Education Noticeboard - 21 December 2023

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

  1. Executive Director Update
  2. Director Update
  3. A message from Councillor Shaun Davies
  4. Council Leader’s School Lunch
  5. Haughton School Advent Video
  6. Lawley Primary School, Reverse Advent
  7. The Virtual School’s Bake Off
  8. William Reynolds Primary School – New Headteacher
  9. DfE Update - Gender Questioning Children
  10. Updated template policy for Child Protection and Safeguarding due to changes in statutory guidance from December 2023
  11. Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership Training Newsletter: December 2023
  12. FREE Training from St Giles Trust
  13. Additional Webinar sessions: School Food Legal Regulations for Primary, Secondary schools and Holiday provision
  14. EYFS Celebration Conference
  15. New Webinar Wednesday Topics
  16. Managing English as an Additional Language in Early Years
  17. Telford & Wrekin Early Years Conference
  18. Resources for winter wellbeing
  19. Mental health lead resource hub

Executive Director Update

Dear Colleagues

We’ve come to the end of the Autumn school term, and with it the end of the year. What a busy one it has been! As always, thank you all for your continued hard work, and effort, which you all give to improve the lives of children and young people in our borough.

This year has certainly been a challenge, with changes and developments in the ways in which we work to support families in our area. It seems a lifetime ago that the Area SEND Inspection took place back in March – well done to all involved.

Of course, we are still awaiting our ILACS Ofsted inspection of Children Services. I see this as an opportunity in the New Year to present the fantastic work that colleagues do here in Telford & Wrekin. I have great confidence that our teams will be able to showcase the brilliant work you all do with our children and young people, keeping them safe and ensuring that the child’s voice is at the centre of everything we do. 

Last week, the Department for Education published a children’s social care: reform statement, detailing changes and updates to current strategies including:

We are all aware of the importance of effective multi-agency support and working in partnership for our young people.  I know the education safeguarding team will update you over the coming weeks with these important developments.

Finally, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you all take some time for a well-deserved break. Thank you for all of your hard work during 2023.


Jo Britton
Executive Director: Children's Services

Director Update

Hi all,

It’s almost the end of 2023 and I want to start by saying thank you for all the achievements made across our early years settings, schools and post 16 providers this year. You make a huge difference every day to our children, young people and their families. It has been great to share your good news stories on the noticeboard over the year – please do keep them coming!

This week, as well as some important messages and updates, there are also some brilliant seasonal messages around events which have been taking place in our schools. There is also a brilliant opportunity coming up in the New Year in the shape of the Virtual School’s Bake Off, which already looks fantastic.

I wish you all a terrific Christmas, and festive break. Here’s hoping you enjoy some downtime with the people you love and perhaps a mince pie or two!

Have a good festive period and I will see you in the New Year!


Simon Wellman
Director: Education and Skills

A message from Councillor Shaun Davies

To our fantastic teaching staff right across the borough,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to each and everyone of you.

Thank you for all your hard work this year and for making a real difference right across Telford and Wrekin.  As a council we are so grateful to have you on our team.

It’s almost time to sit back, relax and enjoy Christmas to the fullest but before then, I hope you enjoy this short video children from St Georges Primary, Tibberton Primary and St Lawrences as they tell us what Christmas means to them. 

Shaun Christmas Video

Merry Christmas, team!

Councillor Shaun Davies

Council Leader’s School Lunch

Councillor Shaun Davies, Leader of the Council, made a very special visit to John Randall Primary School this week. Shaun has had the pleasure of meeting the staff and serving children their Christmas School lunch.

Haughton School Advent Video

This month, Haughton School have taken part in the Makaton Countdown to Christmas.

This came from the NSPCC PANTS INSIGHT sessions for SEND as a result of the CSE inquiry curriculum recommendation.

We teamed up with the Makaton charity to film this for their Makaton advent calendar and arranged for Pantasaurus to visit Haughton. You can watch the fantastic video here:

5 sleeps to go - Makaton Countdown to Christmas 2023

Lawley Primary School, Reverse Advent

This year, Lawley Primary School have organised a ‘Reverse Advent’. Children have been invited to bring in an item of food, specific to that day on the calendar. All donations made will be going to Telford Crisis Support, for families in need, in our local area.

