Securing the Best Start to Life
Mental Health Awareness week is 9-15 May 2022
This years theme is raising awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental wellbeing and the practical steps we can take to address it.
Fascinating online courses: Please share with all staff and parents
Discover, learn, understand.
Fascinating online courses for everyone who wants to be an even better mum, dad, grandparent or carer.
Take advantage of this pre-paid, locally funded offer, www.inourplace.co.uk
Access code: BEAR. Create an account (or sign in), and start learning, GO!
93% of parents who completed the course said ‘Understanding Your Child’ was helpful.
92% of parents who completed the course said ‘Understanding Your Child with additional needs’ was helpful.
97% of parents who completed the course would recommend ‘Understanding Your Teenagers Brain’.
· 'I really like these courses. I think all parents could benefit from them.'
· ‘You don't actually realise what is going on in your child’s brain, this course helped, every parent should do this, i wish i'd done it sooner!’
· ‘It is great to know that I am not alone as a parent and that what I am experiencing is normal. I can now try to understand why my teenage daughter and son behave how they do and rather than react badly, try to understand and react positively. Thank you!’
· ‘It's a very good course, I learnt at lot! I liked the, 'science' and reasoning behind [their] behaviour and thinking. I also liked that the course was in modules and I could leave at any point and come back to it when I had more time. Thank you, a grateful parent’
Download here Warwickshire-Understanding your child flyer.
Guidance on the progress check at age two
The Department for Education (DfE) has published new early years foundation stage (EYFS) guidance to provide support for early years practitioners when completing the progress check at age two.
This non-statutory guidance will help all early years practitioners working with children between the ages of two and three to make an accurate assessment of a child’s development and work closely with parents and other professionals to put in place appropriate support and intervention where it is needed.
The guidance informs, supports and offers suggestions that can help practitioners review children’s development across the three prime areas of learning. It does not replace the professional judgement of practitioners but aims to support it. The guidance is clear that you do not need to spend a long time away from the children to complete the progress check or carry out excessive tracking or evidence collection.
The DfE has also published a vodcast to explain the new guidance to early years practitioners and a blog that highlights why the progress check is important now, more than ever as we support children to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Free early education for 2-year-olds with no recourse to public funds (NRPF)
In September 2019, the government extended eligibility for this entitlement to 2-year-old children from 3 groups of families and, in September 2020, extended the entitlement to a fourth group of families who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF).
This consultation seeks views on:
- whether there are other groups of families with NRPF besides those identified in the consultation who should be eligible for the entitlement
- the possible impact of any extension on people who share protected characteristics
Open consultation here.
Celebrating Stockingford Maintained Nursery School's 80th birthday
Stockingford Maintained Nursery School in Stockingford, Nuneaton is excited to be celebrating their 80th Birthday this week.
The Nursery School began life as St. Pauls Wartime Nursery in 1942, providing care for mothers who were going to work in the munitions factories. The Wartime Nursery was then designated as a Nursery School and handed over to education in 1949.
Headteacher Sharon Kindred said:
‘The Governors and staff are so proud to be celebrating this milestone of Nursery education and care within our local community. Parents and carers, and even our grandparents often share memories of their time with us when they attended the Nursery School. We are looking forward to providing a service to our community for the next 80 years.’
Supporting Inclusion for SEND and Vulnerable Groups
New SEND school opens in Warwickshire!
Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities are benefitting from a new, multi-million-pound special school in Ash Green called The Warwickshire Academy.
The special school is already open to students but was formally opened at a ceremony attended by local councillors, educational staff and Warwickshire Parent Carer Voice on Tuesday 10 May 2022.
The new school has been re-purposed to include all the features of a modern school and will provide places for 80 children, from the ages of 9 to 19, whose complex needs mean that they cannot be accommodated in mainstream settings. It features flexible classroom space, food technology and science rooms, and a new sports pavilion and gym. The centre was out of use for several years before becoming Warwickshire Academy and needed extensive remedial work to bring it up to a modern standard. Students attending the new school will benefit from bespoke support and individualised timetables to best support their needs.
Read more about the new SEND school.
Virtual School Action Research Opportunity
Improving Outcomes for Children With a Social Worker (CWSW)
We need to further understand and address the disadvantages that children with a social worker can experience.
This cohort has been identified as a group of children who face significant barriers to education as a result of experiences of adversity and trauma, most commonly abuse and neglect.
These experiences can affect children’s attendance, learning, behaviour and wellbeing and, if children cannot access support, they may struggle to reach their full potential. Even after a child no longer has a social worker, poor educational outcomes can persist.
