Education Noticeboard - 5 October 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. Children and young people vaping on the agenda for Telford & Wrekin’s Health and Wellbeing board
  3. TikTok paracetamol craze
  4. Free IRIS Training
  5. School attendance briefing feedback and follow up resources
  6. Medical Needs Policy
  7. Leadership Conference for Head Teachers and CEO’s: Thursday 12 October 2023
  8. Early Years Conference – Saturday 11 November 2023
  9. Marches Careers Hub: Digital Careers Fair
  10. Short Breaks Newsletter – October 2023
  11. Information for staff on flu and COVID-19 vaccinations
  12. Pedestrian training workshops
  13. World Mental Health Day: Tuesday 10 October 2023
  14. Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day: Friday 20 October 2023
  15. CPD courses to October half-term 2023
  16. Let’s Talk PANTS! Insight sessions – 19 October 2023
  17. Thousands more pupils to receive support to improve attendance
  18. Mobile phone use to be banned in schools in England
  19. Security and emergency planning guidance for education settings
  20. Share information on Measles/ MMR vaccination
  21. Support children and young people to take part in the Big Ambition survey
  22. A world-class education system: The Advanced British Standard

Director Update

Dear colleagues

Several key pieces of information for you this week, including a news story on vaping, following the Telford & Wrekin Health & Wellbeing Board meeting to discuss ways to tackle the issue of children and young people using these products.

The Education of Children with Medical Needs Policy has been shared, following a period of consultation. There is also a model policy to use, should your school or setting not already have one in place.

There is also a piece of safeguarding advice, updates from the Attendance Support Team, resources for upcoming key dates which some of you might find useful in the classroom, and information on staff flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.

Several useful CPD, training and conference opportunities are available. These include free IRIS training for those involved in the reporting of racist incidents, the upcoming Early years Conference and free Let’s Talk PANTS safeguarding briefings.

I am sure that you will all have heard about the announcement made by the Prime Minster yesterday, regarding changes to the British education system. These will represent a significant shake-up but are not due to be put in action for some time. We have, however, included a link to the summary documents of the proposal, within the DfE updates section.

Last, but by no means least, today is World Teachers Day. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all teaching staff for continuing to go above and beyond daily. It is because of all you, including all of the support staff, that children and young people across the borough get the chance to raise and expand their own expectations and strive towards reaching their goals.

Wishing you a good rest of the week.


Simon Wellman
Director: Education & Skills

Children and young people vaping on the agenda for Telford & Wrekin’s Health and Wellbeing board

Members of the Telford and Wrekin Health & Wellbeing Board met last week to discuss, among other items on the agenda, joint ways to tackle vaping among children and young people in Telford and Wrekin, as part of the Children & Young People and Vaping Position Statement.

The Health & Wellbeing Board is a partnership between the council, local NHS organisations and voluntary groups that work together to improve public health in Telford and Wrekin.

The Children & Young People and Vaping Position Statement shared at the September’s Board meeting summarises the known risks of vaping among young people under 18 years old and shares key messages to help inform young people, their parents and carers, as well as those who work with children and young people.

Over 1,900 young people in the borough aged between 11-17, are estimated to have experimented with vaping in 2023, a 136% increase compared to 2014. In terms of regular vapers, the estimate is 600 of 11-17 year olds in Telford and Wrekin vape every day, a rise from less than 100 regular vapers in 2014. 

Cllr Kelly Middleton (Lab), Cabinet Member for Healthy, Safer & Stronger Communities and Partnerships, said: “It’s really concerning that the number of young people vaping has risen significantly in our borough over the past years, as well as nationally. As a council, we are doing all we can, together with local partners, to bring these numbers down.  

“We are supporting all borough schools to educate their children and the school community about vaping. Our Trading Standards Team is also taking legal action against anyone selling vaping products to people under 18 years old.”

The “Children & Young People and Vaping Position Statement, jointly developed with local partners, re-enforces our commitment to continue to encourage, in particular through schools and education settings, children and young people not to vape and not to smoke - as the safest and healthiest option for them. 

For the full story please visit the Newsroom website.

To view the Children & Young People Vaping Position Statement, visit the Council’s website.

