WE2 An empowering curriculum

Make sure you understand the new Fair Access Protocol

“Each local authority must have a Fair Access Protocol, agreed with the majority of schools in its area to ensure that – outside the normal admissions round - unplaced children, especially the most vulnerable, are offered a place at a suitable school as quickly as possible.”   p30 School Admission Code December 2014

In June 2019, WCC's Fair Access Protocol was consulted and agreed on and this protocol has been operating since September 2019.

The “FAP and assessment gateway” for primary schools was introduced reflecting a similar model to the Area Behaviour Partnerships behaviour lead meetings (FAP and assessment gateway in secondary phase). This term the FAP and assessment gateways supporting both primary and secondary students have convened twice.  

During these meetings, we have identified several points relating to the Fair Access process that we would like to clarify for all headteachers:

A) Exceptional circumstances:

  • All schools are in scope when it comes to admission of a child under the Fair Access Protocol unless a school has applied for an exemption using the approved process.
  • To apply for an exemption, schools are required to submit an exceptional circumstances form to marierooney@warwickshire.gov.uk in advance of any FAP and assessment gateway panel meeting. If a form has not been submitted in advance of a FAP panel meeting then any requests for exemption made at the meeting will not be accepted.
  • The exceptional circumstances form can be downloaded from here (downloads as Word doc).
  • A school cannot cite they are above their PAN as an exceptional circumstance (except in the case of infant class sizes).

B) Exemption decisions:

  • A decision will be made by WCC on whether to agree to the exemption under the exceptional circumstances submission.
  • An exemption may be agreed for up to a period of 12 weeks, in which case the given school will not be in scope for admission, of any child under the Fair Access Protocol, within the granted time period.
  • If the exemption is not agreed the school will be in scope for admission of a child under the Fair Access Protocol.

C) Primary FAP and Assessment Gateway 

  • The dates and deadlines for the primary FAP and assessment gateway meetings can be found here.
  • At the FAP and Assessment Gateway meeting on the 16 October, it was agreed that moving forward any school in scope for a FAP child will be emailed by WCC officers in advance, to notify the head teacher that they are in scope and could be allocated a FAP child at the next FAP and assessment gateway meeting.
  • At the FAP and assessment gateway, a final decision will be made on which of the schools in scope will admit the child.
  • All decisions regarding the admission of any child made at the FAP and assessment gateway meetings are final and the child should be placed on the roll of the identified school within five school days, even if there is to be a phased integration.
  • In the spirit of transparency, we will be maintaining a spreadsheet of how many FAP referrals have been admitted into primary schools and this will be shared with primary schools half termly (secondary schools already have access to this information).
  • There is no duty to comply with parental preference when allocating places through the Protocol, but it is expected the wishes of the parents will be taken into account (DfE Fair Access Protocol Guidance).
  • The Fair Access Protocol does not apply to a looked after child, a previously looked after child or a child with a statement of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plan.

Please download the Fair access protocol here for further details.

Key contacts

STS Area Managers should be your first port of call for advice for pupils at risk if exclusion

All referrals into the Assessment Gateway are to be made to Jamie Goodall-Barber at the following email address: JamieGoodall-Barber@warwickshire.gov.uk

Help to shape Warwickshire SENDIAS

Kids Logo

Warwickshire SENDIAS service is looking for a SENCo to be part of their steering group which will help shape the delivery of information, advice and support for parents and carers of Warwickshire children with special educational needs and disabilities, from 0-25 years of age.

This is an excellent opportunity to contribute to how the service works with parents, schools and other professionals.

Meetings will take place termly at Exhall Grange Specialist School (free parking available) and will usually last for two hours. Refreshments will also be provided.

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 13 November 2019 from 9.30am

To register your interest in joining the steering group or for more information please email stephanie.dugmore@kids.org.uk

Invitation to launch of new Protective Behaviours resource pack

Protective Behaviours ResourceA new, comprehensive resource has been developed to help primary and special schools support children to develop strategies for self-protection, teaching them how to recognise and trust their own feelings and boost self-esteem.

The new curriculum pack is part of the Protective Behaviours work, which has been at the heart of the Taking Care scheme for the past 18 years. The Taking Care scheme aims to improve the safety and wellbeing of children in Warwickshire by teaching them how to keep themselves safer in a variety of situations.