These children are present in 98% of state schools and face barriers to education due to experiences of adversity and trauma, most commonly as a result of domestic abuse, mental ill-health and substance misuse, with 62% of children needing a social worker having experienced one or more of these. On average, children with a social worker do worse than their peers at every stage of their education. In 2018, 50% of children who had a social worker in the last six years were able to achieve a good level of development in the early years, compared to 72% of children who never had a social worker. Pupils who had a social worker in the year of their GCSEs were around half as likely to achieve a strong pass in English and Maths than their peers, and at the end of Key Stage 4 were around 3 times less likely to go on to study A levels at age 16, and almost 5 times less likely to enter higher education at age 18. After age 18 of those who needed a social worker in the year of their GCSEs, 6% were in higher education compared to 27% of those who did not have a social worker; and by age 21, half had still not achieved Level 2 qualifications (which include GCSEs), compared to 11% of those not in need of a social worker.
Children with a social worker are around 3 times more likely to be persistently absent from school and between 2 to 4 times more likely to be permanently excluded from school than their peers. This group are also over ten times more likely to attend state funded alternative provision settings than all other pupils.
We are looking for individual or groups of schools to create projects that will develop understanding and / or improve outcomes for CWSW.
The Virtual School will support with funding and all proposals will be considered. Your focus may be on something creative and bespoke to your setting or on evidence-based interventions.
- Supporting most vulnerable children
- Developing leadership skills
- Shaping best practice for Warwickshire
- Virtual School funding
- Strengthening partnerships
- Freedom to investigate and explore
Contact the Virtual School Headteacher – Deena Moorey for a project discussion: email@example.com
Further reading / references
What works in education for children who have had social workers.
Promoting the education of children with a social worker
Forthcoming Primary SENCO network meetings
Please find below information about the forthcoming Primary SENCO network meetings.
This term's network meeting will be offered in both a F2F and a virtual format.
Pound Lane Learning Centre
Leamington Spa, CV32 7RT
2:00pm-4:00, via Teams
To book on click here to select the date, if the teams meeting the link will emailed to you nearer the date.
Connect and Be Heard - additional group
Please find below information of an additional group for Connect and Be Heard run by KIDS Warwickshire for you to share with your teams support children and young people aged 12-17 and 17-25 years old.
If you want to download the posters please click those.
Please contact them directly if you would like more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebrating Warwickshire’s Family of Schools
Schools Forum Elections - Deadline for nominations to be submitted is Today 13 May 2022.
The Schools Forum still has several vacancies for representatives, which are comprised of the following:
- 1 vacancy for maintained special schools
- 1 vacancy for primary academies
- 4 vacancies for secondary academies.
- 1 vacancy for special academies
School members should be broadly a 50:50 split between Headteachers (or their representatives) and Governors where this is possible. As a minimum, there must be at least one representative of headteachers and one representative of governors among the schools members.
The role of The Schools Forum is to act as a consultative body with regard to a range of funding decisions as listed in the Warwickshire Schools Forum Terms of Reference and the Education and Skills Funding Agency publication 'Schools Forum Powers and Responsibilities'.
This is a great opportunity for you to make a difference in Warwickshire schools.
If you are elected to Schools Forum you will be required to serve for a period of two years with the first meeting being at 2pm on Thursday 23 June, using Microsoft Teams.
Meetings are generally held on Thursdays, usually between 2pm and 4pm. It is likely these meetings will continue to be held virtually for the foreseeable future.
Future meetings dates
- 23 June 2022
- 29 September 2022
- November 2022 Extraordinary meeting (if required)
- 12 January 2023
- 23 March 2023
Further information and nomination papers please find below:
Deadline for nominations to be submitted is Friday 13 May 2022.
For any queries, please email email@example.com
Working together to improve attendance
Guidance to help schools, academy trusts, governing bodies, and local authorities maintain high levels of school attendance including roles and responsibilities
On 6th May 2022, the DfE published new guidance on school attendance along with a summary table of responsibilities. The Secretary of State has committed to this guidance becoming statutory when parliamentary time allows (this will be no sooner than September 2023).
The guidance places expectations on:
- All school and academy trust staff, headteachers, governors, academy trustees, and alternative provision providers
- Local authority attendance staff, early help lead practitioners, social workers, and virtual school heads
- Statutory safeguarding (including police and integrated care boards) and other local partners
The guidance is intended to:
- help schools, trusts, governing bodies and local authorities maintain high levels of school attendance
- summarise the roles and responsibilities of parents, schools, trusts, governing bodies and local authorities
- summarise the support that should be provided to families, including for pupils who are persistently or severely absent or at risk of becoming so
- provide details of attendance legal interventions available to schools and local authorities where support does not work, is not engaged with or is not appropriate
- provide details of what schools are required to record in the attendance and admission registers
There will be significant change to the way attendance is addressed nationally and we are at an early stage of planning a new attendance model. We plan to provide regular updates as developments progress. We will be publishing dates on new attendance network meetings soon to support with your developments.