The children and families have fully embraced this and the school has been overwhelmed with their generosity and kindness.

The Virtual School’s Bake Off

The Virtual School Team would like to invite all children in care, children previously in care or children currently working with a social worker to take part in a Virtual School Bake Off!

Date: Thursday 1 February 2024, 4 – 5pm

Venue: The Carpenter Centre, Overdale, Telford, TF3 5BT

Age ranges: Nursery – Year 2, Year 3 – Year 7 and Year 8 +

Young people to create delicious bakes (cake, biscuits, bread etc) at home and bring along.

All entries will receive a certificate & a small prize. For each age range, the bakes will be judged for best tasting, most impressive looking and most imaginative.

Please share the flyer and the booking form with young people in your setting who are in care, have previously been in care or who have a social worker.

Virtual School Bake Off Flyer

Virtual School Bake Off Booking Form

William Reynolds Primary School – New Headteacher

Congratulations to Jasmin Taylor, who will be the new Headteacher at William Reynolds Primary School starting in January.

We all wish Jasmin the best in her new role.

DfE Update - Gender Questioning Children

The DfE have released non-statutory guidance for schools and colleges in England, in relation to Gender Questioning Children.

Please take some time to read through this guidance.

Updated template policy for Child Protection and Safeguarding due to changes in statutory guidance from December 2023

The Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership (TWSP) Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy template has been updated to include important additions, ensuring that the template policy remains compliant.

The key points of change to the template in the December 2023 update are as follows:

  • The policy now references Working together to safeguard children 2023, including the extension of the responsibilities of the Virtual School Head for kinship care.
  • The policy reflects the new child exploitation care and support pathway for CSE, including the ‘explore more’ guidance. This procedure goes live from 18 December 2023 (attached).

The policy has been written as a template for all education settings and therefore it is your responsibility to edit the policy appropriately to reflect your own setting. To assist you in this we have provided a key to the changes you need to make. Sections highlighted in dark blue indicate parts that have updated in December 2023. It is only these new and amended sections that require updating and adding to your existing policy. Please follow the cover notes at the beginning of the policy to assist you further. Your updated policy must be signed off by your governing body/management committee/proprietor. However, while you are waiting for this to happen, we recommend publishing it on your setting website with a note to this effect to ensure ongoing compliance with Working together to safeguard children 2023.

For any further assistance please contact Education Safeguarding via email to

We apologise for the timing of this update. This has been as a result of the publication of Working together to safeguard children 2023 on Friday 15 December.

CSE Care Support Pathway

TWSP Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy 2023 - 2024

Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership Training Newsletter: December 2023

Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership have released their latest Training Newsletter. 

The newsletter contains information on a number of free online and face-to-face training opportunities for colleagues, while there are also some updates on learning from Statutory Reviews. Please take some time to look through the information available:

TWSP Training Newsletter December 2023

FREE Training from St Giles Trust

Dear Headteacher/Principal/Designated Safeguarding Lead, CSE leads,

Since April 2022, Telford & Wrekin Council has been working St Giles Trust to deliver a programme of education sessions to children and young people across the borough. These sessions have helped to equip children and young people with the knowledge, tools, and awareness to stay safe and make positive choices. During this time, we have held successful professional awareness events for the education workforce and this will continue throughout this academic year.

St Giles Trust will continue to work with primary, junior and secondary schools, and colleges to provide a universal offer of education sessions to children and young people across the borough until August 2024. A facilitator with lived experience will deliver these sessions to help to educate pupils on a range of topics, including county lines, knife crime, gangs, glamorisation and joint enterprise, and the realities of prison.

Each primary and junior school is entitled to a minimum of two sessions. Each secondary school and college is entitled to one session per year group as a minimum.

To book your FREE universal education sessions please email: Book your session before it is too late.

