Devon SLS Updates Newsletter: Autumn Term | 9 October 2020 | Issue 1

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Autumn term  | 9 October|  Issue 1

Note our new email address - - the former DAPH email address will be switched off soon so please update your contacts / address book. Our other contact details remain the same - for more details see the closing section at the foot of this newsletter.

Headteacher Email Updates

To ensure that school leaders are well informed and kept up to date with important information from the Local Authority and the DfE, regular headteacher updates are being emailed directly to you via Dawn Stabb, Head of Education & Learning.

If you are not receiving these on a regular basis please let us know via email and we'll make sure you are added to the distribution list.

DCC Devon Schools Key Information Website

Visit the private Education (staff only) website which hosts all the key information and guidance in one place so it can easily be referred to by Headteachers and other senior staff. Here is the link to the website - schools are to log in via their usual DCC account.

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Reminder  |  Reporting both Suspected and Confirmed Cases

All schools and settings MUST notify the local authority of all confirmed cases using the online form below please.  This enables the team to follow up any urgent local support and help manage communication. This is particularly important as the LA is not routinely receiving information relating to single confirmed cases from PHE or the DfE.

Reporting suspected or confirmed cases:

Notification of ALL Covid test results:

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Covid-19 and School Absence

Visit the DCC website for up to date information on Covid- 19 related school absence - information includes a symptoms checker chart, NHS Test and Trace, useful links to GOV.UK and what to do if someone is displaying symptoms or tests positive.

There are also links to the letter from Dr Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health England and who has written to parents about using the Test and Trace system correctly.

Stay up to date with GOV.UK

Sign up to receive emails when there are changes to any coronavirus information on the GOV.UK website.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) catch-up premium - guidance from GOV.UK

What school leaders need to know about the catch-up premium and the National Tutoring Programme, including funding amounts and how funding should be spent. Read more on the GOV.UK website.

Covid-19  |  Explaining Self-Isolation

… so how is it that I have to spend 14 days in self-isolation: it doesn’t make sense and seems unfair?

Download this useful presentation shared by Education South West which explains the reasons and importance of self-isolating. 

Covid 19 Attendance  |  Scomis request for increased frequency of data downloads 

Scomis have recently requested access to SIMs to increase the frequency of Attendance data downloads from SIMS, from weekly to daily. This is linked to the DfE and Local Authority’s requirement for daily monitoring of attendance so that students, particularly vulnerable learners, can be safeguarded when not attending school. This information gathering is not about monitoring school level attendance - that information is already available from the DfE.

For those schools who have not yet responded, please could you authorise, as soon as possible, the request for Scomis to access this information. Further details regarding this access request were circulated via Dawn Stabb on 02/10/20.

Leadership Support
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aHead Service

Headship can be isolating and overwhelming, particularly during these challenging times. We wanted to remind you that the team of aHead Professional Partners are here to provide confidential support and guidance to school leaders and can be contacted via email or phone:

E       T   01392 380518 / 07970 905511

More details to follow - look out for the aHead Service special edition newsletter next week.

Consultations V3

Reminder: Open consultation  |  Changes to the School Admissions Code

The Department for Education is consulting on a revised version of the statutory School Admissions Code.

The Code was last updated in 2014. The revised Code seeks to clarify and improve the process in which children are admitted to school outside of the normal admissions round in light of a number of Government reviews.

Read more and link to the consultation.

This consultation closes at 11:59pm on 16 October 2020

Reminder  |  DCC School Funding 2021-22 Consultation

The DCC School Funding 2021-22 Consultation runs from 1 October to 18 October 2020. Schools are strongly encouraged to engage with the consultation process - the consultation documents are live on the DCC website - School Funding Arrangements 2021-22.

Responses to the consultation will need to be submitted no later than close of play Sunday 18 October 2020.

Ofsted V3

Ofsted visits to schools and colleges this Autumn term

More details about Ofsted's plans to visit schools and further education and skills providers during the autumn term. Read more on GOV.UK.

Interim Ofsted report from pilot school visits

Read the interim Ofsted report on the GOV.UK website which gives initial feedback on 121 pilot school visits made between 14 and 18 September 2020 - COVID-19 series: briefing on schools, September 2020.

