Schools Newsletter - issue 33 - Wednesday 23 January 2019

learn together cambridgeshire

Schools Newsletter


Learn Together  |  Cambridgeshire County Council

Dear Reader,



What are English Hubs? In October 2018, the DfE launched 32 English Hubs at primary schools across England to support schools to improve the teaching of early language and reading. Each Hub school has been chosen for its track record in excellent teaching of reading. Hub schools will be able to offer funding and free support to schools. Support provided by the hubs will focus on the following three areas:

  1. Early-language development and 'closing the word gap'.
  2. Age-appropriate phonics: encouraging fidelity to a single systematic synthetic phonics programme and supporting the effective use of decodable books in the early stages of learning as a way of establishing phonic decoding.
  3. Promoting a love of reading through a focus on reading aloud, encouraging reading at home and developing teachers' knowledge of children's literature.

You can begin by attending a Showcase Event at your local Hub school. You will then be invited to write an action plan to apply for funding and free bespoke support. In our area there are three English Hubs based in the region: Myland English Hub, New Wave English Hub and New Vision English Hub. Hub schools have been allocated a geographical area within the region. However, schools can choose to engage with any Hub school.


In this issue:

Quick Links

Cambs Learn Together

Cambridgeshire County Council

Peterborough City Council

LA and Teaching School CPD offer

Early Years

Knowledge Hub

Help With Recruitment?

Statutory Duties of the Local Authority

About us

Free CPD for teachers in their first 5 years

Accelerate Lead A1 Teaching Schools Alliance has been asked to be the delivery hub for the Cambridgeshire/Peterborough area for the new Accelerate Programme, which has been put together by the Education Development Trust and the Chartered College of Teaching. As you will be aware retention of teachers in year 1 to 5 is critical. The programme offers a FREE instructional coach over the course of a year for individual teachers. It is a bespoke programme that will be developed around each individual teacher’s needs. The whole programme will be quality assured by the Education Development Trust and the Chartered College of Teaching.

Click here to find out more.

There are a limited number of places, so to secure a place for any of your staff in Cambridgeshire it is essential that you move quickly.

National Teacher Vacancy Listing Service

The free national teacher vacancy listing service is now  being rolled out to schools across the country, with all schools expected to be invited by March 2019. We’d like to thanks all those schools who have already signed up and benefiting from this service. As you will know the busiest time of year for job moves is coming up as teachers and leaders consider their next career move.  To assist you in this busy time we have provided the Department of Education with details of all our schools that don’t have a login so that you can all benefit from the service this year.  They will be in contact soon with your login details.  From January 2019, DfE is running a paid-for marketing campaign, aimed at teachers looking for their next teaching role. The campaign will run across social media, and DfE and stakeholder channels. Cambridgeshire schools who have signed up to the service will benefit from national visibility of their vacancies - not only from jobseekers visiting the Teaching Vacancies site, but through search results delivered, for example, by Google Jobs - all at no cost to the school. 

Term dates

Many thanks to those schools who have contacted us in relation to the setting of Term Dates.  The rationale behind any changes to the way the Local Authority ‘set pupil term dates’ for 2019/2020 was guided through government policy as outlined below;

Guidance on School Day and School Year (Sept 2018) 

Setting school term dates and holidays

School employers are required to set the term dates of their school year. Employers are: the local authority in community, voluntary controlled and community special schools and maintained nursery schools; the governing body in foundation and voluntary aided schools; the academy trust in academies and Free Schools.

 School day and school year

The law regulating the school day and school year applies only to schools maintained by a local authority and special schools not maintained by a local authority. This law does not apply to academies and Free Schools.

 School Year

Schools must meet for at least 380 sessions or 190 days during any school year to educate their pupils. If a school is prevented from meeting for one or more sessions because of an unavoidable event, it should find a practical way of holding extra sessions. If it cannot find a practical way of doing this then it is not required to make up the lost sessions.

 As you can see from the guidance this does not ask the Local Authority to indicate dates for the additional 5 days for INSET and, given that there are now so many different types of schools that do not have to follow LA guidance, it was no longer considered necessary for us to do so.  Disaggregation is to be discouraged however, the last paragraph could usefully be used to justify the setting of INSET dates during term time as long as the days used are made up so that pupils can access 190 teaching days in total and you notify all parents and stakeholders.    A note is already on the LA website indicating that parents MUST check with their associated schools for clarification around specifics.  When these set of dates went to consultation this time last year there were only 8 responses from schools and none brought this up as a problem so changes weren’t made.  Going forward to 2020/2021 term dates the additional 5 days have been added in, given that it has caused so many issues for schools this time around.

I hope that helps to clarify this for you, and many apologies for any anxiety this has caused.  If you have any specific questions please contact

Supporting Teaching and Learning in PE Apprenticeship

LGSS has commissioned Heart of England Training on behalf of our maintained schools to provide the Supporting Teaching and Learning in PE qualification (L3 Apprenticeship). This gives your school the potential to upskill existing Sports staff, bring in fresh talent as apprentices and reduce the cost of bringing in third party companies.

This is an ideal opportunity to nurture talented sports focused individuals and have them delivering real sessions with the support of our dedicated training team. For more information on course content please use this link .

If you are a maintained school that is interested in this opportunity please contact Paula Schofield in the first instance to discuss next steps. If you are academy, you can contract directly with Heart of England Learning.

Schools Funding

Thank you to the 70 schools that have responded to my email of 8 January about funding challenges and gathering evidence on the issue.  The deadline is the end of the month – this a really good opportunity for our MPs to support us with the challenge that every school in the county is struggling with.    The questions can be found here - and I would really appreciate your response.  If you have any questions, please let me know. 

