In this issue
DfE and national updates
Book your place at the Surrey Education Services’ School Business Partnership Network
The Compassionate Schools Programme in Surrey
Surrey's Outreach offer for schools 2021/22
Be Your Best - Surrey’s Weight Management Programme for 0 to 12-year-olds
Strategic Risk Management – Health and Safety Newsletter – Autumn 2021
Sign up to the new cold weather alerting system
Wellbeing Warrior – Year 4 pupils training: Improving mental wellbeing through physical activity
REMA’s EAL training course for newly qualified primary teachers
Holmesdale School tell us how they celebrated Feeling Good Week
Surrey Police - Helping parents and carers recognise the warning signs of child exploitation
Foreword from Liz Mills
Latest newsletters

Education Safeguarding Team Update - November 

National guidance on health protection in schools
School admissions update – Autumn Term 2021
Health and Safety Newsletter - Autumn 2021

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Guidance

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for education or work placements overseas

The DfE has published guidance on what providers and individuals need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak when planning education and work placements abroad. The guidance is for providers managing and participants taking part in educational and study placements overseas, including the Turing Scheme, Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps placements. All education providers managing mobility in education should follow the relevant Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice. They should highlight this to their participants, being aware that the situation can change rapidly. All education providers should also ensure mobilities are safe for the students involved and keep usual safeguarding arrangements in place. The guidance for participants can be found here.

 

Recruit further education (FE) teachers from overseas

The DfE has published guidance on how FE providers can hire teachers who are not UK or Irish nationals. Candidates from overseas must undergo the same checks as all other staff in FE settings, including obtaining an enhanced DBS certificate with barred list information. This still applies even if the candidate has never been to the UK. All applicants must have the right to work in the UK. Providers can use the Checking a job applicant’s right to work service if the applicant has got a share code.

 

Get help with technology for remote education

The DfE has updated this guidance by adding information about ordering devices.

 

Using pupil premium: guidance for school leaders

The DfE has updated the guidance for school leaders on the pupil premium. They have added pupil premium statement examples for primary, secondary and special schools. From the 2021 to 2022 academic year, you must use the template provided to publish your statement – this is a condition of your funding. If you have already adopted a multi-year strategy that will continue this academic year, you do not need to develop a new strategy, but must use the new template to outline your existing strategy by 31 December.

 

School-to-school support directory

The DfE has updated the school-to-school support directory by removing the national leaders of governance (NLGs) section from the directory. The directory will be updated to show the names of the new designated NLGs in November.

 

Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE): course directory

The DfE has updated the SKE course directory to include changes to the biology, chemistry, computing, English, languages, mathematics, physics, religious education and primary mathematics sections.

 

Digital Functional Skills qualifications

The DfE has published this guidance outlining subject content, aims and learning objectives for digital Functional Skills qualifications from 2021. It provides the framework within which awarding organisations create the detail of their specifications. Digital FSQ specifications must use the subject content listed for each level and reflect the learning aims and outcomes set out at each level.

 

Schools financial value standard (SFVS) and assurance statement

The DfE has updated this guidance by adding the template for recording related party transactions.

 

Skills and Post-16 Education Bill: impact assessment and JCHR memorandum

The DfE has updated the information on the measures set out in the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill. They have replaced ‘The skills and post-16 Education Bill impact assessment’ with ‘The skills and post-16 Education Bill: updated impact assessment’. They have also added ‘Skills and post-16 Education Bill: supplementary European Convention on Human Rights memorandum’.


Consultations

Ofqual seeks views on accessible assessments for students

The DfE has launched a consultation from Ofqual on draft guidance for awarding organisations on producing accessible assessments – including exams. The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 24 January 2022. Students are set to benefit from proposed Ofqual guidance on how to make exams and other assessments accessible and user-friendly for all. The proposed updated guidance will support awarding organisations to design and develop assessments that meet our rules on accessibility. Students with particular backgrounds, needs and disabilities are among those who stand to gain. They will not make changes to the Conditions themselves, so obligations on awarding organisations will stay the same. They expect to announce the outcome in spring 2022.

