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portsmouth city council
Portsmouth Education Partnership

PEP Bulletin

January 2019

PEP Blog

As part of the PEP Bulletin a regular blog from senior leaders across the city will be included.  This month's Blog comes from Sophie Venables, Director of the Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance

Subject networks - strength in numbers

As a Head of English (many years ago!) I was fortunate enough to work with a local English advisor who supported the department and who ran a network to share ideas with professionals from other schools. I found the experience invaluable and when I joined the Portsmouth TSA as Director in 2016, one of my key objectives was to give subject leads and other educationalists in the city the opportunity to develop and support each other and share great practice to enhance the experience of learning for all Portsmouth pupils.  We now run seven separate networks attended by 184 teachers across the city, from all phases and specialisms.  These networks are run free of charge and are part of the vision of the Portsmouth Education Partnership for a self-improving system as many of them are run by Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs).  We are now at the exciting point of developing our networks even further so that we meet the needs of the network members, from delivering training, running peer reviews or collaborating more widely with other partners inside Portsmouth and beyond. I am immensely proud of these exciting and motivated groups of professionals and know that the work they are currently doing will have a long-term positive impact for the young people of Portsmouth.  Details of these networks and other subject networks that operate in the city are highlighted in the bulletin.

Early Years                                  

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Early Years Training & Development - Infant Year R & Year 1


EYFS Managers in Schools : 7 February 2019 : 4 - 5 pm
Talk Talk Talk (Year R only) : 11 February 2019 : 1 - 3.30 pm
Spring Term 2019 new or returning to Year R : 26 February 2019 : 4 - 5.30 pm
Believe in your Behaviour Strategies : 27 February 2019 : 9.30 am - 12 pm


Eager to write (YEAR R Teachers only) : 13 March 2019 : 1 - 3.30 pm
Delving into Sustained Shared Thinking : 26 March 2019 : 6.30 - 8.30 pm

Seminar on alternative ways to teach reading

Date: Monday 25th March 2019                                                                                      

Presented by Victoria Devonshire - University of Portsmouth                                              
Time: 10am-12 noon                                                                                                           
Conference Room A, Civic Offices

Did you know that only 56% of words can be spelt using phonic rules? How do we support children to spell the remaining words? This seminar will explore the elements of phonology, morphology, etymology and form rules to support our understanding of how children learn to read.

Audience: For experienced Early Years Practitioners and Year R teachers

Early bird booking from 4th Feb - 28th Feb                                                                          

Non-members £40 per person                                                                                      

Members £35 per person                                                                                                                  

From 1st March- Full price applies                                                                                

Non-members £60 per person                                                                                      

Members £55 per person

Conference News!

The Power of Play - Saturday 29th June 2019
Portsmouth Grammar School

OFSTED will be delivering our afternoon keynote about the new inspection framework.                                                                                       

Remember to book your place as soon as possible to ensure you get your first choice of workshops.

For further information on any early training and development opportunities and to book, please log onto the Portsmouth Traded Services Network website.  Enquiries to

Early Years Bulletins

Available to view here

Leadership, recruitment and retention                                     

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Teacher Recruitment & Retention Strategy

The DfE has recently published a teacher recruitment and retention strategy which acknowledges the scale and complexity of the problem facing sector. The strategy sets out four key priorities:

  • Helping to create the right climate for headteachers and other school leaders to establish supportive school cultures.
  • Transforming support for early career teachers, introducing the most significant reform to teaching since it became a graduate only profession – backed by substantial extra investment.
  • Building on the foundation of the Early Career Framework to support teachers – whatever their expertise or circumstances – to pursue the right career opportunities for them.
  • Radically simplify the process for becoming a teacher, introducing new digital systems designed to make application much easier and more user-friendly.

The Portsmouth Education Partnership Teacher and Retention Group will be reviewing the strategy as part of the PEP's concerted efforts to improve the recruitment and retention of teachers in the city. A copy of the government's strategy, including a one page summary for schools can be found here.

Survey of supply agency staff in Portsmouth schools

The council is currently undertaking a survey about the current expenditure on supply agency staff in Portsmouth's schools. This is already generating some potentially useful information about the range of prices schools are currently paying for teachers, and how some schools have reduced or eliminated their spend on supply cover.