'We're not here to make life difficult': our further education and skills visits

Ofsted blog by Paul Joyce, Deputy Director, Further Education and Skills

In July, Ofsted announced that they would be carrying out visits across all the areas they inspect this autumn – schools, further education and skills, early years and children’s social care. In this blog post, Paul Joyce discusses further education and skills pilot visits.

Ofsted statement on new Ofqual board committee

Amanda Spielman will chair a new board committee at Ofqual until the end of 2020. Read the news story on GOV.UK.

Department for Education V3

Consultation outcome  |  Financial transparency of LA maintained schools and academy trusts

Read the government response to last year's consultation on Financial Transparency of local authority maintained schools and academy trusts - the summary of responses  received along with the government’s response outlining the next steps can be downloaded on GOV.UK.

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The National School Aged Immunisation Programme 2020/21

Information for schools regarding the process for inviting children for their vaccination

A national letter written by Dr Nikita Kanani, NHS England’s Medical Director for Primary Care, will be sent to parents and guardians in the coming weeks informing them of flu vaccination clinics in schools.

Immunisation providers across the South West are currently contacting schools to arrange flu vaccination clinics throughout the autumn term. For more details about the immunisation programme, please read the letter from Matthew Dominey, Screening and Immunisation Lead at NHS England and NHS Improvement South West.

NEW What's new banner V2
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TALKWORKS - IAPT service for Devon

TALKWORKS is a free, confidential, NHS talking therapy service, part of IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies), for people (aged 18+) in Devon (excluding Plymouth), helping you to feel better and giving you the tools and techniques to improve your mental and physical wellbeing.

For more details and to access to a self help referral form, visit the website.

Recommended Reading V3
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RE Newsletter – Autumn Term 2020

Read the latest RE newsletter for information, CPD, resources and guidance.

Also see the new guidance on Collective Worship in Devon schools (2020), entitled: ‘A Time To Breath’ - for more details visit Devon SACRE on the Babcock website.

For RE support, please contact Ed Pawson via email

Ed Pawson
RE Adviser to Devon and Torbay SACREs, Adviser to CofE schools, Diocese of Exeter

Deputy Leader writes to the Government outlining changes to special needs education

Devon County Council’s deputy leader James McInnes has written to the Government outlining a number of changes to special needs education regulations which would save money whilst still providing high quality care for vulnerable children. Read the full news story on the DCC website.

School Governance V3

Visit the DAG website

Read the latest DAG newsletter Issue 194 (05/10/20) HERE 

Visit the DAG website to subscribe to newsletters and register for DAG membership.

DfE Guidance  |  Governance structures and roles

An explanation of how governing boards of maintained schools and academy trusts are structured and descriptions of the roles and responsibilities of members. Read more on the DfE website (published 8 October 2020).

And finally... V3

Devon SLS would like to welcome the following school leaders taking up new posts in Devon schools this term and we look forward to seeing you at one of our forthcoming events:

  • Joanne Arscott - Executive Headteacher, Tavistock Church Schools Federation, St Christopher's MAT
  • Jane BassettActing Headteacher, Highweek Community Primary & Nursery School
  • Carla Bennett - Headteacher, Sherford Vale School, Westcountry Schools Trust
  • Helen Bye - Acting Headteacher, Hartland Primary School
  • Tessa Coulthard - Acting Executive Headteacher/Head of School, South Hams Federation/Stokenham Area Primary School 
  • Andrew Finney - Headteacher, Cullompton Community College
  • Justin Jones - Acting Headteacher, St Andrew’s CofE Primary School, Buckland Monachorum  
  • Penny King - Head of School, Newton Ferrers CofE Primary, First Federation Trust
  • Sarah Lord - Head of School, Kingswear Primary School, Education South West
  • Sam McCarthy-Patmore - Head of School, Ilsington Primary School, Link Academy Trust
  • Aerfen Mills - Head of School, Colyton Primary School, First Federation Trust
  • Dan Polak - Head of School, Pilton Bluecoat Academy, TEAM MAT
  • Kevin Pratt - Head of School, Axminster Community Primary Academy
  • Chris Rickard - Head of School, Holbeton Primary School, Westcountry Schools Trust
  • Steve Rogers - Headteacher, Ilfracombe Academy
  • Jen Veal - Executive Headteacher, South Dartmoor Community College & Atrium Studio School, Westcountry Schools Trust

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

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