I am writing from a chilly County Hall, where the cold snap is beginning to hit, so I hope you are all keeping well wrapped up and warm - here's looking forward to spring time!
As I am sure you are all aware, we are currently in the midst of the secondary and primary school applications for September 2016 and we very much appreciate schools' support in manning queries on the 'frontline' as the closing dates approach. Over the next couple of months there will be ongoing discussions with schools to ensure that there is a robust plan in place to offer all applicants a place. Thank you to the secondary headteachers and colleagues who met this week to discuss secondary provision, and an advanced thank you to primary headteachers for your continued support in planning places in the primary sector.
I attended the special educational needs and disability (SEND) Programme Board this week, which is doing (and managing) some great work. The board continues to monitor progress on the SEND 2020 strategy and is working on four main workstreams including the customer experience, rebuilding the system, transforming the local offer and inclusive practice, as well as preparing for an inspection.
Liz Mills, SEND Strategic Programme Lead, updated Schools Forum on the programme this week and Frank Offer, who is leading on the ‘transforming the local offer workstream, attended the Primary Phase Council. Both groups welcomed the overarching strategy and acknowledged that we all need to work together more closely. It was therefore agreed that a more detailed workshop will be held to further look at the financial challenges we’re facing, as well as arranging meetings in all four quadrants. I will keep you updated on how our SEND work is progressing in future bulletins.
In the ever shifting educational landscape, we are awaiting details from central Government about the future of the academy agenda for the remainder of this parliament. In light of this, we are eager to start early discussions with schools about how the academy agenda may affect both local authority and school roles within the Surrey family of schools. Schools will have the opportunity to take part in these discussions and I would like to encourage you to get involved. Watch out for details in the soon. In the meantime, we will let you know of any updates we receive from central Government.
Finally, as most of you will be aware, Thursday 28 January is Young Carers' Day. We would be really grateful if you can support us by acknowledging and promoting young carers on this day. You can find information and resources on the Carers Trust website where you will be able to download awareness raising materials. I hope that you will make use of these!
Strategic Lead for School Commissioning
The admissions and transport team have issued their spring term update, which includes important information on:
- Consultation and determination of admission arrangements 2017.
- Primary and secondary allocations 2016.
- Office of the schools adjudicator - annual report 2014-15.
- Consultation on admission arrangements for Surrey’s community and voluntary controlled schools 2017.
- Review of school websites.
- Primary closing and offer date for 2016 admission.
- Fair access protocol review group.
- In year applications and the current/previous headteacher statement.
- Surrey’s school admissions forum.
- Tribal - feedback from schools’ training sessions on the school admissions module.
- Coordination timetable 2016.
- Secondary school induction days for summer 2017.
In Surrey the amount of children visiting A and E is above average. In reponse to this, the local NHS clinical comissionning groups and paediatric staff have developed a leaflet for parents to help signpost them to the most appropriate service for their child.
The leaflet aims to support parents in their decision making by giving advice based on a red, amber and green system. Ths is to ensure that children who don't need urgent care are diverted to other services or treated at home and those who do need urgent care access it quickly and appropriately.
Please pass this information and leaflet onto parents so they know more about it.
For more information, please contact Nicola Mundy.
You may wish to warn your students, parents and staff of the latest hoverboard safety warning.
Hoverboards/self balancing boards were a very popular present at Christmas but they pose a danger.
In addition for it to be illegal to ride them on the roads and pavements, there is a safety risk with many chargers reported as faulty with potential to cause fire.
There have also been a variety of product recalls including boards sold at Halfords and Costco.
Look out for Change4Life’s new healthy eating teaching resources arriving with a school fruit and vegetable scheme in January and early February.
Developed by educational experts, these curriculum linked resources encourage pupils to become food detectives and to learn about sugar and five a day.
Each school that is part of the school fruit and vegatable scheme will receive:
- One Key Stage 1 pack - a lesson plan, extension activities, homework and reward stickers.
- One Key Stage 2 pack - a lesson plan, extension activities, homework and reward stickers.
- 220 parent packs to put in pupils’ book bags containing a leaflet and some stickers to reward children for making healthier choices. The leaflet gives hints and tips on how families can get sugar smart and eat less sugar.
Do you need more copies?
For the first time you will be able to order additional copies from Change4Life’s school zone, which is a new online hub for primary teachers. Due to limited stock there will be a cap per order.
If you would like to find out when these resources are available to order, subscribe to the school zone newsletter so you can receive their updates.
The primary and secondary continuing professional development (CPD) training booklets are now available for the spring term 2016.
If you would like to know about supporting school improvement, ICT, school support services or would like to plan your CPD programme make sure you take a look at the booklets.
For more information please contact Babcock by email or call 0800 073 4444, using extention number 835008.
This spring term Recycle for Surrey week runs from 8-14 February 2016.
It presents an excellent opportunity for your school to use Wastebuster resources to inspire and engage staff and pupils to improve your school’s environmental profile. This year your school also has an opportunity to take up the Wastebuster challenge.
New Wastebuster challenges for 2016
These challenges are designed to inspire, inform and engage pupils to waste less and recycle more. Schools can choose which activities to complete, or can work through all of them throughout the school year. Complete just five of the 15 challenges and your school could win the Surrey Wastebuster school of the year award and trophy.
Why not kick off Recycle for Surrey week with an inspiring Wastebuster assembly, that also happens to be one of the new challenges.