Protective Behaviours is an internal process, meaning that each person applies the ideas to their own unique experience. It is essentially a safety awareness and resilience building programme which helps children and adults to recognise any situation where they feel worried or threatened and explores practical ways to stay safe.

The programme has become well embedded in the majority of our primary schools, with the Protective Education Curriculum Resource pack, written by the Taking Care Project Manager, Ann Seal, now on its third edition.

Following a suggestion by headteacher, Jen Roberts, Ann invited staff from across the special school sector to come together to share practice ideas and as a result of this, and Ann's own extensive experience that she has picked up over the years, a brand new and comprehensive resource pack has been developed. 

Launch events

Protective Behaviour schools have been invited to a launch event, where their delegated staff member can join others in exploring the new resource, in the hope that this will encourage lots of use back in their schools. The events will take place on 5, 12 and 18 November 2019. If you would like to attend the launch event or require further details, please contact Sophie Morley on 01926 742601 or email sophiemorley@warwickshire.gov.uk.

Whole school training

It is highly recommended that you book in some whole school training if: less than 90% of staff have been trained and/or it is more than five years since you received whole school training. If this is your school, or if you just wish to provide a refresher for your staff, then please contact Ann Seal - email annseal@warwickshire.gov.uk

We are excited to hear what schools do with the resources and we would encourage you to keep Ann updated with your pictures and successes so these can be shared with others too.  

Specialist partnership model putting inclusion at the heart of Rokeby Primary School

One of the head teacher responses to the SEND & Inclusion Strategy consultation last year said:

“Mainstream can often meet needs, but not in as effective a way as schools that are more set for children with specialist needs. This doesn't mean necessarily special schools, but more that we seem to have two models only - special school and mainstream - there needs to be a better choice than this” [Primary Head Teacher]

The SEND & Inclusion Strategy sets out to bridge the gap between mainstream and specialist provision by creating new models, such as specialist partnerships and resourced provisions.

Headteacher of Rokeby Primary School, Jen James, has recently set up a successful partnership with a local special school and has been surprised by the impact this has had, not just on the pupils receiving the support, but on the whole school community. Jen shares in her own words the journey they have been on to get to this point.  

Does it matter? I must have asked myself and my staff that question more times than I care to remember over the last few years. Does it matter if she isn’t sitting down? Does it matter if he needs to chew on his sleeve? Does it matter? This has become a whole school mantra and in many ways, these few words have completely changed how we plan provision for children with SEND.

   Rokeby Primary 02   Rokeby Primary 03

Having been thrust into the head teachers chair in January 2017 as an inexperienced, naïve and completely unprepared educator, I had no idea the moral dilemmas that I’d be faced with as a leader. Balancing needs and standards amongst many other things has not been an easy task and it has been even more complex for our governors and Academy Trust to understand.

Only recently, we have taken a child with very complex medical needs on to our roll. Having been previously refused by several schools, we were of course concerned about how we would meet his needs in terms of managing his oxygen and his tube feeding. Now he is here, settled and thriving. It was a challenging time for all involved but ultimately, we are doing what is right by the children and families; providing an opportunity to access mainstream education for as long as possible.

Rokeby Primary_01Our partnership with Brooke Special School has helped support the vision we have, where pupils on their roll attend our setting anywhere between half a day to five days a week. We needed to know if we could fully integrate these children into our mainstream classrooms and, if we could make it work for these children, what other children could benefit from this? Over the last 18 months, a shift has occurred. We have begun to expect more from ourselves as to what experiences we could offer to children with SEND in terms of full integration into the classroom.

I am not saying that this is easy – it absolutely is not and the hard work and dedication of our team is not to be underestimated. This has been something that every member of our whole school community has had to buy into in order for its potential to be maximised. Our whole staff body are trained in Makaton, communicate in print, nurture philosophy and many other areas to enable every corner of our provision to be accessible to all pupils.

Our school has become more than I could have imagined – a community joined by a shared vision, aspiration and passion for ensuring inclusion is at the very heart of what we do.