 

Reforming how local authority school improvement functions are funded

The DfE is seeking views on proposals to reform how local authorities’ school improvement functions are funded.  The local authority role in school improvement has changed significantly in recent years, with the growth of school-led approaches, such as multi-academy trusts, putting school improvement in the hands of the strongest schools and school leaders. In turn, the local authority role in school improvement in maintained schools is increasingly focused on helping their schools access the support they need from the school system. Given these changes in respective roles and responsibilities, the DfE believe now is the right time to revisit local authorities’ school improvement functions and how they are funded. The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 26 November 2021.

 

Digital functional skills qualifications: subject content

The DfE has added the consultation outcome on ‘Subject content for digital Functional Skills qualifications: government consultation response’ and equality impact assessment. The consultation response sets out the feedback received, explains the changes made and explains decisions taken to finalise the subject content. Full details of the changes made to the consultation are in Annex B of the consultation response.

The subject content for digital Functional Skills qualifications is also available.

 

Data and Research

Risk protection arrangement (RPA) summary provisioning analysis

The DfE has updated this page by adding the ‘Risk assessment arrangement provisioning summary 31 March 2021’ report. The risk protection arrangement (RPA) is an alternative to commercial insurance for public sector schools. Previous reports, published before 2017, can be found at the National Archives.

Teacher, school and post-16 institutions surveys

The DfE has updated this collection of research reports by adding ‘School snapshot survey: COVID-19’ and ‘School snapshot panel: COVID-19’.

 

Early education and development: Coronavirus (COVID-19) study

The DfE has published research on the experiences of children and parents from the study of early education and development (SEED) longitudinal study during the COVID-19 pandemic. This report examines findings from Wave 5 of the SEED longitudinal study. It focuses on experiences of children and parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, including both at the time of data collection in September-October 2020 and retrospectively. However, it is important to note that it is not possible to attribute the findings in this report directly to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and their families. This is because there is no equivalent population who did not experience this event who can be used as a comparison group in these analyses. As part of the SEED study, the DfE has also published Early education use and child outcomes up to age 7 which looks at the impact of early education at ages 2 to 7 on child outcomes.

 

Parent and pupil panel: omnibus surveys

The DfE has published findings from regular surveys with school pupil’s parents or carers and secondary school pupils. Two surveys included post-18 school leavers. The coronavirus (COVID-19) parent and pupil panel was set up to provide robust, rapid research on the impact of COVID-19 and experiences of pupils and parents. The panel replaced the Pupils and their parents or carers: omnibus survey.

 

Early education and development: alternative quality scales

This research by the DfE examines whether current quality scales used to assess childcare settings are the best predictors of children’s cognitive and self-regulation development. The brief explores: whether the ECERS-R, ECERS-E and SSTEW quality scales provide the best predictors of children’s cognitive and self-regulation development and if effective predictors of the effects of early childhood education and care (ECEC) quality on children’s development could be derived from a smaller collection of individual quality items.

 

Pupils' progress in the 2020 to 2021 academic year

The DfE has updated research reports presenting findings from analysis into the progress pupils have made during the 2020 to 2021 academic year. They have added 2 reports, ‘Understanding progress in the 2020 to 2021 academic year: complete findings from the spring term’ and ‘Understanding progress in the 2020 to 2021 academic year: findings from the summer term and summary of all previous findings’.

 

School snapshot survey: COVID-19

The DfE has published research and analysis on the Covid-19 school survey. The school snapshot survey is conducted twice a year and gathers views from senior leaders and classroom teachers in state-funded primary and secondary schools. The survey covers a wide range of topics relating to the department’s aims, priorities and policies. A summary of responses to questions asked in the summer 2020 school snapshot survey.

Funding

Senior mental health lead training

The DfE has updated the ‘How do I apply for a grant’ section for training to help develop a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing. The grant application service is now available for schools and colleges to apply for a senior mental health lead training grant. If a setting is eligible and intend to book a course soon, apply for a grant before booking a course. The guarantee to reserve a grant for schools and colleges who booked a course by 11 October has now ended. Grants are now available on a first-come, first-served basis until they have issued all available funds for this financial year. Once they have issued all the available grants, the application system will ask if settings want to join our waiting list and DfE will confirm future grant funding in the spring of 2022. The DfE has also updated the list of ‘DfE assured senior mental health lead training courses’ with courses SMHL072 to SMHL084.