On booking, St Giles Trust will provide you with information directly on session details, pre and post evaluation and confirmation of staff suitability. Please note facilitators have lived experience and therefore St Giles Trust will have undertaken appropriate additional vetting checks and due diligence to help to ensure the suitability of facilitators to deliver education sessions with children and young people.

With your agreement and where needed, St Giles Trust facilitators will identify further targeted sessions that may benefit groups or individual pupils in your setting. These sessions will be allocated on a case-by-case basis. 

We encourage you and all other settings in our borough to engage fully with this project, as part of our ongoing-shared commitment to keeping our children and young people in Telford as safe as possible.

Additional Webinar sessions: School Food Legal Regulations for Primary, Secondary schools and Holiday provision

The Requirements for School Food Regulations 2014 introduced new School Food Standards that have been mandatory in all maintained schools, new academies, and free schools since January 2015, with Governors responsible for ensuring these are being met.

Telford and Wrekin has been part of a national pilot to explore if schools are compliant with the Department for Education’s School Food Standards Regulations.

The pilot was led by the Health Protection Team where addition questions from the school food standards were added to the environmental health inspections that determined if a school was compliant with the standards.

You can read more about this in the September edition of the Leading Magazine in the article on the School Food Standards.

The pilot has now finished and the results showed that majority of Telford school of all age groups were non-compliant across the whole school day, breakfast clubs/morning break, and lunch and afterschool clubs.

As we appreciated that the content of the article may be new to you, the Food Safety, Healthy Weight, and Health Protection Hub Teams held a School Food Standards webinar in November to support schools to understand the standards, their role in compliance and promote the support on offer to become compliant. Feedback from this session was that the information was easy to understand, and that all attendees would all recommend others attend the session.

After receiving this feedback we have now added additional sessions specifically for Primary schools, Secondary schools and those that provide holiday provision.

This information session will include:

  • The basic requirements of the School Food Standards
  • The role of School Leadership in compliance
  • Feedback from the pilot survey in Telford & Wrekin
  • Support & resources available
  • Q&A session at the end

Please book you places here:

Primary Schools: Tuesday 16 January 5pm to 6pm:

Secondary Schools: Tuesday 23 January 5pm to 6pm:

Holiday Provision (HAHH): Tuesday 6 February 5pm to 6pm:

In the meantime, The School Food Plan, in collaboration with the National Governors’ Association, has produced good guidance to support governors in championing a whole school approach to food and help create a culture and ethos of healthy eating. It is designed to be used alongside other School Food Plan resources including the Headteacher Checklist and What Works Well website. School-Governors Guidance.pdf (

We look forward to seeing you at the sessions.

EYFS Celebration Conference

Building Cultural Capital through a Creative Curriculum - the development of children's artistic and cultural awareness to support their imagination and creativity.

Saturday 16 March 2024

9.30am - 4.30pm

Location: Beaconside Conference Centre, Stafford, ST18 0BF

For all EY providers including childminders, and Early Years practitioners, leaders, managers and teachers working in schools and settings.


Key Note speakers:

  • Nationally acclaimed, EY expert in Leading Pedagogy - Alice Sharp
  • Dr Sandra Mathers, Lecturer and Early Years Specialist, Dept of Education, University of Oxford and member of the Talking Time Research Team

Workshops including;

  • Drama & Performing Arts
  • Early Years Art Specialist
  • Creative Curriculum
  • Music Specialist

Look out for the next release of cutting edge workshops in the field of Early Years!

We will also have a vibrant marketplace including possible stands from

  • Numicon
  • Twitch
  • Early Talk Boost.

EEF EY Research Project Stands potentially including:

  • Talking Time
  • Number Sense
  • Free resources to take home

Breakfast, lunch and refreshments will be provided

Easy transport links via bus, train & free car park

Register Your Attendance

New Webinar Wednesday Topics

Thrive Together Stronger Practice Hub West Midlands are hosting a series of webinars, which include topics such as PSED, Literacy, Maths and Physical Development

If your setting is interested in joining one or all of these webinars, then please follow the links below to register your attendance!

