Notice: 3 December 2020

A round-up of news, guidance and key updates for education settings.

Included in this update:

Director’s update

Dear colleagues

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Education Noticeboard. 

This week we include updated guidance for early years and childcare providers, along with information on the Nuffield Early Language Intervention programme, which is designed to help young children aged 4-5 years old overcome language difficulties. We also include a reminder from school admissions colleagues that they will shortly be sending information to secondary schools in relation to those children who will be transitioning to secondary schools in September 2021. Please do keep a lookout for these.

In a press release issued today, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced that, in recognition of the challenges faced by students this year, extra measures have been put in place to support students sitting exams and other assessments next year. Full details of the extra measures are included within this noticeboard.

In addition we include information about National Grief Awareness Week, a campaign which aims to get people talking about this typically uncomfortable subject which will affect all of us at some point during our lives. We are all aware, more now than ever perhaps, of the importance of listening and talking to each other and a reminder about some of the different areas of support which are available is included within.

There are also a raft of CPD training opportunities on offer, full details of all the available training courses and how to access them can be found within the body of the noticeboard.

On a final note, I would just like to say a big thank you to all of the schools who have been sharing their good new stories over the past week or so. We have really enjoyed joining you in celebrating the amazing work that you are doing. Please do remember to keep on sharing these stories via our social media channels and of course do remember to tag us into your posts so that we can continue to share your good work.

Best wishes to all


Simon Wellman
Director: Education and Skills

Sharing your good news stories

Thank you to all the schools who have been busy sharing good news stories over the past week. We have loved celebrating with you all the fantastic work that you are doing, including the various and imaginative ways that education is being provided!

We would like you to continue sharing these through our social media channels, so please remember to tag @TelfordWrekin into your posts so we can continue to share your good work.

Take a look at what the students at some of our schools have been up to this week @TelfordWrekin.

If you would like your school or setting to feature on the Education Noticeboard next week make sure to tag us in so we can share your story!

Free School Meals eligibility

We know the likelihood is that more children will have become eligible for Free School Meals due to the coronavirus situation. We please ask that you encourage your families to apply if they meet any of the criteria below.

The benefits for eligible children extend beyond the provision of a free school meal, as the school will also receive Pupil Premium Grant Funding to support learning for these children, and this funding extends for six years, regardless of whether the pupil remains eligible.

Children are eligible if parents meet the following criteria:

  • you or your partner have a child for whom you receive Child Benefit, and who is attending a school or college in Telford and Wrekin, and you receive any of the following:

More information is available, including how to apply on Telford & Wrekin Council, Free School Meals and a Free School Meals flyer is available to download and share with parents.

Updated advice on at risk staff from 2 December 2020

With effect from the 2 December 2020 those staff who are classified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) are able to return to work in school.

In relation to staff that are over 28 weeks pregnant the Local Authority has confirmed that they too can return to work in school.

This is on the basis that the DfE guidance is followed, whole school and individual risk assessments are undertaken, meaning your school is Covid-Secure.

Individual risk assessments should be kept under regular review, particularly where infection rates increase locally, there is an outbreak in your setting, or we move into a higher tier.

We have also updated our guidance on individual risk assessments to reflect this position. The template individual risk assessment has also been updated to reflect these changes.

For further help or advice please contact

Updated guidance for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak

The updated guidance includes sections relating to:

  • employer health and safety and equalities duties (section 3.2)
  • staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable (section 3.2)
  • staff who are pregnant (section 3.2)
  • close contact with someone with symptoms (section 3.3)
  • use of face coverings (section 3.3)
  • enhanced cleaning (section 3.3)
  • guidance on result of negative or positive test (section 3.3)
  • travel (section 3.4)
  • visitors to the setting: external professionals and parents (section 3.5)
  • music, dance and drama: organised performances (section 3.10)
  • children self-isolating / clinically extremely vulnerable (section 4.1)
  • special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) (section 6.5)
  • early years foundation stage (EYFS) disapplications and requirements for paediatric first aid (section 7.1 to 7.8)
  • planning for and supporting children’s learning (section 7.2)
  • resuming Ofsted inspections (section 8.3)
  • temporary changes to 30 hours entitlement (section 10.3 – 10.4)
  • business support including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (section 10.5)
  • arrangements for providing meals (section 10.10)