TikTok paracetamol craze

Safeguarding leads are asked to be alert to the information below and to always ensure that medical advice has been sought whenever a child reports a paracetamol overdose, regardless of how well the child may appear.

A concern has been brought to our attention through the Chief Pharmacy Officer for Midlands NHS England relating to a ‘TIKTOK’ craze, where a young person takes a paracetamol overdose to see how long they stay in hospital. This has been in the media, see links below, though noting these are from August 2023:

TikTok: Parents warned about paracetamol overdose trend

Tiktok paracetamol challenge trend

Awareness has been raised by police through the crime commissioner. Tik Tok are denying all knowledge of this. The issue is being raised with National Children and Young people for NHS England.

Free IRIS Training

A free training course is available for the Individual and Annual Return, Racist Incident Reporting and Recording System (IRIS) system.

The upgraded IRIS system has been improved to include new enhanced recording for all racist incidents to ensure all information needed can be accurately recorded. The ability for all designated staff to log incidents when they occur, instead of just one login for all incidents, which means that details can be uploaded immediately by staff in the event of a racist incident occurring.

When incidents are logged immediately this enables the local authority to maintain an oversight of any issues beginning to arise in local communities. It enables council agencies to have the information to act quickly to support children, staff, local families and communities. It also ensures that a school has all incidents recorded, negating the need to upload all incidents in one go annually, thus reducing the pressure on the staff member who had the only login and password to IRIS.

IRIS information is held confidentially within the council and used to inform council agencies to ensure that the appropriate support is put in place for schools to access. Schools can request support from the Multicultural Development Team (MDT) if they have specific concerns or questions relating to any incidents.

details of the upcoming free session are as follows:
Tuesday 17 October 2023, 3-4pm, via Microsoft Teams.
This is available to all school staff who are responsible for recording incidents on IRIS. This is a repeat session, so you do not need to attend if you have already attended in the last academic year.

More details are available by downloading the event flyer. To book a place on this course, please email                              

Any queries can be directed to Kirsty Holden and Qamar Maqsood, of the Multicultural Development Team (MDT) via email

School attendance briefing feedback and follow up resources

The Attendance Support Team hope you all found the first Attendance Briefing, held on 27 September 2023, useful. The PowerPoint slides are now available to download, for those that were unable to attend as they may find some of the content useful.

Attendance Briefing PowerPoint Presentation  – 27 September 2023

Schools will be aware that the DfE guidance ‘Working Together to Improve School Attendance’ expects the LA to be sharing good practice and the briefings are an opportunity to do this.  

You are invited to attend additional sessions, which are free of charge and will take place via Microsoft Teams.

The details of upcoming sessions are as follows:

School Attendance Briefing Update – Course code AST 004
Course tutor: Cathy Hobbs, Kay Burford and Zoe McLaughlin
Target audience: Head teachers, Education Welfare Officers and senior leaders with school attendance responsibility.
Course content: An opportunity to join a briefing or share good practice related to school attendance.
Key outcomes: Overall aim is to improve school attendance and reduce persistent absence.
Cost per delegate, per session: £0

  • Wednesday 31 January 2024, 4-5.30pm
  • Wednesday 1 May 2024, 4-5.30pm

Lookout for the Attendance Surgeries too. Details of upcoming ones are as follows:

School Attendance Surgery – Course code AST 005
Course tutor: Cathy Hobbs, Kay Burford and Zoe McLaughlin
Target audience: Education Welfare Officers, senior leaders with school attendance responsibility, Strengthening Families Practitioners and Social Workers.
Course content: An opportunity to refer to complex cases related to school attendance for advice. Guidance and discussion with the LA and other practitioners.
Key outcomes: Overall aim is to improve school attendance and reduce persistent absence.
Cost per delegate, per session: £0

  • Friday 24 November 2023, 9.15am-12noon
  • Friday 26 January 2024, 9.15am-12noon
  • Friday 15 March 2024, 9.15am-12noon
  • Friday 17 May 2024, 9.15am-12noon
  • Friday 28 June 2024, 9.15am-12noon

To book onto any of the above sessions, please request a place via the CPD booklet.

