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Education Bulletin 22 July 2022

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Updated 22 July 2022

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From Ming Zhang
Service Director of Education, Participation and Skills

Dear colleagues,

While we are approaching the end of the school year with a heat wave, I am impressed that you are all managing it very well with good planning and flexible arrangements helping keep all Plymouth's schools and settings open. Just another example of your good leadership in this academic year. Thank you for all your excellent work.

The school year is ending with some remarkable improvement across education phases, from early years to adult education, while we know there are still many challenges ahead. With the strengthened education partnership that we now have in Plymouth, I am sure the momentum of improvement will continue with pace. Reflecting on our progress achieved through education partnership, I would like to end the 2021/22 school year with the key message from this month's Plymouth Education Board (PEB) meeting, which is our city's education partnerships governing body:

The Board commended the work of the partnerships. The governance is now in place for the school improvement system and it is working well across the different phases, aligned to a single approach and a single plan for the city.

Following on from the publication of the Plymouth Skills Plan, work will begin to engage with stakeholders, partners and children and young people to co-design the skills delivery plan. Representatives from existing partnerships will be asked to lead the engagement with schools.

The Board recognised that improving 'Inclusion' needs to be a key area of focus across the city, particularly:

  • reducing mobility to lessen the impact of children and young people moving around schools in the city
  • supporting our Electively Home Educated Children
  • moving towards reductions in the number of suspensions and permanent exclusions
  • carrying out a self-evaluation of our Inclusion Plan for the city and the subsequent Action Plan linked to the School's White Paper and SEND Green Paper.

Tony Bloxham who has been doing an outstanding job of leading on the Secondary School Improvement work as the Implementation Lead, will be leaving the role at the end of the summer term. The Board asked Tony to reflect on the journey that schools and the wider education system have taken over the last few years. He said "the city has really moved forward in just four years; the leadership capacity has improved significantly and will continue to improve and this will positively impact on the outcomes for children and young people." Tony communicated some key points of reflection for the Board and school leaders to consider:

  • Precision, self-evaluation and prioritisation is key
  • Invest in leadership
  • Be outward facing - reach out for recruitment
  • Relentless expectations - don't settle
  • Sort out the 'own goals' - address the excessive mobility issue and this will provide a more stable system

Have a restful summer holiday when it arrives.



Education updates

Government policy, legislative announcements and news - w/c 11 July 2022 Education and Children's Social Care

Investment to provide children access to new, modern classrooms as part of the School Rebuilding Programme.

Sixty-one schools across the country are set to receive state of the art rebuilds or refurbishments that will transform education for their pupils. In his first announcement as Education Secretary, James Cleverly confirmed the investment to provide thousands of children access to new, modern classrooms as part of the Prime Minister's flagship School Rebuilding Programme. The projects will be backed by over £1bn of funding. Work to deliver the projects will start immediately. It will include updating and modernising buildings, and creating state of the art facilities such as new sports halls, music rooms, science labs and dining areas.

The Uniform Store Plymouth

There is a pop up school uniform shop opening in Plymouth City Centre on Tuesday 26 July, where families can pick up good quality donated items free of charge. The shop will open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 3pm.

During term time, there is a Click & Collect service available.

For more information please email


Health and wellbeing updates

Call for school caterers and governors to contribute in the development of the School Food Standards pilot launching in September

Kantar Public, an independent research agency, has been commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and DfE to conduct research to inform the pilot prior to its launch. The pilot is testing ways for Food Safety Officers to identify possible non-compliance with the School Food Standards and whether appropriate teams within local authorities are able to support schools meet the standards.

Plymouth (along with 15 other local authority areas across England) will be taking part in the pilot when it is launched in September and all schools within the local authority will be affected by it.

We are seeking to speak to:

  • Individuals with responsibility for planning and managing the school meals contract
  • Governors with oversight over the school meal contracting

If you would like to have a say before the launch of the pilot, please reach out to Marios Zampetis ( and Helen Doran ( to schedule a 1hr Zoom interview at a time of your convenience.

Please note, we will not be evaluating your implementation and compliance with the School Food Standards and your participation in this study will be anonymous.

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