Education Noticeboard - 26 January 2023

Welcome to the Education Noticeboard. A round-up of news, guidance and key updates for education settings.

Included in this update:

  1. Director update
  2. Toolkit available to help you obtain a Healthy Schools Award
  3. Working together with parents and carers – at the heart of our approach to support children and young people with SEND
  4. New Prince’s Trust course launched by Telford College
  5. Your Life, Your Care
  6. Updated industrial action guidance from the DfE
  7. Letter to share with parents on new 10 by 10 offer
  8. Meadows Primary School tell us what they think about 10 by 10
  9. Providing remote education: non-statutory guidance for schools
  10. Letter to the LA from Haberdashers’ Adams board of governors
  11. Telford Mind Calm Café for 11-25 year olds
  12. The Wild Escape
  13. An invitation to a Chinese New Year Gala!
  14. Do you think being female affects your personal safety?
  15. Get the Jump
  16. The Apprenticeship, Employment and Skills Show
  17. 16 -19 Telford & Wrekin post 16 prospectus
  18. The School and Settings Closures Line
  19. Educational Visits Coordinator Termly Network Meeting
  20. How to make your outdoor learning, educational visits and school trips more affordable
  21. LGBTQ+ History Month
  22. An opportunity to place your CPD course bookings
  23. Music education: information for parents and young people
  24. Defibrillator deliveries begin for all schools that need one
  25. Effective practice in curriculum planning
  26. Retention strategies for 16 to 19 year old full-time learners
  27. Crossbar Holiday Club - February half-term
  28. Great Dawley Town Council present a free roller disco

Director update

Dear colleagues

Some great news items to share with you this week, including the launch of a borough-wide Working Together Charter that supports our co-production with parents of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. We have provided a link to the charter, along with the corporate press release issued recently.

It is great to see that Telford & Wrekin Council have made a toolkit available, designed to help schools and settings work towards obtaining a Healthy Schools Award. We’ve provided a link to the toolkit, so please do check it out. Congratulations also to Lilleshall Primary School who are pictured with their Healthy Schools award.

For our early years and primary aged children there is a great 10 by 10 offer for you to pass onto families and carers at your school or setting, with reduced entry to Attingham Park available for the families of children taking part. The discount is quite significant, so please pass this on through your social media channels. Leading on from this is a lovely video, where Meadows Primary School pupils share what they think about the 10 by 10 scheme.

For our secondary and post 16 colleagues you will notice a repeat of the information about the upcoming Apprenticeship, Employment and Skills Show on 16 March 2023. Although this date now coincides with one of the planned industrial action dates, the event will still be going ahead and is a good opportunity to signpost your students to. We really need your help to publicise this event so please do push this out on your normal channels. 

Best wishes


Simon Wellman
Director: Education & Skills

Toolkit available to help you obtain a Healthy Schools Award

Telford & Wrekin Council have produced a handy toolkit packed with resources to help you become a more healthy school and achieve the Departments for Education’s Healthy School Award.

The Schools Health and Wellbeing Toolkit provides guaranteed quality classroom resources relating to physical activity, food and nutrition, and wellbeing. It has everything a school needs to meet the Relationship Health and Sex Education (RSHE) curriculum requirements as well as how to obtain a Healthy Schools Award.

This toolkit will help teachers and schools to save time, make it easier to meet curriculum requirements, and raise standards.

We hope the toolkit will support and enhance your schools existing health and wellbeing offer and positively affect your pupils' education, attainment and behaviour.

If your school has also achieved one of the Healthy Schools Ratings awards, please let us know. Email us at so that we can celebrate your hard work and success.

View the schools health and wellbeing toolkit

Working together with parents and carers – at the heart of our approach to support children and young people with SEND

A “Working Together” borough-wide Charter to enable children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families to get involved in shaping and improving local services available to them has been recently launched by Telford & Wrekin Council, PODS (Parents Opening Doors) and NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

The SEND Working Together Charter is structured around four co-production principles to build “trust”: Feel valued and included, open communication, feel welcomed and cared for, working in Partnership.

These principles ensure that the borough families and their children and young people with special needs and disabilities are listened to and cared for by all local organisations who signed the Charter as well as engaged in co-producing the changes, developments and improvements of local services that affect them. 

