In this issue
P-J's foreword
Surrey Healthy Schools news
New safeguarding guidance
SEND - networking and information sharing conferences
The importance of premises checks
'Magna Carta - The Opera' at the Royal Albert Hall
'Surrey schools have talent' 2014 - reminder
Admissions and transport summer update
RAISEonline updates
Congratulations to Julie Riches from Philip Southcote
Procurement updates
Woking Inclusive Sports Club
Sex and relationships education guidance
Work experience and health and safety workshop
Useful links
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Ofsted website
Dept of Education
Babcock 4S
Previous issues
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Procurement advice for schools
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P-J Wilkinson
P-J's foreword
All the latest news and updates from the Assistant Director for Schools and Learning.

Dear colleagues,

I enjoy a good bank holiday as much as the next public servant, but looking at today’s inbox together with the backlog of unresolved sticky issues, I am reminded that we pay for our pleasures. Hey-ho. At least the sun is shining.

I attended secondary phase council yesterday where the issues around funding the “high needs block” (a.k.a. special educational needs) were probably the predominant concern among several contenders. As often before, I am very reassured by the willingness of schools to work together to address shared problems, even when the governmental and financial regimes conspire to pull colleagues apart. 

Among other hot issues, schools were generally very supportive of plans to develop a university technology college in Guildford, provided they were kept thoroughly involved in the planning and partnership issues. There was also a difficult but ultimately positive discussion about support for the Gypsy/Roma/Traveller community. The recurring dilemma here is that children are withdrawn from school education at various points in their secondary years and that although we are told they are being home educated, there is no provision that allows us to inspect the adequacy of these arrangements. The result is that we find secondary age children at various stages of adolescence who are both out of school and apparently with nothing like the literacy skills we would expect. These children seek educational support outside the school system which is inevitably both more expensive and less thorough than what can be provided in school, so the question hangs in the air “Why should we pay more for less, especially when resources are so tightly constrained?” and we are caught between children’s rights and the culture of some members of a particular community. At the end of the discussion there was agreement that Surrey staff and secondary schools would form a short-lived working group to consider together what offer we should make and how, but this is an issue that begs national reform, not just local initiatives.

Last week Caroline Budden and I attended what I will diplomatically call a difficult meeting with parents at Freemantles Special School to discuss the access of children to a residential learning programme. Freemantles is a school that specialises in meeting the needs of children who are autistic and as such provides a vital service for Surrey in an area where our provision currently falls well short of our needs. One of our imminent challenges if we are to be able to bring our special educational needs services into affordability is to expand our ‘home grown’ provision for autism and rely less on very high cost non-maintained and independent places.

Freemantles has a Surrey children’s home next door which although separately run, was initially conceived as another part of the same operation. Our debates with parents have centred on the conflicting cases for using Ruth House as (1) a main home for children who have no other, (2) a provider of respite care for families with an urgent need and (3) a venue for a residential learning programme for the Freemantles pupils – each one a worthy objective in itself.

After a lot of debate Caroline and I agreed that we would carry out a new equalities impact assessment to look afresh at the balance of the various demands. As our financial situation tightens, these are the sort of conflicting pressures that make one despair a little of ever finding a right way through, and focus on trying to make the choices that do least damage.

Someone suggested I close with a piece extolling the virtues of iPads over conventional books for study purposes. You might as well try to convince my cat of the virtues of vegetarianism, but before I start extolling the virtues of quill and parchment let me just say that I support whatever gets them thinking. I now defer to my professional colleagues.

Hope this finds you all well.

Best wishes


Peter-John Wilkinson

Assistant Director – Schools and Learning 

healthy schools1
Surrey Healthy Schools news
Read the latest news from Surrey Healthy Schools.

The Surrey Healthy Schools summer 2014 newsletter is now available.

It has been a busy year for everything ‘Healthy Schools’; related topics and issues are never far from the headlines and prominent reports. We have much to celebrate in Surrey – with schools showing a huge commitment to Healthy Schools and the mental and physical health and wellbeing of their staff, pupils and communities.

Keep up to date with national and local information – access free training, resources and support and read about how schools are positively impacting upon health and wellbeing, behaviour and school culture.

