Education Noticeboard - 19 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. Sir Alexander Fleming Primary School win Primary Provision of the Year at the National Association of Special Educational Needs Awards
  3. New sixth form base to open in Telford town centre
  4. Waste partner Veolia visits Windmill Primary School
  5. The deadline for applying for Secondary School is 31 October 2023
  6. Measles information for education settings
  7. Term time leave requests for ‘Umrah Sacred Pilgrimage’
  8. Alcohol and drug awareness workshop: Wednesday 8 November 2023
  9. Changes to Keeping Children Safe in Education webinar (SG 204)
  10. Station Quarter Post-16 Student Survey
  11. Annual Early Years Conference for Schools (EY 015)
  12. Updated EYFS Profile Handbook and exemptions guidance
  13. Summer term booking opportunities at Arthog Outdoor Education Centre due to late cancellations
  14. Winter coats and shoes project 2023
  15. CPD courses to October half term 2023
  16. Changes to the Accredited Safety Intervention Training for the remainder of the 2023-24 academic year
  17. Kids for £1 is back for October half term 
  18. Letter from the Secretary of State and ministers on the Israel Hamas conflict
  19. Sign up to receive Ofsted’s new termly Headteachers’ Newsletter
  20. Promote strong attendance throughout the autumn term
  21. Find out more about promoting good behaviour in schools
  22. Support the mental health and wellbeing of pupils, students, and staff this academic year

Director Update

Dear Colleagues

I would like to say a heartfelt congratulations to all the staff, including Bella the support dog, at Sir Alexander Fleming Primary School for winning Primary Provision of the year at the prestigious National Association of Special Educational Needs (NASEN) awards. This is due to the exceptional work that the school does daily to support pupils with additional needs. Read more about this below.

The other main news story shared this week is about the exciting Telford College development in the town centre. I am sure you will agree this will prove incredibly positive for the young people in the borough and I am sure that you will join me in looking forward to seeing the project as it unfolds.

We are also asking those settings with post-16 provision to encourage their students to respond to a survey, from Harper Adams University, and have included the link for you to share. Harper Adams University are working with Telford College to plan the curriculum for the new Skills Hub, and views of our young people in years 12 and 13 are needed as part of this. Their responses will help shape future provision at the new Town Centre site, so your help here is appreciated.

This is a shorter Education Noticeboard than the last few weeks, but there is still several important pieces of information being shared. These include a reminder that the deadline for school applications is almost here, the usual comprehensive list of CPD opportunities and a number of updates from the Department for Education.

As October half-term approaches, Telford & Wrekin have put together a week-long programme of activities for children and young people. These provide cost conscious options, including tobogganing and swimming. We have included the link to the full brochure below, so please share this with parents of your pupils.

Hoping next week is a smooth run up to half-term, for you all. Wishing you all a wonderful week.


Simon Wellman
Director: Education & Skills

Sir Alexander Fleming Primary School win Primary Provision of the Year at the National Association of Special Educational Needs Awards

Congratulations to Sir Alexander Fleming Primary School who were last week recognised at the prestigious National Association of Special Educational Needs (NASEN) awards.

They were presented with the Primary Provision of the Year for the fantastic work they are doing around supporting our children and young people with additional needs.

Cllr Eileen Callear, cabinet member for education, employment and visitor economy, has visited the school for a tour of their different provisions which have been created to support children across all age groups with their curriculum work in a space that is calm and nurturing.

Not forgetting Bella, the school dog who popped out to say hello to Eileen! Bella is there to help the children feel relaxed and safe.

Eileen said: "In a recent Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection report, the council were recognised for its local partnership approach to SEND so we are very proud of the whole school team and delighted to hear that they have been recognised nationally for the work they are doing here in Telford & Wrekin."

New sixth form base to open in Telford town centre

Telford College has unveiled plans to open a new sixth form base in the heart of the town centre.

The college will be creating a dedicated sixth form centre as part of its involvement in the town’s new Station Quarter development. The plans were officially unveiled at Telford College’s autumn open event, held at the Wellington campus. The new A level Centre – featuring several brand new courses – is due to be open from September 2025.

