Education Noticeboard - 13 July 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. Wombridge Primary School names School of Sanctuary
  3. Six weeks of summer activities planned for Telford and Wrekin families
  4. First Family Hubs to launch in the borough this summer
  5. Happy Healthy Active Holidays: Summer 2023
  6. Ready, set, read!
  7. School Uniform Donations for School Uniform Bank provided by Telford Crisis Support
  8. DfE update to ‘The reading framework’ July 2023
  9. Information on primary and secondary child and student bus travel - Direct Debit option
  10. Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership: June 2023 Newsletter
  11. Wraparound Childcare Pathfinder
  12. Revisions to the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework
  13. Grofar work experience platform
  14. NAFN Intel Alert: School Cheque Fraud Alert
  15. Early Career Teacher and Appropriate Body Registration 2023-24
  16. The 2023-24 CPD Booklet
  17. Government funding boost kickstarts delivery of historic new free childcare offers
  18. The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Festival returns with a packed programme this year
  19. Free festival to celebrate opening of sports facility

Director update

Dear colleagues

Another full Education Noticeboard this week, kicking off as always with good news stories.

Wombridge Primary School has become the second Telford & Wrekin school to be named as a School of Sanctuary. This is a fantastic achievement, and I am sure that other schools across the borough will be following this terrific example in the very near future!

With the summer holiday’s nearly here we have provided a link to the new holiday programme. There are a huge amount of activities on offer for just £1, between the end of July and the start of the new academic year in September.

The first Family Hubs in the borough are set to launch over the summer, and your help is being sought to help name them. Please take a moment to cast a vote!

Also included this week is a reminder that there are still places available on the Happy Healthy Active Holiday’s scheme, and a reminder of the fantastic work that Telford crisis Support does when it comes to families who struggle to put together school uniform. There is also information on how parents and carers who buy bus passes for their children can save money, as well as much more!

The new CPD booklet for 2023-24 is now live as well, so now is the perfect time to get booked onto anything which is of interest to you.

Have a great week!


Simon Wellman
Director: Education & Skills

Wombridge Primary School names School of Sanctuary

Congratulations to Wombridge Primary School for receiving the School of Sanctuary Award!

The award recognises good practice in fostering a culture of welcome and inclusion by committing to create a safe space and valuing everyone in the school and local community.

Wombridge Primary School is the second school in the borough to receive the School of Sanctuary award. The first school was Millbrook Primary School last year and there are a few more schools in the borough aiming to achieve the award this year.

Earlier this month, the children governors and staff of Wombridge Primary School welcomed the Mayor of Oakengates, Stephen Reynolds, councillors and visitors to their school to watch Headteacher Eileen Solomon receive the School of Sanctuary award. Robert Douglas presented the award on behalf of Shropshire Supports Refugees, in recognition of their hard work in ensuring they are truly a School of Sanctuary.

The school have worked hard on ensuring their curriculum embeds an ethos of equality and diversity and has a strong focus on British values. They aim to ensure that all children feel welcome, safe and have a true love for learning during their time spent at school.

Children told visitors about how they felt proud of their school and their experiences before coming to the UK. The Year 6 children shared a special song to mark the occasion and you could see how much the award meant to them all.

For more information on becoming a school of sanctuary please visit the schools page on the City of Sanctuary website.

We want to support all our schools to achieve this award so get in touch with our Multicultural Development Team via email - - to find out more and get advice and support.

Six weeks of summer activities planned for Telford and Wrekin families

Telford & Wrekin Council have just launched their bumper School Holiday Activity programme ahead of children breaking up for their summer holidays later this month.

The latest edition includes all of the usual one-pound activities which will run 7 days a week between Monday 24 July and Sunday 3 September 2023.  Sessions include archery taster sessions, fun and floats swimming, tobogganing, tots donuts, golf, tennis, badminton and soft play sessions.

As a part of the bumper holiday programme, there are also offers and discounts available at some of the main leisure attractions in and around Telford Town Park. 

