An update from Julie Stockdale
I can’t believe I’m writing the last bulletin before half term already!
Just a couple of quick updates this week. Firstly, as I have mentioned in previous bulletins, the SEND 2020 programme is now underway to improve outcomes for our children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
One of the workstreams within the programme is ‘reshaping the local offer’, which is focusing on commissioning and the local services Surrey currently offers. Part of this is developing more local education provision for children and young people with SEND. This will include supporting more children to be educated in mainstream settings, developing specialist and new special school provision and establishing new special schools through free school bids.
The free school programme is expected to run through to 2020 and the current government has committed to establishing 500 new free schools. The council is currently working with partners who have expressed an interest in bidding for special free schools and expect to submit one bid in March 2016 and at least one further bid in September 2016. We are also keen to discuss more opportunities for the future.
If you would like further information on the types of provision being proposed and to find out how to get involved in a workshop we will be holding please read the full article.
Secondly, many of you have been asking if there will be a new pay settlement for school staff on Surrey Pay and Reward in 2016-17 and if there will be any increase in pay from 1 April 2016.
There is a review of the pay and reward strategy currently underway in Surrey County Council. The first phase of this review will be implemented from 1 July 2016 but this first phase of the review does NOT apply to staff on Surrey Pay and Reward employed in schools. Schools staff will be included in a second phase of the review which will be developed during 2016-17 and implemented from April 2017.
As a result of this work, the council will publish a joint statement with trades unions covering proposals for pay review 2016-17 for staff in schools and for the first phase of the pay and reward strategy review for non-school staff. We expect to make an announcement about this later this month, around 22 February, which is aligned with the start of formal consultation on the pay and reward strategy review for non- school staff.
We will make sure you have the details of the pay review as soon as this is available. In the meantime should you have any queries, please do speak to your HR lead or Babcock HR consultant in the first instance.
Finally, you may have seen in the news that teacher shortages in England are growing and the Government has missed recruitment targets.
While the overall number of teachers has kept pace with rising pupil numbers, teacher shortages are growing, particularly in more deprived areas and at secondary level, according to the National Audit Office report. To add to that, analysis from the Trade Unions Congress also shows teachers are more likely to work unpaid overtime than staff in any other industry, with some working almost 13 extra hours per week.
The findings come after teachers gave a huge response to the Department for Education’s workload challenge, which resulted in the Government announcing teachers would no longer be subjected to major changes in Ofsted inspections or government policy during the academic year.
So with that in mind and as we approach the half term, I’d just like to thank you all for your continued hard work and wish you a pleasant and relaxing break next week.
Head of School Commissioning and Admissions