School staff instructor grant

The DfE has published guidance on how much grant funding a school with a Combined Cadet Force will receive for a school staff instructor and advice on how it should be spent. This guidance is for schools that have a Combined Cadet Force with a school staff instructor. The school staff instructor is vital for the sustainment of the school cadet unit. The effectiveness of the school staff instructor is enhanced the more time they can carry out the role in the school.

Pension grants for schools, local authorities and music hubs

The DfE has updated the guidance on the pension grant, supplementary fund, and pension funding for local authority centrally employed teachers, and music hubs. They have amended the ‘Pension grants for schools, local authorities and music education hubs’ to reflect allocations published in October 2021 for September 2021 to March 2022.

 

PE and sport premium for primary schools

The DfE has updated the information about carried forward unspent PE and sport premium grant funding, added the payment dates for 2021 to 2022 and a link to the conditions of grant. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government relaxed the ring-fencing arrangements for the PE and sport premium in the 2019 to 2020 academic year, to allow any unspent grant to be carried forward into the 2020 to 2021 academic year. Due to the continuation of the pandemic, this has also been applied to any unspent funding for the 2020 to 2021 academic year. Any unspent funding that has been carried forward must be spent in full by 31 July 2022. Schools will need to factor this into spending plans for their 2021 to 2022 PE and sport premium allocation. The conditions of grant reflect this.

 

News

 

All schools and colleges to receive extra funding for catch up

The DfE has published a news story on extra funding for schools and colleges. Every pupil in every school to benefit from significant new investment in education to help young people catch up on lost learning. Schools will receive an additional £4.7 billion in core funding in 2024-25, including £1.6 billion in 2022-23 on top of already planned increases from the 2019 Spending Review, and meaning a total cash increase of £1,500 per pupil between 2019-20 and 2024-25. The funding takes the government’s direct investment in education recovery to almost £5 billion, building on the high-quality tutoring for millions of pupils and world-class training for thousands of teachers and early years staff, already being provided.

 

Ofsted calls for stronger oversight of early years multiple providers and social care groups

The DfE has published a press release on Ofsted’s research reports looking at early years multiple providers and providers that own more than one children’s home. The reports find that current legislation does not reflect the level of influence that early years multiple providers and social care groups have on individual nurseries and children’s homes, respectively. The reports call for stronger regulatory powers to make sure multiple providers and groups are having a positive impact on children.

 

Students urged to take a rapid COVID-19 test before end of half term

The DfE has published a news story from the UK Health Security Agency and ministers are calling on young people to make sure they take a rapid COVID-19 test before returning to school after the half term. Covid-19 cases among 10- to 19-year-olds are currently the highest of any age group, with a weekly rate of 1,201 per 100,000 population. After Covid-19 vaccines, rapid testing and appropriate isolation is one of the most important ways to break chains of transmission and prevent the spread of the virus, especially as we enter the winter months. Many families already have rapid tests at home that could be used. Families can also collect testing kits from their local pharmacy.

 

The government recommends that schools ask pupils and staff to test twice a week, and that families continue this during the holidays. Taking a rapid test before going back to school will help prevent hidden Covid-19 cases from entering the classroom and ensure that children can continue to learn free from disruption.

Book your place at the Surrey Education Services’ School Business Partnership Network
For the attention of School Business Managers and Bursars

Don't miss out on a fantastic opportunity to network and hear updates from key Surrey County Council (SCC) teams.

 

Surrey Education Services are inviting School Business Managers and Bursars to book for the first School Business Partnership Network meetings of the new academic year.

 

The meetings will provide a chance to hear important news and updates from a range of SCC teams, such as Schools Finance, Surrey Arts, and Schools HR, with information that is relevant to your role and setting. These network meetings are part of our new value adding events programme for Surrey Education Services. Past events have proven incredibly popular and spaces are limited, so book now to avoid disappointment.


The sessions are filled with all the need-to-know information on what you can expect from us in the coming year, including exciting updates, such as our new information management system (known as the Early Years and Education System - EYES), which is being implemented in September 2022. The new system will make it quicker and easier for parents to apply for Free School Meals and for schools to check eligibility. The meetings are also a great opportunity to network with a wide group of your peers.


