Devon SLS Updates Newsletter: Summer Term | 23 July 2021 | Issue 8

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 Summer term  |  23 July 2021  |  Issue 8

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DSLS_Judith Johnson

Final Thoughts From the Chair of the DSLS Board…

It is with mixed feelings that I depart from the Devon Schools Leadership Services Board after this first year as its Chair. As I am also fully retiring now and have already moved back to Yorkshire, it is also with some sadness that I say goodbye to colleagues in Devon and the South-West of some 20 years and all that we experienced together during that period.

With DSLS, it has been exciting to see a long-held vision come to reality and be part of the thoughtful ways in which school leaders are being supported; on the other hand, it has been a year of frustrations and setbacks in some respects - but we got there!

It’s certainly been a year of challenge and effort – not made any easier by the restrictions that Covid has placed on us – a situation which I know first-hand has been magnified exponentially in your work in schools. So, my first thought is to thank all of you out there who have literally been holding the education system together at classroom level for Devon’s learners and the toll it has taken on you as you as leaders who have never been able to fully switch off for such a prolonged period. I can see the resolution and the resignation with which you have spent hours processing the latest procedural changes and got your schools ready for the Monday morning implementation, I can see the care that is taken around compliance in practice in cleaning and bubbles and keeping the pupils safe. In all my 45 years in education I have never felt such pride in our profession and its core value as a public service. I sincerely hope that the summer break really does provide the opportunity for you to recharge and allow your minds to fully empty of education issues so you can spend quality time on YOU and your families and friends.

As I hand over the reins of DSLS Chair to Jonathan Bishop (CEO of the Cornerstone Academy Trust), I wanted to thank the DSLS Trustees, Rachel Shaw and other members of the Schools Executive Committee (SEC) who have all stepped up to the challenge on top of their own workload and shown commitment to our core purpose and our collective vision for the future. They have done this because they believe in it, and believe that school leaders like all of you out there continue to value something bigger than the individual school or MAT that holds the system together; something which has become a source of personal and professional nourishment in the bad times, a source of creativity and innovation for the future, and a vehicle for helping you make sense of it all and holding it together in the here and now. I also want to thank Clare, Anna and Kathryn in the Business Support Office who have worked tirelessly to enable the Trustees and SEC members fulfil their roles as well as being a reliable 'go-to' for school leaders for guidance and information. We are sad to say farewell to Anna who will be leaving DSLS today and we wish her all the very best for her future plans.

Because of what we believe in, my final thank you is to all of you out there. Thank you for what you do every day (and night), thank you for stepping up and representing the schools’ voice on all those working and focus groups and for reminding us what we are ultimately her for. DSLS exists because of you – it’s there for you – help us make it what you want and need it to be.

Good luck in 2021-22 - and beyond.

DSLS JJ Sig and name
DSLS For Schools
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DSLS Autumn term School Leadership Briefing

School Leadership Briefing - Autumn term

NEW date - now 2 November 2021 at Tiverton Hotel

This all-day event will include the following guest speakers:

  • Ofsted
  • RSC SW Office
  • DCC Head of Education & Learning
  • a focus on RSE curriculum provision and response to the Ofsted Report on Sexual Abuse in schools & colleges

More details to follow in the autumn term, in the meantime online booking is now available on the DSLS website.

Note - any existing bookings for the previous date will automatically transfer across.

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, Saunton, Nr Braunton, North Devon EX33 1LQ

Target audience: primary and secondary school leaders and other members of the school leadership team.

With guest speakers:

Mary Myatt | Education Adviser, Writer and Speaker

Ian Gilbert | Associate, Independent Thinking

Stephanie Davies | Associate, Independent Thinking

Penny Mallory | Former Rally Champion and leading authority on Mental Toughness

READ MORE AND BOOK ONLINE. Residential, non-residential and single day booking options are available. One booking form per delegate required. Terms and conditions apply, please see the online booking form for further details. Note that this is a new event - all previous 2020 bookings cannot be carried forward - please re-book for the 2021 event.

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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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National funding formula tables for schools and high needs: 2022 to 2023

Tables showing provisional allocations for the schools, high needs and central school services blocks from 2022 to 2023  |  READ MORE

Creating sustainable high needs systems

Information on how local authorities can manage their high needs systems and associated spending in a sustainable way  |  READ MORE

Reception baseline assessment: information for parents

This leaflet is for schools to use with parents when explaining what the reception baseline assessment is  |  READ MORE

Proposals set out for exams and assessments in 2022

Exams expected to take place next year as Government and Ofqual launch consultations on arrangements to mitigate disruption to education  |  READ MORE

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Devon Association of Governance (DAG) Newsletters

Read the latest Issue 228 (19 July 2021) HERE 

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

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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.

Enjoy the summer break

Please note that the DSLS Business Support Office will be closed from Monday 26 July and will re-open on Monday 6 September 2021. Wishing you all a restful and enjoyable summer break and we look forward to working with you in the autumn term.

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E     T  01392 380518     W

Registered office:
Venture House, One Capital Court, Bittern Road, Sowton, Exeter,
Devon EX2 7FW | Registered Charity No. 1186756

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