Additional information:

  • protected characteristics (section 3.1)
  • ventilation and thermal comfort (section 3.3)
  • printable early years action card (section 3.3)
  • printable card on What to do if a child is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (section 3.3)
  • the NHS app (section 3.3)
  • visitors to the setting: recruitment, supply staff and students (section 3.5)
  • malleable materials (messy play) (section 3.7)
  • vaccines and teething (section 3.8)
  • local restriction tiers (section 3.9)
  • staff needing to self-isolate after returning from abroad (section 5.2)
  • trips to indoor spaces (including soft play) (section 5.6)
  • parent and child groups (section 5.7)
  • childminder with household member self-isolating (section 9.5)

Please note: that the following information has been moved:

Supporting EYFS Children with Catch Up Funding

What is the Nuffield Early Language Intervention?

The Nuffield Early Language Intervention is a 20 week programme proven to help young children overcome language difficulties. It is designed for children aged 4 - 5 years and combines small group work with one-to-one sessions delivered by trained teaching assistants, targeting vocabulary, narrative skills, active listening and phonological awareness. Developed by a team led by Maggie Snowling and Charles Hulme, the intervention has been evaluated in robust trials funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and the Nuffield Foundation. These have found it to be effective for improving children’s oral language skills, as well as promoting longer-term progress in reading comprehension.

  • The Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) is designed to improve the spoken language ability of children in reception classrooms.
  • It is targeted at children with relatively poor spoken language skills.
  • Teaching Assistants are trained in how to develop children’s language skills.
  • Clear lesson plans are provided to save preparation time.
  • Materials for children are bright and accessible.
  • Three 30-minute sessions per week are delivered to groups of five children during the Spring and Summer terms (20 weeks).
  • Children also attend an additional two 15-minute individual sessions per week.
  • All sessions focus on listening, narrative and vocabulary skills.
  • Work on phonological awareness is introduced in the final ten weeks.

For more information see NELI: The Nuffield Early Language Intervention ( and the brochure which can be downloaded here:

Download the Nuffield Early Language Intervention Programme.

For further information please contact Lisa Seymour, Early Years and Childcare Consultant Team Leader.

Carol Singing and Christmas Performances - guidance

For schools wishing to plan carol singing or Christmas performances, taking account of the Government’s Music, Dance and Drama Guidance is imperative.

There are many controls that need to be in place, including consideration of the amount of people and space that you have, some are:

  • you cannot mix bubbles
  • all pupils need to be at least 2m apart from one another
  • any audience cannot join in singing or participate in any way
  • audience must be at least 3m back from the performance
  • audience members must be 2m apart from one another
  • there must be a risk assessment in place.

For further information regarding health and safety precautions and restrictions, please contact

Travel to School

We are requesting secondary schools and post 16 providers to share this video with students who use transport to travel to school.


Extra measures to support students ahead of next summer’s exams

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced today (Thursday 3 December 2020) that students sitting exams and other assessments next year will benefit from a package of exceptional measures to make them as fair as possible and to help manage the disruption caused by Covid-19.

The full press release can be viewed on the GOV.UK website.

School admissions – a reminder

In the next couple of weeks the LA School Admissions Team will contact secondary schools that are their own admission authority. We will be sending lists out to you to rank and return to us before the Christmas break. This relates to the children that will be transitioning in September 2021. The information we send through will explain what you will need to do (which will be the same as last year). 

For Reception and Junior September 2021 places, information will be sent out in the Spring of 2021.

If you have any queries please contact

School admissions: applications for overseas children

This article should be read in conjunction with the latest guidance from the DfE.

In most cases, children arriving from overseas have the right to attend schools in England. School admission authorities must not refuse to admit a child on the basis of their nationality or immigration status, nor remove them from their roll on this basis. It is the responsibility of parents to check that their children have a right, under their visa entry conditions, to study at a school.

The Department for Education advises that overseas nationals entering the UK who wish to apply for a state-funded school, check that they have a right of abode or that the conditions of their visas otherwise permit them to access a state-funded school.

Schools can only refuse the application based on ‘prejudice’ as defined in legislation (for example, the school is full). The relevant admission authority must not require applicants to currently live in the area before considering their applications.

