Devon SLS Updates Newsletter: Summer Term | 8 June 2021 | Issue 5

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Summer term  |  8 June 2021  |  Issue 5

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Primary & Secondary Leadership Hub Meetings - June 2021

(MS Teams)

Join colleagues at the next round of Leadership Hub meetings - a chance to catch up online, share your experiences and keep up to date with the latest information, both locally and nationally. Sessions are hosted by members of the Devon SLS Schools Executive Committee.

For Primary school leaders: (note N E W date 16 June)

  • Wednesday 16 June 2021 (2.00pm - 3.00pm) BOOK HERE

For Secondary school leaders:

Thursday 17 June 2021 (2.00pm - 3.00pm)

Note that a calendar invite has been sent directly to secondary school leaders (no need to book).

Question? Contact us at

Devon SLS Summer Briefing

School Leadership Briefing

8 July 2021 (all-day) at Exeter Racecourse

The next Devon SLS School Leadership Briefing is on Thursday 8 July and subject to the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, we hope to hold the event at Exeter Racecourse.

Speakers confirmed for this all-day event are:

  • Hannah Woodhouse  |  Regional Schools Commissioner for SW England
  • Dawn Stabb  |  Head of Education & Learning, DCC
  • Alice McShane  |  School Effectiveness Team Lead, Babcock LDP
  • Professor Lee Elliot-Major OBE  |  Professor of Social Mobility, University of Exeter
  • Martin Smith  |  Director of Dartmoor Teaching School Alliance, Teaching Schools South West 

Part of the morning programme will also include an overall review of achievements during the first year since the launch of Devon Schools Leadership Services CIO. The agenda will soon be finalised, in the meantime book online via the Devon SLS website.

Have you booked yet? Check the current delegate list.

The Briefing is fully subsidised and open to all members of Devon SLS i.e. school leaders within Devon primary and secondary schools, one delegate place per school – other colleagues are also welcome to attend (note charges apply). For full details please see the terms and conditions on the booking form.

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Annual School Leadership Conference

14 & 15 October 2021 at Saunton Sands Hotel

Planning is well underway for this year's Annual School Leadership Conference, a two day event at Saunton Sands Hotel on the beautiful North Devon coastline.

The speaker programme has now been finalised and online booking will be available very soon - bookings will open at midday on Thursday 10 June 2021 - look out for a special edition 'conference' newsletter with further details.

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Vacancies | Devon SLS Education Trustees (1 x primary, 1 x secondary)

Are you ready for a new challenge? Are you passionate about education and have the willingness to devote the necessary time and effort? Are you ready to apply and share your professional skills in a rewarding voluntary capacity?

Devon Schools Leadership Services (Devon SLS) is an exciting charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) that launched in September 2020 for the benefit of school leaders, following the merger of Devon’s former DAPH and DASH phase associations.

We are looking to appoint two Education Trustees to actively contribute to the Board’s strategic direction and be an advocate for the organisation. READ MORE INFORMATION AND APPLY HERE.

Note the closing date for applications is Friday 11 June 2021.

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Reminder | Notification of confirmed positive Covid cases to the LA

Reporting of positive COVID-19 results through the Schools Smart Survey remains a priority as it provides more timely and vital local information to support the overall response to the pandemic.

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.

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.

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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.

Additionally, Devon SLS member schools have access to the Devon SLS Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) - free individual access to confidential information, support and counselling service plus the option of purchasing for the whole school at a discounted price.

Question or need support? Contact us:

E       T   01392 380518 / 07970 905511

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Every school with Reception class offered early language training

Every school in England with a Reception class to be offered expert training in early language and communication.

Every state school with a Reception class in England can now apply for training and resources through an early years catch-up programme funded by the Government, to support thousands more pupils with vital communication skills.

Delivered by the Nuffield Foundation and backed by an extra £8 million of investment, recruitment has launched for the second wave of the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI), a programme proven to be effective in raising outcomes in Reception-age children’s early language, communication and speech skills – particularly those who need the most support to overcome the disruption of the pandemic  |  READ MORE

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ESFA Update  |  Latest news for academies

Read the latest update dated 2 June 2021

Also, note the following from the 26 May 2021 ESFA update:

Academies Update re Ransomware infections in MATs

On 23 April, Jon Gilbert, DfE’s chief information security officer, wrote to multi-academy trusts (MATs) with important information about an increasing number of cyber-attacks involving ransomware infections affecting the education sector recently, notably multi-academy trusts.