Visit the Surrey Healthy Schools website if you would like further information.

New safeguarding guidance
The Department for Education has recently published statutory guidance, "Keeping children safe in education".

The Department for Education has recently published statutory guidance, "Keeping children safe in education". This guidance replaces "Safeguarding children and safer recruitment in education" (December 2006).

The new guidance contains sections on:

  • safer recruitment, including Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and the definition of "regulated activity"
  • managing allegations
  • the role of the designated lead
  • boarding schools and children's homes.

The designated lead for safeguarding in schools will now be known in Surrey as the 'designated child protection officer' (DCPO) in line with 'working together to safeguard children 2013'.

In relation to DBS checks for school staff, the Surrey County Council policy of rechecking after three years will no longer be necessary. This follows Ofsted guidance issued in 2013. Exceptions to this would be where there has been a break in service eg a career break. Please note that this only relates to directly employed school staff.

You can read "Keeping children safe in education" online.

If you require any further information please email Ian McGraw, Education Safeguarding Advisor.

SEND - networking and information sharing conferences
Surrey County Council is hosting four conferences in June and July to support colleagues and partners in preparing for the introduction of new SEND legislation in September.

Surrey County Council is hosting four conferences in June and July to support colleagues and partners in preparing for the introduction of new SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) legislation in September.

The aim of the conferences is to update our colleagues and partners on the headline changes in practice and culture that the legislation will introduce and what they and/or their colleagues need to know in preparing for new ways of working with children and families where there is a child or young person with SEND.

What will be covered?

  • the new code of practice for SEND and its implications
  • changes to culture and behaviour linked to person centred planning and co-production
  • how outcome focussed assessment will affect how we meet children’s SEND including an introduction to how arrangements to support outcomes will be funded
  • what the new process of applying for and participating in the new education, health and care assessment and planning will look like.

Who should come?

Everyone is welcome but this conference should be of particular interest to:

  • school governors especially with SEND responsibilities
  • colleagues in social care who need knowledge of how the SEND system works
  • colleagues in health care (paediatric therapy, CAMHS) who need knowledge of the SEND system
  • school colleagues with inclusion responsibilities who have not attended SENCO networks (we anticipate that all SENCOs will have received these briefings at network meetings but those who have not are welcome
  • local or county councillors with an interest in SEND
  • parents and carers who are interested in the council's response to the new legislation
  • local authority colleagues who interface with the SEND system.



24 June at Epsom Downs Racecourse - contact Suzanne Dowling on 01737 737959.

25 June at Epsom Downs Racecourse - contact Linda Puttock on 01483 518993.

26 June at Sandown Park Racecourse - contact Anna Linehan on 01372 833413.

3 July at HG Wells Centre - contact Tim Coward on 01483 518814.

The importance of premises checks
Alan Cottle, Head of Strategic Risk Management reminds us how important regular health and safety checks are.

A recent incident in Edinburgh highlights the importance of regular premises checks. Please read the following note from Alan Cottle, Head of Strategic Risk Management:

"We were all shocked and saddened by the death of a student at Liberton High School in Edinburgh, when a wall at the school collapsed on her at the start of April. This type of incident is obviously extremely rare but may I please remind you of the importance of regular checks of your premises, as well as activities, in order to spot dangerous faults and flaws. The traditional termly premises checks carried out by governors and the school's health and safety coordinator and/or premises manager should be recorded and significant concerns must be escalated.

"The strategic risk management team and property services will be happy to advise you if you have any concerns."

You can contact Alan Cottle on 020 8541 9622 or call the property helpdesk on 020 8541 9000, option 6.

'Magna Carta - The Opera' at the Royal Albert Hall
Surrey Arts is looking for expressions of interest from primary schools wishing to participate in ‘Magna Carta – The Opera’ at the Royal Albert Hall.

Surrey Arts’ next major event will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 12 May 2015. Following a successful ‘Olympic’ themed concert in 2012, we’re delighted that the 2015 event will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta in Surrey.

Surrey Arts is looking for expressions of interest from primary schools wishing to participate in ‘Magna Carta – The Opera’. This exciting arts project offers the opportunity to perform a brand new piece of music, commissioned by Surrey Arts especially to mark the Magna Carta anniversary.