Councillor Shirley Reynolds (Lab), cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “The work that Parents Opening Doors (PODS) does, together with their volunteers, providing face to face support for families, reducing isolation and influencing the improvement of services is incredibly important to support children and young people with special needs in our borough. 

 “We are delighted to work together with PODS, our NHS partners and any borough family who wishes to get involved - to help children and young people with SEND lead happier lives.  We are on their side, we want them to be our equal partner, to feel valued, cared for and to make their voice heard in the decision making for services that matter to them.

“This project will strengthen the Co-production journey in Telford and Wrekin. We will encourage other organisations across the borough, such as schools, health providers and other settings to sign up to the SEND Co-Production charter and to embed its principles in everyday tasks, so we can all keep the involvement of families at the heart of everything we do. “

Jayne Stevens, Strategic Co-ordinator PODS Parent Carer Forum , says: "We are excited to have developed the SEND “Working Together” Charter with our parents, carers, wider families and local partners. The Charter values our families as genuine partners and ensures they have a voice where it matters most, so children and young people with special needs have positive experience throughout their lives. Thank you for all your involvement, we look forward to 'Making A Difference' together".

The SEND "Working Together" Charter can be downloaded from the Council's website

To find out more about the Working Together Charter and Co-production in Telford & Wrekin please contact or call 0777 534 2092.

For families who wish to join PODS Parent Carer Forum or find out more about their wider Charity offers including activities and groups, befriending and support they can make contact via email to

New Prince’s Trust course launched by Telford College

Telford College is launching a new Prince’s Trust programme designed to maximise young people’s chances of moving into employment, education or training.

The ‘Achieve’ programme is a free course which has been specifically designed to help students build their social skills, boost confidence, and make new friends. It is aimed at secondary school leavers aged between 16 and 19, and starts with a pilot project, launching on 7 February 2023. Telford College staff have been undergoing training from The Prince’s Trust since September to build their knowledge of the programme, and create what is described as an ‘exciting’ curriculum.

Every student who successfully completes the programme will receive a Prince’s Trust Personal Development and Employability Skills qualification, which is recognised by exams body Ofqual.

Sarah Jones, head of high needs at Telford College, said: “We are very excited to be launching this new initiative for students who leave secondary school without the academic or social skills to progress to the next level. It gives them a platform to try new things, develop new skills or improve existing ones, and build their self-esteem and self-belief while gaining a valuable qualification.”

She added: “This one-year programme also gives students chance to develop their Maths and English skills, so they can progress to a choice of next steps. It is the perfect chance for someone who may have been struggling with their studies – or possibly feels their current programme is not quite right for them – to explore new opportunities and find a passion for what they are good at, and what they enjoy.”

Parents and prospective students are being invited to attend a special evening with staff at the college on January 25 to complete the enrolment process, and hear an overview of the programme and potential progression routes.

Sarah said: “It is very important to us that students have the support of their families before embarking on the Prince’s Trust journey so that we all share the high expectations we have for students.”

More details can be found on the Telford College website, the Prince’s Trust website and at the next Telford College open event, on 15 February 2023.  

Your Life, Your Care

As part of our on-going commitment to improving outcomes for looked after children and young people, we are working with Coram Voice and the University of Oxford on Bright Spots, a programme which aims to improve the well-being of children and young people in care by identifying and promoting practices that have a positive influence on them.

The Bright Spots Programme entails distributing a survey called ‘Your Life, Your Care’ with our looked after children aged 4-18. This is a great opportunity for us to hear their views and better understand how they perceive their care, well-being, the people they know, their rights and the chances they get. This information will help us all to improve our support and services.

The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. It is aimed at three different age groups: 4-7 (13 questions); 8-11 (35 questions) and 11-17 (50 questions). Most of the questions are tick boxes, and all questions are optional.

We would appreciate your help with this. We are aiming to capture the views of as many children and young people as we can.

To maximise response rates, children and young people will be completing the survey with an adult they trust. In the school setting, this will most likely be their designated teacher or SENCO. Whilst we want as many children and young people to complete the survey as possible, we would suggest avoiding actions that single children out as looked after, such as pulling them out of class. It may be helpful to suggest integrating completion of the survey with pre-existing activities.

