Securing the Best Start to Life

Early years maths support: NDNA Maths Champions - research trial

Do you want to develop your knowledge and confidence around how children in early years learn maths and develop maths practice across your setting?

The National Day Nurses Association are inviting applications from early years providers to take part in a research trial (funded by the Education Endowment Foundation partnered with Department for Education) to evaluate the Maths Champions programme.  

Follow this link for further information and to register your interest.


Free sports and activity classes for early years settings

A £1million early years sports fund has been launched to give every child attending an early years setting in England the opportunity to have a free 45-minutes sports and activity session.

Find out more and apply online for your free sports session here: https://www.earlyyearssportsfund.co.uk/

Early Years Foundation Stage Reforms: Local Authority Free Briefing Sessions

Early Years Foundation Stage Reforms: Local Authority Free Briefing Sessions.

More places available!

It is now possible to book places for up to 2 additional members onto the sessions below:

  • Headteachers/ Leadership Teams: 2 additional places per organisation can be booked
  • Governors / Committees: 2 additional places per organisation can be booked
  • Early Years Practitioners / EYFS Leads / EYFS Teachers: 2 additional places per organisation can be booked.

Please click here to book your places:


Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 7-13 June

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs every June. It provides an opportunity for everyone working in the sector to raise awareness of the importance of babies' social and emotional development, and to share work they are doing.

There are lots of ways to get involved in the week and to promote this year's theme "Including Infants".  

Find out more on the Parent Infant Foundation website: https://parentinfantfoundation.org.uk/our-work/imhaw/

They will be using the hashtags #IMHAW21 and #IncludingInfants.

Supporting Inclusion for SEND and Vulnerable Groups

pdnet conference - events in June and July

Please find a flyer linked here on the pdnet (a network for all those supporting learners with physical disability) conference taking place in June and July. 

SEND Voice relaunches

You may remember that Warwickshire County Council produced a newsletter with updates on SEND in the county called SEND Voice. 

This newsletter has been relaunched and you can find the Spring / Summer edition for 2021 on the council's website

Please contact sendchange@warwickshire.gov.uk to get involved or ask any questions.

Celebrating Warwickshire’s Family of Schools

Post COVID-19 End of Term Guidance Information for all phases

We are all looking forward to the next step in the Governments road map out of the current pandemic. June 21st marks the start of restrictions being lifted. Although the pandemic will not be over, we will all learn to manage and live with COVID-19 in a new way.

It is advised that schools consider the mental health and well-being of children, young people and staff when considering transition arrangements. Schools may choose a more cautious approach based on their own risk assessments. For example, whilst  releasing all restrictions when current routines are well embedded might seem to be the best option, we do need to remember that should another wave occur or a new variant increases case numbers significantly, we may need to revert back to current routines. This could impact on the mental health of our children, young people and staff.

Officially, we will be in the final stage of the road map. Parents and Carers may see this a cue to revert back to “normal” and may be expecting schools to do the same. It is advisable to start informing parents now of what June 21st onwards may look like, particularly if you are planning a cautious approach.

Below are some good practice suggestions to aid schools to plan their end of term:

Sports Day

  • This is a long-standing tradition in many schools. You may wish to consider having phase or year group sports days. This will enable you to safely manage the amount of adults and social distancing.


  • You may choose to keep bubbles for the remainder for the remaining half term as the children are used to the routine and organisation. You may want to merge some year groups if that will aid staffing for wraparound care for example.

Hands, face, space

  • Again, if you are gradually opening up bubbles, it is advisable to keep to the hand washing and hygiene routines already established.

Residential Visits

  • These can go ahead in line with DFE guidance, as long as thorough risk assessments from the school and venue are in place. You will need to consider travel arrangements, particularly if you are not planning to mix bubbles. The guidance advises keeping bubbles as small as possible and apart. Ideally, bubbles should travel separately, but if on the same bus, they need to be kept as separate as possible. If traveling together by bus, consider separating bubbles by a few rows.

LFT and PCR tests

  • It is good practice to continue these and encourage everyone to keep this up. Some families may not want to know if they have the virus, particularly if they are planning to go away. However, they will need a negative test to travel abroad in any instance. LFTs should still be taken twice weekly by staff and pupils. If pupils are symptomatic, we recommend PCR testing.