Any queries can be directed to the Attendance Support Team by calling 01952 385220 or emailing

Medical Needs Policy

Please download the Telford and Wrekin ‘Education of Children with Medical Needs’ policy, September 2023. This replaces the previous version first published in 2015. There has been extensive consultation with a range of partners, including schools and health professionals as well as council services in the development of this policy. It is also compliant with DfE legislation and guidance. We would like to invite any further questions regarding this and will aim to produce some frequently asked questions and also to provide case studies to exemplify the operation of this.

We have also produced a model school policy for supporting pupils with medical conditions. This is coherent with the above Telford & Wrekin policy and national guidance. Schools might like to adopt this policy particularly if they don’t already have an effective medical policy. This is a word document to allow schools to make any necessary amendments. Highlighted in yellow are any elements of this where schools need to consider entering school specific details.

Leadership Conference for Head Teachers and CEO’s: Thursday 12 October 2023

Telford & Wrekin Education Strategic Board, a collaboration between education leaders in Telford and Wrekin and the Local Authority, is pleased to announce a Leadership Conference for head teachers and CEOs of all schools across Telford and Wrekin.

Thursday 12 October 2023, 9am-1pm

This conference will provide the opportunity for all education leaders in Telford and Wrekin to meet in the Autumn 2023 term and welcome new colleagues, focus on the successes and key priority areas in Telford and Wrekin and share our ambitions to support and inspire.

Key note speakers:

The Art of Brilliance - Martin Burder
Martin Burder is a sought-after keynote speaker with a passion for wellbeing and an authentic approach that creates change in people's lives. Martin has spent the last few years developing a wellbeing curriculum for schools and businesses which means he is the world's leading expert in embedding wellbeing into workplaces. Martin will be delivering an enthusiastic and engaging session on wellbeing which will inspire all who attend.

HeadsUp4HT - James Pope
James Pope was formerly a Headteacher and executive Headteacher, and now the Director of InspirEDucate and Founder of the HeadsUp4HTs network, Associate Director of Whole Education, Founding Director of CORE Coaching Group International and Advisory Board member of CollectivED at Leeds Beckett University. James has worked in education for 26 years. With a passion for leadership and education and the transformative power that this can have on the lives of our young people James now works across the English and international education systems, collaborating with, trusts, schools, teachers and leaders. James will be delivering an insightful session to focus on what Headteachers can do for their own well-being and that of their school leaders.

Department for Education - Philip Reed
Philip Reed is the Head of Delivery for West Midlands Central at the DfE including Birmingham, Solihull, Walsall and Telford and Wrekin. Philip has held a number of roles in the DfE and its agencies including Head of School Performance for the West Midlands and Head of Financial Strategy for Open Free Schools in the ESFA. Philip will provide an update about national priorities in education for the next 12 months which will offer attendees to reflect upon.

The board is delighted to welcome all headteachers, and CEOs to this conference and early booking is advised. There may be some space for Deputy Heads to attend too, but we ask they only attend alongside their Headteacher and not as a replacement. 

Tickets for this conference are priced at £60.00 per person or a discounted offer of £100.00 for two tickets when booking from the same school. We have priced this conference so that we cover our costs only. Lunch will be included! This conference will be held at a venue within central Telford and you will be sent details of the venue confirmation 10 days prior to the conference date. 

To book your place for this Leadership Conference, please send a completed booking form at

We really hope you can make it and it would be great to have representation from across all our schools and academies!

Early Years Conference – Saturday 11 November 2023

The Early Years Conference will be held on 11 November 2023, 9.30am (for a 10am start) until 4pm. The event will feature Jan Dubiel speaking in the morning, and Shonette Bason-Wood in the afternoon.

AM  PVI Provision ensuring curriculum and depth - Jan Dubiel
PM  Squiggle me into a writer, including Dough Disco - Shonette Bason-Wood

Telford & Wrekin PVI settings and childminders are offered one free place per setting, so if you haven’t already done so, please get in touch to reserve your space!

Places for settings from other areas are also able to book.

For more information please download the event flyer or email for further details.

Marches Careers Hub: Digital Careers Fair

Young people in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Telford & Wrekin will have the chance to find out about training and qualifications on offer and the careers those qualifications might lead to during online sessions as part of an online Digital Careers Fair.

