Notice: 3 September 2020

Welcome to the new Education Noticeboard. A round-up of news, guidance and key updates for education settings.

Included in this update

Director update

Dear colleagues,

Welcome back and welcome to the new Education Noticeboard!  I hope you all managed to have a break over the summer holidays and feel ready for the start of the autumn term… and what an autumn term it will be!  I know all of you have been planning and making arrangements for this week, so that you are ready to open and welcome back children to their schools and young people in FE providers. I also know that the majority of our early years providers have been open for some time. For many children and young people there will be great excitement, and nervousness, as they come back to school. Given all the work you have been doing to keep in touch with your communities, we are optimistic! Most will return, settle and really enjoy being back. Over the next couple of weeks we will be collecting pupil experiences and will share their voice once it has been collated. I have my own personal collection of pupil voice at home (3 to be precise!) and even my ‘developing teenager’ can’t wait to get back! ‘Dad, seriously, can I please go back to school’.

For some children we also recognise that there will be challenges ahead. Nurseries, schools, academies and colleges will look for guidance at these times and our teams in Education and Skills are ready to support you. There is a culture of the LA and the educational community in Telford and Wrekin working in partnership, and I know we will continue to work collectively in the best interests of children and young people at this time. We will always be stronger together!

From September I will be acting up as Interim Director for Education and Skills. Whilst I undertake this role my substantive post, as Service Delivery Manager for SEND, will be filled by Natalie Bevan who is really looking forward to working with you over the coming months on the SEND agenda. Work is taking place to backfill Natalie’s position as SEND team lead. Recruitment into the permanent post of Director of Education and Skills is currently taking place and I will update you once the recruitment cycle has been completed.

You will notice that we have been busy developing the Education Noticeboard over the summer. This is something that I hope will make a difference, with the aim of streamlining the way in which we communicate with you. The Education Noticeboard aims to be an online one-stop shop to feed general messages from our teams to early years providers, schools/academies and post 16 settings. This will be published at least weekly (on a Thursday) and will include an update from myself. You have told us that at times you feel bombarded with emails from our various teams and/or get duplicate information and/or don’t get information at all. We have been collating various contact lists from across service areas and guess what, we have hundreds!  Our aim is to create just one which we will use to distribute the Education Noticeboard. Inevitably there will be a few bumps as we embed the approach and for clarity it will be used for ‘general messages’ by all teams in Education and Skills but will not include resources, newsletters etc. that traded teams send to settings that have bought an SLA. These will still be sent to you via individual teams.  Our aim too is that over time, teams in the council that are not part of Education and Skills will also begin to use the noticeboard to send their messages. We are really interested in your feedback so please do let us know what you think about the noticeboard. This will evolve, I am sure, over time.   

Finally at the start of the new academic year we have some new leaders to our schools and I want to extend a very warm welcome to you in your new roles. Kirsty Parkes will be head teacher at Millbrook, Julie Bravo at Queensway, Claire Medhurst at St Peters CE, Edgmond and Yvonne Crilly at Woodlands. Ellen Smith, I know you have been in post at Apley Wood as head teacher since April 2020, but I want to include you here too. We also have some covering arrangements in place whilst longer term leadership arrangements are secured and my thanks to John Demmerling at Holmer Lake, Julie Marriott at John Fletcher of Madeley (up until half term when Stacey Griffiths will become head teacher), Sarah Passey at Wombridge and Graeme Hawes at St Patricks Catholic Primary.

Over the coming weeks network meetings will begin again, starting with the Education Strategic Partnership meeting next week, and I look forward to seeing you all soon, albeit virtually for the time being!

It’s great to be back and let’s do what we do best; support, encourage and nurture the children and young people of Telford and Wrekin to achieve their very best.


Simon Wellman
Interim Director Education and Skills

COVID-19 guidance and a suite of letters which can be used in the event of suspected/positive case in your school

The Health Protection Hub has been set up by Telford & Wrekin Council to carry out local contact tracing during the pandemic and are here to also offer help and guidance if required.

Please use the links to view the COVID-19 update for schools and a number of letter templates, which the Health Protection Hub have drafted, to help you in the event of a suspected/positive case or outbreak happening within your school.