End of Term Performances

  • This is commonplace in most secondary and primary schools. These can still go ahead but you may choose to record this and send to parents and carers. Outside productions may also be considered. Again, it is about safely managing the adults on site and adhering to COVID-19 secure measures. Consider keeping a log of all attendees at these events. You can also go a step further with seating charts which will help with contact tracing, if needed.

End of term visits

  • This may take place as long as risk assessment, travel arrangements and all necessary precautions are taken.

Good hygiene will remain key to preventing further outbreaks. Here are the cleaning reminders from Public Health England

Areas to Prioritise for Disinfection

High-touch Surfaces

  • Door and window handles • Touch screen devices
  • Desks • Shared Telephones
  • Sports equipment • Remote controls
  • Toys • Light switches
  • Playgrounds • Stair banisters
  • Intercom buttons • Countertops
  • Computer keyboards • Bathroom surfaces
  • Printers, photocopiers, scanners etc • Toilets and taps

While there is a significant reduction in virus survival on surfaces after 48 hours, viruses may survive on some surfaces up to 72 hours. We recommend a two-stage physical clean - i.e. use of detergent followed by disinfectant, or a good clean using a combined product. Fogging can be used for cleaning but must be in addition to physical clean.

Cleaning Products

Utilise one of the following methods:

  • A combined detergent/disinfectant solution giving 1000 ppm (0.1%) of available chlorine.
  • A separate detergent followed by a disinfectant solution giving 1000 ppm (0.1%) available chlorine e.g: Milton disinfectant/tablets.
  • An alternative sanitiser effective against enveloped viruses and tested to BS EN 14476.

See Picture:


We recommend a two-stage physical clean - i.e. use of detergent followed by disinfectant, or a good clean using a combined product. Fogging can be used for cleaning but must be in addition to physical clean.


Ensure adequate ventilation and increase airflow where possible to all occupied spaces on visits. To help with this, consider opening windows and doors – where it is safe to do so.

Please remember you know your school and you know your community. The advice given is to enable you to make informed choices. There have been further variant outbreaks, to keep these under control, you may feel a more cautious and measured approach is appropriate. Please ensure you communicate to parents and carers and encourage them to follow whatever measures your school puts in place.

Below is some suggested correspondence from PHE regarding holidays and travel.

Brief Holiday Travel Guidance for Education Settings

Dear Head Teachers, Parents and Carers,

With holiday season upon us, we wanted to provide a brief summary of some travel related information that will be important in all education settings.

The government has provided detailed instructions and regular updates related to travel guidance for staff, parents and carers to adhere to for traveling outside of the UK.  The onus is on us all to ensure that we are following government guidance in the interest of safety for everyone at school. We encourage parents to inform education settings of travel, though this is not a requirement.

The government has provided Red, Amber and Green Lists of Countries. These lists are regularly updated and can be checked using the below link for current information.


Red List Countries – Pupils/Staff should not travel to red list countries. Pupils/Staff returning from red list destinations will be quarantined in a managed hotel for the duration of their isolation period.

Amber List Countries – Pupils/Staff should not travel to amber list countries. Pupils/Staff returning from amber list destinations will be required to isolate at home for 10 days, unless they opt to do a day 5 test to release. In the case of a test to release, though not advised, pupils/staff will be allowed to attend school after receiving a negative test result but will still be required to take a PCR test on or after day 8. Please note that some countries on this list are for essential travel only.

Green List Countries – Pupils/Staff returning from green list countries will be required to take a PCR test on or before day 2 after they arrive into the UK. They do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.

Pupils ages four and under do not need to take a PCR test on arrival into the UK and will not be required to take day 2 and day 8 tests.

A link to step by step guidance:


This guidance is subject to change in line with government guidance.

Prepared on May 25, 2021.

Attendance coding information will come out separately.

Carers Week (7th -14th June 2021)

If you have a caring responsibility and want to hear from others who share your experiences then get involved in the conversation this Carers Week, 7-13th June 2021. Keep an eye out across our social media channels for details. For information go to https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/carers #makecaringvisible 



COVID-19 DfE update for all early years, children’s social care, schools and further education providers

COVID-19 testing over May half-term

As lockdown eases, taking a rapid COVID-19 test twice a week, even if you do not have symptoms, will help us stay ahead of the spread of the virus, particularly as new strains appear. Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 have no symptoms and are spreading the virus without knowing. This includes those who have had their vaccine.

We want to thank you for your continued support in testing. Over 40 million tests with staff and students have now been conducted as part of the education testing programme.