There will be sessions for young people on 16 and 25 October 2023, both from 9.15–10am, and an additional session for parents and carers on 20 October from 5.30-6.15pm.

These events will provide young people with:

  • An overview of the technical qualifications or apprenticeships offered by local providers/employers.
  • Information on the career opportunities that link to these.
  • A description of what learning/training would consist of.
  • Opportunities to question employers and providers during a live Q&A session.
  • This is a great opportunity to engage and interact directly with local employers and providers to explore the great opportunities available across the Marches..

Please note that this broadcast is suitable for students, teachers, parents & carers.

Join the Digital Careers Fairs online, or watch the trailer for more information. For more details, visit the Marches Careers Hub website. 

Short Breaks Newsletter – October 2023 (SEND)

The October 2023 edition of the Short Breaks Newsletter is now available to download:

Short Breaks Newsletter: October 2023

Information for staff on flu and COVID-19 vaccinations

Flu Vaccinations

Unfortunately, there is no staff flu clinic this year. Staff will only be eligible for a free flu vaccine if they fit into one of the categories below:

  • those aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
  • pregnant women
  • all those aged 65 years and over
  • carers, those in receipt of carer’s allowance or main carer of an older or disabled person
  • household contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • frontline health and social care staff.

The “frontline health and social care staff” category will cover some staff in the special schools, and school leaders have already been contacted to advise of this.

The booking information is available on the NHS website.

Staff can of course purchase one privately if they wish.

COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccines will only be offered to those who fulfil one of the following criteria:

  • aged 65 years old or over (you need to be 65 years old by 31 March 2024)
  • aged 6 months to 64 years old and are at increased risk
  • a frontline health or social care worker
  • aged 16 to 64 years old and are a carer
  • aged 12 to 64 years old and live with someone with a weakened immune system
  • at increased risk from COVID-19.

Again, the “frontline health or social care worker” category will cover some staff in the special schools.

More information is available on the NHS website.

Unlike with flu, you won’t be able to access a vaccine privately. 

If you are eligible for a vaccine we’d encourage you to take up the offer, in order to protect you, your family and the people you care for.

If you have any queries, please contact

Pedestrian training workshops

Travel Telford are now taking bookings for Pedestrian Training workshops, aimed at pupils in reception to year 6.

This is a scheme which increases children’s knowledge of the Green Cross Code and teaches them age-appropriate pavement behaviour skills. The format is a classroom-based workshop followed by accompanied walks in the local area. Both pre and post evaluations take place, where outliers are highlighted, and the results fed back to the class teacher.

Feedback on this scheme has been excellent, with post evaluation results remaining consistently high.

The KS1 and KS2 Pedestrian Training sessions cost £125 per class. For more information please download the poster, or to book a course send an email to

World Mental Health Day: Tuesday 10 October 2023

Every year we celebrate World Mental Health Day on 10 October. The theme for 2023, set by the World Foundation of Mental Health, is Mental Health is a universal human right.  

World Mental Health Day is about raising awareness of mental health and driving positive change for everyone’s mental health.

The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and how explain how important it is to get help if you are struggling

Mental Health is a big issue for young people:

  • One in six children aged 5-16 were identified as having a probable mental health problem in July 2021, a huge increase from one in nine in 2017. That’s five children in every classroom.
  • The number of A&E attendances by young people aged 18 or under with a recorded diagnosis of a psychiatric condition more than tripled between 2010 and 2018-19.
  • 83% of young people with mental health needs agreed that the coronavirus pandemic had made their mental health worse.
  • In 2018-19, 24% of 17-year-olds reported having self-harmed in the previous year, and seven per cent reported having self-harmed with suicidal intent at some point in their lives. 16% reported high levels of psychological distress.
  • Suicide was the leading cause of death for males and females aged between 5-34 years of age in 2019.
  • Nearly half of 17-19 year-olds with a diagnosable mental health disorder has self-harmed or attempted suicide at some point, rising to 52.7% for young women.

(Facts and figures from Young Minds 2023)

A number of free resources are available online:

Anna Freud

Inspired Tree House


Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day: Friday 20 October 2023

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) Awareness Day, which takes place on 20 October 2023, aims to shine a spotlight on those who have a difficulty processing language, understanding and using words and sentences. It is a disorder which starts in childhood and doesn't go away.

