Devon SLS Updates Newsletter: Working Group News and Feedback | 1 October 2020

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Autumn term  |  1 October 2020  |  Contact us:

Working Groups

Welcome to the Autumn term

from Rachel Shaw - Chair of Devon SLS Schools Executive Committee

At its first meeting in July, I was pleased to have been elected as Chair of the new Schools Executive Committee (SEC) which is the operational sub-group of Devon SLS. Membership of the SEC is made up of six primary and six secondary school leaders and will effectively continue the work of the former DAPH and DASH Executive Committees. 

Details of the SEC membership can be found here.

The SEC is the core consultative and advisory group for schools working on behalf of Devon SLS. Together with the other SEC committee members, our commitment to you is that we will work hard collectively to ensure that there is a strong, operational link between schools, DCC and other stakeholders, and act as the unified voice for schools.

It's been a very busy start to the Autumn term for all of us and I want to reassure you that Devon SLS is here to offer support and guidance, provide you with local and national news (not just Covid-19!) plus our events will give you the opportunity to share and collaborate with peers. Our  next event is in the planning - the School Leadership Briefing on 12 November - agenda and online details of this virtual event will be advertised soon.

This newsletter is dedicated to a summary of Working Group news and feedback; many meetings take place across the academic year and our representatives attend these meetings on your behalf to ensure that our schools' voice is heard and that all schools and leaders are represented fairly.

In the meantime the DCC School Funding 2021-22 Consultation opens today and runs 1 - 18 October and I would also strongly encourage you to attend the Briefing events on 5 & 7 October - registration now closes end of tomorrow Friday 2 October. See below for more details and the online booking form.

And finally, please make Devon SLS Updates newsletter your regular read and check that colleagues within your leadership team are also signed up - subscribe via the links in the closing section below.


Rachel Shaw  |  Chair, Schools Executive Committee

Included in this issue:

  • Devon SLS Working Group representatives 2020/21
  • Devon Education Forum - school and academy membership for 2021/22
  • School Funding 2021-22 Consultation - dates of virtual meetings and online booking
  • SOCA - Autumn School Census, Admissions Code Consultation and Admissions Arrangements
  • Safeguarding and Early Help - EH System Surveys, policy and One Minute Guide updates plus the latest Babcock LDP Safeguarding newsletter
  • Devon Music Education Hub - Covid-19 Hub Lead Report (July 2020)
  • Young Carers - Covid Support Guidance and additional reading

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Devon SLS Working Group Representatives

To ensure that the voice of schools is heard, Devon school leaders attend numerous statutory boards and working groups across the county. Each year, representation on these groups is reviewed and following the last Schools Executive Committee (SEC) meeting on 24 September 2020 , the following representatives were agreed for 2020-21: Devon SLS Working Group Representatives

Additionally, the SEC acts as a conduit for two-way communication to regularly update schools with key messages and on work being undertaken at local authority groups. See the updates from the various September 2020 meetings below.

For a synopsis of all meetings held since the beginning of the academic year, read the Devon SLS CIO Working Group Summary document.

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Devon Education Forum (DEF)

Confirmation of Schools (LA Maintained) and Academy Members plus named Substitutes effective from 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2022

For the attention of:

  • Headteachers/Principals of all LA Maintained Schools within Devon Local Authority
  • The Board of Directors of all Academy Schools within Devon Local Authority

Primary and Secondary Membership at DEF

Further to our communication dated 24 June 2020, we are writing to confirm that from 1 September, DEF membership across both phases is as follows:

  • Primary: Academy x 2 and Schools (L/A Maintained) x 2
  • Secondary: Academy x 3 and Schools (L/A Maintained) x 1

Following the conclusion of the election process on 10 July 2020, please note the details of DEF Membership and Named Substitutes effective from 1 September 2020.

Representatives will attend the following DEF meeting dates for the 2020/21 academic year:

  • 18 November 2020
  • 20 January 2021
  • 17 March 2021
  • 16 June 2021

The ESFA publication Schools Forum - Operational and good practice guide available on GOV.UK provides advice and information on good practice in relation to the operation of schools forums as well as their powers and responsibilities.

