Schools Newsletter - Issue 39 - Wednesday 13 March 2019

learn together cambridgeshire

Schools Newsletter


Learn Together  |  Cambridgeshire County Council

Dear Reader,

Parent letter "Worth Less" Funding Campaign

Thanks to all of you who got the funding letter out to parents on Friday. It was a massive news story in all the papers and across most of the TV and radio networks. One of the most powerful interviews was with Siobhan Lowe on the today programme on Friday morning. More information about her interview and her situation can be found hereThe Times are coming to her school today to follow up this story.

The Guardian take on the story is here.  

For those of you who were not up first thing on Saturday morning, I have attached the link to a very unsure Mr Gibb on the BBC breakfast show trying his best to defend the current situation:

Much closer to home is the Guardian story featuring Tony Davies, a primary Headteacher from Cambridge. Jules White, the Headteacher who set up and leads the "Worth Less" campaign also wrote in yesterday's Guardian.

If you have been able to get this story in your local press, please can you send me the link, so that the campaign can keep a central record of the press coverage?

Many thanks,


Jonathan Digby

CEO, Aspire Learning Trust

writing applications

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

PSHE Service

The PSHE Service had a wonderful day at Swaffham Bulbeck Primary School celebrating its 17 year partnership focusing on young people's wellbeing, knowledge & skills. The Service would like to thank pupils and staff for their engagement, energy and enthusiasm.

For more information on Life Education please contact

Swaffham Bulbeck LEC

New EEF guidance to support governors and trustees

The EEF Guide to Becoming an Evidence-Informed School Governor and Trustee is designed to offer a quick way into the high-quality evidence the EEF makes freely available to all schools.

The guide offers practical next steps and tips for further reading framed around three key questions for governors to ask:

  • How well are pupils achieving in your school?
  • How effectively is your school spending its money?
  • How does your school support effective teaching and learning?

It also includes key questions to ask before schools think about buying in a programme plus 4 tips on making the most of your Pupil Premium. Read / download the guidance here.

Music Commission Report published

The Music Commission has now published its report: ‘Retuning our Ambition for Music Learning: Every Child Taking Music Further’ - you can find it here

The commission panel was chaired by Barbican managing director Sir Nicholas Kenyon, established by the Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) with support from Arts Council England. Although Arts Council England part-funded the work, the activity and the resultant recommendations are independent. The focus is very much on inclusion and progression routes/talent development pathways for young people and comes with a number of ideas and ambitions for the sector.

EAL Benchmarks

The tables below show GCSE and Key Stage 2 national data for 2018. On our web site you can also find Key Stage 2  and GCSE analysis. If you would like to know more about the performance of EAL pupils in schools in your area please use our contact details below.


Rebecca Smith The EAL Academy email: Tel: 020 3488 2700 website:

Primary Headteacher Forum

Wednesday 20 March, 09:00 to 15:00 at the Marriot Hotel, Huntingdon.

We are delighted to have Ross Morrison McGill as our keynote speaker. The agenda might change a little as we have had the first pilot inspection under the new Ofsted framework and we are hoping an overview can be given by the school leadership at the meeting. Book here. Closing date for bookings Friday 15 March.

The Leadership Toolkit

Following the success of last year’s Safeguarding Poster a Leadership Toolkit has been created using a similar format but for more areas.

The aim of the toolkit is to enable school leaders to deliver an excellent education, with the highest of expectations for all regardless of background or barriers to learning.  It is not a 'one size fits all' approach, and the intention is that Leaders use the documents within at their own discretion, and in a flexible manner to best suit the needs of their school.

The toolkit comprises resources for Safeguarding, Governance, Disadvantaged Pupils, Teaching and Learning, Assessment, Maths, English, Foundation Subjects and Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare. Each area is supported with an Annual Schedule Poster, an electronic suite of resources and guidance documents outlining what ‘best practice’ can look like once achieved in these areas of leadership, and to help with school self-evaluation.

Initial complimentary copies have been distributed to those schools buying Element 1 of the Primary Offer.  These have been received very well, and already schools are asking for additional copies so that they may use the contents in a variety of ways to suit their school. 

To purchase one or more copies, including the Safeguarding poster, at £50 per copy, contact Diane Stygal via  to secure your order.

Horizon scanning

► 'Do both boys and girls feel safe at school - and does it matter?' - the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement has used TIMMS data to examine the link between academic achievement and feelings of safety.  

► 'Metacognition……. Just good teaching?' - James Bullous discusses the recommendations from the EEF guidance report.  

► Best Evidence in Brief  - the latest research digest from the Institute for Effective Education includes studies looking at early years maths apps, test anxiety, a small-group maths intervention, sleep education, plus more. 

Celebrating achievement in education in pictures!

We are currently developing a long term campaign to support and celebrate educational achievement across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – telling the stories of the work you do, and the innovations we are starting to make together in some areas which are of real national concern.

As well as making sure these achievements get the attention they deserve on a local, regional and hopefully national stage – we want to use this focus to help us attract the very best teachers to come and work in our region.

To help us in this work, we need to show the real ‘face’ of education in our area in all our stories, presentations and social media posts – and are asking for your help.

We need pictures we can use of teachers and young people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities in a range of different teaching and learning situations, so I am asking you if you are happy to share pictures from your own websites with us for this purpose.