Principal and chief executive Graham Guest said: “This is one of two exciting new developments for the college in the town centre. The A level centre will sit right next to the new digital skills centre opening in Station Quarter next year and being delivered in partnership with Telford & Wrekin Council and Harper Adams University. The scheme is benefitting from £4.5 million of central government Levelling Up funding. It is all part of a long-term strategy which will allow us to invest significantly in our existing Haybridge campus to establish it as a specialist technical learning centre.”

He added: “Because of the changes in our curriculum, areas such as engineering, automotive and construction all need space to expand. Our campus is already fantastic now, but this will allow us to take things onto the next level. We are working with employers and schools to prepare the workforce for the future, with higher levels of skills.

“We have already spent nearly £450,000 this summer on our health centre, creating practical learning space for T-Level students which replicates a hospital environment. We want to do the same for our other curriculum areas as the range of T-Levels on offer here at Telford College continues to grow.

“Running through all of this, though, is the importance of digital skills. Every curriculum area is touched by this and all of our employers require digital skills –which is why we’re so excited by the opportunities the new skills centre in Station Quarter will create. This is not just an investment in infrastructure; it’s also an investment in new staff, and the latest learning technology, to give businesses the skills they need.”

Telford College deputy chief executive Janet Stephens added: “Being located next to the train station, and the main Telford bus station too, will make us much more accessible – and will particularly help people in the south of the borough.”

Waste partner Veolia visits Windmill Primary School

Our waste partner Veolia has visited Windmill Primary and talked to children about how to recycle and why it's important, as part of Recycle Week.

In Telford & Wrekin Veolia work with schools for free to teach pupils about reduce, reuse, recycle and recover, talking to hundreds of pupils across the borough each year. There are several workshops on offer, please visit the Veolia website or email for further information.

The deadline for applying for Secondary School is 31 October 2023

As you are already aware, applications are open for Year 6 children who are due to start Secondary School in September 2024. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 31 October 2023.

We would appreciate if you can now check that applications have been submitted for all your Year 6 pupils.

Please consider the below actions to support applications: 

  • You can see who has made their application by viewing the round summary page “Secondary Place 2024” on your SAM portal and viewing the leavers’ list.  Each applicant who has confirmed their current school on their application will appear in this section. If they didn’t supply this information, then we might still have their application, so please check with the Admissions Team - they can check for an application and update it  if necessary. 
  • If the child resides outside of the Telford & Wrekin area, then they will have applied to their home Local Authority (LA) and we don’t always know about their applications until after the closing date (when we receive files from the other LA’s). If out of area children are yet to apply, then they should be directed to their home LA.
  • For those that haven’t applied to us, if you are able to chase parents/carers and remind them that the closing date is 31 October 2023 that would be appreciated. We would also ask that you confirm that all your Telford & Wrekin resident children have applied to us by the end of this half term. 
  • As a reminder, all children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) who are applying for a reception, junior (on roll at infant schools only) and secondary place for September 2024 also need to submit applications by 31 October 2023. 

Parents can submit up to four preference schools on their application and we encourage parents to apply for more than one school as, if we are unable to offer their preferred school, they may be allocated a school that is some distance away if their catchment school is already full.  

Each year we do see a lot of applications that have only one preference, which can lead to a lot of disappointment in cases where they are allocated a school at some distance from their home address.

Please note that Haberdashers' Adams has been given approval to turn co-ed from September 2024 and their year 7 entry information can be viewed on the school website. 

If you or parents/carers have any queries, please send an email to

Thank you for your cooperation. 

Measles information for education settings

This is an update from the Health Protection Hub

We’ve been advised by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) that measles is now circulating in England and there is a push to increase vaccination rates.

It can lead to serious complications and is highly infectious. It will spread rapidly within educational settings among those without immunity from vaccination or previous infection.

It is worth noting that anyone without immunity from vaccination or previous infection, identified via contact tracing as a contact of a measles case, would be required to stay off work for 21 days. This would have significant implications for your business continuity and for affected staff members personally.

Given the risk to staff working with children, we would advise that they check their vaccination status and catch up with any missed vaccines. More information is provided on the NHS website

Please encourage all children and young people over the age of one year old to have the combined MMR vaccination as per the national immunisation schedule.