The summary table is a good starting point to look at the changes to roles and responsibilities and can be found:
Summary table of responsibilities for school attendance (publishing.service.gov.uk)
Full information can be found here.
North Warwickshire Primary Science Curriculum Development Programme
The attached Primary Science Curriculum CPD, from the Science learning Partnership Curriculum Hub, is offered to all Primary Schools in North Warwickshire and Nuneaton & Bedworth (Coventry too).
Schools can access £150 of Teacher Release Payments too, and Park Lane Primary in Nuneaton have kindly offered to host this training for ease of access for local schools.
Agenda for Summer Term Headteachers' Conference
Date: Wednesday 25th May 2022 (9.00am/9.30am – 3.00pm)
Venue: Best Western Plus Windmill Village Hotel, Golf Club & Spa, Birmingham Road, Allesley, Coventry, CV5 9AL
Keynote Speaker: Sir Tim Brighouse
Please see the below agenda for this term’s conference. Please note that the conference is face-to-face and will NOT be held on Microsoft Teams.
Welcome and Conference Opening
Councillor Izzi Seccombe OBE
Leader, Warwickshire County Council
Sir Tim Brighouse
Darren BarrowSchools Sustainability Lead Officer and School Improvement Lead Commissioner,Warwickshire County Council Sir Tim Brighouse
Developing a Strong Curriculum
Ranjit Samra & Sarah KayeHeadteacher & Deputy Headteacher, Southam College Sukie OwersExecutive Head of Briar Hill Infant School and St Margaret's C of E Junior SchoolandJuliet JonesHeadteacher, Cubbington C of E Primary School
Welcome back after lunch
Introduction to High Sheriff
Government Education White Paper
Margot BrownSchool Improvement Lead Commissioner,Warwickshire County Council Darren BarrowSchools Sustainability Lead Officer and School Improvement Lead Commissioner,Warwickshire County Council
Round Table Discussions (to include tea and coffee)
That Wellbeing Guy
Margot Brown / Darren Barrow / Debbie Hibberd
Support for Pupil Premium pupils to sit the 11+ test
One of Warwickshire County Council's overall priorities is to support our most vulnerable and disadvantaged children. A main area of focus within education is working to reduce the attainment gap between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils, an area led by the Closing the Gap Board. As a county we are high achieving but Warwickshire’s disadvantaged pupils do not do well compared to disadvantaged pupils nationally.
We would like to remind primary schools of the additional support that is available for Pupil Premium pupils sitting the 11+ test and encourage you to share this information with your Year 5 pupils, parents and carers. The 11+ application deadline for 2023 school entry is 30th June 2022.
Grammar schools in Warwickshire give an increased priority to pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium, with many reducing the Automatic Qualifying Score (AQS). Despite this, numbers of pupil premium pupils in our grammar schools remains low and we would like to encourage more eligible pupils to register for the 11+ test.
Warwickshire grammar schools have worked collectively to provide an offer of support to all Free School Meal (FSM) eligible pupils who are registering to sit the 11+ test. Eligible pupils who apply will receive a joint letter from the grammar schools inviting them to access 10 hours of online familiarisation (FROG) resources.
Any primary heads who would like more information can contact the headteacher at King Edward VI School, who is coordinating the support,
Bennet Carr - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of the grammar schools also provide additional support for disadvantaged pupils with the cost of uniforms, trips, 4G access, WiFi and laptop/devices. Please refer directly to their websites for more information and FAQs.
Additional familiarisation materials are also available directly from the schools’ websites and from https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/grammar-schools-11-test, where you can also obtain full details on how to register for the test.
The deadline for all pupils to register to sit the 11+ test is Thursday 30 June 2022.
Invitation to a Harmful Practice virtual tabletop exercise (Safeguard Leads - Harmful Practices event)
It is believed that across the country there are currently 60,000 women and girls at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and recent research has suggested that, during the restrictions caused by the pandemic, that figure may have increased. Reports of FGM in Warwickshire are very rare, therefore not all of our teams are comfortable dealing with this highly complex area of safeguarding and investigation. Learning from recent high-profile cases, including the first successful prosecution for FGM in London in 2019, has shown that there are likely to be significant gaps in the professional response. Through the work of the Warwickshire Harmful Practices Group and the Warwickshire VAWG Board, we are keen to identify locally where these gaps may be and develop an action plan to ensure that when we do receive a report, we collectively provide the best possible response.
We would therefore like to invite education professionals to participate in a virtual tabletop exercise looking at the multi-agency response to FGM in Warwickshire. The event will work through a given scenario (involving a call for support around a child) and run through the partnership response from start to finish.