These letters can be amended if you so wish but they will cover most eventualities which may occur during the school terms.

Please read through them and save them in a place that is easily accessible for all members of staff. There is also a flow chart which will guide you through the process if you have a suspected/positive case of COVID-19 within your school.

We have also enclosed a face coverings and face masks guidance document, as well as cleaning guidance for non-health care settings which we hope you find useful.

Use the new 'Test and Trace' service to notify the Health Protection Hub of any suspected case, we can then help and guide you through the process and carry out the necessary contact tracing required in order to keep our community safe.

If you have any queries regarding this correspondence, please do not hesitate to contact the Health Protection Hub at

Antibody testing is now available for all education staff

In Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin antibody testing is now being rolled out to all staff working in education settings. This means those that want to can now choose to have a blood test that will show whether or not they have previously had the COVID-19 infection.

The test will look for antibodies in the blood that have been produced by the body in response to the virus that causes COVID-19.

The test is entirely voluntary – you do not have to take part if you don’t want to.

If you would like to have the antibody test, please book an appointment as soon as possible whilst there is capacity within the system. To book:

  • Contact the booking line on 01743 497015.
  • The line is open for individual bookings between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. If it is busy you will be asked to call back.
  • When booking, you will need to give your place of work, registered GP, contact telephone number and the email address you would like your result to be sent to.
  • Tests are available, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm, at either The Princess Royal Hospital (Mallings Buildings) or The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (Elizabeth House).
  • As the antibody test is carried out by taking a blood sample, you will be required to sign a consent form. This will be given to you when you arrive for your test.
  • If you have not received your results within 72 hours of your test, please contact the booking line so we can help you.

As you are aware, there are now two types of tests for coronavirus available:

  1. The PCR / Swab test
  2. The Antibody test

For more information please view the COVID-19 testing infographic, which describes the difference between the two types of tests, when and how to access them.

Guidance on recording attendance in the autumn term and the educational settings status form

School attendance will be mandatory from the beginning of the autumn term and the usual rules on school attendance will apply.

There may, however, be circumstances where pupils cannot attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19), such as if they are required to self-isolate.

It is therefore vital that schools resume taking their attendance registers as normal and:

  • follow up any pupil absences
  • complete the daily educational setting status form from 1 September 2020 or the day that term starts
  • complete the status form by 12noon daily.

The information you provide is essential to enable us to support all children to return to education. The questions we are asking schools in the form have changed from those you were previously asked to complete.

The new set of questions that will be asked of all educational setting are:

Setting status

Is your setting open today to all pupils or students on roll?
‘No’ should be selected if one or more of the following statements applies to your setting:

  • not open to all year groups
  • not able to provide face-to-face teaching for all pupils or students for the whole of the normal school day (this does not apply to FE colleges)
  • not open to pupils or students today because of a training or INSET day
  • one or more pupils or students who do not have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms themselves or in their households have been asked by your setting to self-isolate as part of coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak measures.

The following factors do not need to be taken into consideration when answering this question:

  • pupil or student absence due to coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
  • pupil or student absence due to coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms in the household.

Pupils or students on roll

How many pupils or students are on roll at your educational setting? Of those pupils or students on roll:

  • how many have an education, health and care (EHC) plan?
  • how many have a social worker?

Pupils or students present in the educational setting today

How many pupils or students are attending your educational setting today? Of those pupils or students attending your educational setting today:

  • how many have an education, health and care (EHC) plan?
  • how many have a social worker?

Classroom teacher absences

How many classroom teachers are unable to attend your educational setting today?

Further school attendance guidance is available explaining how they should record circumstances where pupils cannot attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to complete the educational setting status form.

School Attendance – initial guidance

As schools across the borough open their doors for all pupils to return, school attendance is a very hot discussion topic and it is important that everyone is clear about expectations and processes.

The DfE have been very clear in their expectations that children should be returning to school. As a local authority we are very aware that there may be some nervousness and anxiety on the part of some families about the return and we do not underestimate the work schools have done and will continue to do to make it as safe as possible and to reassure parents.