In his email, Jon asked MATs to confirm to DfE that their trust is taking action to protect their systems and ensure that they have both a backup regime and incident management plan in place.

We are still awaiting a number of responses from MATs. If you have not yet replied, please email with your response.

Note: all schools to note new regulations on school sessions for academic year 2021 to 2022 

We have laid regulations to reduce the minimum number of sessions schools are required to meet in the academic year 2021 to 2022 and enable everyone to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen on 3 June 2022. 

Many schools will be on their half term breaks in the week commencing 31 May 2022, but where the additional bank holiday falls in term time, schools and local authorities should observe the Bank Holidays on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 June and may therefore need to prepare and make any amendments to their published term dates for the academic year 2021 to 2022. 

We have also laid regulations to allows schools in England to hold the extra INSET day on 4 January 2021 which was to help teachers train and prepare for coronavirus testing in schools. The amendment to regulations will mean that schools will not be at risk of breaching their statutory duty. 

Keep up to date - the ESFA Update contains the latest information and actions from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for academies, colleges, local authorities and further education providers.  Register for web alerts here.

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Schools Organisation, Capital & Admissions  (SOCA) meeting  |  Summer term 2021

Feedback from the recent SOCA meeting held on 25 May 2021 includes updates and reminders for schools on the following:

Admissions: Term dates

LA recommended term dates now published. Schools to determine their own term dates, and are reminded to share with the Local Authority and parents, and publish online.

Admissions: Composite Prospectus

School-specific admissions information should be shared with the LA by 8 August and published by the LA by 12 September each year.

Schools are asked to check the Schools Information pages and make any required amendments using the Update Information form as soon as possible. Schools are also asked to confirm whether they will be holding school face to face open events and what Covid arrangements will be in place.

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Young Carer Self Assessment

The Multi-Agency Young Steering Group operates in Devon under the Devon Children and Families Partnership. They have designed a short self-assessment survey to help them to understand the following : -

  • What organisations and services already know about young carers;
  • What organisations and services currently have in place to support young carers;
  • What organisations and services feel would be helpful in helping them to support young carers in Devon.

Visit this link for more information and to complete the survey - note closing date Friday 11 June 2021.

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SEND Helpline – now open every day!

SENDCo Helpline Monday – Friday (term time) 12pm-4pm

01392 287248 or email

There is a Devon helpline for teaching staff, school leaders, school governors and SENCos to give you support.Click to edit this placeholder text  |  READ MORE

Parent Carer Virtual Roadshow  |  SEND Support Hub Naming

Message from the DCC SEND team

Devon County Council staged two virtual roadshow to introduce the new Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) strategy and share our ideas on the new SEND Support Hub Approach for Devon.

We want to thank you for joining the events; we hope you found them interesting and informative. As raised in the roadshow, we have created a one question survey for you to share your ideas on a name for the new SEND Support Hub approach that would be meaningful to you. Please feel free to share as many suggestions you have. Here is the link to the survey.

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

Keep up to date:

Devon SLS Recommended reading
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SWIFT newsletter

Read the latest news and updates in issue 7 dated 27 May 2021 and includes New NPQ Information Events, Live Q&A with Ofsted National Leads and details of the Online Summer Conference 2021  |  READ MORE

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Ten ideas to boost your school staff’s wellbeing

Written by: Julie Norman | Published: 25 May 2021 on Headteacher Update

Wellbeing is high on our agendas right now. With the summer fast approaching,  Julie Norman gives us 10 areas we might prioritise from September in order to ensure good staff wellbeing  |  READ THE ARTICLE HERE

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Devon Association of Governance (DAG) Newsletters

Read the latest Issue 221 (24/05/21) HERE 

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

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Reminder  |  Book your place at the DAG Chairs Forum – 21 June 6pm

The DAG Community Network for Chairs Forum on 21 June will be facilitated by DAG board members with considerable chairing experience. Members are asked to register in advance via

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School Leadership changes and Headteacher email updates

We should be grateful if you would kindly bring to our attention any known forthcoming or impending changes to school leadership roles eg. Headteacher, Head of school etc. as it is not always possible to pick these up, particularly within MATs and Federations.

Please email

Additionally, 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.

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E     T  01392 380518     W    

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

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