Devon SLS Updates Newsletter: Autumn Term | 4 December 2020 | Issue 4

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DSLS Mission_Vision_Values

Autumn term  |  4 December 2020 |  Issue 4

Covid-19 banner

Free School Meals holiday voucher scheme

DCC have now put in place arrangements to provide supermarket vouchers to nearly 15,000 children across Devon who currently receive free school meals, to help their families buy groceries over the Christmas holidays. Full details are advertised on the DCC website.

Public Health England - statement re. contact tracing over the Christmas period

An agreed position statement from Public Health England was communicated to schools via Dawn Stabb's Headteacher Update email on 1 December and which included guidance on the process for contract tracing over the Christmas period. After concerns were raised, clarification was sought and subsequently a second email has been sent to schools on 2 December. Do let us know if you have not received this email and we will arrange for it to be forwarded -

Reminder  |  Notification of Covid-19 cases to Public Health England AND the Local Authority

It is imperative that the local authority is notified of any confirmed positive Covid-19 cases (staff or pupils) in your school via the SmartSurvey online link:

COVID 19 - Education Provision/School Notification of COVID 19 Test Results

Read the full news item on the DCC website.

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 school leaders and other senior staff. Here is the link to the website - schools are to log in via their usual DCC account.

GOV.UK logo

Local restriction tiers: what you need to know

Read the guidance which sets out the local restriction tier system that will be in place from Wednesday 2 December, including what you can and cannot do in each tier. 

Department for Education (DfE) daily attendance return

The Department for Education and Devon County Council require schools (of all types) to complete a daily summary return.

Read more on GOV.UK: How to complete the educational setting status form

Submit the educational settings status form daily (by 2pm)

Please note completion of this return is monitored by the DfE and followed up by the Regional Schools Commissioner’s office.

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.

NEW What's new banner V2
DCC_Melissa Caslake

Chief Officer for Children’s Services recruited

Message from Phil Norrey, Chief Executive DCC

As we prepare to say goodbye to our current Chief Officer for Children’s Services, Jo Olsson, and wish her a long and happy retirement, I am delighted to announce that, following an intensive recruitment process, Melissa Caslake has been offered and accepted the post.  Read the full story here.

EWWD MedTech logo

Take part in a ground-breaking technology competition

Download the Med-Tech Poster

Secondary schools across Devon are invited to take part in a ground-breaking technology competition.

The EWWD Med-Tech Challenge aims to foster a culture of ambition and promote opportunities in the rapidly developing MedTech field. 

From September 2021 teams of 11-15 year-olds will use a suite of specially created resources to design a medical technology invention that they believe could improve the life of someone suffering from a disease or illness.

They will be invited to compete in regional heats where they pitch their ideas to a ‘Dragons Den’ style panel of judges. The series of pitch events across the country will culminate in an exciting grand final where one winner will be chosen to receive the honour of seeing a prototype of their concept developed by HexTransforma Healthcare and partners.

For more information visit the website and use the link at the bottom of the page to register your interest. Please also notify Devon SLS of your interest to register via email.

Leadership Support
Area Meetings

Reminder  |  Primary & Secondary Meetings

December 2020 and February 2021

Join colleagues for a chance to catch up on all things Covid-19 related (and other topics) - share your experiences and keep up to date with the latest information, both locally and nationally. Sessions hosted by members of Devon SLS Schools Executive Committee.

Primary Area Meetings (next week):

  • Tuesday 8 December 2020 (North & East, 2.00pm - 3.00pm)
  • Wednesday 9 December 2020 (Central, South & West, 1.30pm - 2.30pm) 

Book your December primary area meeting here

  • Tuesday 9 February 2021 (North & East, 1.30pm - 2.30pm)
  • Wednesday 10 February 2021 (Central, South & West, 1.30pm - 2.30pm)

Book your February primary area meeting here

Secondary Meetings:

Look out for calendar invites which will be sent directly to secondary colleagues for the following dates:

  • Friday 11 December 2020 - all areas, 2.30pm - 3.30pm (calendar invite sent 25/11/20)
  • Friday 5 February 2021, all areas, 2.30pm - 3.30pm (calendar invite to follow)

Leaders Together image

Leaders Together  |  Register here

Weekly | Thursdays | 3.45pm - 4.30pm | Microsoft Teams

Devon Schools Leadership Services and Teaching Schools South West have teamed up to bring ‘Leaders Together’ – an informal, weekly opportunity for leaders from all school types to drop into a friendly environment where they can share experiences, information and support each other.  Note there is no charge to attend. 