Words, sentences and how they are used can all be impacted. For many people with DLD, understanding and expression are challenging.

A difficultly with words and sentences impacts massively on learning, relationships, reading and mental health. It is also surprisingly common, affecting 2 children in every class of 30. Often sufferers are not aware that they have it, and neither are their families or teachers.

Small everyday changes can make a huge difference. Something as simple as pausing when speaking to a person with DLD can help, by giving them time to think about what you have said and give them time to put their thoughts into words.

In a video, shared by Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, children share their experiences of what it is like growing up with DLD.

Learn more on the RADLD website.

CPD courses to October half-term 2023

As always, the CPD Booklet can be viewed on the Telford Education Services.

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

ELSA Training - part 5

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

9am to 3pm

Designated Teacher for Children in Care Network Meeting (Post 16 )
book via the Virtual School Team

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

4pm to 5.30pm

Designated Safeguarding Leads Refresher
(SG 107)

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

9.15am to 4pm

Leadership Conference

Thursday, October 12, 2023

9am to 1pm

Absence Management of Employees
(HR course)

Monday, October 16, 2023

2.30pm to 5pm

Literacy Pathway

Monday, October 16, 2023

Full day

ELSA Training - part 6

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

9am to 3pm

Messy Mathematics in an Outdoor Learning Environment
(EY 341)

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

4pm to 5.30pm

Let’s Talk PANTS KS1-2 Insight Briefing

Thursday, October 19, 2023

9.30am to 10.30am

Let’s Talk PANTS SEND Insight Briefing

Thursday, October 19, 2023

11am to 12noon

Raising Awareness of Prevent
(SG 101)

Thursday, October 19, 2023

3.30pm to 5pm

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

Thursday, October 19, 2023

4pm to 5.30pm

Exploring & Creating Resources to Enhance Vocabulary during Story and Song Time in the EYFS (EY 342)

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

1.15pm to 4pm

Designated Teachers & Governors for Children in Care Network (compulsory school age)
(GO 503)

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

4pm to 5.30pm

Literacy Pathway

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Full day

Managing Absence
(AST 002)

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

9.30am to 11.30am

ELSA Training - Part 6

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

9am to 3pm

The Role of the Early Years Practitioner in Supporting and Enhancing Play
(EY 008)

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

1.15pm to 4pm

Safeguarding Induction Training for Governors - part 1
(SG 103)

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

5.30pm to 7.30pm

Effective Circle Times in the EYFS
(EY 302)

Thursday, October 26, 2023

1.15pm to 4pm

Leading Good Autism Practice
(EPS 108)

Friday, October 27, 2023

9am to 3pm

Let’s Talk PANTS! Insight sessions – 19 October 2023

The NSPCC and Telford & Wrekin Council invite you to join one of three free sessions to learn all about Talk PANTS, a simple conversation to help keep your child safe from sexual abuse. It will cover how you can use it in your setting and how you can encourage parents and carers to Talk PANTS at home too.

Please download the flyer for further details of the Let’s Talk PANTS sessions, which are taking place as follows:

  • Thursday 19 October from 9.30am to 10.30am: KS1 – 2 (in person)
  • Thursday 19 October from 11am to 12noon: SEND (in person)
  • Wednesday 22 November from 6.30pm to 7.30pm: Early Years (via Microsoft Teams)

Bookings can be made by sending an email with your name, email address and school name to:

Best practice in breakfast, out of school and holiday clubs (EY 104)

Out of school clubs form part of the Government's Extended Schools Agenda, and include after school clubs, breakfast clubs and holiday clubs.

Extended schools are designed to help parents balance work and family commitments, whilst providing children with study support and offering them a broader range of experiences and interests. Other benefits for children who attend extended provision, include better attendance, attainment, behaviour, confidence, and social skills.

This training will:

  • support you to develop and provide good quality out of school provision for children and their families
  • provide you with take-away ideas which will promote a fun and stimulating environment for children
  • help you to identify strategies to obtain feedback and views, consulting with children and their families
  • enable you to evaluate provision and identify areas for development.