There are currently two dates available:

 

Wednesday, 17 November 2021 - 9:30am to 12:00pm

Thursday, 18 November 2021 - 2:00pm to 4:30pm

 

Once you have booked your place via the Hub, the MS Teams link to the event will be emailed to you in advance of the meeting.


 

The Compassionate Schools Programme offers school leaders an opportunity to explore current practice in promoting the wellbeing and inclusion of children and young people, particularly those who have been affected by prolonged and unpredictable stress and trauma. The programme brings together thinking and research in three key areas as part of an integrated and coherent whole school approach: 

  • The power of relationships on promoting wellbeing and the crucial role of empathy and compassion in schools.
     
  • An understanding of the potential impact of prolonged and unpredictable stress on the wellbeing of children and young people and principles of effective support. 

  • The need for a holistic and strengths-based perspective, building positive resources within the school community and building hopeful futures for children, young people and families.

150 school leaders have now participated in the programme from across Surrey and beyond and we look forward to welcoming more in this new school year. We have established the Compassionate Schools Community of Practice which provides an ongoing forum for sharing new thinking and research, sharing practice across schools and providing a supportive network of colleagues. We had the second Community of Practice meeting in September, with a focus on building ‘professional structures of support and supervision in schools’. We explored the steps in building reflecting teams in schools to promote the wellbeing of staff as well as resilient school systems by enhancing understanding and provision around a child or young person. We look forward to hearing how things have gone in schools at our next meeting in November.

We’d like to thank all the school leaders who have participated so far. We hope that the ongoing collaboration through the community will enable us all to deepen our learning around building and maintaining relational approaches in schools. We are also thrilled to share that Woodfield School, who participated in the Compassionate Schools Programme in 2019 as part of ongoing work in building relational approaches, has been shortlisted for the Alex Timpson award for being Attachment and Trauma Aware!


For further information on Compassionate Schools please talk to your link EP or contact Kirsty Quinn, Area Senior EP at kirsty.quinn@surreycc.gov.uk.

The Outreach Service is free to all Surrey schools and academies. Independent schools and nurseries can pay per visit.

 

For full details, including Autism Outreach, The Learning and Additional Needs (LAN) Outreach Service and Nurture Groups, please see the Surrey Outreach Offer 2021/22 (pdf).

Do you work with a child or children who are above a healthy weight?


Be Your Best is Surrey’s free weight management programme for children aged 0 to12-years-old.


The programme consists of twelve sessions designed to help families improve their child’s health, wellbeing and self-esteem. There are six after-school online group sessions (a parent session followed by a children’s session), and six personalised one to one nurse sessions which usually take place at the family home.


There’s nutritional guidance such as meal planning and snack swaps, advice on how to determine correct portion size and tips for dealing with fussy eaters! Families can discover innovative ways to change habits, become more active, drink more water (which is essential to the digestive metabolism) and reduce screen time.


Given that sleep deprivation causes increased levels of ghrelin (the hormone that makes you hungry) and reduced levels of leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full), families will also explore how to improve the quality and quantity of their child’s sleep.

 

Children receive goodies as they work their way through the programme – the fitness trackers are very popular and a great way to encourage children to increase their daily step count! There’s also a weekly online Family Fit activity session and a live cooking workshop.



If you know a family who would benefit from our support, please refer them via the Be Your Best - Surrey website. Families can also self-refer. The only criteria are that the child must be aged 0 to12-years-old, above the healthy weight range* and live in Surrey or attend a Surrey school.

*A child being ‘above the healthy weight range’ is calculated using the Growth Charts, where a child's weight, height, DOB and gender are all taken into account to get the reading.

Please read the Autumn 2021 Health and Safety Newsletter from the Strategic Risk Management team.

 

Articles in this edition include:

  • COVID-19 Support
  • Results of the self-assessments completed in 2020
  • Moving and Handling training update
  • News from Paul Bowen (Outdoor Education Advisor)
  • Preventing finger trapping incidents
  • SRM Packages and working with Multi Academy Trusts
  • Programme of forthcoming training courses

For further information, please contact the Strategic Risk Management team by email: srm.hands@surreycc.gov.uk

The cold weather plan for England remains unchanged for winter 2021 to 2022. Additional Cold weather and COVID-19 resources are available.

