Education Noticeboard - 8 May 2024

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

Included in this update:

Directors Update

Dear Colleagues

I hope you all had a good Bank holiday and took advantage of the dry weather.

We have a full noticeboard this week, starting with lots of good news stories from our schools across the borough.

Applications for Leader and Cabinet Members Young Persons Grant closes on 24 May and I would urge you to encourage any young person who you think would benefit from this grant to apply.

There are a number of interesting articles from our colleagues in safeguarding, highlighting updates on policies and procedures, which I would encourage you to read.

There are also a number of important articles from the DfE, including information about the school census which takes place in May, and information regarding the changes in the national framework regarding requests from parents to take pupils out of school during in term time.  

Enjoy the rest of your week

Best Wishes

Simon Wellman

Director: Education & Skills


Leader and Cabinet Members Young Persons Grant Scheme 2024

Do you know someone aged 15-25? Could £500 change their future? Tell them about the Young Persons Grant 2024

Telford & Wrekin Council has launched ‘The Leader and Cabinet Members’ Young Person Grant 2024’, supporting young borough residents to take the next steps in their career.

In its ninth cycle, the grant of up to £500 is available for young people who are seeking support to help get them into education, employment or training. Additionally, the grant is also available to young people looking for help to pursue extracurricular activities to support their learning and development.

To be eligible for the grant, the young person must live in Telford and Wrekin - or be a child in care or care leaver living outside of the borough. They must also be aged between 15 (and in Year 11) through to 25 at the close of applications.

They must showcase how the funding could successfully help them overcome barriers, including those that are currently preventing them from accessing education, employment or training. It is also available to those seeking to start up their own business and need an initial investment.

“We invite all eligible candidates to apply and look forward to hearing about the creative approaches they are taking to their future education and careers. So, to not miss the deadline, we encourage entrants to submit their applications early. We look forward to reading them!”

Applications are now open and will close at 5pm on 24 May 2024.

For more information or to submit an application visit

Telford & Wrekin Council launches All Age Carers Strategy Consultation

Telford & Wrekin Council have launched the All Age Carers Strategy consultation, asking carers of all ages to share their feedback on the draft five year plan for services and support across the borough.

To take part in the consultation, local carers of any age can visit the council’s website or request a paper copy or alternative accessible formats of the survey by emailing or calling 01952 380536 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm).

The consultation period will run for nine weeks, finishing on Friday 21 June 2024 at 5pm.

The consultation process will invite carers of all ages to share their experiences, insights, and recommendations so that local services can cater to their needs. By working with carers to develop the All Age Carers Strategy, the council and its partners - Telford and Wrekin CVS, Telford & Wrekin All Age Carers Centre, NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, and Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System – aim to foster a collaborative approach that reflects the diverse perspectives and priorities of the local carer community.

Cllr Paul Watling, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Systems, said: “1 in 10 of the borough’s population - roughly 18,000 people - reported that they were providing unpaid care in 2021, a higher proportion than the national and regional averages.

“Carers play a crucial role in the social care system by providing essential support to their loved ones. It's essential that we continue to collaborate with partners and local organisations to ensure effective support for carers.

“With this in mind, we need a strategy that identifies areas important to carers, ensuring resources are used where carers of all ages need them the most. This consultation will give carers the opportunity to tell us how we can help make a positive difference to their lives.”

Cllr Shirley Reynolds, Cabinet Member for Early Years, Children and Young People, commented: “We recognise that carers in Telford and Wrekin can be of any age - both children and adults.

“Throughout the consultation, we will work with carers to influence, shape and design the support that they need, ensuring support is accessible, affordable, varied and reaching communities where it is most needed.

“No matter your age, your feedback is important and appreciated to help us create the right path forward for carers across the borough.”

Cllr Kelly Middleton, Cabinet Member for Healthy, Safer & Stronger Communities and Partnerships, said: “Prevention and early intervention are key factors to help avoid the need for care and support.

"This involves offering information and guidance, assisting with mental health and well-being, advocating for healthy and active lifestyles, and alleviating loneliness and isolation.