How to register and more information is advertised on the Devon SLS website.

Contact: or

aHead logo

Support for school leaders: 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. 

Read more on the Devon SLS website.

Contact us: E       T   01392 380518 / 07970 905511

Education Support logo

Support for school leaders: Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Devon SLS offers an Employee Assistance Programme to its membership of school leaders. This is a new introduction to the Devon SLS offer and is provided by Education Support.

The EAP provides members with free individual access to a confidential information, support and counselling service which is available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day via a dedicated telephone number. Read more on the Devon SLS website.

Contact Education Support:  T 08000 856 148 (quoting Devon Schools Leadership Services)

Talkworks logo

Support for school staff: 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.

Support for school staff: Every Mind Matters self-care tool

Your Mind Plan can help you to take simple steps to look after your mental health and find a good work-life balance

The mental health campaign 'Every Mind Matters' offers a free online action plan, approved by the NHS, that offers simple steps we can all take to care for our mental health. The tool can help to deal with stress and anxiety, boost mood, improve sleep quality and take control of our wellbeing. Visit the Public Health England website for more details.

Whilst you care for others, why not also create your own self-care action plan?

Young Devon logo

Support for young people: Young Devon

Young Devon has been offering mental health support for over 20 years. Their staff are hugely experienced, will listen, help and never judge. They give straight-forward support for problems that young people might be facing. With specialist Accommodation, Sexual Health, Victim of Crime and Wellbeing teams, they have the resources that young people need, to help young people come to terms with the challenges that they face.

For more details, visit the Young Devon website.

Ofsted V3

Ofsted Annual Report 2019/20

Ofsted's Annual Report examines the quality of schools, early years, children's social care and further education and skills. 

The Annual Report looks at schools, early years, further education and skills and children’s social care for the academic year 2019 to 2020. Also read Amanda Spielman’s speech launching this report and Ofsted's press release.

Ofsted: phased return to inspections

Ofsted’s return to inspection in 2021 will happen in phases, with no graded inspections for education or social care providers planned before the summer term  |  READ MORE

Ofsted announces new early years inspection arrangements

(posted 12/11/20)

A new approach to inspecting early years providers will give good and outstanding providers more consistency while prioritising providers rated less than good  |  READ THE PRESS RELEASE

Events V3
DAPH Kite String Conference 2015

Annual School Leadership Conference

NEW dates 14 & 15 October 2021 at Saunton Sands Hotel

Due to the ongoing situation the March 2021 dates have recently been cancelled and the next Annual School Leadership Conference will be held on 14 & 15 October 2021 at Saunton Sands Hotel. More information to follow.

Question? Contact

Reminders banner

S175 Safeguarding Audit

A reminder for schools to undertake the S175 audit for this year, noting that the deadline for completion is Friday 18 December 2020.
To complete the audit, please follow the link to the smart survey: Devon County Council School Safeguarding Audit 2020/2021

School Governance V3

Visit the DAG website

Read the latest DAG newsletter Issue 201 (30/11/20) HERE 

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

The latest edition of Governance Today e-magazine was sent out to schools on 6 November 2020 - please send on to your governing board.

And finally... V3

Keep up to date with 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.


Devon Schools Leadership Services CIO

Read more about Devon SLS

Contact: E     T  01392 380518     W    

Registered office:
Venture House, One Capital Court, Bittern Road, Sowton, Exeter, Devon EX2 7FW

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