Sign up to the new cold weather alerting system (1 November - 31 March)


UK Health Security Agency’s Cold Weather and Heat-Health Alerting Service, operated by the Met Office has moved to a new, upgraded platform. Current and new users must register their email address with the new system. Due to compliance with GDPR, it is not possible to subscribe current users to the new system automatically.

Register for the Cold Weather Alert Service now - sign up here.

Active Surrey is on a mission to create Wellbeing Warriors in Primary schools throughout the county.

 

Developed with Surrey Educational Psychologists, this classroom-based session is designed to help year 4 pupils learn how mental wellbeing can be improved by being more active.

 

Pupils are shown how moving more can bring about a positive influence. They are also taught to understand how a lack of physical activity can affect their emotions and feelings. 

 

This two-hour course is delivered through practical interactive activities. Pupils are then encouraged to make personal commitments, on their class Tree of Wellbeing, to show what new, healthy habits they will try and adopt.

 

The training also includes a 10-minute weekly follow up task delivered by the class teacher. This will reflect on the pupils’ progress which will allow schools to measure the behaviour change that they make from their initial training.

 

To book, visit: Active Surrey - Wellbeing Warriors Training.


Email sarah.williams@surreycc.gov.uk for more information.

Once again this year, Race, equality and minority achievement (REMA) is offering an English as an Additional Language (EAL) training course for Early Career Teachers in the primary phase. This training would also be suitable for returning teachers or those new to EAL.


This training course will support teachers in raising learning outcomes for learners of English as an Additional Language, understanding barriers and enhancing provision.


The course consists of 3 x 1.5-hour webinar sessions led by REMA Specialist Teachers over the course of the year.


Distance mentoring is available between the three webinar sessions to answer questions and offer practical support.

 

Course content

1st Webinar
Wednesday, 1 December 2021, 1.30pm – 3pm.

By the end of this session, delegates will have:

•    A better understanding of the barriers and challenges faced by EAL pupils.
•    An increased awareness of the tools and strategies which increase access and engagement.
•    An understanding of differentiation, target-setting and monitoring of progress in the context of language development.

2nd Webinar
Wednesday, 2 March 2022, 1.30pm – 3pm.

By the end of this session, delegates will have:

•    An enhanced understanding of language development.
•    A better understanding of how to plan and scaffold pupils’ work to support learning and language development.
•    Discussed practical examples of pupils' language output that demonstrate this learning.


3rd Webinar
Wednesday, 25 May 2022, 1.30pm – 3pm.

This session will include:

•    An opportunity to re-visit and consolidate principles from the previous two sessions and to reflect on this year’s challenges in the context of teaching EAL pupils.
•    Action planning and reflecting on how acquired knowledge can inform future classroom practice.


The cost of the training for is £195 per delegate, which covers the three webinars and distance mentoring.


Please book via the Surrey Education Services Hub - Training & Events.

If you have any further queries or require assistance to book a place, please contact midhath.deane@surreycc.gov.uk


The Microsoft Teams App is not necessary to be able to join the sessions. Delegates will receive an email with the link to join the webinars.

 

 

Holmesdale Infant School is developing a Surrey Healthy Schools approach to wellbeing, health and achievement.

The school provides a curriculum which is broad, balanced and promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school. As part of their PSHE Curriculum, the school regularly plans enrichment weeks for the children across the year and recently they took part in ‘Feeling Good Week’. They sent us a little summary of how the week went...

 

The week started with an interactive assembly, where we looked at ‘mental health’ and focused on how we keep our minds healthy by considering how we are all unique and by recognising and celebrating our own special qualities. The children were then challenged to show others that we recognise their special qualities by sending one another cards, letters, compliment cards and golden star certificates that they had designed.

 

The children enjoyed creating their own post boxes for each classroom so that they could deliver their letters and enjoyed seeing how happy they had made their friends!