It would, however, be extremely useful to have feedback from a larger number of schools, whether or not you currently use supply agencies, to make a decision about whether we should be pursuing some sort of Portsmouth-wide solution. The typical survey completion time is just 4 minutes. You can access the survey by going to:

All responses received by midday on Thursday 7th February will be collated and shared with the PEP Teacher Recruitment and Retention Group to inform the next steps of this work.

Governor vacancy advertising and governor recruitment campaign in 2019

Following a governor vacancy survey of all schools, the city council, through Portsmouth Together, will be providing a governor vacancy advertising service whereby any current or future governor vacancies can be posted on the Portsmouth Together website.  Alison Critchley can provide a template advert and help with posting current vacancies. (The website can also be used to seek other volunteers to work in your school).

The council has commenced a governor recruitment campaign which will include encouraging staff cross Portsmouth City Council and other partner organisations to consider volunteering as school governors, pointing them towards the vacancies advertised on the Portsmouth Together site. 

A useful leaflet which provides further details about the initiative can be found here.

School Improvement                 

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Ofsted Inspection - Court Lane Junior Academy

Congratulations to Court Lane Junior Academy for maintaining their 'Good' Ofsted status, following their two day Section 5 inspection on 4th and 5th December 2018. Inspectors confirmed:

'Leaders work with steadfast determination. They have improved the school quickly since its conversion to an academy in 2016. Pupils receive a good education'

See the full report

Education inspection framework : draft for consultation

The draft education inspection framework for 2019 sets out how Ofsted proposes to inspect schools, further education and skills provision and registered early years settings. Details of the new framework can be found here.

Ofsted will be running up to two workshops later this term for primary and secondary schools in Portsmouth to provide more details about the new framework and to share findings from recent inspections in Portsmouth and how these align with the school improvement priorities identified by the Portsmouth Education Partnership. Further details to follow shortly.

Federation of the Wimborne Schools

Following a six week consultation process, the two Governing Boards of Wimborne Infant and Junior Schools approved the decision to formally join together as a Hard Federation which will come into effect on 23rd April 2019. 

Curriculum and CPD                

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Subject Networks in Portsmouth

Since the launch of the Portsmouth Education Partnership back in November 2016 a variety of subject networks have been developed across the city, many of which have been established by the Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance. Some of these networks are flourishing, but others are still in development. Below is a brief summary of them. More details can be found by going to the PEP website or to the Portsmouth TSA website.

  • The English Networks have been the longest-standing and have a regular and committed attendance of English leads. The Primary Network has been working to develop training with a wide range of foci such as: Spelling; Greater Depth in Writing; Curriculum Planning; EYFS Reading; and P4C. The Secondary Network has a shared resources Google Drive; working partnerships with EMAS and the Libraries Service; GCSE Curriculum Planning; and University of Portsmouth English Lecture series attended by 150 pupils each year.
  • KS2 Science network is currently working on Portsmouth context resources to support the 'Journey' theme for Science Week 2019. The group meet once per term for free RAEng resources and projects. In the summer term, schools will be invited to attend a free STEM festival at Winchester Science Centre. New members are always welcome to attend and join the group. This group also works together with PASTA.
  • The STEM network is open to KS2-KS5 and each school who attends receives a free box of STEM curriculum linked resources from RAEng. The network has access to guest speakers from STEM organisations and opportunities to access other STEM related projects. The group meet once per term for free RAEng resources and projects. In the summer term, schools will be invited to attend a free STEM festival at Winchester Science Centre. Resources can be accessed here as free PDFs from RAEng
  • Maths networks are co-ordinated by the Solent Maths Hub. There is a Secondary Head of Maths meeting that happens once a term.  Dates and venue for the next meeting (next half term) are yet to be confirmed. The Primary and Early Years Networks are to re-established.
  • The Arts Network is brand new network but is already hoping to develop a cross-phase Arts project based around the theme of “Difference” with a celebration event at the Guildhall at the end of the year or early next year depending on funding.
  • A Primary Modern Foreign Languages Hub has been established by the University of Portsmouth with expertise from Cottage Grove Primary School.  Secondary CPD is also being made available through the University and language upskilling is available through TSST (teacher subject specialist training) which is being run by the Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance in conjunction with the University of Southampton.
  • Secondary RE Network meeting takes place at Horndean Technology College every term, bringing together Secondary RE leads in Portsmouth as well as in the South East area of Hampshire. A Primary RE Network also runs in Portsmouth providing sessions that are designed to enable RE managers to explore, share and develop good practice in RE in their schools.  The sessions will focus on helping other staff to understand the cycle of enquiry, know the range of concepts in the Living Difference III syllabus, create and amend planning for RE and help understand assessment issues across the school.