Anyone who is unsure if their child is up to date with all their routine vaccinations should check their child’s Red Book (personal child health record) in the first instance. If they are still not sure, or if they need to bring their child up to date with their vaccines, they should contact their GP practice to check and book an appointment.

Term time leave requests for ‘Umrah Sacred Pilgrimage’

Several schools have had requests from parents to take children out of school in term time to visit Saudi Arabia for the scared pilgrimage ‘Umrah’ - which differs from Hajj.

The advice from the Local Authority and the Attendance Support Team would suggest this pilgrimage can be undertaken at any time, so therefore would not necessarily be deemed exceptional circumstances. However, Headteachers do have the discretion whether to authorise any leave in term time requests.

Difference between Hajj & Umrah

Umrah and Hajj are two important sacred pilgrimages to Makkah, which is in Saudi Arabia. Both have significant religious importance and are performed by both adults and children.

The difference between the two is:

  • Umrah is voluntary, but Hajj is compulsory which is one of the five pillars in Islam.
  • Umrah is the smaller pilgrimage, which is a shorter version of the annual pilgrimage (Hajj) gathering.
  • Umrah can be performed at any time of the year, while Hajj is performed on certain dates every year. Hajj is performed between the 8th & the 13th of Zul Hijah – which is 12th month in the Islamic lunar calendar. The next Hajj event will be in mid-June 2024.
  • Both can be performed by Muslims as many times as they want to. However, Hajj is compulsory to perform at least once in the lifetime for those who can afford to do it.

Alcohol and drug awareness workshop: Wednesday 8 November 2023

Aquarius are delivering an upcoming Alcohol and Drug Awareness Workshop on Wednesday 8 November 2023,  from 9:30am to 3:30pm. If you would be interested in attending, please also visit Eventbrite for more details and to register for a place. Please also feel free to share with colleagues who you feel would benefit from attending.

Registering to attend the workshop is completely free. However, please be aware this is still being funded, so please ensure you make every effort to attend if you do register. If you need to cancel, please either do so yourself via Eventbrite, or alternatively send an email to with as much notice as possible.

Changes to Keeping Children Safe in Education webinar (SG 204)

All those who have a responsibility for Child Protection and Safeguarding must have an up-to-date knowledge of the relevant guidance and legislation to help ensure that safeguarding in their school is effective.

Date: Monday 23 October 2023
Time: 5-6pm

A webinar is running, which will provide an overview of changes to Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 and other guidance, including from Ofsted and the Department for Education.

Delegates will:

  • understand the changes to Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 and the impact this has on schools,
  • be aware of important changes to other safeguarding guidance and legislation, including Ofsted Inspecting Safeguarding and Managing Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment between children,
  • develop an awareness of how changes to guidance and legislation impacts on local authority and school policy and procedures,
  • know what action needs to be taken in school to help meet the requirements of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021.

Please note: This is an additional date which has been added due to the popularity of the sessions which ran on 6 September 2023. Delegates who have already attended this year do not need to attend this session.

The cost of this training is £94 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 £112.80 per person.

To book your place/s please send a completed booking form to

Station Quarter Post-16 Student Survey

Help us shape an exciting future education offer from Harper Adams University as part of the fantastic new Station Quarter Development in Telford Centre.

Calling all Telford school teachers. We need your help in shaping the future of education for your students.

Harper Adams University is launching ground-breaking data science and engineering degree programmes, set to begin in September 2024 at the all-new Station Quarter facility in Telford Centre. 

To ensure these degrees are tailor-made to meet the aspirations and dreams of your students, we want to hear their thoughts.

Below, you'll find a link to our student survey, consisting of just eight brief questions. This survey is designed to explore the exact words, themes, and descriptions that students associate with a quality degree in either data science or engineering.

Harper Adams Student Survey

Please circulate this survey with your post-16 students, and encourage them to respond.

Their valuable input, and the insights we gather, will play a pivotal role in creating courses that will empower the future leaders of data science and engineering in our community.

The survey closes at midnight on 31 October 2023. Should you have any questions or queries please direct them to

Annual Early Years Conference for Schools (EY 015)

The Telford & Wrekin Annual Early Years Conference for Schools is taking place on Friday 10 November 2023, and will be led by two high profile key note presenters.