 

 

This was then followed up in class with a circle time and daily opportunities to share stories, which were linked to the theme of being ‘Stronger Together’. The children continued to reflect upon how their friends were feeling throughout the week by looking at their friends ‘monsters’ on our interactive ‘colour monster’ displays and were encouraged to support their friends if they were feeling ‘blue’/ sad. The children in Year 1 read the story ‘Ruby’s Worry’ and thought about what a worry might look like; they designed and made a worry through the medium of collage. The children thought about how to deal with worries; who can help them if they are worried and how to help others who may be feeling anxious. We are very proud of how our children are able to recognise their feelings and take the responsibility to support one another to deal with their emotions!

 

The children considered how to make our classrooms even happier places to learn for everyone and designed 'Happy Classroom' posters. They made thoughtful suggestions and this provoked discussion which demonstrated the high level of our children’s emotional literacy. When designing their posters, the children drew on their understanding of our Golden Rules and our Learning Behaviours and how these have a positive impact on the way we feel and learn at school.

 

 

We had several workshops throughout the week which focused on being ‘stronger together’ and feeling good by keeping physically healthy. Year 1 took part in a yoga session where they explored the difference between performing challenging movements alone and then within a group. The children were able to support their friends in remaining balanced and thus the children found the movement was easier when they had the help of their peers and worked together. Year 2 also took part in ‘Star Steppers’ dance and drama workshop to develop their collaboration skills. The children also took part in team building games within a round robin of activities in their year groups. It was a wonderful opportunity for them to try out some activities that they may not have tried before. We continued with our daily mindfulness activities in class, which are always thoroughly enjoyed by all the children.

 

 

We then ended our week with a ‘Thoughtful Thursday’ whereby the children could come to school in their own clothes, choosing whatever outfits made them feel happy! Our school was awash with colour and definitely brightened up all our days!

Surrey Police - Helping parents and carers recognise the warning signs of child exploitation
Secondary schools; please share this information with parents and carers

Secondary schools; please share this information and video with parents and carers.

 

One of the biggest issues in tackling child exploitation, is that in isolation the warning signs aren’t always obvious or feel concerning enough to act on, meaning that it can go on beneath the radar. It is essential therefore that the police  work together with the community to identify any suspicious behaviour and ensure it is reported to build the bigger picture.

 

Please watch and share this short video; Surrey Police - Did you see that coming?

 

Here are some of the specific warning signs for parents and carers, that a child may be being exploited.

  • Becoming especially secretive
  • Stopping engaging with usual friends
  • Going missing from school or home or significant changes in emotional well-being
  • Defensive about location and activities
  • Receiving odd calls and messages
  • Acquiring money or expensive gifts that can’t be accounted for
  • Having multiple mobile phones, tablets or ‘SIM cards’
  • Relationships with controlling or older individuals or associations with gangs
  • Suspicion of self-harm, physical assault or unexplained injuries
 
Foreword from Liz Mills


Latest update from Liz Mills, Director for Education and Lifelong Learning



Dear colleagues,

I hope that you and your students enjoyed the half term break, and that you’re feeling rested and refreshed as we settle back into the school term.

 

Halloween has come and gone, it’s Bonfire Night this evening, and Diwali and Remembrance Day are just around the corner. I hope that you enjoy learning about and celebrating these events with your students, colleagues, and your friends and family.

 

I was delighted to read about Holmesdale’s Community Infant School’s approach to Feeling Good Week and all the enriching activities the children took part in. It sounded like the children had a fun week whilst importantly learning about how to stay mentally healthy and celebrating their friends’ individual qualities. Please do keep on sharing case studies from your schools, through our communications team.

 

In this edition of the School Bulletin, you will find the regular DfE updates as well as a piece from Active Surrey on Wellbeing Warriors Training, the cold weather plan, and much more.

 

I would like to let you know that the deadline for nominations for the Recognising You Awards has been extended to Sunday, 7 November, so you have even more time to let us know about the great achievements of Surrey's children and young people aged 5 to 25. The Awards will take place on Friday 3 December, and you can learn more on the User Voice and Participation Team web pages.

 

As always, thank you for everything you are doing for Surrey’s children and young people.

 

Best wishes,

 

Liz