At the start of every academic year schools and the local authority track pupils who have not returned after the summer break or not taken up the school place. This is year is going to be particularly challenging and we aim to outline below some information and processes to support you.

Marking registers

Each school should have received an email last week from Kay Burford, the Attendance Support Team Leader sharing the updated DfE Guidance’s. It was sent to the Named Attendance Person in each school and the documents are attached to this article to assist you. They are:

Please be aware when recording any absence related to COVID-19, that there is a specific absence code to be used. 

Pupils who do not return to school, take up their school place or who are vulnerable to non-attendance

Firstly we want to thank all our primary schools for their huge efforts to provide information to the Attendance Support Team at the end of term in relation to pupils in Year 6, Year 1 and Reception. 

The information has been mapped and we will be sharing it with individual schools in the next few days. It is our intention to send this information to the Named Attendance Person and the Headteacher.

In the same email we will also identify some pupils that the local authority has been tracking as potentially missing from education and asking for confirmation that the pupils is on roll and whether they have returned to school. 

Pupils who do not take up their school place will be pupils in Reception, Year 7 or have a place allocated as an in year transfer. In line with the legislation these pupils should be entered on the school admissions and attendance register and schools must establish the reason for the absence and mark the register accordingly. We will be in touch with schools as to how they are to notify the local authority in the next few days. Initially schools should follow their usual processes to locate these pupils.

Pupils who are potentially missing from education

Where pupils do not return to school we expect that schools will undertake their usual checking processes. We would ask that we only receive referrals initially for pupils where the school is certain that the pupil/family has disappeared, and has evidence as to why they think this. 

Pupils where Elective Home Education is indicated

It is anticipated that some parents may indicate their intention to electively home educate. Whilst they have a legal right to do so, it is important that parents are aware of their responsibilities and that that the pupil is only deregistered where the parent has clearly stated an intention to take responsibility for their child’s education. Karen Towers, our Elective Home Education Advisory Teacher is happy to talk to parents in advance of the decision. Contact Karen through

DfE Education Settings Status Form

The DfE have notified schools that this is to be resumed from the 1 September 2020 and as previously schools are asked to complete it by noon. Schools are not expected to provide a copy to the local authority.
Guidance on recording attendance in the autumn term and the educational setting status form.

In summary

  • Thank you for your efforts to reassure parents and in the work you will be continuing to do so in the next few weeks.
  • We will be in touch with schools individually by email in the next few days with information related to pupils in Year 1, Year 2 and Year 7 as well as those being tracked as potentially missing from education.
  • All pupils who have been allocated a school place in Reception, Year 7 or as an In year admission should be entered on the school admission and attendance register and marked as absent if they do not arrive. Schools should begin to establish the whereabouts of the pupil.
  • We will provide information to schools about notifying the local authority of pupils that are not taking up school places or where their whereabouts is uncertain.
  • Schools should only refer children as missing from education initially where they are certain that the child or family have disappeared.
  • The DfE. Settings status from is to be completed by noon each day as from the 1 September 2020, and schools do not need to send a copy to the local authority.

For more information please contact the Attendance Support Team Leader via email or Group Manager Access and Inclusion via email

SEND 'Virtual' SENCo Network

SENCo Network meetings are an opportunity for SENCo’s, senior and middle leaders from primary, secondary and specialist maintained schools to share collaborative working, best practice, policy changes and good news stories.

Following the feedback from the SEND Virtual Briefings held in May and June, we are pleased to announce that we will be holding all of the SENCo Network Meetings ‘Virtually’ this year!

Save the dates:

  • Secondary SENCo Network Meeting - Secondary Transition and Fairshare
    • Thursday 24 September 2020
    • 4pm - 5.30pm
  • SENCo Network Meeting (cross-phase)
    • Thursday 15 October 2020
    • 4pm - 5.30pm
  • SENCo Network Meeting (cross-phase)
    • Thursday 4 February 2021
    • 4pm - 5.30pm
  • SENCo Network Meeting (cross-phase)
    • Thursday 10 June 2021
    • 4pm - 5.30pm.

Find out more information about SENCo Network Meetings on the SEND Local Offer website.