The programme is available on the Kids for a quid website.

First Family Hubs to launch in the borough this summer

Telford & Wrekin Council is launching two Family Hubs in the borough this summer, in Sutton Hill and Woodside and is asking the public to vote for their names.

Family Hubs are one-stop-shops offering support to families with a range of services, including infant feeding, mental health support, healthy lifestyles and parenting classes. 

Councillor Shirley Reynolds (Lab), cabinet member for Early Years, Children and Young People, said: "Our ambition is for every family in our borough to receive the right help, at the right time. Earlier this year, together with local partners, we launched the “Best Start for Life” booklet to provide families in the borough with information and advice on the first two years of their babies’ lives. 

“We are now delighted to announce the launch of Family Hubs in Sutton Hill and Woodside during this summer. Each hub will be a single access point to services across social care, education, mental and physical health, helping parents and carers to give their children the best start for life. In light of our borough recently achieving the “Tree City of the World status”, Family Hubs will be named after trees as a symbol of stability, growth and strength.

““We encourage people to vote for one of the tree names we are proposing for the upcoming Family Hubs. It takes just a few minutes and anyone can vote until 17 July 2023. Following the voting, we will announce the names of the Family Hubs in Sutton Hill and Woodside, along with their launch date. People will be invited to come along to the launch event, to discover the valuable range of services that the Family Hubs will offer.”

To find out more about the council’s Best Start for Life and Family Hubs programme, visit the Family Hubs page on the website.

To vote for the Family Hubs names, visit this survey page.

Happy Healthy Active Holidays: Summer 2023

There are still spaces available to book for summer holiday club activities!

Please visit the Happy Healthy Active Holidays page on the website to register for HHAH and browse the activities available.

Eligibility Criteria:
Children in reception – year 11 who receive benefit related Free School Meals.
SEND Children.
Referral in by schools/services for vulnerable/at risk students that may benefit from the scheme.

If there is a child/children that you feel would benefit from this scheme who doesn’t qualify for FSM but can be included as part of the 15% allocated funding for our vulnerable and deprivation areas, please provide their details to the email using Code SUMMER23.

Ready, set, read!

Using a library is one of the 10 worthwhile and eye-opening activities Telford & Wrekin Council wants local children to try and do before they are 10, as part of the 10 by 10 programme.

The Summer Reading challenge starts from Saturday 15 July 2023 and is a great way to keep your child(ren) reading and to introduce them to a library.

Getting involved is simple. Visit your local library and ask to join the challenge. Once children have read six books and collected golden stickers along the way, they will receive a medal and certificate.

Children can read any books in any format, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, audio books, eBooks and eAudio books via Telford & Wrekin Libraries’ Libby App.

The challenge finishes on Saturday 16 September 2023.

School Uniform Donations for School Uniform Bank provided by Telford Crisis Support

As well as providing a food bank, Telford Crisis Support also provide a school uniform bank.

The clothing is mainly pre-loved and they will provide as complete a uniform as possible to those who need it.

With children moving or leaving schools now is also a great time to donate any uniform that is no longer needed. Please can you consider promoting the School Uniform bank to parents / carers – both to those who require uniform and those who could donate old uniforms? 

There is no specific criteria to be met for those who need a uniform – those requesting assistance just need to complete a short online application form, or telephone call to Telford Crisis Support for those who can’t complete the online form.

Full details are on Telford Crisis Support website.

Donations of school uniform can be made to Telford Crisis Support at:  

Telford Crisis Support
Unit G, Fruit of the Loom House
Halesfield 10
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

DfE update to ‘The reading framework’ July 2023

The reading framework, published by the Department for Education in July 2021, has recently been updated. Advice for supporting older pupils to learn to read up to Year 9 has been included, along with the section 13 ‘Supporting pupils’ reading in key stage 3’.

There have also been updates to sections 4 to 12.