An investigation into how to assess the quality of education through curriculum intent, implementation and impact

This report outlines what Ofsted has done in Phase 3 of their research into the quality of curriculum in schools.

See the report

Funding for Disadvantaged Pupils

The DFE and the British Council have recently announced a new fund to enable secondary schools to take disadvantaged pupils on school trips abroad, with a focus on trips to "partner schools". You can register your interest on the British Council website to receive more information in due course."

Pathway to Discovery

The Solent LEP has invited bids for an award of up to £5,000 for a "Pathway to Discovery" programme of projects that promote STEM education, careers, and links to local industry to children aged 7-11. They have identified marine/maritime, advanced manufacturing, engineering/construction and digital/technology as the types of business that they would like to see schools linking up with. They are looking to support one Portsmouth school (and have made clear that although the website refers to "junior schools" they would welcome applications from primary schools), and the deadline for applications is Thursday 7 February. If you have plans or ideas in this area to consider putting in a bid. would be happy to give informal feedback on draft bids.

Primary Hub Meeting

The next Primary Hub Meeting is on Monday 18 March at 1600 at Cottage Grove Primary School.  They will be sharing ideas on how to integrate language learning into the primary curriculum.  The primary learning environment is perfect for this approach. Please do try and attend and tell any colleagues who may be interested

A flyer and further information about the Hub Meeting can be found here.

In addition there is information from the Institut Français about the many offerings they have to support teachers of French, in both primary and secondary schools. There are also details of key Spanish festivals.

PTSA NQT Programme Update

A Happy New Year to everyone and a quick update on the NQT programme as we near the midway point of this academic year...already!

The Early Spring Term workshop has been and gone....and so we look forward to the Late Spring Workshop on March 14th.  As requested by mentors and schools alike, the 2 strands are as follows :

Assessment for Learning - principles, planning and practice and

Differentiation - effective planning and teaching for all pupils leading to rapid and sustained progress.  Booking procedures follow the same pattern as previously....follow the links on the PTSA website

June Hutchinson NQT Co-ordinator (023 9289 3702)

PTSA Spring Term 2019 courses - view here

University of Chichester Academy Trust NQT Programme - view here

School Attendance                    


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Miss School Miss Out

School Attendance Campaign

Our 2-year school attendance publicity campaign is focusing this term on health related absence, co-ordinating with messages being promoted by Public Health.

Please continue to promote school attendance by:

  • Adding #MissSchoolMissOut to your emails and letters alongside the logo
  • Sharing the social media posts with #MissSchoolMissOut and adding this hashtag to your own relevant posts
  • Adding the link to the attendance web-page to your school website

We will continue to update the web-page with resources and materials to support schools in promoting school attendance.

Portsmouth University will be working with us to evaluate the impact of the campaign.


Aspirations Week - Wimborne Junior School

Primary school pupils have been learning about potential new careers and investigating how to turn their dreams into reality. The initiative is part of Aspirations Week which has been hosted by Wimborne Junior School and linked to the Portsmouth City Council's ongoing 'Miss School, Miss Out' school attendance campaign.  The aim has been to inspire children to think about what jobs they would like to have in the future. During the week, pupils carried out activities and workshops looking at their future selves and discussing goal setting, resilience, potential barriers and the support available to help them achieve their potential. You can read more about the week at:

The plan is to hold a city wide Aspirations Week next year in January 2020 details of which will be firmed up later this term.

A reminder that resources for the 'Miss School, Miss Out' campaign are available to schools here with the main website page here.

Hashtag on Twitter: #MissSchoolMissOut

Emotional health & wellbeing                                    

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Landport playpark goes smoke free

Children from St John's Cathedral Catholic Primary School joined Cllr Winnington and Cllr Horton on Tuesday 8 January to unveil signage at Landport playpark asking people not to smoke or vape there. The sign was designed by one of the children. This is the first children's park in the city to go smoke free. If the signage proves effective then it could get used at other parks in the city. Find out more

New sugar reduction campaign launched for children

Change4Life has launched a new campaign that encourages families to cut back on sugar by making a few simple swaps to their everyday food and drinks. Children in England are having more than double the recommended amount of sugar each year, which can lead to various health problems. Families can find out more and use a sugar calculator to see how much they're having each day here.