Morning Session: Jan Dubiel - ‘Pedagogy and the Contexts for Teaching and Learning’.
Afternoon Session: Music for EYFS – practical ideas for teachers and practitioners.

Please download the event flyer for further details about the content, the venue and the delegate fees. Discounts are available for multiple bookings.

To book your place/s please send a completed CPD Booking Form quoting event code EY 015 to

Updated EYFS Profile Handbook and exemptions guidance

The Department for Education has published two updated Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidance documents.

EYFS Profile 2024 Handbook

The EYFS Profile is an important statutory assessment of children’s development at the end of the EYFS. We have published the updated EYFS Profile 2024 handbook to support teachers and early years practitioners to complete the EYFS Profile assessment in the 2023/24 academic year, in line with statutory requirements.

The EYFSP must be completed for each child and submitted to the Local Authority no later than 30 June 2024. Local authorities must submit EYFS Profile data to the Department for Education (DfE) by 31 July 2024.

EYFS exemptions guidance

Previously there were two sets of guidance to support early years providers seeking exemptions from the EYFS learning and development requirements. One for exemptions for providers, and one for exemptions for individual children. The updated EYFS guidance on exemptions for early years providers and individual children combines, simplifies, streamlines and clarifies the previous guidance, making it easier to follow and implement. There have been no changes to the EYFS exemptions policy or processes.

Summer term booking opportunities at Arthog Outdoor Education Centre due to late cancellations

There are 90 pupil places available for a summer residential between 15-19 April 2024, and 60 pupil places available between 13-17 May 2024 at the Arthog Outdoor Education Centre. The cost is £323 per pupil.

With stunning views across the river Mawddach estuary, and with numerous fantastic venues to explore and activities to do why not book a week or half week with us?

Address: Arthog Outdoor Education Centre, Bwlchgwyn, Arthog, Gwynedd, LL39 1BX
Dates: 15-19 April 2024 (90 places) or 13-17 May 2024 (60 places).
Arrive: From 11.30am         Depart: By 1pm.
Cost per Pupil: £323 for 4 nights or £162 for 2 nights (Monday – Wednesday / Wednesday – Friday),
Included: The cost includes all activities, food and accommodation. Supervising adults are free of charge (subject to terms and conditions).

We are normally fully booked in the summer term, so this sudden availability is unusual and is an ideal opportunity for a final Year 4,5,6,7 or 8 trip before the end of term.

For more information then please email or call 01341 250 455 to discuss options.

Contact us quickly to avoid disappointment!

Winter coats and shoes project 2023

Telford Crisis Support have launched their Winter coats and shoes project, with the aid of funding from Telford & Wrekin Council. 

The project is planned to run until 6 March 2024, with help offered by referral only.
Please enter the following (case sensitive) password when prompted: xjoufsdpbut

Please note the following:

  • One application is required per child.
  • Please do not share publicly for schools’ academies and partner organization use only.
  • On submission of a request a confirmation email will be sent to you, please ensure your specified email address is correct and retain a copy of this email for verifying items on receipt and ensuring they are distributed accurately.

For more information on support services offered by Telford Crisis Support please visit their website. Alternatively Clothing Coordinators Debbie Hughes and Jaden Osbourne can be contacted by sending an email to or by calling/texting 07878 296958 (10am-3pm, Monday - Friday).

CPD courses to October half term 2023

The CPD Booklet for the whole of the 2023-24 academic year can be viewed via Telford Education Services.

Courses can be booked by completing and returning a CPD booking form to

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

Tuesday, October 24

4pm to 5.30pm

Literacy Pathway

Tuesday, October 24

Full day

ELSA Training - part 6

Wednesday, October 25

9am to 3pm

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

Wednesday, October 25

5.30pm to 7.30pm

Leading Good Autism Practice
(EPS 108)

Friday, October 27

9am to 3pm

Changes to the Accredited Safety Intervention Training for the remainder of the 2023-24 academic year

Please note that the delivery method of the Accredited Safety Intervention course (BSAT 201) is reverting to a blended approach for the remainder of this academic year. 