How to book:

Virtual school procedures for Children in Care 2020/21

Welcome back, hope you all had a relaxing break.

New to role training - many of you have already booked on this, however, if you haven’t then the compulsory training via Microsoft Teams PEP training courses are on offer please contact PEP Coordinator Kerriann Hughes or Sarah Summers PEP Lead for further information. If you would like any refresher training re EPEPS please contact the PEP Lead.

Attendance - As from 2 September 2020 the expectation is that all schools record CIC attendance daily on the Telford and Wrekin portal as before Pre-COVID. Attendance reports will be run weekly and follow up as required. For further information, please contact Amanda Price CIC Tracking Officer.

Personal Education Plans- all PEPS for the Autumn term will be completed via Microsoft Teams - PEP Coordinator will send out invites along with the link to complete parts of the EPEP in advance as usual.

Virtual School web pages - please view the Virtual School web pages - there is a wealth of information and resources to support professionals and CIC.

Attachment and Trauma Informed Schools- ARC sign up essential to complete the first step in becoming accredited Attachment and Trauma Informed schools- if you would like to discuss this further please contact VSH directly

Individual case workers will be in touch with all Designated Teachers over the next few weeks for updates.

In the meantime, if you require any further support, advice or any questions please get in touch via email

Local Authority Interim arrangements for supporting and monitoring schools following the coronavirus outbreak

Following the coronavirus outbreak and the partial closure of schools it is our intention to ensure that every school is well placed to make an efficient and effective recovery. During this period visits to schools will focus on supporting schools to overcome any barriers they are facing in managing the return to full education for pupils. Conversations with senior leaders and/ or governors will focus on a range of key areas:

  • how leaders are ensuring pupils resume learning the school’s  curriculum, including the blend of classroom teaching and, where necessary, remote education
  • how the school is using catch up funding and the National Tutoring Programme to support pupils achievement and close gaps in learning
  • how pupils are settling back into expected routines and behaviours
  • how any identified and specific health and well-being issues for particular pupils are being addressed and supported
  • any contingency plans the school might have for maintaining learning for pupils in the event of another lockdown
  • safeguarding.

The local authority is keenly aware of the pressure placed on staff and the speed at which all schools moved to ensure that those pupils who were learning at home had appropriate resources to help them do this. Schools have embraced new technologies to support home learning; much of this may continue well into the next academic year. With this in mind, the local authority wants to support schools in their work, and share the good practice which is being developed.

It is anticipated that for the academic year 2020/21 most schools will remain in the same category as the last academic year. There will be termly reviews of schools to ensure the level of support is appropriate to need. Any changes to the level of categorisation will be discussed with the Headteacher.

The following will be taken into account when assessing the level of monitoring and support needed:

  • current level of categorisation (2019/2020)
  • current Ofsted grade
  • whether there is a new Head Teacher in post, or an imminent change in senior leadership
  • previous track record, the last three years of data, previous concerns regarding the progress of groups, including  the school’s vulnerable groups, boy/girl, PPG, SEND, EAL, LA and HA 
  • any concerns with regards to the well-being and safeguarding of all pupils or the management of safeguarding
  • levels of attendance at the school, including vulnerable groups
  • any qualifying complaints made to Ofsted
  • the school’s data on exclusions both fixed term and permanent
  • evidence of the impact of the effectiveness of steps taken by the school following their latest Ofsted inspection to address points for development.

As in the existing policy all schools will receive at least one annual visit. This might take the form of a pre-arranged telephone call or Teams meeting where appropriate. Schools will receive additional monitoring and support according to their level of need, ranging from termly to more frequent visits to enable their secure recovery. A member of the School Performance Team will be in contact with you early in the Autumn Term to arrange these.

We recognise the challenges that schools have overcome during this time to ensure that pupils have continued to receive their education and be safe, and we would like to thank you and your staff.

We look forward to continuing to work with you as we welcome all of our children back into school. We know you will be working hard to secure regular attendance from the start of term, support their well-being and to help pupils catch up on missed education.

For enquires please contact Liz Smith via email

School Admissions News

Download the schools admissions newsletter - September 2020.

Schools Information from Arriva

Information regarding plans for Arriva Bus services for schools. For more information visit the Arriva website.