Schools forum members will need the skills and competencies to manage Forum business taking a strategic view across the whole education estate whilst acting as representative of the group that has elected them. Furthermore, they should be easily contactable and pro-active in raising the profile of issues and communicating decisions, and the reasons behind them, effectively.

Further information on Devon Education Forum to include the Constitution, details of full membership and minutes of meetings etc. is available on the Devon County Council website.

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Read more about the Schools Finance Group (SFG) objectives, terms of reference, minutes and agendas H E R E.

  • SFG last met on 9 September 2020 - minutes will be advertised HERE
  • Next SFG meeting is taking place on 4 November 2020

Reminder: DCC School Funding 2021-22 Consultation Events 

The consultation runs from 1 October to Sunday 18th October 2020. Virtual events are being held on 5 & 7 October next week - online booking and the Consultation documents are now live on the DCC website.

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Read more about the Schools Organisation, Capital and Admissions (SOCA) objectives, terms of reference, minutes and agendas H E R E.

  • SOCA last met on 22 September 2020 - minutes will be advertised HERE
  • Next SOCA meeting is taking place on 1 December 2020

Schools are to note the following:

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Babcock Safeguarding Newsletter - September 2020

For other news and updates, make sure you sign up to receive the Babcock Safeguarding newsletters - here's a link to the latest issue (September 2020) and Includes important guidance on:

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 amended guidance from 1 September 2020.
  • The updated Model Child Protection and Safeguarding policy is now available on the safeguarding pages of the Babcock website
  • The annual s175 School Audit Return will be sent to schools imminently and is to be returned by the end of the autumn term. Further information to follow from Babcock LDP in due course.
  • Babcock One Minute Guides have been updated this month - visit the Babcock website to download.


Devon Children and Families Partnership

Read the latest DCFP news

The advice to anyone in Devon who may have suspicions of child abuse or neglect is to contact Devon’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

Children & Young People's Plan 2019-2023 can be viewed HERE

Early Help System Survey

The Devon Children and Families Partnership (DCFP) aims to make sure that children and families can get the right support, in the right place at the right time.

They would like to hear your views on their Devon Early Help offer to help them understand how the system is supporting young people and families, and to provide the information we need to make improvements. The surveys are now live and will stay open for responses until the end of Sunday 4 October. Read more information and access the surveys.

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Devon SEND Local Offer and Strategy

Statutory Guidance SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 years defines that the Local Offer has two key purposes:

  • To provide clear, comprehensive, accessible and up-to-date information about the available provision and how to access it.
  • To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving disabled children and those with SEND and their parents, and disabled young people and those with SEND, and service providers in its development and review.

For more information visit the Devon SEND Local Offer website.

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Devon Information Advice and Support for SEND

DiAS has a dedicated team offering legally-based and easily accessible information and advice about special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). 

DIAS supports parents, carers, children and young people with SEND and their service is impartial and confidential. For more Information visit the DIAS website

Stay up to date with DIAS  |  Subscribe to newsletter

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Devon Music Education Hub

Covid-19 Hub Lead Report

The Devon Music Education Hub (DMEH) met on 15 September 2020 - read the DMEH Covid-19 Hub Lead Report (July 2020) from Lewis Gibbs, Head of Babcock LDP Music, Hub Lead for Devon & Torbay.

Read more about DMEH including music consultancy, instrument hire, skills workshops and music conferences on the Babcock LDP website.

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Support for Young Carers in Devon

Message from Liz Smith, Young Carers Service Manager

If you have identified a young carer within your school advice and support can be obtained from Devon Young Carers website. A referral form can be downloaded there for completion. There is also information about the service on the DCFP website

As you have all now returned to school we are aware that some young carers and their families may be anxious and have not returned. Please do let us know if this is the case and the team maybe able to support with reassuring young carers and working towards return to school. The Carers Trust have also issued Schools Young Carer Covid Support Guidance. Devon Young Carers also have a specialist Schools Support Worker who can give further guidance on the Young Carers in Schools Award which a number of schools in the county have and more are working towards.

Further reading:

Contact Devon Young Carers:

T  03456 434 435   e

Devon Schools Leadership Services CIO

Devon SLS (formally DAPH and DASH - read more details about our new CIO Devon SLS in the July newsletter)

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