Rather than a full day of face to face training, Part 1 of the course will comprise a series of pre-requisite online learning modules focused on de-escalation theory, which each delegate will need to complete prior to part two of the course. Part two will remain as a face to face competency assessment led by the course tutors. However, the timing of part Two has moved from a morning course to an afternoon one, taking place 2-4.30pm.

To reflect the change in delivery the delegate fee for BSAT 201 has been reduced to £150 per person for the remainder of this academic year.

Delegates will be provided with further details upon booking a place on this course, but if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the BSAT Team by sending an email to

Kids for £1 is back for October half term 

Kids4£1 is back this October half term!

Take a look at the brochure for all the activities on offer which includes badminton, fun and floats, driving range, bike hub, tobogganing, tots donuts and tennis. Activities are on offer from Monday 30 October to Sunday 5 November 2023.

Letter from the Secretary of State and ministers on the Israel Hamas conflict

This is an update from the Department for Education

The Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan, the Minister of State for Schools Nick Gibb and the Minister of State for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon wrote to all schools and colleges about the conflict between Israel and Hamas. 

The letter reiterates the importance of schools and colleges offering children, young people and staff a safe environment in which to learn and work and shares helpful information and resources that can support this. Please read the letter here.

Sign up to receive Ofsted’s new termly Headteachers’ Newsletter

This is an update from the Department for Education

A new newsletter is being launched which is exclusively aimed at headteachers and schools’ senior leadership teams. Ofsted will send the first email to subscribers after half term. The newsletter will feature:

  • The latest announcements from Ofsted.
  • Where to find Ofsted resources and training (including webinars).
  • The latest from Ofsted’s research.
  • Updates to inspections.

Subscribe to receive the first edition.

Promote strong attendance throughout the autumn term

This is an update from the Department for Education

As we approach winter it is a good time to reshare resources for parents on key attendance practices such as Is my child too ill for school? and the Chief Medical Officer’s letter to schools, which aid in making judgements about mild illness.

There is also guidance on how to seek support with attendance challenges, and good practice examples.

Schools can use our recently published toolkit for communicating with families to support attendance. This can help set high standards for attendance, ensuring children miss as little school as possible and is a helpful resource to respond to early patterns of absence in children.

Targeting support to children who have been absent is a key part of an effective strategy. Research by FFT shows pupils absent during the first week of term were up to 58% more likely to become persistently absent.

Find out more about promoting good behaviour in schools

This is an update from the Department for Education

Creating a culture with high expectations of behaviour is a priority for the Government. Establishing calm, safe and supportive environments conducive to learning benefits both staff and pupils.

Join the Department for Education’s Lead Behaviour Advisor, Tom Bennett OBE, for a free 60-minute ‘Behaviour in Schools’ webinar 13 November 2023. 4-5pm.

The webinar will focus on the updated Behaviour in Schools guidance and the statutory Suspension and Permanent Exclusion guidance as an essential tool to support all schools to improve and maintain high standards of behaviour.

The webinar will provide an opportunity for school leaders and workforce, local authorities and governors to improve their understanding of the legislation, policy and practice on managing behaviour and in carrying out their functions in relation to school exclusion.

Please register online and share among your networks.

Support the mental health and wellbeing of pupils, students, and staff this academic year

This is an update from the Department for Education

Good mental health and wellbeing supports improved learning, behaviour, and attendance. This academic year, prioritise mental health and wellbeing by joining 14,000 settings that have benefitted from DfE-funded senior mental health lead training.  

The training develops your mental health lead’s knowledge and practical skills on their journey to introduce an effective school/college approach to mental health/wellbeing. Training will help you to: 

  • Identify need, and monitor impact, of mental health/wellbeing support. 
  • Develop approaches aligned with your Designated Safeguarding Lead/SENCO’s work. 
  • Develop your universal and targeted support offer. 
  • Engage students/pupils and develop positive relationships with parents/carers. 

We offer flexibility to choose the right course for you, tailored to your needs/experience.  

Apply for a £1,200 grant if you have not already done so.

If you previously claimed a grant and your lead left before fully developing your approach, apply for a second grant.


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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