Surrey Arts is delighted to have Hannah Conway on board as its composer, Karen Gillingham as director and Sir Richard Stilgoe as librettist. It is looking for a massed choir of just over 800 pupils to perform the music, alongside some of Surrey’s community choirs. In order to allow as many schools as possible to take part, there will be a limit of 60 pupils per school.

This is a major project and participating schools need to understand the commitment it entails. Schools are expected to begin learning the music, with the support of Surrey Arts' creative team, in weekly school-based rehearsals from February 2015. In addition to weekly rehearsals at your school, schools will need to attend two mass choir rehearsals (Monday 23 March and Thursday 7 May 2015) in Surrey, followed by a technical rehearsal at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 12 May in the afternoon.

This project isn’t just about your pupils; it is also a fantastic learning opportunity for teachers and consequently will work best if the same teacher can be involved from the outset. Teachers will be provided with a supporting CD and expected to sing through the music with pupils in between weekly rehearsals.

Surrey Arts is happy to undertake the massive task of organisation for this event. The only things it needs schools to be responsible for are organising transport and any associated costs to and from the mass rehearsals and Royal Albert Hall, as well as providing adequate rehearsal space (school hall or a large flexible room) and staff supervision for pupils throughout the project. It will also ask your school and/or pupils to make a financial contribution to cover the cost of t-shirts for the performance at £6 for each participant although we are hoping that we may find a sponsor to reduce this cost. Finally, and most importantly, an enthusiasm to learn all about the Magna Carta, to be creative and try out new things in this exciting project!

Places are limited and Surrey Arts is looking for an even geographic spread of schools from across the county. If you would like your school to take part please contact Paula Camp for an application form which needs to be returned by 30 May 2014.

We were overwhelmed by the response in 2012, so please reply as soon as possible. We do hope that you will join in for what promises to be a spectacular evening of music making!

'Surrey schools have talent' 2014 - reminder
'Surrey schools have talent' is back for 2014 - remember to send in entries by Friday 16 May!

'Surrey schools have talent' is part of the P&G Surrey school games and this is the third year of the competition. Your talented students, musicians, bands, dancers and acrobats aged 7-16 are invited to enter and represent their school.

Selected finalists will be offered coaching and mentor support and will be invited to perform in front of a live audience and a panel of judges at G-Live in Guildford on Thursday 3 July. Competition winners will have the chance to go on to perform at one of Surrey’s festivals over the summer and their school will be offered a free workshop or continuing professional development activity delivered by Surrey Arts and tailored to the needs of the school.

Entrants will need to send a video of their performance, inspired by the school games spirit of the games values, by Friday 16 May 2014. You can find out more on the P&G Surrey school games website.

Admissions and transport summer update
Find out all the latest news from the admissions and transport team.

The admissions and transport team has issued its summer term 2014 update. This includes important information on:

  • determined admission arrangements for own admission authority schools 2015
  • updates to primary and secondary admissions booklets
  • determined admission arrangements for community and voluntary controlled schools 2015
  • the admission of summer born children
  • home to school transport policy 2015
  • home to school transport – requests to validate free school meal eligibility
  • Transport for London cash free bus travel from 6 July 2014
  • Department for Education's consultation on home to school transport guidance
  • contacting Surrey’s admissions and transport team
  • feedback on Surrey’s admissions service
  • new look school admissions pages on Surrey’s website.
RAISEonline updates
Read more about key stage 2 validated data.

The 2013 key stage 2 interactive and summary reports on RAISEonline will not be updated with final datasets this year.

RAISEonline assessed the scale of change between the validated and final versions of key stage 2 data and, nationally, found there were only a small number of amendments that were required. The number of changes did not warrant the expense and time required to update the site and complete the extensive quality assurance it applies prior to release.

RAISEonline has contacted the schools that had changes to school level data. If it has not written to your school, your data did not require any updates since the validated data release on 27 February 2014. Inspectors have been advised about this decision and provided with details of the schools affected.

If you have any queries that cannot be resolved via the support material in RAISEonline library, please email

School award
Congratulations to Julie Riches from Philip Southcote
Congratulations to Julie Riches from Philip Southcote special school for being selected to join the PSHE (personal social health and economic education) Association Advisory Council.