Jonathan Lewis

Bringing science to school and making it cool!

Public Health England (PHE) scientists from the microbiology laboratories based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital are keen to visit schools as part of the Cambridge Science Festival in March 2019.

They are offering a free interactive session as part of a lesson. Previous school sessions have included looking at handwashing and what bugs are left behind when you don’t do it properly and looking at infection control where students are given a mock hospital ward and have to make decisions to stop an infection spreading around the hospital. The scientists are experienced in designing a session that is age appropriate and fun. For more information or to register your interest please email

DfE publishes new `Activity Passport' resource

DfE Activity Passport

DfE has published a new resource for primary schools, the ‘Activity Passport’ – working with the National Trust, Girlguiding and Action for Children. The Activity Passport is a free checklist to help schools introduce pupils to a wide variety of new experiences to complement their day to day learning.

The resources are available here.

Maths and Physics graduates with teaching experience - September 2019

Future Teaching Scholars are maths and physics specialists on a six-year teacher recruitment programme. They committed to teaching before commencing their undergraduate degree and have engaged in a structured programme of learning, which prepares them to teach and is delivered by Outstanding Teaching Schools, alongside their degree.

The DfE is looking for schools to employ Scholars from September 2019. Schools will be required to fund the trainee teacher’s salary and the SCITT attached to the programme’s regional training centres provides the training. A supportive environment is essential and specific commitments will include releasing the Scholar to attend regular training sessions at one of the programme’s regional ITT providers and for the national conference.

Subject to an eligibility check, any school with maths or physics teaching vacancies that can offer excellent support, can express their interest in employing a Scholar. There are only 50 Scholars available in September 2019.

For more information and to register your interest, please visit Future Teaching Scholars.

Focus Groups on School Leader Workload in January

The DfE Teacher Workload Team is running a short series of focus groups to better understand school leader workload. This includes identifying the key burdens, and any unnecessary tasks which could be removed, to explore possible ways forward. The meetings will be in DfE offices and are open to all members of school senior leadership teams (one representative per school).

Darlington, 21 January, 11-1pm

Manchester, 22 January, 2-4pm

London, 25 January, 11-1pm and/or 2-4pm (one or two sessions depending on demand)

Coventry, 28 January, 10-12pm

London, 31 January, 10-12pm

Email if you are interested in attending a group, providing your name; role and organisation; phone contact details and which location and time you prefer.

Training, courses and events

Dance KS1 & KS2 – Strictly Come Teaching

Monday 4 February 2019, 15:15-16:15 – Histon & Impington Junior School, Histon

Target Audience:  This workshop is aimed at any teacher, coach or assistant in Key stage 1 and 2 who teaches Dance type activities.

Making Sense of Assessment

Thursday 28 February 2019, 13:30-16:30 – Ambury House, Huntingdon

Target Audience:  This course is ideal for Primary, Special and Secondary School teachers who teach Physical Education.

PE for NQTs and Inexperienced Teachers

Tuesday 5 March 2019, 09:15-16:00 – Hinchingbrooke House, Huntingdon

Target Audience:  This course is for NQTs and those teachers returning to the profession in the primary phase who want to develop their understanding of the National Curriculum of Physical Education, health and safety implications and how to deliver high quality PE.

Making best use of Teaching Assistants

For school leaders. Wednesday 6 February, Wednesday 24 April, Wednesday 3 July. Cost £295 (free places provided for Opportunity Area Schools by the East Cambs and Fenland Opportunity Area).

Leading Learning programme

For school leaders (both Primary and Secondary). Wednesday 13 February, Wednesday 1 May, Wednesday 12 June 2019. Cost: £295 per delegate.

Grafham Water Centre adventurous outdoor learning days

Sessions to run from 10.00 to 14.00, £30 per head for half a day. Click the heading for more information.

Teaching Early Reading – Diamond Teaching School

For teachers and TA’s, Thursday 7 February 2019 13.30 to 16.00, Winhills Primary Academy, St Neots.  £60 per delegate.

Investigative Science – Diamond Teaching School

For KS1 and KS2 teachers, Tuesday 5 March 2019 and Tuesday 30 April 2019 13.30 to 16.00, Winhills Primary Academy, St Neots.  £100 per delegate.

HLTA Preparation & Assessment – Diamond Teaching School

Supporting staff to gain HLTA Status, Monday 20 May 2019 & Monday 24 June 2019, 09.00 to 15.30, Winhills Primary Academy, St Neots.  £290 + VAT plus £450 for assessment  per delegate.

KS3 Physics for non specialists - Secondary

Tuesday 29 January 2019, 09.30 – 15.30, Sawtry Community College, £125

Supermarket Science - Primary

Tuesday 05 February 2019, 13.00 – 16.00, Morley Memorial Primary School, £75

 KS3 Biology for non specialists - Secondary

Thursday 07 February 2019, 09.30 – 15.30, Cambourne Village College, £12

Two Day Course For PSHE Coordinators 

Target Audience Primary and Special Schools

Wednesday 30 January 2019 & Tuesday 5 February 2019 –  09:15 – 16:00, Ambury House, Huntingdon.

Developing And Teaching RSE In Primary Schools

Target Audience Primary and Special Schools

Monday 11 March  2019, 09.30 - 16.30 - Ambury House, Huntingdon.

Effective Responses To Bullying

Target Audience Primary and Special Schools

Wednesday 13 March 2019 –  09:15 - 16:00 - Cambridge Professional Development Centre, Trumpington.

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