The survey needs to be completed between 9 January 2023 and 31 March 2023. The survey is online and can be accessed on any device that connects to the Internet: computer, tablet or smart phone.

Emails have been sent directly to schools, and the live links for children and young people to complete provided in that communication. We would appreciate if you could inform staff at your school that the survey will be happening, and instruct trusted adults to encourage all their children to complete the survey. 

We anticipate that the majority of young people will complete the survey online. However, if a child is unable to do this there is a printable version for each age group and also QR codes for each survey.

You can find out more about the Bright Spots Programme and the ‘Your Life, Your Care’ survey on the Coram Voice website.

Updated industrial action guidance from the DfE

This is an update from the Department for Education

We wrote to you on Monday 16 January to inform you that teacher members in the National Education Union (NEU) have voted to take industrial action. The NEU has confirmed action will take place in England on the following days:

  • Wednesday 1 February 2023: all eligible members in England and Wales.
  • Tuesday 28 February 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: Northern, North West, Yorkshire & The Humber.
  • Wednesday 1 March 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: East Midlands, West Midlands, Eastern.
  • Thursday 2 March 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: London, South East, South West.
  • Wednesday 15 March 2023: all eligible members in England and Wales.

Thursday 16 March 2023: all eligible members in England and Wales.

The Department for Education has received a number of enquiries from the sector regarding the rules around taking industrial action. Whilst the handling strikes in schools guidance does provide some background on trade disputes, balloting and picketing, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide clarity on some key aspects.

The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULRCA) provides protection against dismissal when taking part in official industrial action. The following employees will benefit from this protection:

  • Teachers who are members of the NEU who decide to take part in strike action as called by the NEU.

Teachers who are not members of the NEU who decide to take part in strike action as called by the NEU, as long as they are not a member of any other trade union.

Representatives from other trade unions are also not able to encourage their members to take part in the action called by NEU. Further, NEU and their members cannot seek to persuade non-NEU members to take strike action, including on picket lines. Members of other unions should report to work, unless instructed otherwise, or if they have reason to believe their personal safety is compromised.

Headteachers may ask other teachers to cover the classes of those taking industrial action. Where teachers are employed under the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document, however, they cannot be compelled to provide cover for other teachers during industrial action, though they may agree to do so. Teachers who are not taking part in strike action cannot refuse to carry out valid contractual requests from their employer.

In all cases, where employees take strike action, they are not entitled to be paid for any period during which they are on strike. Statutory protection against any deduction of wages does not apply in relation to strikes or other industrial action. Days when employees are on strike do not count towards their total length of service which may impact statutory redundancy pay or pensions.

Employers may not be aware of which (if any) trade union employees are members of. It can be therefore difficult for employers to know who would be protected against dismissal when taking part in strike action. Trade union membership data is special category data that requires extra protection due to its sensitivity, and employees do not have to tell their employer which trade union (if any) they are a member of or whether they intend to take strike action.

A union taking strike action must give each employer notice of their call for strike action, and provide the total number of employees the union reasonably believes will be asked to take strike action in each workplace. School leaders are also able to proactively engage with staff ahead of strike action when developing contingency plans and, in many cases, staff will be willing to notify their employer if they are eligible to strike and whether they intend on doing so.

When developing contingency plans, school leaders should refer to our guidance on handling strike action in schools. Our expectation is that school leaders will take all reasonable steps to keep schools open for as many pupils as possible. However, where there is no option but to restrict attendance, priority should be given to vulnerable children and young people, children of critical workers, and pupils due to sit public exams and other formal assessments.

Where schools must restrict attendance, they should consider, where possible, providing remote education in line with the guidance on remote education. This guidance has been updated to provide more detail on the use of remote education for a range circumstances beyond COVID-19.

School leaders should consult governors, parents, and the local authority, academy trust or diocesan representative (where appropriate) before deciding whether to close or restrict attendance. It is important that parents or carers are notified at the earliest opportunity if their child is unable to attend school due to industrial action.

Letter to share with parents on new 10 by 10 offer

Families who have a child with a 10 by 10 account can now visit Attingham Park for a reduced price of £5 per adult and £2.50 per child until Friday 31 March 2023.

Telford & Wrekin Council has produced a letter for you to share with parents about 10 by 10, on how parents can take up the special offer to visit Attingham Park. The letter is from Councillor Shaun Davies, Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, and Councillor Shirley Reynolds (Lab), cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families.