Please continue to encourage your staff and secondary school or college students to test twice-weekly over half-term and test before returning to school or college after the holiday. Template letters are available on the secondary schools and colleges document sharing platform to help you communicate to staff, students and parents the importance of COVID-19 testing over half-term.

The result of a rapid test could be positive, negative or even void. But whatever it is, it should be reported straight away, every time. Recording all test results helps scientists stay ahead of the virus by spotting new outbreaks quickly and advising how to respond.

Reporting results is easy. Go to report a COVID-19 lateral flow test result or call 119 free from a mobile or landline. Lines are open every day, 7am to 11pm. Support is offered in 200 languages as well as British Sign Language and Live Video Assistance.

Contact tracing over May half-term

Schools and colleges continue to play an important role in contact tracing for pupils, students and staff. We recognise the challenges of this responsibility during holidays, but this remains vitally important in the continued national effort to limit the spread of the virus.

Where pupils, students or staff test positive for COVID-19 during half-term, having developed symptoms more than 2 days since being in school or college, no action is needed. Staff, young people, parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace. However, where pupils, students or staff test positive having developed symptoms within 2 days of being in school or college, you are asked to assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school or college.

Staff responsible for contact tracing are not asked to be on-call at all times and may designate a limited period in the day to receive notification of positive cases and advise close contacts to self-isolate (this can be done by text or email).

Where schools or colleges can do so, staff assuming responsibility for contact tracing during half-term can be offered equivalent time off at an agreed point during term time.

The Department for Education COVID-19 helpline and the PHE Advice Service will remain open over May half-term to answer any questions you have about COVID-19 relating to education settings.

The information below has not changed since our last update

Department for Education COVID-19 helpline

The Department for Education COVID-19 helpline and the PHE Advice Service (option 1) is available to answer any questions you have about COVID-19 relating to education settings and children’s social care.  

Phone: 0800 046 8687   

Opening hours: 
Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm 
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm  

Bank holiday opening hours:
Monday 31 May from 10am to 4pm

Please listen carefully to all of the available options before selecting the most appropriate option for your nursery, school, college or university.  

Look up your unique organisation number (UON)

If you have not received your unique organisation number (UON) for ordering new COVID-19 test kits you can look it up using your unique reference number (URN) or your UK provider reference number (UKPRN) or by calling the Test and Trace helpdesk on 119.

Department for Education guidance

Our guidance to support education providers, local authorities and parents during the COVID-19 outbreak can be accessed using the links below:

·        Guidance for early years and childcare providers

·        Guidance for schools

·        Guidance for further and higher education providers

·        Guidance for local authority children’s services

·        Guidance for special schools and other specialist settings

Capturing the mental health experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in Warwickshire arts project

Warwickshire County Council is conducting a project which aims to explore engagement in mental health conversations and with services among communities who identify as Black, Asian, or Ethnic minority. The main objective of this project is to gather evidence related to mental health experiences and mental health challenges from BAME residents in Warwickshire and to help normalise the sharing of experiences, seeking help earlier and having the confidence to talk about experiences. Individuals’ stories will be turned into an arts product which will be used to promote and design services to increase engagement and ensure people seek support.

The project has engaged 3 artists to produce a digital artwork for the themes that emerge:

Bhulla Beghal (Bluebell Films LTD -https://bluebellfilms.co.uk/) is intending to make a documentary style film and is looking to hear from at least 10 adult participants from Asian/ Asian British communities, to record their mental health experiences and create a film to reflect them. The participants will need to be happy to be interviewed and filmed.

Trevor Woolery (Create Animate- https://www.createanimate.co.uk/) is intending to create an animation capturing the mental health experiences of 16-18-year olds from across BAME communities. He would also like to hear from at least 10 participants. The participants will need to be happy to be interviewed and have their voices recorded.

Akulah Agbami ( Sheba Soul Ensemble-  www.shebasoulensemble.com) is hosting a series of workshops and meetings to capture the experiences of Black/ Black British adults. They will also need 10 participants or more to engage with. Akulah’s artwork is yet to be confirmed. The participants will not be filmed, but their experiences will be recorded in some form. E.G audio/written/dance.

We are therefore asking for people, who may be interested in being involved in this project to get in touch, and/or organisations and groups who could invite an artist along to meetings to explain their project and possibly engage some participants.

If you have any questions or would like to take part in this project – please contact Community Engagement WCC communityengagementwcc@warwickshire.gov.uk

*We use the acronym BAME throughout this advert. However, we recognise its limitations as a term that combines and, therefore, dilutes the experiences of Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups.