It would be great if this could be included in any updates that you send parents or in the news section of your website.

If you're part of the fruit and veg scheme you should have received a delivery of sugar swap take home activity packs for children in mid-January. You can find more free resources that you can use in class to teach children about sugar and healthy eating on the Public Health England School Zone.

New video to help children look after their teeth

Portsmouth City Council and the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy have worked with parents to produce an animated video to help young children look after their teeth. It features teeth Isaac, Chloe, Mo and Meg who are under attack from Peter Plaque in the town of Toothville. Superheroes Timmy Toothbrush and Tracey Toothpaste save the day by telling us what we need to do to keep Peter Plaque at bay. Visit to watch the video and to get the contact details for Portsmouth University Dental Academy who offer free check-ups and treatment to children under 18. Please feel free to include in any updates that you send parents.



Inclusion Quality Mark and Ordinarily Available Provision (OAP)

We've worked closely with young people, parents, carers and professionals in Portsmouth to agree what inclusion means to people in our city. 

Please take a look at the documents below.

Please share this as widely as possible as we are seeking a broad endorsement of this definition of inclusion.

The Inclusion Quality Mark is being piloted by a number of schools as a means of recognising, celebrating and sharing inclusive practice. If you are interested in getting involved in this pilot please contact Sarah Christopher.

Inclusion Quality Mark - standards and their related objectives
Ordinarily Available Provision (OAP)

LA Updates

Update on new school meals contract

We have had an excellent response to the first stage of our work to choose a contractor to deliver school meals across 38 Portsmouth schools from September 2019. Ten companies expressed an interest in taking on this work, from which we have shortlisted five to go to the next stage: Caterlink; Chartwells; Hampshire; ISS; and Pabulum. The Invitation to Tender was issued just before Christmas, and these five companies have until 15 February to submit their tender returns. Evaluation will take place during the second half of this term and we expect to be able to identify the successful bidder at the start of the Summer Term.

Prevent Update

View the January 2019 Prevent Update here


Portsmouth Learning Gateway

If your school staff are still having problems registering on the site you can email or send a staff list via SSE/Learning and Achievement and we'll set up log in details.  From September charges will be applied for non-attendance or late cancellation of courses.

CAMHS Training

Neurodevelopmental training day : 31 January 2019
Managing Anxiety and Self-Harm : 7 February 2019
Managing Anxiety Group work
All above courses can be booked through Melanie Wells - see flyer for more details.

Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board training dates

Now available for January - July 2019 here


Training & Development events

If you haven’t already done so please remember to book on one of the budget setting workshops (full day sessions) through the traded service website

6th March 2018 - 0930-1630 - Budget Setting Workshop

7th March 2018 - 0930-1630 - Budget Setting Workshop

8th March 2018 - 0930-1630 - Budget Setting Workshop

These sessions will provide attendees with an opportunity to enter 2019-2020 budget onto their HCSS budget planning software with help, support and guidance from their schools' finance officer.

More information on what to bring with you will be sent out a couple of weeks prior to these sessions.

New Capital Codes

Please can I remind all schools of the new 7000 Capital codes when preparing your 2019/2020 budget plans

7203 E6666 Capital Allocation
7203 E6673 DFC Balance Brought forward
7203 E6676 Other Capital Balances Brought forward
7203 E6683 DFC Carried forward Balances
7203 E6686 Other Capital Carried Forward Balance
7203 E6667 School Contribution to LEA Capital Scheme

7021               New Construction Conversion & Renovation
7029               New Construction Conversion & Renovation Internal Recharges
7031               Vehicles, Plant Equipment & Machinery
7039               Vehicles, Plant Equipment & Machinery Internal Recharges
7041               Information & Communication Technology
7049               Information & Communication Technology Internal Recharges

Contact : Kim Jones

Schools with LA Maintained Nursery Units

Please remember to budget for your maintained Nursery Units on the New xxxxB Cost Centre. (Use a separate scenario in HCSS) All allocations will be coded to the B Cost Centre from April 2019.

Please advise Kim Jones of the staffing related to your Nurseries by 31st March 2019 so these can be moved across in time for April pay run.