We hope this special offer will encourage children to try two of the 10 by 10 activities:

  • to experience museums, galleries and heritage sites
  • and to visit the countryside.

Your help in communicating this offer to parents is pivotal. So, please share this letter directly with parents via your usual communication channels.

Meadows Primary School tell us what they think about 10 by 10

Thank you to Meadows Primary School for telling us what they think about 10 by 10, here in Telford & Wrekin. We are encouraging children to try 10 things before they are 10, please help promote this message to parents and carers.

Providing remote education: non-statutory guidance for schools

A document dealing with the provision of remote education is now available to download on the GOV.UK website.

This document provides non-statutory guidance to schools on providing high-quality remote education when it is not possible, or is contrary to government guidance, for some or all pupils to attend school.

Remote education should only ever be considered as a last resort where a decision has already been made that attendance at school is not possible, but pupils are able to continue learning.

Scenarios where remote education should be considered Circumstances where it might not be possible for pupils to receive in person education fit into two broad categories: School closures or restrictions on attendance where school access for pupils is restricted, and individual cases where a pupil is unable to attend school but is able to learn. The guidance also outlines good practice relating to remote education provision and expectations relating to Free School Meals provision.

Queries can be sent via email to

Letter to the LA from Haberdashers’ Adams board of governors

A letter, dated 23 January 2023, has been sent to the Department for Education from the James Penney, chairman of the board of governors for Haberdashers’ Adams. This follows the close of the formal consultation process regarding recent proposals to change the admissions policy of the school.

The full letter is available to download.

The revised Determined Admissions Policy for 2024-2025 entry is available to download.

Telford Mind Calm Café for 11-25 year olds

Telford Mine Calm Café sessions aim to provide a person centred and holistic approach to support young people through the challenges that they are facing. There will be activities to engage in, 1:1 support and the opportunity to meet peers facing similar experiences. Free light refreshments are also offered during the sessions.

The sessions are held as follows:

Monday - Brookside Community Centre 4-6pm (13-16yr olds)
Tuesday - Donnington Community Hub 4-6pm (13-16yr olds)
Thursday - Wellington Boardroom Cafe 4-6pm (16-25yr olds)

Please download the referral form.  

The Wild Escape

Your school is invited to take part in the nationwide Wild Escape project, to picture the future of the UK’s wildlife through the art and objects in museum collections linked to the 'living things and their habitats' science curriculum and art curriculum.

The RAF Museum are offering free resources for you to take part in at school, please visit the RAF Museum website to access the resources available, and for more information.

Any completed works can be sent back to the RAF museum and displayed in a digital online gallery and in their classrooms. Please share your work on social media with the tags @RAFMLearning,  @artfund and @ace_national. Please use the hashtag #TheWildEscape.

Thank you all, and in the meantime please get in touch with the Jo Adcock, Virtual School Engagement Officer, via email to if you require further support from the team with assistance for our vulnerable children.

An invitation to a Chinese New Year Gala!

The Multicultural Development Team (MDT) team are working with the Chinese Arts and Culture Centre in Telford this term to deliver free resources and workshops, specifically for primary and secondary schools. This is to celebrate Chinese New Year and Chinese culture in schools, thanks to Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) funding.

The Chinese Arts and Culture Centre would like to invite all staff, teachers and students join them in their Chinese New Year online Celebration this Sunday 29 January 2023, 11am-1pm on Zoom. If you would like to attended the login information for Zoom is below:

Zoom ID 846 2678 9053  passcode 239998.
If you don’t have zoom, you can use the login link

If you have participated any Chinese New Year greeting videos with your school, you may see yourself there! 

Apart from amazing performances including dragon dance, fan dance, Chinese musical instruments, singing and much more! They have designed many cultural quizzes for students and children to participate in during the gala event. They can also access an educational game called ‘Get Kahoot’ online. Just click 'play' on the top right of the page, with a game pin given to participants at the event. Everyone can join in the fun and hand a chance to win one of many prizes.

We hope you will attend!

Do you think being female affects your personal safety?

Do you think being female affects your personal safety? If so, could you help us by filling out our latest ‘Safety Matters’ survey please?