Information on primary and secondary child and student bus travel - Direct Debit option

Please share the letters below with parents and carers, as they contain information for those who purchase bus tickets for their children to travel to school on Arriva buses. The letters inform them how they can save money on their child’s tickets for the 2023-24 academic year.

The first letter is designed for primary schools and contains information for Year 6 pupils who will shortly be moving onto secondary school and may be taking a bus to school for the first time.

The second letter is for secondary schools and remind students to organise their tickets for the next academic year.

Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership: June 2023 Newsletter

The Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership (TWSP) newsletter for June 2023 is now available:

TWSP Training Newsletter: June 2023

Wraparound Childcare Pathfinder

The government has confirmed plans to deliver its ambition for all parents of primary school aged children to access childcare in their local area between 8am and 6pm. 16 local authorities from Barnsley to Wiltshire have been selected to work with the government to develop plans for this universal provision.

As trailed in the information that accompanied the LA readiness assessment you all received on 21 June 2023, all local authorities will start to receive their share of £289 million in funding from January 2024 to support their delivery of the programme, with parents expected to see an expansion in the availability of wraparound care from September 2024.

The local authorities selected to be part of the primary school wraparound childcare co-design process are:

  • Barnsley
  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Central Bedfordshire
  • Cornwall
  • Dudley
  • Gateshead
  • Hampshire
  • Hartlepool
  • Kingston upon Hull, City of
  • Merton
  • Newham
  • Norfolk
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Sheffield
  • Wiltshire 

However, given the central role that LAs play in wraparound provision and sufficiency, The DfE Early Years Entitlements Team want to ensure we can engage as widely as possible with schools over the course of the next year.

They have also published a survey for all schools who educate primary aged pupils to understand how schools staff their wraparound provision, and the barriers to delivering wraparound childcare. Schools will have until Monday 24 July 2023 to complete the survey.

Revisions to the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework

Changes to ratio’s and clarification around adequate supervision have been made, and will applu as from 4 September 2023. 

The updated version of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework is available on GOV.UK alongside the current version (which still applies until 4 September 2023).  

The key changes are as follows:

1.     a change to the current statutory minimum staff:child ratios in England for 2-year-olds from 1:4 to 1:5;  
2.     clarifying that childminders can care for more than the currently-specified maximum of three young children, when caring for siblings of children they already care for, or when caring for their own child;  
3.     clarifying that “adequate supervision” while children are eating means that children must be within sight and hearing of an adult (rather than the current wording of “sight or hearing”). 

Any queries can be sent via email to

Grofar work experience platform

Education Business Links (EBL) are pleased to announce that they have procured a new database to support schools and students with their work experience programme. As part of this new programme, they have reviewed their work experience offer and pricing plans. These will come into effect in the new 2023/2024 Academic Year.

The pricing plans will see a slight increase due to the increase in service costs and the bespoke work experience (WEX) database costs, to support you with your  work experience WEX programme. The new improved WEX offer will have even more perks for our schools. For more information please download the offer information.

To ensure that the WEX offer is as simple and easy to use for schools and students, Education Business Links are now in a position to confirm the outcome of the review and their offer. They will be working on implementing the new system over the summer holidays and hope to launch the Grofar work placement management platform in mid-October.

I know some of you are keen to launch your work experience programme before the summer break, so we will be implementing a 3 stage process below to ensure you are able to do so and the new system does not cause you any delays:

Stage 1: Launch your work experience programme

  • Please launch your work experience programme now, so your students can start contacting employers. Please customise the template letter that has been provided and use it to send out to your students and their parents when launching WEX.
  • Use the current database to search for placements who have previously offered work experience. Login details: Username: Wex and password: Workexp1!  Please note student won’t be able to apply on the current database.
  • If students have found a placement over the summer please use the attached spreadsheet to capture the details. We can then upload to the new system once it’s up and running.