“By using your feedback, we can make sure that the All Age Carers Strategy sets out a positive action plan that has carers’ wellbeing right at the heart of everything we do.”

To find out more about the All Age Carers Strategy Consultation, please visit


Councillor Shaun Davies visits Old Park Primary School

Leader of the Council, Councillor Shaun Davies was recently invited to Old Park Primary School in Malinslee. During the visit Shaun met with headteacher Mr Foster along with school children to see how the school had used some local community grant funding to put the finishing touches to their brand-new school library by purchasing new books.

Education and Skills teams have been recognised at a national level for the work they do to support young people with special educational needs in the borough

Three of our Education and Skills teams have been recognised at a national level for the work they do to support young people with special educational needs in the borough. At the recent NHS England SEND Best Practice Conference the Educational Psychology Service and PODs Parent Carer Forum won first place in the Parent Carer Co-Production category for their ‘Challenges at Home’ project which supports families whilst their children are awaiting neurodiversity assessments. In addition, the SLCN Workstream were runners up in the Education and Health Co-Production Award for their work in the delivery of the Talk Boost interventions in partnership with the LSAT and Early Years teams. Huge congratulations to everyone!

View the full story

Donnington Wood Infant School and Nursery School visit

Work has been completed at Donnington Wood Infant School and Nursery after they were successful with their Hands on Help application last summer. 

The ‘Hands-on-help’ scheme was delivered along with Nuplace, Wrekin Housing Group and Lovell and was all about improving important local community facilities which will benefit residents living close to new housing developments.

Work including laying new slabs to the outdoor area of the school to help improve accessibility for parents and children. We hope it will make a huge difference.

A big thank you to Lovell for supplying the labour and materials for all of the successful projects which were:

View the full story

Lantern Academy Careers Week

Leader of the Council, Councillor Shaun Davies and Director of Education, Simon Wellman were recently invited to Lantern Academy as a part of the school’s careers week. This week was all about exposing the children to different career opportunities and Councillor Davies took the opportunity to speak to the children about the role of the local council and answer their questions before having a tour of the school.  

To arrange a primary school visit with the leader please email

DfE Updates

Preparation for School Census May 2024

Guidance notes for the Summer 2024 (May) School Census for Headteachers/School Business Managers/School Administrators

Download guidance here


Important information relating to any requests for leave in term time from September 2024.

Penalty Notice Regulations are changing from September 2024 with the introduction of the National Framework for Penalty Notices. Parents need to be aware of the changes and the implications if they take leave that is unauthorised.

Please be aware that the DfE have instructed LAs to contact all schools to advise that for any leave in term time requests from parents for leave next academic year, that you may have already had or requests you may receive before the summer, you need to communicate the changes to parents.

See below two letter sample:-

The first is if a parent has already requested leave for next academic year and it has been unauthorised.

School Letter 1

The second is for any requests for leave next academic year school receive before the end of this term.

School Letter 2

Parents need to be aware that the fine has increased and that there is the introduction of an escalation process within a three-year rolling period for any subsequent Penalty Notices.

More information will be circulated to schools in due course.

Thank you for your continuing support

DfE launches consultations on EYFS safeguarding requirements and experience-based route

The Department for Education has launched a consultation on proposals to strengthen the EYFS safeguarding requirements, to ensure our youngest children are kept as safe as possible.

The Department for Education has launched a consultation on proposals to strengthen the EYFS safeguarding requirements, to ensure our youngest children are kept as safe as possible. The Department is looking to formalise existing best practice with these proposals, ensuring that all practitioners have the knowledge and support they need to deliver the safest, highest quality early education and childcare provision possible. These proposals have been informed by extensive engagement with providers, health professionals, Ofsted, sector stakeholders and safeguarding experts and using lessons learned from previous incidents. The consultation proposals include:  

  • Amendments to promote safer recruitment.  
  • Creation of new requirements for following up if a child is absent for a prolonged period of time. 
  • Creation of new requirements to ensure safer eating.  
  • Creation of a safeguarding training criteria annex and a requirement for safeguarding policies to include details of how safeguarding training is delivered and how practitioners are supported to put it into place.   

