Devon SLS Updates Newsletter: Spring Term | 21 January 2021 | Issue 1

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Spring term  |  21 January 2021 |  Issue 1

Coronavirus - testing in primary schools

Thank you to those colleagues who joined today's MS Teams meeting and we hope you found the session useful. Please note that the DfE documents re testing in primary schools will be circulated soon via separate email, in the meantime you may be able to access them via the Primary Schools Document Sharing Platform link (also included in DfE section below).

Events V3
Devon SLS Catch up meetings

Primary & Secondary Meetings (MS Teams)

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 the Devon SLS Schools Executive Committee.

Primary Area Meetings:

  • 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 Meeting:

  • Friday 5 February 2021 (all areas) 2.30pm - 3.30pm (a calendar invite has been sent directly to secondary school leaders). No need to book.

Question? contact us at

Spring School Leadership Briefing 2021

Spring School Leadership Briefing (MS Teams)

11 March 2021 (am)

Join colleagues for key messages and updates. Further details and agenda to follow, in the meantime online booking is now available on the Devon SLS website.

Covid-19 banner

Update from Devon Norse  |  Furlough arrangements

Read the latest updates regarding furlough, catering and cleaning services from Devon Norse. Contact Devon Norse:  T  01392 351160  

Reminder: Covid-19 - FAO schools using Devon Norse services

Devon Norse have politely requested that they are notified of any positive cases within schools as contract staff are often in school first thing in the morning. it is important they are made aware that some classrooms or other areas of the school are awaiting a deep clean and to avoid any Norse employees being put at personal risk.

Schools should make contact with their area manager in the event of positive cases being confirmed within the school using the usual contact numbers or via the helpline number on 0845 8500 319 if out of hours.

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.

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.

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.

Leadership Support
aHead logo

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:       T  01392 380518 / 07970 905511

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Additional to the aHead Service, Devon SLS is delighted to offer 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 0800 telephone number (see below).

Read more - EAP Leaflet: Information, guidance and support for wellbeing

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

Department for Education V3

Position statement regarding daily contact testing in schools from PHE and NHS Test and Trace

(Published 20 January 2021)

Read the latest statement from PHE and NHS Test and Trace regarding the pausing of daily contact testing within secondary schools  |  READ MORE

DfE Guidance  |  Coronavirus (COVID-19) asymptomatic testing for staff in primary schools and nurseries

Information on rapid asymptomatic coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for staff in primary schools, school-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools  |  READ MORE

Primary Schools Document Sharing Platform

Visit this link to the Primary Schools Document Sharing Platform to view useful resources, templates and FAQ's for primary colleagues and which follows the DfE series of webinars held earlier this week. 

Guidance - Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update

Ofsted guidance and information relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) for schools, early years, children's social care and further education and skills providers  |  READ MORE

National free school meals voucher scheme opens to orders

Edenred site opens for schools to purchase eGift cards for eligible families to use at their choice of supermarkets  |  READ MORE

Guidance - How to complete the educational setting status form

This data will help the government monitor the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on settings, focus support more effectively and keep children safe  |  READ MORE

Ofsted V3

January 2021: maintained schools and academies

An operational note for Her Majesty’s Inspectors carrying out inspections in state-funded schools from January 2021  |  READ MORE

Consultations V3

DfE Consultation launched on 2021 exam replacement

Teachers to determine grades using a range of evidence that reflects students’ hard work and ability. Read the press release here.

DfE Consultation on alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021

The approach to awarding vocational and technical grades in 2021 following the cancellation of exams  |  READ MORE

This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 29 January 2021

NEW Safeguarding and Early Help banner_V2
Babcock  LDP

Babcock Safeguarding Newsletter  |  January 2021

Read the latest news and updates from the Babcock team including:

  • Updated policy appendix
  • Risk Assessment flow chart
  • Threshold Tool
  • MASH webinar
  • S175 Safeguarding audit
  • Safer recruitment
  • Brook traffic light tool
  • Prevent briefing
  • Triennial Analysis of SCRs
  • Training and resources
NEW What's new banner V2
Melissa Caslake CO DCC

Chief Officer for Children’s Services Update

It’s less than two weeks until we look forward to officially welcoming our new Chief Officer for Children’s Services, Melissa Caslake.