For more information contact the Transport Team.

CPD course delivery in the Autumn Term 2020

The CPD Booklet 2020-21 is available on the Telford Education Services website and bookings can be made in the normal way by completing a CPD booking form and sending it via email to

In light of the on-going pandemic situation, it is intended to use a blended approach to delivery of CPD courses in the Autumn Term - with some being run face to face, and some online via Microsoft Teams or Ollie. 

For face to face training all practical arrangements are being carefully negotiated and agreed in partnership with the venue and delegates will receive very clear information in advance about the precautions, procedures and expectations in place to keep you safe and well.

If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact either myself, or the CPD Team. 

We very much look forward to welcoming you onto our courses.

CPD course Managing Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment in Schools – 10 September 2020

CPD course SG 201 Managing Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment in Schools is taking place Thursday 10 September 2020 – this half day course will be delivered on-line via Microsoft Teams.

This half day course will provide an oversight of how to manage sexual violence and sexual harassment in schools and help delegates to:

  • meet the requirements of part five of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’
  • understand the Department for Education’s published advice ‘Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment between Children in Schools and Colleges’
  • understand how to respond to reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment and how to complete robust risk assessment
  • gain an awareness of what action to take following a report of sexual violence and/or sexual harassment.

For full details and to book a place please visit the Telford Education Services website and send a completed booking form to

Emotional Health and Wellbeing Resources

There has been a wealth of resources published to support the emotional and mental health needs of young people both during lockdown and also for the return to school flowing partial closure.

This guide is intended to help Mental Health Leads in schools to navigate through these resources. It is by no means exhaustive, but is intended to provide a starting point and to save people time in ploughing through these resources themselves.

We have also provided a free training package, intended to be delivered as a twilight, aimed at all staff in school. This can be delivered either as face to face training or via Microsoft Teams. For more details and to book this training, please contact Darren Lennon via email

You may also have heard details of the governments ‘Wellbeing for Education Return Project’. We are hoping to receive, in the next couple of weeks, details of the training package that they will be offering. We will let you know more as soon as we have these details.

Emotional Health and Wellbeing Panel Dates

Following very positive feedback, the Emotional Health and Wellbeing Panel (EHWP) will continue to operate across the new academic year. This will sit on a Wednesday morning from 9am to 12.30pm, once per month. It will continue to operate through Microsoft Teams for the foreseeable future.

As last year, the deadline for the submission of referrals is 12noon on the Wednesday preceding the meeting.

The dates for 2020-21 are:

  • 16 September
  • 7 October
  • 4 November
  • 2 December
  • 13 January
  • 10 February
  • 3 March
  • 31 March
  • 5 May
  • 9 June
  • 7 July.

To follow, probably in next week’s Noticeboard, will be the following documents:

  • a summary of the EHWP 2019-20 (hopefully this will provide support in writing referrals)
  • an updated EHWP Protocol for 2020-21
  • an updated EHWP Referral form (we will continue to accept the old referral form for the September meeting).

For more information please visit the SEND Local Offer website or email

Outdoor Education during Autumn Term 2020: day/non-residential activities

As you prepare to welcome all your children and young people back to your schools and colleges this autumn, Telford & Wrekin Council's Outdoor Education Service is reviewing its provision so that it can continue to support your broad and ambitious curriculum.

Outdoor Education can also make a key contribution to the Recovery Curriculum especially with rebuilding relationships, engaging and inspiring learners, giving children and young people space to adjust and in minimising disadvantage.

The current operating environment is defined by the Department of Education Guidance for September which states that;

  • Schools and Colleges are being encouraged to make maximum use of outdoor spaces on site and in the local area to support the delivery of the curriculum
  • Non-overnight domestic educational visits can resume providing pupils are kept within school bubbles and destinations/venues are Covid-secure
  • Sadly, at this stage, no overnight or overseas educational visits are permitted.

So, in response Arthog Wales, Arthog Outreach and Sky Reach High Ropes are working collaboratively to maximise the expertise of staff, equipment and facilities to create Covid-secure Outdoor Education. The offer is all based on daytime provision which can be fitted in to the school day or longer as you prefer;

  1. On your school site 

We come to you, and run activities either on your site or in the immediate locality.  Pre course planning will ensure maximum use of your venue and include the option of the climbing tower, archery and problem solving activities.