The cost of this training is £115 per person (with 10% discount per person for two or more bookings from the same school); schools outside Telford & Wrekin are invited to book places at a cost of £138 per person.

For more information please download the course flyer, and to book your place/s please send a completed booking form to

Thousands more pupils to receive support to improve attendance

This is an update from the Department for Education

Thousands more pupils will be supported in schools as the Department for Education today (28 September) announces four more attendance hubs.

Hubs are led by schools with excellent attendance which share practical ideas with other primary, secondary, alternative provision and special schools in England who need support to boost their attendance.

The Government has been clear that attendance is everyone’s business. Regular attendance is vital for children’s education, wellbeing and long-term development and evidence shows pupils with higher attendance tend to have higher attainment across all key stages.

The four new attendance hubs announced today are in Nottinghamshire, Grimsby, and two in Swindon and they will support schools across the country.

The new hubs are St Giles Special School in Nottinghamshire, John Whitgift Academy in Grimsby and Ridgeway School and Sixth Form and The Croft Primary School both in Swindon.

This brings the total number of hubs to 14 – which will support around 800 schools across the country responsible for the attendance of 400,000 children, and will start working with schools over the next two weeks for the rest of the academic year.

Lead hub schools share practical approaches to improving attendance with other schools. This could include advice about how to make their school warm and welcoming, building strong relationships with families, working effectively with wider services where there are complex reasons for absence, and using data to identify pupils at risk of not coming in, to intervene early.

Hub schools also share ideas for how to use extra-curricular activities such as school trips, sports teams or breakfast clubs to create a positive culture where children want to attend.

This term, the Department will also be looking for more schools to establish new attendance hubs.

Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan said: "Being at school helps children grow in confidence and ensure they get the education they need to reach their full potential. That is why we are doing everything in our power to ensure children don’t miss out on these precious years that only happen once in a lifetime. We are delighted to expand our ground breaking attendance hubs and continue to work with the wider sector through the Attendance Action Alliance to further reduce absence."

The first attendance hub was set up by Rob Tarn, CEO of Northern Education Trust and members of the Attendance Action Alliance, to provide other schools with techniques, resources and advice on how to improve attendance, as successfully trialled in Northern Education Trust’s North Shore Academy.

CEO of Northern Education Trust, Rob Tarn said: " Securing excellent attendance continues to be a day-to-day challenge for all schools around the country. I am delighted to see the launch of 4 additional attendance hubs supporting hundreds more schools around the country– building on the hub model that we created at North Shore Academy."

Attendance hubs give school leaders more opportunities to learn from others, share best practice and engage in an ongoing professional dialogue about improving attendance.

As part of the Government’s mission to tackle barriers to attendance, the Government announced the expansion of the attendance hubs and the attendance mentoring programme in May, to support more schools in England to improve their attendance.

The Department for Education also established the Attendance Action Alliance of national leaders from education, children’s social care and allied services to work together to raise school attendance and reduce persistent absence.

Last month, Schools Minister Nick Gibb urged parents to play their part in continuing to support pupils to go to school, including when they have a minor cough or cold.

The Department also recently published a toolkit for schools providing tips and evidence-based adaptable templates for communicating with parents and carers on attendance. This is in addition to work with children’s charity Barnardo’s to deliver the attendance mentors programme – which works directly with persistently absent children and their families to help overcome their specific barriers to attendance and support them back to school.

Mobile phone use to be banned in schools in England

This is an update from the Department for Education

Mobile phone use should be banned in schools across England to improve behaviour, the Education Secretary Gillian Keegan announced. 

New guidance from the Department for Education will back head teachers in banning mobile phone use throughout the school day, including at break times, to tackle disruptive behaviour and online bullying while boosting attention during lessons. It aims to support the wider work the government is doing to raise standards in schools by increasing students’ focus and reducing distractions.  

This ban supports the hard work of teachers and education staff – and continues to build on government’s reforms backed up by the highest level of funding for schools in history, in real terms, of nearly £60 billion by 2024-25.   

The move will bring England in line with other countries that have already implemented a ban, including France, Italy and Portugal. It follows warnings from the United Nations on the risks of smartphones in schools and government data that found around a third (29%) of secondary school pupils reported mobile phones being used when they were not supposed to in most, or all, lessons.   