‘Encouraging Vaccinations’ art project

Warwickshire Public Health has commissioned artists to produce an output that will encourage people to take up the vaccination when offered to them.  

It will include:

  • positive messaging around the vaccines and encourage uptake of the vaccination. 
  • The experiences of people already vaccinated/ why they chose to get vaccinated. 

Dan Simpson(https://www.dansimpsonpoet.co.uk/workshops) is one of the artists who has been engaged. He is offering FREE writing workshops for those aged 16-29 to take part in. Dan creates fun, accessible, and safe spaces for anyone to express themselves through poetry and spoken word - no experience is required! If you have a group of young people or staff who would enjoy these empowering, reflective, and creative sessions, please do let us know via  dan@dansimpsonpoet.co.uk  or Community Engagement WCC communityengagementwcc@warwickshire.gov.uk

Significant Adult Provision (SAP) – supporting primary schools to prevent permanent exclusions

What’s a SAP?

We are the people that work in the Significant Adult Provision, sometimes known as Pupil Support Workers. 

You may have heard people talking about us, you may have had the pleasure of working with us, or you may have been too bogged down with Covid, lock downs, testing and home learning to find out more. Hopefully this short article will give you more of an insight of what we do, and how we can take the strain off you when it comes to challenging behaviours, hard to reach parents and classroom difficulties.

What do we do?

Children that have been through the Fair Access Protocol will naturally be referred to us under Priority 1 - permanently excluded or Priority 2 - managed move/transfer.  We support the school, child, and family to begin the transition into their new setting.  In addition, we support children that fall under the Priority 3 - those at risk and who may require a referral to the FAP Primary & Assessment Gateway in the future.  The aim of the Significant Adult (SAP) is to reduce the number of referrals made to the panel by early intervention.  

How do we do it?

Think of us as the link that can pull everything together, by opening lines of communication with schools (inc. secondary), families, pupils and external agencies we have a unique opportunity to ensure everyone is working together to achieve the best outcomes for the child and your schools. 

By fostering positive relationships with all involved we have found that we have improved communication and families are more willing to access and accept support.  In some cases, we have been a mediator where relationships have broken down between parents/carer’s and have supported school to adopt the restorative practice approach.  Having the time to dedicate to families, some of whom have previously been hard to reach has given us the opportunity to look at how home life can impact children’s education, as well as how school life impacts home.  Having the time to support the child, offering 1:1 mentoring sessions has seen positive changes in the child’s behaviour both at school, and at home.  In addition, we have been able to offer support to teaching staff providing a variety of behaviour management strategies, adding to the tools and strategies they currently practice.  Working collaboratively has encouraged home to mirror and support practices in school, and vice versa resulting in positive outcomes.

Being able to review all plans in place around the child we have the chance to support the Assess, Plan, Do, Review process, offering help where needed to implement any interventions recommended, sign post to relevant support networks, share best practice and identify potential training / learning needs which would benefit the child and the school.  This has been something we’ve been able to facilitate and in some instances, we’ve sought external agencies to deliver training.  The SAP network means we connect across all consortiums countywide and wherever possible we deliver and support collectively as well as sharing good practice and resources. 

How you can commission a SAP?

Speak to your Primary Consortia Chair or contact the SAP directly:


Significant Adults

Consortia 1 Nuneaton East & Stockingford – Not yet in post

Consortia 2 Bedworth – Sue Coombes, email coombes.s@welearn365.com

Consortia 3A North Warwickshire – Julie Deeming, email Julie.deeming@racemeadow.org

Consortia 3B Coleshill & Kingsbury – Lisa Allison, email Allison.l1@welearn365.com

Consortia 4 Nuneaton & Hartshill - Helen Buckler, email buckler.h1@welearn365.com

Consortia 5 Studley/ Stratford/ Henley – Lauretta Redman, email redman.l@welearn365.com

Consortia 6 Bidford & Alcester – Not yet in post

Consortia 7 Kineton & Shipston – Helen Collins, email head3024@welearn365.com 

Consortia 8A Leamington North – Gayle Foley, email foley.g@welearn365.com

Consortia 8B Leamington South – Vicki Plumb, email miles.j2@welearn365.com

Consortia 9 Warwick & Southam – Debra Bradford, email bradford.d1@welearn365.com

Consortia 10 Kenilworth – Jaime Shilton, email shilton.j@welearn365.com

Consortia 11 Rugby Town – Sam Smythe, email smythe.s@welearn365.com

Consortia 12 Rural Rugby – Carys Pape, email pape.c@welearn365.com

Please find an overview/example of the SAP intent statement/process for commissioning. 