You can access the consultation here, and have your voice heard. Responses are required by 17 June 2024: Early years foundation stage (EYFS) safeguarding - GOV.UK (

You can read about these changes in full in our dedicated blog post.

Today the Department for Education also launched a 4-week consultation on the experience-based route for early years practitioners, following positive sector feedback to this proposal in the 2023 EYFS consultation. The experience-based route aims to recognise the valuable experience and skills of the sector and give early years providers more flexibility to use their staff effectively by counting additional staff in level 3 ratios. The consultation asks questions about how we think the experience-based route could work. Responses are required by 20 May 2024. You can respond to this consultation here: Experience-based route for early years practitioners - GOV.UK (



Crucial Crew 2024 is being held between 24 June 2024 and 12 July 2024, excluding transition days

Crucial Crew is back for the 29th year and booking is now OPEN.

Crucial Crew is a multi-agency partnership event aimed at Year 6 students designed to provide them with life skills and knowledge that will help to keep themselves and others safe, both now and in the future.

Crucial Crew aim to raise students awareness of important safety issues, encouraging them to think about their own and others safety and guiding them on what to do in a number of potentially unsafe situations.

This year the event is taking place between 24 June 2024 and 12 July 2024, excluding transition days.

Booking is now open until 10 May 2024 so complete the form by clicking on the following link

NSPCC - Whole School Approach to RSE (Sex and Relationships Education)

NSPCC guided Whole School Approach Framework to Sex and Relationships Education to support curriculum leaders

The NSPCC have launched a Whole School Approach Framework to Sex and Relationships Education (SRE), as a part of Phase 2 of Talk Relationships. 

The framework is made up of 5 elements/key documents that when used together will support school leaders to implement a whole-school approach to sex and relationships education based on evidence and best practice: 

 Evidence base document 

  • Implementation guide 
  • Whole School Approach Framework 
  • 8 components that work together to make up a whole-school approach to sex and relationships education. 
  • A set of key overarching ‘benchmarks’ for each component, that your school should implement to achieve an effective whole-school approach. 
  • Good practice examples of the benchmarks in action. 
  • Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) Snapshot  - a self-assessment tool 
  • An editable action plan template 

For further information contact via email

National Crime Agency alert to schools: financially motivated sexual extortion

There has been an increase in reporting of children and young people, particularly teenage males, being forced into paying money or meeting another financial demand after an adult offender has threatened to release nudes or semi-nudes of them. This is financially motivated sexual extortion, sometimes referred to as ‘sextortion’, and is a form of child sexual abuse.

The National Crime Agency has issued an alert to education settings that provides advice on how to:

  • recognise the signs of financially motivated sexual extortion
  • raise awareness and support children to seek help
  • support victims

Visit the CEOP Education’s website to download the alert and a template letter for parents and carers with advice on how to talk to their child about financially motivated sexual extortion, and how to support them if they become a victim.

For further information please the attached NCA press release and briefing.

NCA Press Release

Download Guidance on NCA Financially Motivated Sex Extortion Appeal 

WeMatter – Victim Support

WeMatter is a video-based digital service for children and young people (CYP) who have been affected by domestic abuse. It provides specialist support to 8-17 year-olds who have been affected by abuse within their parent or carer’s relationship, or within the family home

WeMatter is a video-based digital service for children and young people (CYP) who have been affected by domestic abuse. It provides specialist support to 8-17 year-olds who have been affected by abuse within their parent or carer’s relationship, or within the family home. It’s not suitable for children and young people who are experiencing ongoing domestic abuse or for those who are still living with the alleged perpetrator without explicit consent and full assessment of ongoing risk.

WeMatter’s CYP Programme Facilitators deliver Rockpool’s CYP Domestic Abuse Recovery Toolkit. Delivered online via Zoom, the service offers a timetable of group work programmes, which young people can access during the school day, or at home after school. Each group session is facilitated by two specialist CYP Programme Facilitators, and can include up to 12 CYP.