Stage 2: Training and Data Migration

  • All employers that have supported Work experience in this academic year will be migrated over to the new system. This will ensure that only the most up to date employers have moved over and students/teachers can view the most recent contacts.
  • Training will be offered to all schools who have signed up to the new system. User Guides will also be provide to support you further. You will have full control of all your students accounts as well as access to reports.
  • A new teacher toolkit for work experience will be offered to all schools to support the work experience process.

Stage 3: Go Live / launch

  • We are ready to start using the system. We are hoping to get to this stage by mid-October.
  • WEX coordinators can upload all their students details. Once uploaded, students are able to start their work experience journey.

The EBL Team would like to thank you for your continued support and look forward to working with you in the new academic year.

NAFN Intel Alert: School Cheque Fraud Alert

The National Anti-Fraud Network (NAFN) have reported two recent instances of cheque frauds affecting schools.  Cheques have been intercepted in the post and details altered to create a fake cheque with a much larger amount.  For T&W maintained schools, the scope for such frauds is more limited as the main school budget uses the Council’s main bank account, but maintained schools operate separate bank accounts for private school funds and academy trusts have separate accounts.

NAFN advises as follows:

  • Undertake regular bank reconciliations as promptly as possible.  Digital access to your bank account means the account can be checked regularly for irregularities rather than waiting for a monthly statement.
  • Be wary of undertaking large cheque runs just before finishing for school holidays when bank accounts may not be checked.

In the event that your school falls victim to cheque fraud:

  • Contact your bank with the details and ask them to hold payment of further cheques.
  • Contact the police, as your bank will likely require a crime reference number.
  • Contact your internal Corporate Anti-Fraud or Internal Audit Team (or equivalent).
  • Avoid envelopes, which may show a cheque is inside, for example window envelopes.

Early Career Teacher and Appropriate Body Registration 2023-24

The new Shropshire and Telford Education Partnership (STEP) portal to register your Early Career Teachers, ECT Manager, is now open. The DfE will be contacting individual schools from 3 July 2023 with information about how you register your Early Career Teachers (ECTs) with them. Please wait until you have received this email to complete registration as they will be rolling this out gradually (5,000 schools per day).  

You will need to register on the STEP ECT Manager portal (details below) and on the DfE Online Service before your ECT and Appropriate Body registration is complete. We appreciate this is a long winded process but it is due to circumstances out of our control.

Please note, for those schools who are already registered with STEP with year 1 or year 2 ECTs who are continuing their induction into the new academic year, your ECT records will automatically be transferred across to ECT Manager. You will still need to register new ECTS starting at your school in the Autumn 23-24 term.

New Schools who have not registered an ECT with STEP previously ONLY.

If you are a new school and have not registered an ECT with STEP before you will also need to register with the lead provider who delivers the induction process, Best Practice network, via the link below. This is a one off registration for new schools only, once completed you will not be asked to do this again with any future ECTs.

ECT Manager STEP Registration:
To register with Shropshire and Telford Education Partnership, STEP, please visit the ECT Paperless Induction and Assessment Management System page on the STEP website.

Before registering, please view the following short video for a details step by step guide for how to register your school: How to Register Your School.

Please note, once you have registered your school, this will first of all need to be approved by the STEP team before you can start adding your ECTs. We will aim to do this within 48 hours.  Once approved, you can then start adding your ECTs. Please refer to the following video to do this: Register an ECT.

ECT Fees 23-24 - Full Induction Programme (FIP)
ECT fee - £175, per ECT, per year, from September 2023. 

If you have an ECT who is already registered with us and is due to progress onto year 2 in 23-24, we will invoice for the agreed two year programme rate at the time of registration which was £150. 

Please visit the STEP website for further details.

Should you have any queries please use the following email addresses: for any queries relating to our ECF/AB offer and systems. for any queries relating to finances.

The 2023-24 CPD Booklet

The 2023-24 CPD Booklet can be viewed on the Telford Education Services.

The courses will be uploaded onto Ollie over the summer holidays, but, as always, the majority of courses can be booked by completing and returning a CPD booking form to

For courses run by the HR team, please either book via Ollie or by sending an email to

Thank you for your participation in our courses during 2022-23 and we very much look forward to continuing to work with you and support you during 2023-24.