The objectives of the event are to test our multi-agency response to FGM, gain a better understanding of each other's roles and responsibilities, identify any gaps in current provision and look at ways to address these.
This event is taking place over Teams from 11am-2pm on Thursday 19th May.
Please complete this brief survey to register your interest in attending the event.
We would particularly like to encourage attendance from all frontline professionals. Please forward this invitation onto all relevant colleagues in your service.
If your role doesn’t fall into this category but you would still like to attend, please do express an interest as we are keen to involve as many partners as possible.
We may not be able to allocate a place to everyone who expresses an interest as there will be a need to ensure a balance of agency representation in the discussions.
We will, however, plan to make a recording of the event available afterwards for anyone who is unable to attend.
We will circulate a calendar invitation to the event during the w/c 9th May.
In the Consortia Chairs meeting Heads requested where all the relevant exclusions guidance can be found. The weblink below has all the relevant information.
DSL Network meetings starting next week
Just a reminder that the summer term DSL meetings are approaching. Lots and lots of updates on a variety of safeguarding matters.
Please note new session specifically for secondary and FE.
EAL Quality Mark – Gold Award re-accredited to Sydenham Primary School
Sydenham Primary School has done it again! It has been reaccredited with the prestigious London based EAL Academy’s Gold Standard EAL Quality Mark. The inspector, Graham Smith, was so impressed with the school’s EAL practice, that he has written the following piece in his Blog:
“The best place to start explaining what is so special about Sydenham is the front door. Walk through it and behind the desk is a UK born Panjabi speaker who welcomes everyone and talks in Panjabi to the 25% of parents whose home language it is. You walk out of the front office into the hall. Immediately on your left is writing by pupils in Panjabi and Hungarian. The tone is set. This is a multilingual school that is very proud of its diversity. The celebration of what its pupils can do is ubiquitous.
Sydenham is a school designed to promote empathy and to place talk at the heart of learning.
A parent told me that she was “amazed by the kindness and thoughtfulness of the children.” A Russian boy is looking after a Ukrainian new arrival because that is the Sydenham culture. The picture below is a of a book made by two very grateful Polish parents and shown to me by a long serving governor who emphasised the school’s capacity to thrive in a context of constant demographic change.
In every classroom I saw pupils having purposeful conversations in small groups or pairs, both as a key part of the learning process and in preparation for writing. They have been taught to use talk effectively for learning. Vocabulary development is explicit in displays and teaching. It is implicit in structured classroom talk activities and the always considerate social interactions you see around the school.
Do visit this school, if you can. The supportive local Warwickshire Ethnic Minority & Traveller Achievement Service rightly recommends it as an example of outstanding practice. Sydenham is the second school to seek Gold EAL Quality Mark reaccreditation successfully and one of the happiest schools I have ever seen.
The last words need to go to parents and pupils: the Turkish parents who are delighted that their young daughter can now correct their English (which was pretty good in the first place) and the pupils who told me that their school is a place where “you always find friends” and “teachers want to hear your opinion.”
Tudor Grange Teaching School Hub ECT Briefings
As we have begun the final term of this academic year, we are starting to host a series of online briefings for any schools that are employing an ECT (either in their first or second year) in September 2022.
We would strongly encourage heads or responsible colleagues within schools to attend a briefing to become familiar with the Early Career Framework reforms and the associated responsibilities of employing an ECT (registering with an Appropriate Body, statutory entitlements of an ECT, etc.), as well as the offer Tudor Grange TSH is providing to the WM4 (West Midlands 4) region.
Please click the link below to book onto a briefing and receive the meeting invitation link – we have separated these regionally however if an out of region date/time suits your schedule better please do book onto it.
John Taylor Teaching School Hub ECT Briefings
To find out more about John Taylor Teaching School Hub’s fully funded Early Career Framework offer from the Education Development Trust, Headteachers, school leaders and Induction Tutors can sign up to one of our Webinars here.
- Wednesday 18th May 15:30-16:15
- Wednesday 25th May 08:00-08:45
- Thursday 9th June 09:30-10:15
- Wednesday 15th June 16:00-16:45
Early Career Framework information webinars for Warwickshire schools
From Sept 2021, all Early Career Teachers (ECTs) are entitled to a funded two year induction programme -please see this gov.uk page for more
In preparation for the next academic year Teaching School Hub are hosting an ECF information webinar for schools to share information about the ECF programme run by Coventry and Central Warwickshire Teaching School Hub, in conjunction with UCL.
You can find more information about the programme here.
There is a choice of two sessions for schools who are currently have an ECT with Teaching School Hub , and a choice of two for schools who aren't yet working with Teaching School Hub for ECF.
Download the ECF year 1 flyer here.
Download the ECF year 2 flyer here.