  1. ‘Hubs’ 

These are locations where we have facilities and equipment in situ.  We can collect by minibus, but some ‘hubs’ may be near enough that you can walk to. The hubs are;

  • Short Wood Centre, Wellington (indoor climbing wall, low ropes, archery, stream walk)
  • Telford Town Park (e.g. high ropes, climbing wall, canoeing, maths trail)
  • The Mere at Shrewsbury (e.g. climbing tower, canoeing, orienteering, fire circle.
  1. Activity days off site – the very best that Telford and Shropshire have to offer

The exact activities will depend on your location, but the great things is Shropshire and Telford have many wonderful outdoor activity venues. Some we use already, others we are developing this summer to ensure choice near all our schools. Minibus transport provided.

It may be that we are taking your children and young people into areas they are familiar but doing activities and adventures they cannot normally access because it requires highly qualified leaders and specialist equipment e.g. rock climbing on Wenlock Edge or paddling on Blue Pool in Telford Town Park. Or it could be that by combining our collective local knowledge we can go to hidden delights and esoteric places, or find wildlife otherwise missed. 


Fees will vary on your final agreed programme but as a guide a school day for an activity group (based on 10 - 12 participants will cost £210 - £230. So a class of 30 with 3 activity groups would be £630 to £690.

Telford & Wrekin Council Arthog Guarantees

  • Safety
    To ensure the health and well-being of all involved and Covid-secure practice, Government Guidance, Telford & Wrekin Council Instruction and Adventure Industry best practice are all being followed.  As part of the pre-course process we will need to be informed of each school’s own COVID management risk assessment and procedures to ensure compliance.,
  • Educational Quality
    As usual, we plan all courses with our schools. The bespoke nature of our provision means we can ensure the educational quality of the Arthog tradition. If it is not possible to deliver as requested, we will be honest and say so to avoid any disappointment.
  • Financial Security
    During these challenging times we would like to reassure our users and parents that Telford and Wrekin Council are adopting a supportive and flexible approach to bookings. Invoices will be issued after a course has taken place and will be based on the actual numbers attending. You can book secure in the knowledge that if operating conditions do change and a planned programme cannot go ahead your school or college will not be left with a financial liability. We ask that you work with us closely so that we can match our resources to your need.
  • Educational Visit Notification
    As Arthog Wales, Arthog Outreach and Arthog Sky Reach are owned and managed by Telford and Wrekin Council, and relevant sections of the Form 16A are included in their booking processes, no notification to the Outdoor Education Advisor is required.

To find out more or to make a booking enquiry please email

Keeping children safe in education

The September 2020 version of the keeping children safe in education guidance is now in force and replaces previous versions. The Department for Education (DfE) have made changes in three circumstances:

  • where legislation has required it e.g. reflecting mandatory Relationship Education, Relationship and Sex Education and Health Education from September 2020.
  • where they have helpful additional information that will support schools and colleges protect children e.g. mental health, domestic abuse, child criminal and sexual exploitation and county lines.
  • important clarifications which will help the sector better understand and/or follow our guidance. A table of changes is included at Annex H. Visit the GOV.UK website for more information.

For further enquires please contact

Reception Year early language catch-up announcement

The Department for Education will be working with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and other partners to scale-up delivery of the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI).

NELI is a high-quality, evidence-based, 20-week intervention designed to improve the language skills of reception age pupils. It involves scripted individual and small group language teaching sessions, delivered by trained school staff, usually teaching assistants. Several EEF trials have found that NELI improves both children’s oral language and early literacy skills. A recent trial of the programme found that children made on average three months of additional progress compared to children in the comparison group.

Further information about delivering NELI in 2020/2021, including FAQs, can be found on the EEF’s website.

We are inviting schools to register their interest using this application form. All state funded schools with a reception class can apply but places are limited. If places are over-subscribed, schools will be prioritised based on their percentage of free school meals (FSM) eligibility.

For further enquires please contact Lisa Seymour on


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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