If a school is concerned that a child may not have a right to enter the country to access a state-funded school, it must not deny them a place or remove them from the school roll. Schools should advise parents to check their rights, or email the Home Office’s school referrals team so they can investigate further.

Applications from UK crown servants or military families

As set out in paragraph 2.18 of the School Admissions Code, admission authorities and local authorities must process applications from UK crown servants or UK military families, with evidence from their employers or commanding officers that they are returning to the area ahead of any move. We will accept any posting or quartering address as a ‘home’ address in the absence of an actual home address.

Home Office referrals

If a school has concerns about a particular child’s immigration status, please contact the Home Office via: If the Home Office finds that the child’s visa does not entitle him or her to enter the country to attend a state-funded school, it will be up to the Home Office to take any further action it considers appropriate. A local authority, admission authority, or school must not deny a child a place or remove him or her from the school roll on the basis of the Home Office’s findings.

In the case of any further queries, please contact

Admissions to Reception for 2021 - how are you encouraging parents/guardians to apply for school places?

We recognise that parents/guardians are often anxious about selecting a school for the first time, and this year more than ever due to coronavirus restrictions.

Visits to school are often a key factor in helping parents and carers to make that important decision about where to apply for a school place for their Reception aged child. Sadly, during the pandemic this has been made very challenging for schools and for families, and many parents are finding it more difficult to make that choice.

We know that many schools are going that extra mile to share something of the ethos of their school, its values and ambitions for children, through ‘virtual tours’ located on their school website, and linked to their Admissions’ pages.

We wanted to share some useful examples that we think are really helpful to parents in giving them that ‘flavour’ of the school, and would like to thank Lawley Primary and Newport Infants for allowing us to share the links below.

We hope you enjoy visiting the schools as much as we did!

Newport Infant School

Lawley Primary School

Grief Awareness Week - 2 December 2020 to 8 December 2020

Image of the grief awareness week

Everyone will experience grief at some point in their lives. This campaign aims to get people talking about this typically uncomfortable subject which affects all of us.

Quite often, bereaved individuals say they feel as though they are going mad, which can often lead to significant risk factors associated with grief such as loneliness, trauma, PTSD, alcohol/drug abuse. Normalising grief through peer support and support services can have a significant impact for bereaved individuals and help to reduce these risk factors.

“It isn’t the circumstances of the death that will predict a positive or negative outcome, it is the support they get at the time and after the death. This is the key component to anybody finding a way to rebuild their life” – Julia Samual

At Telford & Wrekin Council we want to promote this campaign to encourage people to talk about and share their grief and remind people that there is a lot of support out there, including:

  • Employee Assistance Programme: offers specific guidance/support and advice on grieving, bereavement and loss, including specific advice around COVID-19 and dealing with bereavement. In addition, there is a counselling service which operates 24 hours a day via a confidential helpline: 0800 783 2808
  • Telford Wrekin Council Bereavement Support: this page on the Telford and Wrekin Website provides a wealth of information and guidance on how to support yourself and others (including support for children and young people as well as frontline health, care, emergency and key workers).
  • Bereavement Leave: the model Telford and Wrekin Special Leave Policy offers paid bereavement leave in the unfortunate event that there is a death of an employee’s friend or relative. There is also additional Parental Bereavement Leave for employees who are bereaved parents.
  • The Good Grief Trust: provide a wealth of information and advice, including signposting to support services/lines for all types of bereavement.
  • Mind: offers information and guidance on bereavement, including where to go for support, and suggestions for helping yourself and others through grief. 
  • Crus Bereavement Care: Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin branch offer support services to adults and young people who have been affected by the death of someone close.

Be kind, remember that taking the time to check in on colleagues, talking and listening to others is more important than ever. You might not be able to offer expert advice that people can get through the organisations above, but just being there for someone who is grieving is really important.

For any further information please send an email to

Early Help Assessment and Support Plan Training

Course Outline

The course is designed to support practitioners to produce high quality Early Help (EH) assessments when working with children and families. Coverage will help introduce the redesigned EH assessment and how to effectively incorporate it when assessing strengths, needs and risks within the child and family setting.