Support is delivered over eight weeks, with sessions lasting around one hour. Each session uses trauma-informed cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) based activities, games and discussions, all aimed at supporting the young person’s individual journey. The sessions offer CYP a safe space to:

  • Understand their experience of domestic abuse
  • Develop healthy coping strategies for difficult emotions

Explore future healthy and positive relationships

Download WeMatter Referal Form

Download WeMatter  information  for Younger Age group  

Download WeMatter information for Older Age group

Download the WeMatter leaflet

DfE research report on the use of reasonable force in alternative provision and special schools

This report summarises the findings from qualitative research that looked at:

  • schools’ policies on using reasonable force
  • how schools engage with the use of reasonable force in schools guidance
  • staff training in physical restraint and restrictive practices
  • what methods schools use to minimise the need to use reasonable force
  • how schools record and report their use of reasonable force

The research involved interviews with school leaders and staff from 45 special and alternative provision schools.

Key Findings:

  • Comparisons between settings were difficult as schools used different terminology. 
  • All of the 45 schools in the study had a greater emphasis on managing behaviour and de-escalating incidents so that reasonable force would not be needed.
  • All but one of the schools used an external training provider (Team Teach (around half the schools), other providers included LeAFE, Norfolk Steps, RAID, CALM, PROACT-SCIPr, Dynamis, PRICE and CPI. One school had set up its own programme).
  • De-escalation techniques varied between schools, often according to the child’s needs. They included distraction, use of sensory rooms, encouraging pupils to go for a walk or get some fresh air, switching the member of staff working with the child and removing triggers to misbehaviour.
  • Fully restraining a child for more than a few seconds was rare among schools in the research, and some said they had never had to use the most restrictive holds they had been taught by their training provider.
  • Most schools used software to record incidents and manage follow-up activity. CPOMS was one of the most widely used platforms to record incidents. Other platforms used by schools in the sample included Behaviour Watch, Arbor, EdWare and Sleuth.

The full report can be found here: Use of reasonable force in AP and special schools - GOV.UK (

Advice on Prevent referrals as heightened tension in the Middle East continues.

As we have seen over the past few months how heightened tension in the Middle East can have a knock-on effect on inter-faith relations, hate crime incidents and exploitation by extremists here in the UK.  As such, below is a reminder of the advice on Prevent referrals, thresholds, and incidents in schools in order to help provide clarity for partners.

Prevent Referrals
Prevent seeks to intervene early, to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.  Where someone is concerned a person may have been deliberately exposed to harmful terrorist narratives, it is right that they refer them to the necessary authorities.  A Prevent referral does not amount to an accusation of criminality.  Rather, it allows for a multi-agency assessment to be conducted and support to be provided to help divert people from engaging in harmful activity.  Through this referral, the person will be able to receive the vital support they need. 

All referrals to Prevent are carefully assessed based on the specific details of the case.  If a person is found to not be at risk of radicalisation, the case is immediately closed to Prevent.  They may be referred to other appropriate services, or no further action may be taken.

Lawful non-violent protest or activism does not meet the threshold for Prevent referrals.  Holding legitimate political views is not an indicator for extremism provided they are not expressed or furthered by statements, deeds or actions which result in harassment, intimidation or threats of violence against individuals or society itself.

Encouragement of terrorism, including glorifying the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism, fundraising for the purposes of terrorism, and inviting support for a proscribed terrorist organisation, are all criminal offences.  A list of proscribed organisations in the UK can be found here:  proscribed terrorist organisation .

Prevent & Schools
Many young people will have a strong personal interest in these issues, and we are aware that in some schools this may lead to political activity by older pupils.  Schools should ensure that political expression by pupils is done sensitively, avoiding disruption and feelings of intimidation, or targeting for other pupils and staff.  Schools should also make every effort to ensure that this activity does not extend to discriminatory bullying or involve the expression of antisemitic, anti-Muslim, or other discriminatory views.  Where this does happen, the Department for Education expect schools to deal with these incidents with all due seriousness, in line with their behaviour policy.