If you are interested in establishing a specialist partnership or resourced provision please contact Steve Pendleton, SEN and Inclusion Commissioner - email stevependleton@warwickshire.gov.uk



In case you missed it: Children & Families update from the Headteachers Conference

John Coleman, Assistant Director for Children and Families summarises the key information shared at the recent Headteachers' Conference on 22 October.

On behalf of the Children and Families team, I hope you had a restful half term week and have had an opportunity to digest the information from the Children & Families presentation shared at the Headteachers Conference on 22 October 2019. We hope that you found the presentation and table discussions useful and informative.

We appreciate some people couldn’t attend the conference and, for those who did attend, there was a lot of information to take in, so we have summarised some of the key points from the session below:

  • Warwickshire County Council is investing in services and new ways of working to get the right support at the right time for families. This also means more support for schools which is available locally and simple and easy to use.
  • Through restorative practice the council is helping communities and families to build on their strengths and relationships to find their own solutions.
  • There are changes to how services are accessed to help manage demand appropriately and ensure families are supported in the best way possible. For the system to be most efficient we all need to work together with families and resources have been developed to help us do this.
  • New ways of working will mean quick access to Family Support, Parenting Work and advice and guidance available locally.
    To view the full presentation, please click here.

At the conference, we provided posters for practitioners which can be used in staff areas to help to signpost parents to the right place, as well as a flyer for parent, so that they can help themselves. We hope you were able to take some of these back to your schools, these are also now available to download on our website here.

We also supplied a toolkit for practitioners containing information on everything we covered in our presentation and to help you to understand more about the services available and where to signpost children and families. 

Finally, we shared some children and family service successes from the past year - here's the video for anyone who missed this: 

For further information on Early Help and who to contact for further information, please visit the Early Help webpages.

Workshops to learn more about Warwickshire's Restorative Practice Approach

Following the recent session at the Headteachers Conference many of you will be aware that Warwickshire Safeguarding has endorsed the new Restorative Practice Approach being rolled out across the county. Restorative Practice is about creating and maintaining respectful and trusting relationships with children and their families, working on the premise of 'High Support and High Challenge'.

A series of multi-agency Restorative Child Protection System workshops have been organised across the county to help raise awareness of the new model and to share more information about how we will work collaboratively to deliver a restorative system across Warwickshire. 

Workshops are open to all practitioners who attend or lead child protection within organisations across Warwickshire.

The objectives of the workshop are to:

  • Provide an introduction to restorative practice
  • Introduce the new Pathway to Change model in Warwickshire
  • Explain the new ways of working in strategy meetings, child protection conference and core group meetings.
  • Explain how we will work differently to include families within the child protection system, particularly how we will share information and work with families and professionals to develop child and family plans

You are encouraged to book yourself onto one of these workshops to learn firsthand about the changes and how this will impact on your work with children and families.

The first two sessions will take place in November and December, with a further seven sessions organised for January 2020. 

To find out more about this new approach and to book your place on a workshop please visit the Safeguarding Warwickshire webpage.

The Warwickshire way when addressing children missing education (CME)

Ethical Leadership virtue:

“Courage: leaders work courageously in the best interests of children and young people. We protect their safety and their right to a broad, effective and creative education. We hold one another to account courageously.”

Navigating the educational moral maze p10

Achieving Ethical Inclusion: The Warwickshire way when addressing children missing education (CME)

Did you know:

  • Warwickshire County Council identifies children who are absent from school and their whereabouts is unknown or when a child is not on a school roll and there does not seem to be any education in place through direct referrals and data analysis.
  • We receive over 500 referrals every year; two thirds of the referrals are for Warwickshire children
  • In 18/19 45% of referrals were closed within 10 days
  • The service offers advice and guidance to any professional worried about a child missing in education
  • We have established links with MASH, NHS, Housing, Police and Youth Justice to ensure all referrals into the service can be dealt with effectively
  • We have robust links with local authorities all over the country to locate children missing from education

Arrangements for dealing with children missing education features strongly in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 and the new Ofsted inspection framework 2019.

Please share this information with key people in your school.

Please note: If a child is missing and their whereabouts is known this is addressed through the attendance policy of a school.

For further information please visit the Children Missing Education webpage.  

Training to help you support pupils with additional needs

A number of Warwickshire's traded education services provide training and development to help schools to build capacity and skills to better support pupils with additional needs.