Please note: to participate in this training you will require ZOOM access.

The pre-requisite to join the course is that you have read all documents prior to attending, as we will be using these documents throughout the session.

The session will be held on 17 December 2020 between 9.30am and 1.30pm.

To secure your place please book via the Ollie Booking Page.

You will receive all reading documents when you book on through Ollie. You will also receive your ZOOM invitation direct from the trainer - Ted Daszkiewicz. Please note: that you may need to check your Junk email.

By the end of the training you will:

  • Be introduced to the Telford and Wrekin Thresholds Guidance Document and the Early Help Assessment and Support Plan Guidance.
  • Understand how the new EH assessment fits into integrated working.
  • Interpret informed consent as part of the assessment process.
  • Understand the principles required for producing high quality EH assessments.
  • Be able to interpret information gathered and produce high quality outcome driven action plans, incorporating the difference between actions and outcomes.
  • Understand the importance of recording/evidencing risk and vulnerability in children and families.
  • Know how to effectively review Early Help assessments within the context of a Team around a Family.

The training is suitable for:

Members of the children and families workforce who work in the Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Children Board area, who work predominately with children and young people and/or their parents/carers and who could potentially be involved in the assessing, planning, intervening and taking part in multi-agency processes where there are Early Help concerns.


Ted Daszkiewicz


Please book your place via the Ollie Booking Page.

If you do not have an Ollie account, please follow the instructions below.

To apply for a place on Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Children Board training you require access to Ollie. If you are not a member of staff with Telford & Wrekin Council, nor have an existing Ollie account, you should complete an account request form. 

Once your account is set up, login details will be sent to your email address by the Ollie team. This is not an automated process but we aim to respond to requests within five days.

Your account will last for 12 months from activation. After this time, if you require further access you will have to request your account to be reactivated.

You should check your browser settings to allow pop-ups from the site to ensure the courses load correctly.

Account request forms can be found on the TWSCB website or by requesting a form from

Ollie Website

A full user guide is available at the login page. If you have any queries please email the Ollie Team at

SEND: Building Capacity in your School – training course

LSAT 403: SEND: Building Capacity in your School

Who is it for?

SENCos and Senior Leaders involved with Special Educational Needs, including SEND Governors.

The course aims to:

  • begin to develop a whole school vision for SEND and inclusion
  • identify a consistent, whole school approach to supporting pupils with SEND
  • discuss ways of sharing skills and building the knowledge base of all professionals within your setting
  • develop leadership skills to support the senior role.

Delegates will have the opportunity to:

  • discuss and develop their SEND vision with colleagues from other settings
  • identify strengths and weaknesses in SEND provision and SEND approaches in their school
  • begin to develop an action plan for bridging these gaps and bringing about change
  • share, learn and develop new skills and models for working with professionals in a school, and how to support all staff in their work with children with SEND
  • practice key leadership skills with colleagues
  • leave the course feeling empowered and with key targets for the next stage in SEND improvement.

For further information and to book a place, please visit the Telford Education Services Website.

Completed booking forms should be sent via email to

Have you signed up to Whole School SEND Community of Practice?

The Whole School SEND Consortium is delivering the Department for Education SEND Schools’ Workforce Support Contract and a randomised control trial funded by the Education Endowment Fund. It brings together schools, organisations and individuals who are committed to ensuring that every child and young person with SEND can maximise their potential. 

By becoming a member of the Whole School SEND Community of Practice you can access free resources, useful research, and opportunities to participate (including fully-funded CPD training), that are shaped by those working in the sector, in partnership with families.

You can do this by joining Community of Practice.

For further enquiries please contact us at:

View for further information about the Telford and Wrekin SEND Local Offer.

A SEND reminder about specialist visits

Settings should minimise the number of visitors where possible; however, visiting specialists such as therapists, clinicians, peripatetic teachers and other support staff for pupils with SEND should provide interventions as usual, including moving between settings as required. Such specialists will be aware of the PPE most appropriate for their role.

Guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings.

For further enquiries please contact us at:

View for further information about the Telford and Wrekin SEND Local Offer.

FutureFocus Support at EHCP Reviews

Please could we ask that FutureFocus Careers Advisers be invited to all EHCP reviews for Year 9, 10 and 11 pupils taking place in your schools - this is an important part of supporting them with a successful post-16 transition.