Contact : Kim Jones

Financial Year End 2018/19 Crucial Dates

Schools will shortly be sent the timetable with the crucial dates for the 2018/2019 year end.

Once again the deadlines are very tight. To help you prepare we have included a few key dates below

31 Jan 2019 - Ensure all EBS housekeeping is up to date and maintained during February and March

28 Feb 2019 - Last day to process Petty Cash Claims for 18/19 financial year end submission- This to be submitted by Friday 8th March 2019

06 Mar 2019 - Last date to send claims to payroll, i.e. mileage, expenses claims 06 Mar 2019 - Last date to submit electronically the payroll spreadsheet with February Pay Claims

15 Mar 2019 - Deadline for year-end balance survey to be submitted electronically. This will be sent to schools at the beginning of February.

NB. We have been informed that the external auditors will be reviewing the 2018-19 year-end accounts from 11 March 2019 for 3 weeks.  If your school is asked to provide any information a 24 hour turnaround may be required.

Virtual School

Governor Training

Both of these sessions have now taken place. If you would like any advice, support or guidance, please do not hesitate in contacting Tina Henley (as below).

Tri-Authority Virtual Schools Conference - Best Practice Use of Pupil Premium

This will take place from 9am to 4pm in the Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton on Wednesday 6th March. Further details will be sent directly to our DTs but this is open to all. Delegates will be from Portsmouth, Hampshire/Isle of Wight, Southampton and Surrey.

Contact:          Tina Henley (Virtual School Headteacher)
Tel:                  023 9268 8076

Attachment Aware Project

The Attachment Aware Schools Project (AASP) has been running in Portsmouth through the Virtual School since March 2016 and we are now looking for expressions of interest from schools or colleges who would like to join the project in September 2019.

A growing number of children and young people have social, emotional and behavioural needs that go beyond the strategies we have learned through our training and experience. Whilst these children and young people can be hard to reach, they need our greatest nurturing and care. This is particularly prevalent for our looked after children, but is also the case for many other children. Research indicates that an awareness of how to support children and young people’s social and emotional needs and development can promote better learning and health outcomes.

To be part of the project please contact Vicki Reynish or Larissa Cunningham using the contact details below, by 4th June 2019. Please note schools will have to dedicate time on their INSET days for all staff training, this is usually two half days training throughout the year, with the first one being between November and March. This project is fully funded by Pupil Premium and there will not be a cost to schools or colleges to be part of the project.

Vicki Reynish (Deputy Headteacher, Virtual School)

Larissa Cunningham (Educational Psychologist)


News for Schools

The HR news information is located on the human resources google home page and maintained schools and any Academy with an HR Traded Services agreement can access it here.   

Further information can be obtained by contacting HR. 

Funding the education sector for teacher pensions increases

This consultation seeks views on the Department for Education’s proposal to support certain education institutions with the increase to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) in 2019-20. The Department would like to use this consultation to understand the impact on these institutions, and on other affected institutions, and welcomes responses from: TPS employers; teachers and other staff; and sector bodies.

The consultation closes on 12 February 2019.


PEP Resources

We've created a section on the PEP website where resources can be hosted and shared. It's password protected and ready to host your resources - the password is PEPMEMBER.

Please forward any resources e.g. policies, templates, curriculum resources, planning documents to indicating which area (s) you would like them uploaded to.

Dates for your diary

Diversity in Education Network Meeting
30 January 2019 : 3.30 - 5 pm : Charter Academy

Circle of Friends Training
6 February 2019 : Stamshaw Junior School : 1 - 4.00pm
Book via Traded Services Nework

Speak your Mind Conference (flyer here)
10 February 2019 : Fratton Community Centre 12.30 - 5.00 pm
Book via eventbrite - search for Speak your Mind.

Mid career Financial Planning
12 February 2019 : 10.00 - 12.00 noon : Book via the PLG

Restorative Schools Network Meeting
27 February 2019 : Training & Learning Centre, The Portsmouth Academy

ISP Training (Booking details to be circulated shortly)
7 March 2019 : The View, Meeting Room 1 : 10.00 am - 3.00 pm

Wellbeing in Education Conference
25 March 2019 : Tickets are available via and search Wellbeing

Pension Planning
7 May 2019 10.00 am - 11.30 am : (Book via the PLG)

PEP Calendar

For dates of all events, network meetings, conferences, training and workshops taking place in Portsmouth, please go to the PEP calendar

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