Welcome back after the Christmas and New Year break.
I trust you were able to have a well-earned rest and quality time with friends and family over the festive season and you had the chance to recharge for the start of the new term. As we come to the end of the first week back, I hope that it’s been a positive start to the year for you and your team and that this continues into the term.
A lot has been achieved during the last year in securing learner outcomes, based on evidence and research-informed practice, from early years to progression to further education, higher education, apprenticeships and the world of work. We have seen the refreshed approach to our support for children and young people’s wellbeing and safeguarding through the early offer and the launch of new ways of working with Children’s Services partners, as well as the launch of our new all-age careers strategy.
In December, you may have seen the good news that WCC has invested in a new special school, recently completing on the purchase of the former RNIB school in Exhall which will increase the provision for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in the county. You can read more about the new special school here. This development forms part of our newly launched SEND and Inclusion delivery plan which is addressing our ambition to innovate and meet needs and demands in SEND. Updates on the project will be shared through the SEND and Inclusion Board and its associated workstreams and we’ll keep you posted here in Heads Up too.
As I’m on the subject of SEND, I’m also pleased to share the news that we have appointed Duane Chappell to the role of Strategy and Commissioning Manager - SEND and Inclusion following a competitive recruitment process. Duane will be joining us permanently from 17 February but will also be making some visits before then for a handover period and to meet the team. I am grateful for the work of Jane Carter who has been leading the SEND and Inclusion programme of work as the interim Strategy and Commissioning Manager and is a very much valued member of our education team and community.
We are in an excellent position moving in to 2020, having now made appointments to all three of our senior management posts within the Education Services Team; Duane will be joining Hayley Good, Strategy and Commissioning Manager for Education and Early Years, and Sarah Tregaskis, Service Manager for Education Service Delivery.
In the term ahead, there is much that we need to embed in strategies, and other major initiatives that are well advanced in development that we hope will be ready for formal launch. They include the inclusive work on our integrated early years strategy and our locality-focused Nuneaton Education Strategy. There will be further exciting milestones too, in the creation and opening of new high quality school places to meet demographic change.
I look forward to working collaboratively with you during this new year to improve outcomes for Warwickshire's children, young people and families.
With best wishes,
Assistant Director for Education Services