Melissa’s appointment to the role was announced at the start of December, and she will start with the County Council on 1 February 2021.

A reminder that you can find details of the interim leadership arrangements on the DCFP website.

Action for Children logo

Parent Talk - free advice for parents

Parent Talk offers free, down-to-earth advice for parents of children aged 0-19. All their content is written or curated by Action for Children’s parenting coaches. It’s based on their experiences working with children, young people and their families.

Solihull Approach logo

The Solihull Approach Parenting Courses

Public Health are offering free online courses for residents of Devon, Torbay and Plymouth.

The Solihull Approach parenting courses are for everyone - anyone who wants to be the best mum, dad, grandparent, carer that they can be. The Solihull Approach aims to improve emotional health and wellbeing by supporting relationships. The courses are written by CAMHS professionals with other health and education workers. They are evidence based and accredited by the DfE.   

Curriculum V3
HMD logo

RE Newsletter | January 2021

Read the latest RE news and updates including resources / links for home learning, spring dates for 'Learn Teach Lead RE' hubs, CPD and details of this year's Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January). This year’s theme, be the light in the darkness, asks us to think about different kinds of ‘darkness’ and different ways of ‘being the light'. School resources and links available here (see HMD schools programme).

Contacts for RE support:

Ed Pawson: efpawson@gmail.comor or

Church schools: Tatiana Wilson at

Early Years V3

EYCS Weekly Attendance Survey

Please note the new mailbox for you to submit your Weekly Attendance Survey Childcare Information – Please do not use the schools daily returns mailbox any more.

The information submitted will be used in the weekly return to the DfE (every Thursday). 

The EYCS team have started to draw up frequently asked questions based on feedback and comments that have been received - read more on the early years and childcare COVID 19 webpage.

Do you receive the latest news and updates from the Early Years and Childcare Service?

Keep up to date:

Recommended Reading V3
EWWD MedTech challenge

Reminder - take part in a ground-breaking technology competition

Watch the Med-Tech Challenge 2021 - UK Innovation Competition video.

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.

Download the Med-Tech Poster

For more information and to register interest, visit the website

Please also notify Devon SLS of your interest to register via email.

School Governance V3

Visit the DAG website

Read the latest DAG newsletter Issue 206 (18/01/21) HERE 

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

Community Networks  |  DAG Chairs Forum

To support chairs in schools in our Devon Local Authority more, DAG are launching the DAG Community Network for Chairs.

The DAG Community Network for Chairs will take the form of a forum each half term providing an opportunity for chairs of governing boards, chairs of academy trusts or chairs of local academy bodies from across the county to join an interactive hour-long session to discuss the latest issues affecting governance in 2021.

The first Chairs Forum is taking place on Monday 8 February at 6pm - further details and how registered are advertised on the DAG website.

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:

  • David BroadActing Head of School, Ladysmith Infant and Nursery School
  • Suzy Dyter - Executive Headteacher, Tavistock Church Schools Federation, St Christopher's MAT
  • Julie FosseyHead of School, West Exe School, Ted Wragg MAT
  • Dan Morrow - CEO, Dartmoor MAT
  • Claire Petts - Headteacher, All Saints CofE Primary School Axminster, St Christopher's MAT
  • Fraser Wallace - Headteacher, Uffculme Primary School, Uffculme Academy Trust
  • Neil WilliamsActing Head of School, Ladysmith Junior School

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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Devon SLS (formally DAPH and DASH - read more details about our new CIO Devon SLS in the July 2020 newsletter)