Parent Voice: Continuing support for EAL students, celebrating nurture success at the Baird Academy, Youth Cabinet elections, and stay and play groups for preschool children

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February 2019

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New Youth Cabinet members elected!

YC Alex

We are delighted to announce that the 2019 East Sussex Youth Cabinet members have been elected. 21 young people from across the county have been chosen to represent their peers at local and national decision-making events. Alex Baughurst (pictured, with Cllr. Sylvia Tidy) is the elected special school representative and he and his fellow Cabinet members will campaign on the top priorities voted in through the national Make Your Mark ballot. Nationally, over one million young people voted in Make Your Mark and, in East Sussex, the top three priorities are:

  1. End knife crime
  2. Improve mental health support
  3. Tackle homelessness

The Cabinet are now developing strategies to tackle these important issues. If you'd like to find out more about the Youth Cabinet, or would like to support their campaigns, please contact Atiya Gourlay, Equality & Participation Manager:

Congratulations to the Baird Academy


We'd like to congratulate the nurture team, children and staff at the The Baird Primary Academy in Hastings whose nurturing approach throughout the school has been recognised by Nurtureuk.

In December, it became the first school in Hastings to be awarded the Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark in recognition of the excellent practice in their nurture group. They are the second school in East Sussex to gain this prestigious national award. We are so impressed by the determination of staff to make a difference to all the children in the school. Well done to everyone involved!

Continuing our support for EAL students


With regard to the proposed closure of the EAL (English as an Additional Language) Service, following the decision by East Sussex maintained secondary schools not to pool their funding for EAL children at Schools’ Forum in September, the Local Authority consulted on the closure of the EAL service. We did this because the funds, provided by the maintained primary schools, were insufficient to deliver a service.

We have just been informed that the secondary schools have reversed their earlier decision and have agreed to pool EAL funding for the 2019/20 financial year. This means that the EAL service can continue to operate until March 2020.

Primary and secondary schools have agreed the funding for one year with a commitment to work with the Local Authority and consider alternative options for service delivery to maintained schools and academies from 2020 onwards. EAL service managers will be directly involved in developing options which will be presented to Schools’ Forum in June 2019 for approval. The funding for the service will continue to be provided by the schools as the responsibility for EAL pupils remains with them and they receive in their budgets funding from the Department for Education for this purpose.

We are clearly very pleased that the maintained secondary schools have reviewed their decision on funding the EAL service and are supporting the service for a further financial year. Whereas this does not provide certainty of support on an ongoing basis, it provides an opportunity to look at new ways for schools and the Local Authority to agree a more sustainable delivery model.

If you know a child who needs help learning English, please contact their school, who can refer them for EALS support.

Stay and plays for preschool children

Small Beginnings

Small Beginnings groups are stay and play groups for parents/carers who are concerned about the development of their pre-school child. The groups are run by the health visiting and nursery nurse team, supported by the ISEND Early Years Service.

Come and enjoy time with your child whilst learning how to support their play, communication and interaction. The groups run during term-time in: 
Eastbourne Shinewater Centre on Mondays, 1.15-2.30pm
Crowborough Children's Centre on Tuesdays, 10-11.30am
South St. Leonards Children's Centre on Wednesdays, 1.15-2.30pm
Ringmer Children's Centre on Thursdays, 1.15-2.30pm