Depending on the circumstances, safeguarding leads may also look to determine whether abusive and discriminatory views expressed or shared by pupils are representative a wider susceptibility and consider the appropriateness of engaging with support through the Prevent programme. We trust teachers and other staff to exercise their professional judgment about whether a referral is appropriate, as they do for all other safeguarding risks.  Further training and more discussion around radicalisation will help in addressing this, and advice and guidance is available on Educate Against Hate and GOV.UK to support safeguarding leads in making these decisions.

Schools should also be mindful of their legal duties regarding political impartiality and should always avoid working organisations that promote antisemitic, anti-Muslim or any other discriminatory views. The Department for Education has published clear and comprehensive guidance to help those working with and in schools to better understand legal duties on political impartiality.  The guidance can be found here:

Further Resources 

Particularly in relation to the conflict, and any antisemitic or anti-Muslim incidents emanating as a result of this, you may find the below links useful:

Tell Mama is a confidential support service for those suffering from anti-Muslim hate and discrimination across the UK. Their website features a number of different ways to report anti-Muslim incidents, including via phone or WhatsApp: Report in Anti-Muslim Hate or Islamophobia ( The site also hosts useful resources, including on mosque security

For further advice and guidance use the contact details below:

Education lead for Telford and Wrekin Council : Joanne Hanslip,

For consultation with local CTU leads and advice on making a Prevent referral contact:

Alison Potts,, or

Holly Aungiers,,

Reporting concerns about the conduct of serving Police Officers

Procedures to report concerns about serving police officers who cross professional boundaries, abuse their position for sexual purposes or are abusive in their personal intimate relationships

Crimestopper Police anti-corruption & abuse reporting service on 0800 085 0000 or online which includes those who:

Cross professional boundaries or abuse their position for sexual purposes.

Abuse or control their partner, or those they have a relationship with

Concerns can be reported anonymously or confidentially.

The anti-corruption unit would encourage a 2 way option where further information can be requested.

If a crime has been committed there are also the usual routes to report, i.e through our Force Control Room, Complaints route (IOPC / PCC’s office etc) which are preferable if there are offences / risk / safeguarding concerns.

For any partner queries, directly into our Anti-Corruption Unit -

 DI Jim Fox (

 DS Rich Spillane (

Keeping children safe in education 2025, consultation with practitioners in a call for evidence from the DfE

The government has announced that it is to make only 'technical' changes to KCSIE for September 2024, 'with a view to providing a more substantively updated document, encompassing wider changes, to be delivered in 2025

The DfE has launched a 'call for evidence' from practitioners and others. The DfE say, 'this call for evidence is...deliberately broad and seeks to reflect areas and issues that have been shared by school and college safeguarding professionals, or where wider systemic changes mean we have an opportunity to better align school and college safeguarding policy, including the findings of Ofsted's ‘Big Listen.’

The DfE say that 'whilst we will not be publishing the results of this call for evidence, we will consult on any substantive changes we make to future iterations of KCSIE, and school and college safeguarding policy, following this exercise, in the normal way.'

Areas covered in the call for evidence include:

  • The role of the designated safeguarding lead
  • Recording, retention and sharing of child safeguarding information
  • Safer recruitment
  • Filtering and monitoring
  • Supporting children following reports of sexual violence and harassment
  • Protecting children in boarding schools and residential special schools
  • Quality assuring safeguarding
  • Children bringing their own devices to schools
  • Artificial intelligence 

The survey can be completed online here: Keeping Children Safe in Education: A Call for Evidence and closes on Thursday 20th June 2024.

For further information email

Exploitation and Vulnerability training from West Mercia Police

Changes to the delivery offer for exploitation and vulnerability training for education settings

Due to demands on their service, West Mercia police are no longer able to routinely offer face to face training on exploitation and vulnerability however, where there is a specific and identified risk of exploitation within the school/immediate community DSLs / school leaders can contact West Mercia Prevention unit to discuss further support that may be available to them.

Online training is still available for all staff by using the link below to register.