National Centre for Family Hubs launches

The National Centre for Family Hubs was launched in May 2021 as a major national initiative led by the Anna Freud Centre and funded by the Department for Education to support the scale up of Family Hubs across England.

The National Centre for Family Hubs will be a learning network that will champion Family Hubs and spread best practice on evidence-based service models to Family Hub providers across England.

The National Centre for Family Hubs will host a comprehensive resource library as well as develop a series of implementation resources that will form a toolkit of support for Family Hubs Providers. This work will be supported by disseminating a regular newsletter, running a series of learning events, and creating a community of practice.  

All the work of the National Centre for Family Hubs will be guided by three main principles:

  1. What the evidence says works and is good value for money
  2. What families say they need and want
  3. What Family Hub providers say about effective delivery

Join the free National Centre for Family Hubs network for their latest events, resources and news.

Warwickshire Attendance Service Update - 26th May 2021

Coding Guidance for Pupils Travelling Abroad

During the half term break, many families may take the opportunity to take a holiday abroad.  This means that on their return, they may be required to quarantine.  

Pupils who are required by legislation to self-isolate as part of a period of quarantine 

If a pupil is required to be in quarantine on return to the UK, code X should be used for the duration of the quarantine.  Schools are required to provide education for these pupils during this period.

Coding for holidays during term time.   

The DfE advise that parents should plan their holidays within school breaks and avoid seeking permission to take their children out of school during term time. Families should also consider that their child may need to self-isolate following trips overseas that require a period of quarantine.   

Headteachers retain the ability to authorise leave in accordance with the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (amended 2013), if they consider there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application.  


Pupils should be coded as either H (authorised holiday) or G (unauthorised holiday) for the duration of the holiday.   

If a pupil is required to be in quarantine on return to the UK follow a term time holiday, code X should be used as outlined above. 

If you have any further questions, please contact Warwickshire Attendance Service using the email address below: 



Further information can be found at the links: 



Origin Maths Hub Opportunities 2021 – 2022 Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire (June 2021 Update)

Origin Maths Hub Teaching Maths for Mastery Programme

These free and fully funded Work Groups support schools to develop strong curriculum, teaching and professional development practices that reflect a teaching maths for mastery approach. They are for schools who have not previously engaged in any Teaching for Mastery Work Groups with Maths Hubs. Click to find out more:

The deadline for applications to these Work Groups is Monday 7th June

Origin Maths Hub Mastering Number Work Groups (Reception and Key Stage 1)

The aim of this free programme is to support young children to develop fluency in calculation and confidence with number. Lead teacher participants from reception, year 1 and year 2 will receive free training, access to a supportive online community, and resources with planning, to equip them to give their class a daily short 'number sense' session as part of scheduled maths teaching. Find out more here. The deadline for applications to these Work Groups is Friday 11th June.

Origin Maths Hub Specialist Knowledge for Teaching Mathematics -
Secondary Non-Specialist Programme (Secondary Schools)

This new, free programme for secondary schools focuses on both subject knowledge and pedagogy for those teaching outside their specialism in secondary maths departments. Find out more here.

Origin Maths Hub Professional Development Lead Opportunities

We are looking for new leaders of mathematics professional development opportunities, from EYFS to post 16, including those who might be able to share their experiences of working on mathematics with students with SEND. Please contact us to find out more.


As part of this, we are also currently recruiting for fully funded places on these mathematics teacher professional development programmes:

  • Professional Development Lead Accreditation Programme – find out more here 
  • School Development Lead Accreditation Programme – find out more here

The deadline for applications to these programmes is 9am on Friday 18th June.

Championing Employability

Careers: wholetime firefighter roles in Warwickshire

Careers advisors working with Post 16 sectors may be interested to note that Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service are recruiting for wholetime firefighters currently.

These roles are open to anyone without firefighting experience, over the age of 18 when they begin their training course. This means applicants may apply to be a wholetime firefighter if they are aged between 17 years 6 months and 18 years old, as long as they are 18 years old once they commence training. 

More information can be found on Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service's webpages: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/work-fire-rescue/wholetime-firefighters/4

Applications opened on 24 May and close on Wednesday 16 June.


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