Government funding boost kickstarts delivery of historic new free childcare offers

This is an update from the Department for Education

Nurseries are set to receive a £204 million cash boost as part of the Government’s promise to deliver the largest ever investment in childcare.

The plans, which were announced in the Spring Budget, are designed to remove significant barriers to support parents to return to work and help to grow the economy by making childcare more accessible.

Every area across the country is getting a share of the government funding which childcare providers can use to ease cost pressures such as staffing costs, training and bills. Funding rates per child paid from September will increase from an average of £5.29 to £5.62 for three and four-year-olds, and from an average of £6.00 to £7.95 for two-year-olds.

The increase in funding will support the early years sector to deliver the biggest investment in childcare ever.

From April 2024, eligible working parents of two-year-olds will get a new offer of 15 free hours per week of free childcare. From September 2024, eligible parents will get 15 free hours from nine months until their children start school, and from September 2025, they will get 30 free hours from nine months until the start of school.

Separately, the government has today confirmed plans to deliver its ambition for all parents of primary school aged children to access childcare in their local area between 8am and 6pm. 16 local authorities from Barnsley to Wiltshire have been selected to work with the government to develop plans for this universal provision, with some of these areas expected to be the first to rollout the wraparound care as early as summer 2024.

All local authorities will start to receive their share of £289 million in funding from January 2024 to support their delivery of the programme, with parents expected to see an expansion in the availability of wraparound care from September 2024.

For the full story please visit the website.

The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Festival returns with a packed programme this year

The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Festival is taking place from Monday 28 August to Sunday 17 September 2023 with a host of events, activities and workshops that all celebrate the heritage of the gorge. 

This incredibly special festival celebrates the history and culture of the town and will include walks, talks and trails, arts, music and poetry, a street festival, Taste of the Gorge, a Coracle Regatta, and heritage open days. 

Events will take place at venues throughout the Ironbridge Gorge UNESCO World Heritage Site. Partners include the Ironbridge Coracle Trust, Rotary Club of Ironbridge, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Severn Art, Severn Gorge Countryside Trust, Poets Prattlers and Pandemonialists, Offa’s Press and many more.

For the full story please visit the Telford & Wrekin Newsroom.

Free festival to celebrate opening of sports facility

A multi-use games area (MUGA) is being opened as part of a community event in Wellington later this month.

The MUGA on Millfields Road, recently saw more than £70k investment by Telford & Wrekin Council for its refurbishment. And as numerous initiatives end in the area, community groups and parish councillors have joined together to celebrate the new-look facilities with a free celebration on July 22 between 12noon and 4pm. 

Cabinet member for safer & stronger communities, Councillor Kelly Middleton said: “It’s great to see this area of Wellington receiving investment and support – helping to create a safer place where people can support each other. This celebration is an opportunity to reinforce friendships within the community and partners including council support teams, fire services, police and sports and social groups too.” 

The event comes as Telford and Wrekin Council’s Safer & Stronger Communities project and the government-funded Safer Streets 4 projects have all recently carried out improvements in the area. Investment in the area has meant new CCTV cameras, upgraded and additional lighting and improvements to footpaths and walkways as well as new licensing for bars and clubs and raising rented housing standards.

Councillor Middleton added: “The projects are helping with new ways for groups to set up and support each other, reducing isolation and building pride in the area and everyone is welcome to join in with the great line up of food and free entertainment.”

The event will see a host of services from Shropshire Fire & Rescue, Police and council-run services like the healthy lifestyles team as well as Shropshire Refugees. There will also be a host of activities for people of all ages including face painting, henna tattoos, tours around the mosque as well as sporting activities hosted by AFC Telford United and food stalls selling multi-cultural food. 

The event is being held on Millfields Road in Wellington and in the field opposite at Wellington, Telford TF1 1PW. You can also use the What3words location.

More information or to join the event, email


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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