If schools fail to implement the new guidance, the government will consider legislating in the future to make the guidance statutory. 

Tom Bennett, school behaviour advisor said: "This is a fantastic move forward for ensuring that students are able to work, learn and grow in a place free from the distracting influence of mobile phones. Schools that have already banned them report that students are safer, happier and able to focus far more than they were before- and it’s popular with them too. Heads should now be reassured that their efforts to keep schools mobile-free will be backed by the DfE. This is a positive and progressive step forward."

The guidance will set out limited exemptions where necessary - for example, where children require their phones for medical reasons.  

The ban builds on a £10 million investment in behaviour hubs which support up to 700 schools to improve behaviour alongside the appointment of a new behavioural taskforce led by DfE’s behaviour tsar Tom Bennett.  

Security and emergency planning guidance for education settings

This is an update from the Department for Education

We are aware of several recent malicious email threats to education settings in a number of local authority areas. The police have said these incidents are malicious communications and there has not yet been a credible threat. We recognise that threats of this nature are very upsetting and can be disruptive to the calm learning environments you strive to create.

Education settings are not advised to initiate a lockdown unless it is actively recommended by the police, or you are satisfied that it is a proportionate response to an immediate physical threat on-site.

If your education setting receives a threat, alert the police immediately and follow their advice and guidance. You should also engage your local authority as the management responsibility for school security is shared between local authorities, governing bodies, proprietors and headteachers. Local authorities also have established links with police and local resilience forums.

The department had published guidance to support settings in planning against security related risks and incidents. The School and college security guidance and the Emergency planning and response for education, childcare, and children’s social care settings guidance also covers agency responsibilities, and the robust plans and measures settings should have in place to protect their students and staff.

All education, childcare, and children’s social care settings should have emergency plans in place. Your plan should explain how you would respond if you needed to take any temporary actions in the event of an emergency. The aim of an emergency plan is to help you and your staff plan for and respond effectively to an emergency.

  • Your emergency plans should be generic enough to cover a range of potential incidents including those happening during, and outside, normal working hours including weekends and holidays.
  • Education settings should have a competent person or persons to lead in health and safety, and security including online or cyber security attacks. This may or may not be the same person and this role will sit alongside the designated safeguarding lead.

Share information on Measles/ MMR vaccination

This is an update from the Department for Education

Measles cases are rising across the country, with over 102,000 children starting primary school in England being at risk of catching the disease. We are asking education settings to share key messages from the NHS about MMR / measles and how to get vaccinated.

The Back to school MMR Guidance from the NHS includes information to share, as well as example social media posts which can be found here: NHS Vaccine Poster and NHS MMR Poster.

Measles is highly infectious and if left unvaccinated nine out of ten children in a classroom can catch the disease if just one child is infectious. Please share these resources with colleagues, parents, and where suitable, community organisations to increase awareness and encourage parents to get their children vaccinated.

Support children and young people to take part in the Big Ambition survey

This is an update from the Department for Education

The Children’s Commissioner for England has recently launched ‘The Big Ambition’ to hear directly from children, young people, and parents across the country.

This is an opportunity to hear from all children, in every part of the country and in every setting. The survey will be used to encourage policymakers to think about children and young people’s needs, to ensure children’s voices are reflected in the decisions that will affect them in years to come.

Education settings play a critical role in enabling us to hear from as many children and young people as possible. That is why we are encouraging all settings in England to take part and let their pupils have their say on what is important to them!

To find out more head to The Big Ambition page. To take part in The Big Ambition survey visit the website of the Children's Commissioner.

A world-class education system: The Advanced British Standard

This is an update from the Department for Education

‘A world-class education system: The Advanced British Standard’ sets out ambitious long-term proposals for a new 16 to 19 qualification which takes the best of A levels and T levels and brings them together into a single qualification.

This proposal explains:

  • what the Advanced British Standard is
  • why it is needed
  • the initial investments the government will make to support its delivery
  • next steps in policy development.

A world-class education system: The Advanced British Standard (print ready)

A world-class education system: The Advanced British Standard (accessible)



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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