We know that women are disproportionally affected by violence such as domestic abuse, stalking and harassment and have long since championed support and preventative measures in Telford and Wrekin. This survey will build on that work through the Safer & Stronger Communities project, but we need your input to make sure investment into safety measures are in areas that really count. 

Please take five minutes to complete the survey? Safety Survey

It’s not exclusively for women so if you’re a man and have a view on how to improve safety please feel free to complete the survey too.

Read more about why we’re investing on the Telford & Wrekin Newsroom website.

Get the Jump

The National Careers Service provide information for young people looking to explore their education and training choices.

Please direct the, to the website, where they can look at the differen routes available:

Get the Jump

The Apprenticeship, Employment and Skills Show

The Apprenticeship, Employment and Skills Show 2023 is back on Thursday 16 March 2023. The event will take place at  The International Centre, Telford 12noon-7.30pm, with the 12noon-12.30pm slot available exclusively for SEND students as a quieter time before the event gets too busy.

It’s the largest event of its kind this side of the NEC in Birmingham and aims to promote local apprenticeship opportunities to people across Telford, Shropshire and the West Midlands.  It is completely free to attend.

Apprenticeships are a great way to build the workforce of tomorrow and are now seen as a very viable alternative to university. The show is also a great opportunity for businesses to showcase careers and jobs that exist now and in the future.

Please make sure this date is in your diary and reserve a slot for your school – we very much look forward to seeing you and your students at the show in 2023.

Places can be booked online.

16 -19 Telford & Wrekin post 16 prospectus

It’s that time of year when our year 11 cohort are applying for their post 16 destinations.

The Telford 16-19 prospectus has information on the local offer including the new T levels, almost 300 A-levels, BTECs and Apprenticeships across six schools and colleges making Telford an inspirational hub for learning, opportunity and achievement.

Please utilise with students to help them make informed decisions on their post 16 destinations and link to the prospectus from your websites.

The School and Settings Closures Line

As we move into the winter months, just a gentle reminder to use the School Closure Line to report if for any reason that your school or setting is closed (e.g. adverse weather conditions, maintenance issues etc.)

The school/settings closure line is user friendly and easy to use.

Each school/setting will be responsible for keeping the information up to date about their respective school/setting. 

Please note that your school or setting will need to be registered to be able to access and use the system.  You will need to ensure that you have nominated /designated persons who will be given administration rights and be responsible for keeping the closure line up to date (this can be either a general admin person/email address,  head teachers, PA’s or a mix of).

If you have any issues with accessing the closure line or require any further information please email

We need to ensure the system remains effective, and therefore it is important that the system is kept up to date. The information displayed on closure line automatically updates the Telford & Wrekin website, this is used to keep staff, pupils, parents and the residents in Telford & Wrekin up to date with the latest school /settings closures

Thank you for your support and cooperation with this

Educational Visits Coordinator Termly Network Meeting

The Educational Visits Coordinator Spring term network meetings will take place as follows:

In person:

  • Tuesday 31 January 2023, 1pm-3pm.
  • Arrivals and refreshments from 12.45pm.
  • Wellington Town Council Chamber, accessed through the Library at the Leisure Centre.
  • There is free parking for up to 3 hours at the front and rear of the buildings but you will need a ticket. There is additional parking across the road, and on nearby side streets.

Or online:

  • Educational Visists Coordinator essentials update
  • Wednesday 1 February, 3.15pm-4pm via Microsoft Teams.
  • This is for those who cannot make the full meeting and will just be for the key points.


  1. A forum for local and national updates regarding the management of educational Visits and Journeys.
  2. Share practice and experience between EVCs including ‘lessons learned’.
  3. Develop the support that is available locally through a collective approach.
  4. Respond to specific queries or concerns.


  1. Welcome and introductions
  2. Presentations by guests. 
    ‘Connections: what our children tell us they value in their encounters with the natural world’ by Dr Laura Saunders, Deputy Head, Short Wood Primary School.
  3. Telford & Wrekin Council Update.
  4. EVC Updates – matters that you would like to share or ask others for help with.
  5. A.O.B (Please raise in advance)
    Next EVC training 9am-3.30pm, 27 January 2023 - Telford Town Park Visitors Centre - email to book.
    Next EVC Network meeting 17 May 2023 (Wellington Town Council Chamber) - calendar invite to follow.