There are still a small number of challenge support packs available that contain a helpful pupil poster listing all the challenges and a special Captain Busta mascot soft toy made from five plastic bottles. You can order a pack today by emailing Jonathan from Wastebuster.
More educational eco-events
Keep an eye for waste week, which run from 7-11 March 2016 and British science week, which runs from 11-20 March 2016. Waste week promotes active recycling, while encouraging sustainability using food diaries and gardening. Science week promotes maths, sciences and technology.
Please visit the Wastebuster website for more information. You can follow Wastebuster on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook to keep up to date with there latest resources, campaigns and school news stories.
A new short story competition is out now. All your pupils will need to do is write a short story about their recycling and its journey to becoming something new using our entry sheets for inspiration. They can include characters from their favourite books to bring the story to life.
The competition is open to entrants aged six to 14. The most creative and fun entry will win a family day ticket to Thorpe Park or Chessington World of Adventures for up to four people.
Competition entry sheets can be collected at any of Surrey’s libraries from Saturday 9 January and entries should be submitted no later than Saturday 27 February. Please include the entrant’s first name and age on the front and parent’s address, email address or phone number on the back. Stories can be written in the library or at home.
Full details and rules of the competition are available on the Recycle for Surrey website.
Surrey Music Hub has been working hard to establish local school networks for music around the county. These networks enable communication between music leaders in schools of all types.
Networks can provide continuing professional development, share skills and resources, strengthen transition and organise events. Some networks are now well established, whilst some areas are still developing.
Surrey Music Hub has some funding for projects in local school networks. They are inviting applications for local school network funding from music leaders, confederations, school clusters and existing local school networks. Applications are invited for grants of up to £2000.
- Applications by 5 February 2016
- Decisions expected to be announced by 12 February 2016
- Projects to take place between April 2016 - March 2017.
School music leaders, headteachers, confederations and school clusters are invited to make an application for an local school network grant. Applicants should liaise with other leaders in their local area to create a single area application.
Joint applications are strongly encouraged. Complete the attached application form in order to apply for a grant.
1. Projects elected must show how:
- the project will have a long lasting impact in building links between schools
- the project will raise standards of musical learning for children and young people in the local area.
2. Priority will be given to:
- projects that will have an impact on a number of schools
- projects that will establish links with schools who are not involved in current networks
- projects that will be able to match funding from other sources, or leverage the impact of the funding with help in kind, skills and volunteering
- projects for networks that have not yet received local school network funding
- projects that involve other music agencies as well as schools (eg Surrey Arts, community music groups, ensembles and charities
- projects that offer opportunities to new local school networks or extending their current activities
- applicants who have demonstrated effective use of previous grants.
Projects submitted will be approved by the Surrey Music Hub steering and advisory boards.
Previous projects have included:
- combined school musical events (concert, festivals and activity days)
- transition projects
- cotinuing professional development sessions
- shared network resources/instruments
- establishing a network leader to generate a new local school network
- developing a collective vocal strategy.
These ideas are only given as a starting point for planning your project. Applications for any project that meet the criteria above are welcomed.
For more information or any enquiries please email Alex Bondonno.
The following school has successfully achieved the Surery Healthy Schools silver award for their planned project to improve health and wellbeing in their school and community:
- Walsh Memorial Church of England (controlled) Infant School - emotional health and wellbeing of staff and pupils project.
The following schools have successfully achieved the Surrey Healthy Schools bronze award for their work to support health and wellbeing in their school and community:
- Broadwater School
- Oakfield Junior School
- Puttenham Church of England School
- Sandcross Primary School
- St Ann's Heath Junior School
- Busbridge Church of England Junior School
- Pirbright Primary School
- Reigate Parish Church School
- St Anne's Catholic Primary School
- St John's Primary School, Redhill
- St Mary's Church of England Primary School
- St Mary's Church of England Junior School
- St Polycarp's Catholic Primary School
- William Cobbett Primary School
- Tatsfield Primary School.
Surrey Healthy Schools provides support to ensure that wellbeing is a focus within the school ethos and culture. It assists schools in addressing their approach to pupil development, wellbeing and behaviour.
Surrey Healthy Schools, funded by Surrey County Council and Public Health, ensures that all Surrey maintained and academy schools have access to:
- PSHE, healthy eating and emotional health and wellbeing consultancy and expertise (through phone and email).
- Appropriate guidance documents relating to PSHE, relationships, sex education, drug education, healthy eating, physical activity and emotional health and wellbeing.
- Policy support for PSHE, drug education, relationships, sex education, healthy eating and physical activity.
- Termly updates on PSHE, healthy eating, physical activity and emotional health and wellbeing.
- Alerts to local and national events, guidance documents and related opportunities.
- The Surrey Healthy Schools review process, which supports the monitoring of provision for the promotion of mental and physical health and wellbeing in schools and educational establishments.
- Planning tools to support further outcomes based developments regarding mental and physical health and wellbeing.
- A PSHE framework of provision for secondary schools.
All documents can be found through the Surrey Healthy Schools website.
If you would like to engage in the Surrey Healthy Schools process, there is training on 9 March 2015. It will run from 9.15am-12.15pm at the Legacy Thatchers.
To book your place visit the Babcock website and use event code 15T/10907.
Guidance has been written in collaboration with the health and safety executive, the Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services and the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre.
The aim of this guidance is to improve the security of hazardous chemicals that are used in secondary and tertiary education. This is to prevent them from being used to make illegal substances such as explosives or narcotics.