For further information, please contact

School Music Network Meeting - 10 December 2020

During the next meeting on 10 December 2020 we shall be discussing key highlights, thoughts from a school that was visited by Ofsted, progression in the current climate and how to plan around what is possible and what isn’t.

Partners from the Hallé Orchestra and Manchester Camerata will also be joining the session to give an update on their education work in the area for 2021.

To book your place, please send an email to

Download the School Music Network Meeting – 10 December 2020.

Relationships, Sex and Health (RSHE) Training for Secondary Schools

From September 2020, Relationships Education will be compulsory for all primary school age pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) will be compulsory for all secondary age pupils, and Health Education will be compulsory for both primary and secondary age pupils. 

Further details of the training download the RSHE for Secondary Schools document.

CPD courses to the end of the Autumn Term

Further details of all of our courses to the end of the 2020-21 academic year can be found in the CPD Booklet, which is available on the Telford Education Services website.

Unless stated otherwise, all of our CPD courses are currently being provided online via Microsoft Teams. Please note: when we prepare the Autumn Term CPD charges the delegate fee for these courses will be reduced accordingly to take account of the savings made by not using external venues.

Bookings continue to be made in the normal way by completing a CPD booking form and sending it via email to

This table shows the CPD courses dates and times.

MAPA (BSAT 201) – two parts

(Face to Face currently planned)

Tuesday 8 December 2020

Wednesday 15 December 2020

8.30am to 4pm 

8.30am to 12.30pm

Supporting pupils with specific literacy difficulties: A whole school approach (LSAT 501)

Wednesday 9 December 2020

1.15pm to 4pm

NQT Induction Tutor/ Mentor - initial training (CPD 520)

Wednesday 9 December 2020

4pm to 5.30pm

Teaching Children with SEND – meeting to needs (LSAT 508)

Monday 14 December 2020

4pm to 5.30pm

SEND: Building Capacity in your school - four parts (LSAT 403)

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Tuesday12 January 2021

Tuesday 9 February 2021

Wednesday 3 March 2021

3.45pm to 5.15pm

Understanding Early Language Development 2 to 4 years (EY 112)

Tuesday 15 December 2020

1.15pm to 4pm

Solution Focused Therapy (PSS 102)

Tuesday 15 December 2020

9.15am to 12noon

AET: Leading Good Autism Practice - two parts (EPS 107)

Wednesday 16 Dec 2020

Wednesday 6 Jan 2021

1pm to 4pm

Taking the Chair - training for prospective and new Chairs of Governors

The Taking the Chair training course, which is also suitable for governors who chair sub committees, is delivered over four sessions, each taking place from 4.30pm to 6.30pm, and aims to:

  • strengthen and develop the capacity of Chairs to lead the work of the Governing Body
  • deepen participants’ understanding of, and prepare them for, the role of Chair
  • enhance the Chairs’ confidence and skills in managing the role and relationships
  • widen the Chair’s strategies for developing the partnership between the Governing Body, the Headteacher and staff
  • encourage shared leadership and making good use of the skills and knowledge of others
  • engage participants in a learning process which leads to self-directed change.

Session 1: Roles and relationships - working with the Headteacher and the Governors (20 January 2021).

Session 2: Leading and managing the work of the Governing Body (24 February 2021).

Session 3: The Chair’s role in supporting strategic leadership (24 March 2021).

Session 4: The Chair’s role in ensuring accountability (21 April 2021).

For further details of this and other governor training courses, please visit the Telford Education Services Website.

To book a place schools are asked to send a completed CPD booking form to .

Induction Training for New School Governors

Induction Training for New School Governors is taking place Tuesday 12 January 2021 from 9.30am to 3.30pm and will cover in some depth the key functions of the Governing Body, including:

  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and the performance management of staff
  • overseeing financial performance and making sure money is well spent
  • the characteristics of effective schools
  • the key roles and responsibilities of governing bodies in improving schools
  • the different and complementary roles of governors and head teachers i.e. the distinction between governance and management.

For further details of this and other governor training courses, please visit the Telford Education Services Website.

To book a place schools are asked to send a completed CPD booking form to


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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