 'No' response, potentially indicating that development is needed within these areas of provision across the city and within specific schools). The identified developmental themes broadly fall into two areas of activity -

Training and continuous development

1. PREVENT / WRAP - Training completed for all designated staff (Q3.5)

2. SAFEGUARDING BRIEFINGS - Impact of disseminated information evaluated (Q8.12.1.)

3. ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF - 'Safer Working Practice' training has been provided to staff within the past five years (Q16.3)

4. TRAUMA INFORMED TRAINING - Training completed by designated staff (Q17.3)

5. EXTERNAL QUALITY ASSURANCE - External safeguarding audits have been undertaken in the last five years (Q19.2) and the setting's SLT, Governing/Trust Body have ensured all recommendations audit have been actioned (Q19.3)

Policy and procedure

6. CHILDREN MISSING EDUCATION PROCEDURES - All relevant staff have received a copy of, and have read, the procedures (Q7.7).

7. EMERGENCY CONTACTS - Two emergency contacts held for all parents / carers (Q10.2)

8. PSCP CHILD EXPLOITATION SCREENING TOOL - Completion of this tool to assess whether a child or young person may be at risk of child (criminal/sexual) exploitation (Q12.2)

9. ALTERNATIVE PROVIDERS - Quality assurance/audits are completed to ensure that alternative providers / provisions / unregistered settings are fully compliant with KCSiE 2021 and safety recruitment processes are followed (Q13.2)

10. USE OF PREMISES - Where the establishment's premises are used by independent services outside of school/college hours the Governing Body/Trust Body have sought assurance that the service has appropriate safeguarding and recruitment policies and procedures in place, including the use of appropriately trained staff to deal with incidents of actual or suspected abuse (Q14.6)


1. The findings of the citywide audit are reported to the Safeguarding in Education Reference Group

2. The Safeguarding in Education Reference Groups reports to the Plymouth Safeguarding Children's Partnership who oversee the effectiveness of Plymouths multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.

Next steps

1. The Education Participation and Skills Services will:

  • Communicate the thematic analysis to education establishments
  • Dip sample audits for moderation
  • Follow up regarding any cause for concern with individual settings

2. All education establishments will be required to undertake the 2021/2022 Section 175/157 Audit process in late summer of 2022, ready for completion in the Autumn Term.

3. The 2021/22 Audit will facilitate a continuous cycle of development and review against which the progress of education establishments safeguarding arrangements can be measured.

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