Julie Riches from Philip Southcote special school has been selected to join the PSHE (personal social health and economic education) Association Advisory Council.

The PSHE Association supports PSHE practitioners across all phases of education to raise the quality of PSHE teaching and promote the subject’s status within the curriculum.

PSHE professionals from across the country were invited to apply to become a member of the association’s advisory council, and Julie’s application was so strong that she was invited for interview and subsequently selected.

The PSHE Association said:

“Julie’s passion for both PSHE and the teaching of children and young people with SEND (special educational needs or a disability) simply lifted from her application form, and she was swiftly selected to support the PSHE Association Advisory Council. Her commitment to effective, up-to-date PSHE pedagogy was further evident as this year she embarked upon the National PSHE CPD programme with Babcock 4S and the University of Roehampton - it is this level of expertise we require when developing guidance for a national audience.”

For any further information regarding PSHE support and consultancy please contact Sarah Lyles.

Procurement updates
Read the latest updates from the procurement team.

Schools Category Specialist

Sangini Crane's secondment as Schools Category Specialist was due to finish at the end of March 2014 but it has been extended for three months. Surrey would like to consult with all schools to decide on the future of this role and to shape the service. We would be grateful if you could take some time to respond to a short questionnaire.

Build Surrey

The Build Surrey schools module was launched last month so please don’t forget to register if you need contractors for works in your school. Please check out issue 95 of the Schools Bulletin for all the information on what you need to do to access the website and don’t forget to let your existing contractors know, so they can register.

Contracts list

Sangini Crane will be able to circulate a list of contracts available to schools next month - the final touches are just being made to it. The spreadsheet will also contain nationwide framework agreements which allow schools to purchase from.

If you have any queries on the items above, please email

Woking Inclusive Sports Club
Woking Inclusive Sports Club is offering free sessions to young people with learning and physical disabilities.

Active Surrey, Woking Borough Council and Woking Football Club are inviting young people aged 11 – 19 years to attend a multi-sport club to make new friends and have fun in a relaxed and friendly environment. Sessions are aimed at young people with learning and physical disabilities.

Sessions began on Sunday 4 May 2014 and will run every Sunday from 10am to 12pm at Bishop David Brown School in Woking. The first eight sessions are free of charge, then participants will be charged £2 per session.

Activities include sports such as Boccia, new age curling, wheelchair basketball, table cricket, goalball, football and many more. All sessions are overseen by fully qualified, experienced coaches and volunteers.

For further information or to register your place, call 01483 772247 or email

Sex and relationships education guidance

New sex and relationships education supplementary guidance is available to support teachers.

Three of the country's leading experts in sex and relationships education (SRE) - The Sex Education Forum, Brook and the PSHE Association (personal social health and economic education) - have launched supplementary advice, SRE for the 21st Century. This complements the Government's statutory guidance on SRE and supports teachers in improving the delivery of SRE in schools.

The new advice comes only a short time after the Department for Education launched its new timeline of mandatory information for schools which includes a specific requirement for all schools to include information about their PSHE education provision when publishing their curriculum.

If you would like to take part in effective PSHE continuing professional development (CPD) - the 'National PSHE CPD programme' provided by Babcock 4S combines practical activities and theory to provide the very best in PSHE developmental training and pedagogy. More than 10,000 teachers and other professionals have benefited from taking part. To find out more please visit:

For any further information regarding PSHE support and consultancy please contact Sarah Lyles.

Work experience and health and safety workshop
A workshop for staff who manage and coordinate work experience is coming up.

Surrey County Council and Babcock 4S will be running a workshop for all school and college staff who manage and coordinate work experience for key stage 4 and post 16 students. This course will be on Tuesday 13 May 2014 from 9am to 1pm at Leatherhead Golf Club.

This course will provide delegates with a deeper understanding of current thinking on policy and legislation in relation to work experience and help you to ensure that your students are well prepared for a high quality experience.

There will be availability for a limited number of delegates so please apply soon to secure your place. Please see the attached leaflet for further information or you can book online.

Please contact Jenny Mullett or Lesley Graham with any queries.

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