For all queries, please email

How to make your outdoor learning, educational visits and school trips more affordable

An article written by Jo Barnett, Outdoor Education Group Manager, for the NAHT Leadership Focus magazine is available to download.

How to make outdoor learning more affordable.

PDF shared with kind permission.

LGBTQ+ History Month

February marks LGBTQ+ History Month a month-long annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual trans, and non-binary history, including the history of LGBT+ rights and related civil rights movements.

LGBTQ+ History Month 2023: Behind the Lens celebrates LGBT+ peoples’ contribution to cinema and film from behind the lens. Directors, cinematographers, screen writers, producers, animators, costume designers, special effects, makeup artists, lighting directors, musicians, choreographers and beyond.

With that in mind we have a number of events to celebrate and promote the month which include:

  • 1 February 2023 – Flag raising at Addenbrooke.
  • 1 February 2023 – History’s a Drag (16+) at Telford Theatre, with RuPaul drag stars Vanity Milan and Elektra Fence. A show that promises to be sexy, savage, Sugar and spice and everything nice. To book please visit the Telford Theatre website. 
  • 2 podcasts will be available, one talking about film and the other talking about literature.
  • 3 March 2033 – A film showing at The Orbit Cinema Wellington – ‘Blue Jean’ is a quiet and soulful drama, about a closeted PE teacher as she reckons with her identity during the introduction of stigmatising law to Thatcherite Britain. Peter Tatchell will also attend the screening to give a talk and Q&A. It’s £8 or £7 concessions for the film and Q&A or £14 and £13 respectively which also includes meat or veggie chilli. To book or for general enquiries please visit the Wellington Orbit website or call 01952743377.

At a time when LGBTQ+ lives are in the media we also encourage you to look ‘Behind the Lens’ and listen to the lived experiences of the LGBT+ community.

For more information aboout LGBTQ+ History Month, please visit the Stonewall website. They also provide a resource hub for schools.

An opportunity to place your CPD course bookings

The CPD Booklet continues to be available on the Telford Education Services site to the end of the academic year 2023.

Course bookings with a course code are made by sending a completed CPD booking form via email to

Other courses and briefings without a course code are usually booked by sending your email address name and school name to (unless stated otherwise).

Taking the Chair - part 1
(GO 504)

Wednesday 1 February


Safety Intervention Training (formerly MAPA training) - part 2
CPI accredited (BSAT 201)

Thursday 2 February


Accredited Safer Recruitment Training

Thursday 2 February


Preparing for Statutory Assessment at the End of KS2
(CPD 504)

Wednesday 8 February


Meeting the Statutory Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the EYFS
(EY 009

Wednesday 8 February


Preparing for Statutory Assessment at the End of KS2
(CPD 504)

Thursday 9 February


The Importance of the Early Years Foundation Stage in Schools
(GO 603)

Thursday 9 February


Raising Awareness of Prevent
(SG 101)

Thursday 9 February


Managing Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment in Schools
(SG 201)

Thursday 9 February


Taking the Chair - part 2
(GO 504)

Wednesday 15 February


Supporting SEND in the Classroom for Early Career Teachers - part 1
(LSAT 502)

Wednesday 15 February


Newly Appointed Safeguarding Governor Induction Training - part 2  (SG 103)

Wednesday 15 February


Behaviour Support Intervention Refresher Training
Non-accredited (BSAT 302)

Thursday 16 February


Meeting the OFSTED requirements and developing reading strategies for EAL learners at KS2
(CPD 714)

Thursday 16 February


Early Career Teacher Network (combined event)
(CPD 720)

Thursday 16 February

(with optional informal drop in 3.30pm to 4pm + 5pm to 5.30pm)

Understanding Children’s Development in the EYFS – Milestones, Theories and Approaches
(EY 314)

Thursday 16 February


Music education: information for parents and young people

This is an update from the Department for Education

This document explains:

  • what the national plan for music education means for children and young people
  • how children and young people can get involved in music in and out of school
  • where parents and young people can go for support with music education

Schools and music hubs may want to share this guide with parents, carers and pupils.

Schools and music hubs can download posters from Arts Council England - one for primary and one for secondary settings - that are designed to encourage young people to become more involved in music.