  • These pictures should be in colour; 500kb – 2MG and 300 dpi
  • We need images that have cleared by the subjects or their parents if aged under 16 - for use for up to two years.
  • These pictures will only be used by Cambridgeshire County Council/Peterborough City Council in connection with positive stories or themes (e.g not linked to stories about bullying, self-harm, mental health, CSE).
  • The images will not be sold or used for profit making activities
  • Where used we will credit the school or academy who has submitted the image in the caption
  • We will never identify any individual pupil or teacher by name in the photo caption

Once submitted, parents, pupils or schools can ask us at any time to stop using their images for any reason, and after two years we will stop using them altogether in any case.

Jon Lewis
Service Director - Education

Recruitment in the Local Authority

I wanted to let you know that following a recruitment process, I am delighted to confirm the appointment of Marian Cullen to the post of Head of SEND Services 0-25. Marian has done a great job since September in an acting capacity and will lead the service into an important period as we grapple with rising needs and funding challenges. 

As previously shared, our new management structure has moved towards a shared structure with Peterborough.  Hazel Belchamber was appointed to the Assistant Director role for Education Capital and Place Planning in November.  We advertised the remaining Assistant Director roles (Schools and Setting Improvement / SEND and Inclusion) in December and despite a good response for the role, we were unable to appoint in January.  These posts have now been re-advertised and the adverts can be found here –

Assistant Director - School and Setting Improvement

Assistant Director - SEND and Inclusion

We are interviewing for these roles in April. 

Jon Lewis

Service Director - Education

Reception Baseline Assessment

Information about the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) voluntary Reception Baseline Pilot 2019 has been sent to Headteachers and Early Years Foundation Stage Leaders of Infant, Primary and Special Schools and Academies this week. Read the letter here.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day

Is one of your students being exploited?

With Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day coming up on 18 March the police are asking teachers to help them in efforts to protect the county’s children from exploitation.

Both girls and boys can become victims of exploitation – with people they see friends or boyfriends taking advantage of them sexually or by coercing them into committing crime such as drug dealing.

Signs of exploitation include:

  • The student being regularly missing from school
  • Mention of an older boyfriend or friends
  • Expensive unexplained gifts, such as mobile phones, jewellery etc
  • Seeming scared or overly secretive/evasive

The processes for reporting possible CSE

Does your school have non-specialists teaching secondary maths, physics or languages?

If so, teacher subject specialism training (TSST) courses could help to increase your teachers’ subject knowledge and confidence. Courses are free and flexible, with many held at weekends and during twilight hours.

The purpose of TSST is to improve the subject knowledge of non-specialist teachers and returning teachers in secondary mathematics, core maths, physics and languages, and to increase the number of hours taught. This helps build capacity for schools to manage workforce challenges in these subjects.

All course details for 2018/19 are available at teacher subject specialism training courses.

Training and Events

Developing and Teaching RSE in Secondary Schools

Monday 18 March, 09:30 to 16:30, Ambury House, Huntingdon. For Secondary Schools.

Introduction to Mindfulness

Thursday 21 March 2019, 13:30 to 16:30, Claret Centre, Buckden.

KS1 Moderation – Diamond Teaching School

Tuesday 26 March 2019, 13:30 to 16:00, Winhills Primary Academy, St Neots.  £60 per delegate. Opportunity to network with Year 2 teachers from a range of schools.

Assessing Writing in Year 6 - Session 2 (SFBC) Click “Developing Teaching & Learning” tab:

Thursday 28 March 2019, 13.30 to 16.30, South Fens Business Park. For teachers working with year 6 Pupils, English Subject leaders and/or Senior leaders. From £65 per head.

National Centre for Computing Education courses

E2BN is the local Regional Delivery Partner, supporting the work of the National Centre for Computing Education. The NCCE supports the teaching of computing at all key stages, by developing teachers' confidence and subjects knowledge. CPD opportunities are planned in Cambridgeshire area. Create an account on and book.

Tracking Foundation Subjects

Thursday 28 March 2019, 09:30 to 11:30, Bewick Bridge Primary School. For foundation Subject Leaders and Senior Leaders. From £65 per head.

Aspiring Headteacher Workshops (Session 3) Click "Briefings" tab.

Tuesday 1 April 2019, 13:30 to 16:30, Cambridge Professional Development Centre. For Deputy Headteachers, Assistant Headteachers and Senior Teachers. From £65 per head (no charge for Element 2 Members).

Employment Law Training for Schools and Academies

Tuesday 2 April 2019, 10:00 to 13:00, Cambridge Professional Development Centre. Specifically aimed at those working in an education setting including Headteachers, School Business/Support Managers and Governors. £100 per delegate.

Email to book.

Sensitive Issues in Secondary RSE

Tuesday 30 April 2019, 13:30 to 16:30, Ambury House, Huntingdon. For Secondary Schools.

HLTA Preparation & Assessment – Diamond Teaching School

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. Supporting staff to gain HLTA Status.

English & Maths Subject Leader Days – Diamond Teaching School

Wednesday 12 June 2019 (Maths), Thursday 13 June (English) 09:30 to 15:00,  Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire.  £110 per delegate.

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