Please see a list below of upcoming courses provided by the Specialist Teaching Service (STS) and Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS).

For details of all training provided by WES traded services you can visit the WES webpages.

Course title / Description Date Venue Booking Link

Assessing EAL new arrivals

Aims to build EAL capacity within schools. Two free places are offered to all local authority primary schools. 

15 Nov 2019 Pound Lane Learning Centre, Leamington Spa Book this course

Girls with Autism

Gain an understanding of the theory and approaches associated with girls and autism and learn practical school-based strategies to provide additional support.  

15 Nov 2019 Pound Lane Learning Centre, Leamington Spa Book this course

Talk Boost 

Learn effective strategies and practical activities to support children with language delay in Reception and Key Stage 1.


28 Nov 2019 Pound Lane Learning Centre, Leamington Spa Book this course

Maths Learning Difficulties - Exploring successful strategies to support

Explore the different factors that can affect a child’s maths development and understand the importance of concrete apparatus and visual approaches. Refresh your knowledge of the use of Numicon and other resources.

14 Jan 2020 Pound Lane Learning Centre, Leamington Spa Book this course

Pathway to success: meeting the challenges and expectations of the 2014 national curriculum for English

Sponsored by Oxford University Press and led by James Clements.

21 Jan 2020 Wolston Leisure Centre, Coventry Book this course

Inference Training

A group intervention for pupils in KS2 and KS3 who decode adequately but fail to get full meaning and enjoyment from their reading. 

6 Feb 2020 Pound Lane Learning Centre, Leamington Spa Book this course

Stay flu safe this winter

With summer over and flu season ahead, Warwickshire County Council is reminding schools of the importance of supporting the schools-based immunisation programme.  

All children in reception and years 1-6 are eligible for the free flu vaccine, which helps to protect them from contracting the virus and spreading this in school and at home. 

Despite a number of myths surrounding the flu vaccine, we know that the vaccines used are safe, effective and really are the best protection against flu during the peak months of the virus, view our myth busting poster here  

Flu is an unpredictable virus and can be severe for some people, including adults aged 65 years and over, pregnant women and anyone with underlying health conditions, such as long-term heart or respiratory disease. The national flu immunisation programme aims to provide direct protection to those who are at higher risk of flu-associated illness and death. 

You will have received information from NHSE regarding the immunisation programme and we thank you for your continued support. 

For more information about the vaccine, you can find out more on this poster. 

Help us to keep antibiotics working and win some great prizes

Keep antibiotics working

It’s that time of year when the weather is getting colder, and we may be more susceptible to colds and other bugs that are circulating. Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council, along with NHS organisations across Coventry and Warwickshire will be launching a “Keep Antibiotics Working” campaign in November, and are keen to get as many schools as they can involved with the campaign. 

Antibiotics are essential to treat bacterial infections, but using antibiotics when they are not needed encourages harmful bacteria that live inside us to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when we really need them.

To help raise awareness of this, schools across Warwickshire are being invited to take part in our poster competition.

The winning poster will be used on our website, social media and in our media coverage of the campaign and we’ll arrange a photo call with the winner and their poster.

The competition is open to all Warwickshire school age children between the ages of 5 and 16 years old and asks them to create a poster to raise awareness about one of the following messages that help to prevent the spread of illnesses:

  • Prevent infections and stop them spreading by washing your hands with soap and water regularly, particularly before eating and after going to the toilet.
  • Remember that cold, flu and stomach viruses can’t be treated with antibiotics and usually get better with rest and fluids. Find out more here
  • Take your health professional's advice about antibiotics.
  • When prescribed antibiotics, always take the full course and never share with others.
  • Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk - let's save antibiotics for when they are really needed. Find out more here

There will be two winners; one from the 5-11 age group and a second from 12-16 age group.

Please submit entries (A4 size) to Dr Fatema Dhaif and Dr Sumaya Gurhan by 29 November 2019.

Please also make sure your name, address, school and contact details are included. 

You can email in scanned entries to Fatemadhaif@warwickshire.gov.uk or Sumayagurhan@warwickshire.gov.uk

Or post them to: FAO Fatema Dhaif/Sumaya Gurhan, Public Health Unit, People Group, Warwickshire County Council, Saltisford Office Park, Ansell Way, Warwick, CV34 4UL

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