Literacy - Effective Approaches and Practices to support Literacy in the Early Years Part I - By Victoria Day

17 January 2024 1.30pm - 2.30pm

Register your attendance

Literacy - Effective Approaches and Practices to support Literacy in the Early Years Part II - By Victoria Day

7 February 2024 1.30pm - 2.30pm

Register your attendance

Effective Approaches and Practices to support Maths in the Early Years Part I - By Victoria Day

13 March 2024 10am - 11am

Register your attendance

Effective Approaches and Practices to support Maths in the Early Years Part II - By Victoria Day

10 April 2024 10am - 11am

Register your attendance

Effective Approaches and Practices to support Physical Development in the Early Years Part I - By Andrina Flinders

1 May 2024 9.30am - 10.30am

Register your attendance

Effective Approaches and Practices to support Physical Development in the Early Years Part II - By Andrina Flinders

15 May 2024 9.30am - 10.30am

Register your attendance

Managing English as an Additional Language in Early Years

Many schools and settings are fortunate to see a rise in EAL children and families joining their schools and settings.  This course will provide:

  • an overview of good practice in EAL provision
  • an audit tool that can be used in delegates’ own settings
  • sample EAL/ language policies
  • information on assessment of EAL learners through gathering information on skills in first language and monitoring progress in English language acquisition
  • knowledge on using the monitoring process to identify targets and next steps in language learning

Delegates will be able to:

  • carry out an audit of their own setting’s EAL provision
  • develop an appropriate EAL / language policy for their setting
  • gather and record appropriate information about their EAL learners
  • gather information on their EAL learners’ skills in home language
  • monitor EAL learners’ progress in English language acquisition using the NASSEA EAL Assessment Framework
  • use this information to feed into the EYFS assessment process

Tuesday 9 January 1.15pm - 4pm online via Microsoft Teams.

MDT support for individual schools to deliver quality bespoke CPD is available upon request.

Managing English as an Additional Language in EY Settings Flyer

Telford & Wrekin Early Years Conference

The Early Years conference was held in Telford over 10 and 11 November 2023.

On Friday morning, Jan Dubiel explored “Pedagogy and the Contexts for Teaching and Learning”. Jan has developed a national and international reputation as a conference speaker, consultant and trainer, and he has written widely on different aspects of Early Years policy, pedagogy and practice.

In the afternoon, “Music for EYFS: Practical Ideas for Teachers and Practitioners” was run by Soundpots, part of our local music hub. Delegates took part in group activities that could be replicated in their settings.

Jan’s second session on Saturday morning was “PVI Provision—Ensuring Curriculum Progression and Depth”. This looked at the principles and practicalities for developing an appropriate curriculum that ensure progression and depth for all children.

The final speaker was Shonette Bason-Wood, with: “Squiggle Me Into A Writer, including Dough Disco”. This workshop covered the movement and messy play based Wiggle Me Into A Squiggle, which uses specific movement to assists gross motor development.

The conference provided a great opportunity for colleagues to network and also included marketplace stands from NSPCC, Telford College, Mrs Book Nook and the Wooden Play Den.

Resources for winter wellbeing

The festive season is usually associated with joy, happiness and celebration, but for some it may not always be a positive time. 

The shorter days, colder temperatures and the pressures associated with this time of year can negatively impact our wellbeing, and it can be easy to forget to look after ourselves. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may be an issue some young people experience, and a break from the structure of school or college can be difficult for some students too.

This toolkit contains lesson plans and supporting activities to help pupils to look after their wellbeing, as well as to understand the importance of self-care and connections with others.

The toolkit also includes a resource for staff on building good mental wellbeing, as well as information on seeking further support.

Mentally Healthy Schools Link

Mental health lead resource hub

A new mental health lead resource hub has launched on the Mentally Healthy Schools site.

In partnership with and funded by the Department for Education, they have collaborated with a range of education and mental health experts to produce this new hub for mental health leads and other education staff.

This hub is a comprehensive resource that signposts and showcases practical resources from trusted organisations and training providers - all under one roof.

It will enable mental health leads to continue to develop in their role, and embed an effective whole-school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing.

Mental Health Resource Hub


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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