What the national plan for music education means for children and young people

Defibrillator deliveries begin for all schools that need one

This is an update from the Department for Education

Deliveries of defibrillators begin today (20 January) to all state-funded schools in England that don’t currently have a life-saving device.

Last year, the government committed to supplying state-funded schools across England with defibrillators to make sure there is a device in every school.

It follows campaigning from the Oliver King Foundation and its founder Mark King, who has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the need for defibrillators since he tragically lost his son at the age of 12 to cardiac arrest while swimming at school.

The deliveries of the first defibrillators mark the start of a roll out of over 20,000 defibrillators to almost 18,000 state-funded schools by the end of the academic year.

The government is also supporting schools in making defibrillators available to the community, with external heated defibrillator cabinets being provided to primary and special schools in areas where provision is lower.

An internal cabinet is being provided to secondary schools that are receiving two or more defibrillators, so one can be placed at the school’s sports facility, where a cardiac arrest is more likely to happen.

The Oliver King Foundation and other leading charities, including the British Heart Foundation, Resuscitation Council UK and St John Ambulance, have supported the creation of updated guidance which will give schools the tools and knowledge they need to use their new defibrillators.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: "Today we’re celebrating a huge milestone as we start deliveries of defibrillators to schools, working towards every school having one by the end of the academic year. None of this would have come about without the relentless and brave campaigning of Mark King and the Oliver King Foundation, and we are extremely grateful to him and other leading charities for the ongoing support they will doubtless provide schools from lesson plans to staff training."

Founder of the Oliver King Foundation Mark King said: "This is a landmark moment and will be welcomed by pupils, parents and teachers up and down the country. It is a proud day for us because we’ve campaigned for schools to have access to defibrillators for over a decade. It is a major victory for the Oliver King Foundation. Defibrillators save lives and I have no doubt that lives will now be saved so that families do not have to suffer the heartbreak of unnecessarily losing a child. This is for our Ollie."

This is the largest defibrillator programme in England to date and will ensure that pupils and staff have access to this lifesaving first aid equipment.

The new guidance provides advice for schools on how to make their defibrillator available to the community. The government is also encouraging schools to sign up to The Circuit, the national defibrillator network. As part of the rollout, awareness videos are being provided to show how simple defibrillators are to use, and schools are being encouraged to share these videos in staff meetings and assemblies.

This follows the announcement last month of a new £1 million fund to increase the number of defibrillators in communities most in need - providing an estimated 1,000 new defibrillators in community spaces across England.

Effective practice in curriculum planning

This is an update from the Department for Education

This guidance is designed to be used by curriculum planners and senior leaders in further education and sixth-form colleges. It is provided as a flexible and adaptable tool for reference and is not prescriptive.

It provides information on:

  • the main stages of curriculum planning
  • a planning timeline
  • curriculum planning case studies.

A guide to effective practice in curriculum planning.

Retention strategies for 16 to 19 year old full-time learners

This is an update from the Department for Education

This guidance summarises key operational and strategic techniques used to increase learner retention, using:

  • data on withdrawal rates during the 2021 to 2022 academic year
  • strategies adopted by 10 colleges to reduce the level of withdrawals during the first 42 days of a full-time course.

Pre-census (42-day) retention strategies for 16 to 19 full-time learners.

Crossbar Holiday Club - February half-term

Crossbar Holiday Club is an action packed holiday club, open to boys and girls aged between 4-11 years (children must have started reception). Venues include Lawley, Much Wenlock, Redhill, Old Park, Greenfields and St George’s.

It runs from Monday 20 February to Friday 24 February 2023, 8.30am-4pm, and costs £16 per day. Places can be booked online – payment secures a place.

Children attending will need a packed lunch, plenty to drink and suitable clothing for indoor and outdoor activities.

Great Dawley Town Council present a free Roller Disco

It is time for 11-16 year olds to put on their glow and join Great Dawley Town Council at their Roller Disco, on Friday 17 February 2023.

  • Key stage 3: 4.45pm-6pm
  • Key stage 4: 6.15pm-7.30pm

Tickets are available at 35 High Street from Friday 6 January to Friday 3 February 2023.



Every week during term time we publish a new update for the education community. It includes essential briefings and specialist information about education.

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