Exploitation and vulnerability training | West Mercia Police

Danger of synthetic opioids to drug users.

Nitazenes are synthetic opioids that can be manufactured in clandestine laboratories. In the UK, they have been used  in association with other drugs. Their potency increases the risk of overdose by users seeking higher strength ‘hits’, with many unaware of the presence of the nitazenes within their supply.

Try to speak to users about how they avoid overdose, key messages:

  • Drugs are changing – you probably won’t know what’s in them
  • Plan for overdose
  • What’s your staying alive plan?
  • Do not use alone, be with someone
  • Start slow, low doses
  • Carry naloxone!

Contact Cranstoun for more naloxone if you need it.

Drugs contaminated with synthetic opioids: a collective message

To anyone that uses drugs

The drugs available in the UK seem to be changing lately. As people services, we have come together to make a shared statement/clarification on some of the new drugs the people we support use, and the risks they present.

New opioids have arrived in the UK in the last two years, called "nitazenes". They have recently been found mixed with heroin, with some being sold as illicit oxycodone pills or even Xanax powders.

Nitazenes can be at least as strong as fentanyl and can be hundreds of times more potent than heroin. They are known to have led to accidental overdoses and deaths of people in several areas across the UK in the last few weeks.

The vast majority of people taking drugs do not expect to die from an overdose. If you use drugs, this information will help you and your friends to stay alive.

Considering new information around contaminated drugs, the way you use drugs might need to change to avoid overdose:

Mixing different drugs is common, but it is more likely to cause an overdose. Try to use one at a time. If you are going to mix drugs, use less of each.

 Try not to use drugs alone, and don’t let your mates use them alone either. Watch out for signs of overdose in your friends. The signs include difficulty breathing, blue colouring to the lips or fingertips, unresponsiveness, and limp limbs.

Always carry naloxone. It’s available from all treatment providers. If someone overdoses, give naloxone to them and call an ambulance.

Naloxone only works on opioids. However, if you suspect someone has overdosed give them naloxone even if you’re not sure they have taken an opioid. It will not harm your friend.

If you use opioids every day your local drug treatment service can support you and prescribe alternatives such as methadone and buprenorphine. Even if abstinence isn’t your goal these alternatives can help keep you safe. You will know what you are taking and your risk of overdose may be reduced.

If you are already in treatment for opioid dependence and you don’t want to use on top, speak to your worker and make sure you’re getting the right dose.

Use WEDINOS Sample Testing to test your drugs if you can spare a bit, but it takes time to get the results back so go easy in the meantime.

For further information Alcohol and Drug Support | Addiction Services | Cranstoun

Updates to the Social Care Common Inspection Framework for boarding schools, residential special schools, and residential provision in further education colleges

This month has seen an update to the Social Care Common Inspection Framework in relation to boarding schools and residential special schools. These types of educational institution have their own unique needs that require addressing. Due to the far higher nature of supervision and co-existence present between pupils and educational professionals, in these schools it is necessary that the guidance reflects their specific circumstances.

The inspection framework has been updated to clarify that, when applying the framework, inspectors will take appropriate action to comply with Ofsted’s Equality Act duties, clarification on the opportunities for providers to discuss and/or provide information on potential equalities duties, including reasonable adjustments for individuals, clarification regarding Ofsted’s updated arrangements for publishing the report, quality assurance and handling concerns and complaints in line with Ofsted’s new complaints process in the timeframe sections, references to Ofsted’s pausing process, clarifications in the ‘discussions with managers and staff’ section, addition of new section on closed cultures, updated section on reporting concerns about the administration and management of controlled drugs.

Additional guidance on deferring an inspection, inspector conduct during inspections, when and how the provider can raise issues, concerns or complaints during and after the inspection, supporting the well-being of the provider’s managers and staff during inspections and visits, attendance at keeping in touch meetings, discussions with staff and feedback meetings and who the provider may share provisional and final inspection outcomes with.

Read the guidance here: Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF) - GOV.UK (

Telford & Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership News and Updates

Please see the latest news and updates from the Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership.


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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