Notice: 19 January 2021

Welcome to the Education Noticeboard, designed to keep you up to date with current information.

Included in this update:

Director update

Dear Colleagues,

Today we have started a new campaign asking for the donation of old laptops from the public, these will then be ‘traded in’ against the purchase of new laptops that will be supplied to schools for students who don’t have access to devices for remote learning at home. This project will work alongside a range of initiatives including the ‘Get Help with Technology’ scheme that featured on the noticeboard last week (Notice: Thursday 14 January 2021). Please can I request that if you have not yet done so, you complete the access to devices survey for your school. The survey links can be found in the article below, your responses will enable us to effectively allocate the laptops to schools.

The DfE have launched a consultation with Ofqual on how GCSE, AS, and A Level grades should be awarded in summer 2021.  Please ensure to take a look at the consultation and share with your students, parent/carers and anyone else who may have an interest, including future employers.

The national free school meals scheme went live on Monday, information around how to order vouchers has been released, including how to effectively use the system.   Good news this week is that the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme is restarting on Wednesday, please take a look at the article for more information.

Finally, Governors are invited to attend a free online briefing: The role of Governors in effectively monitoring your schools remote education offer. It is recommended that at least one governor from each school attends especially if they have a responsibility for the curriculum, disadvantaged students and SEND.

Simon Wellman
Director: Education and Skills

Laptops for learners

You will have received an email last Friday about continued gaps regarding access to devices at home for children to use for remote learning.  As we know there has been a range of initiatives including the DfE get help with technology scheme (Notice: Thursday 14 January 2021), the council grant scheme and via schools themselves.  We are now exploring ways in which we can support schools to provide additional devices and have identified some Council money to purchase a number of additional laptops that we will be looking to allocate later this week. The information you supply will help us to determine how to allocate these and any further devices. If you could please send the survey back if you have not done so already it would be greatly appreciated.

Access to devices at home survey - Primary Schools

Access to devices at home survey – Secondary Schools

If possible please complete the survey by Wednesday 20 January 2021, 12noon

To reduce the cost per device, we are also looking for donations of old laptops from the public as these can be traded in to increase the number of devices that we are able to purchase.

Please share the social media posts from Telford & Wrekin Council Facebook and @TelfordWrekin on Twitter.

Press release: Do you have an old laptop that you no longer need?

If yes, why not donate it to help support a child's online learning?

In the next two weeks, we are asking for donations of laptops in good condition, that we will collect and trade-in to buy new laptops to help children in our borough who don't have their own computer at home for online learning.

Our Council has already provided more than 300 laptops through the "Laptops for Learning" scheme but more devices are needed, as during this lockdown more children in our borough struggle to learn from home.

If you wish to donate, please note the following:

Laptops condition

The laptop(s) you are donating should be in good condition, with no damage to keys or casing and with a power supply.

  • Please delete any personal data (e.g. documents, photos) from the laptop(s) donated.
  • Pick-up - to avoid non-essential journey, we will pick up your donated devices from your home or business address in our borough.

To arrange the collection, go to Laptop collection survey

  • Pick a convenient slot (either morning or afternoon) when you would like us to come and collect your device(s)
  • Ensure your donated device(s) is inside a plastic bag ( to protect from weather conditions), with a label stating 'For collection by TWC’.
  • The bag needs to be placed on your doorstep ready for collection (from 8.30am, for AM pickup slot and from 12.30pm, for PM pickup slot)
  • Should you have any issues/ concerns around your collection slot or if you want to change/cancel it after your booking, please email

We are accepting only laptops for donations (and not other devices such as ipads, tablets) as we can only trade-in laptops for brand new devices that will be given to children who need them.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) asymptomatic testing for staff in primary schools and nurseries

Information from the DfE on rapid asymptomatic coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for staff in primary schools, school-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools.

Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19) asymptomatic testing for staff in primary schools and nurseries

Consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021

Information from the DfE.

On Friday, the DfE launched a joint consultation with Ofqual on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021. The consultation closes at 11:45pm on Friday 29 January. We want to hear the views of students who were due to take their exams, their parents and carers, their teachers, school and college leaders and others who have an interest, including further and higher education providers, and employers.

The Department for Education is putting our trust in teachers and their judgement to determine grades. Grades will be based on teacher assessment, with teachers supported in making decisions with guidance and training from exam boards to ensure these are awarded fairly and consistently.

The consultation will consider the range of evidence teachers use to award a grade, which could include coursework, other forms of assessment and papers provided by exam boards, to support consistency and fairness across schools and colleges.

Ofqual guidance collections

Information from the DfE.

Ofqual has grouped together collections for their publications for GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in the academic year 2020 to 2021 and vocational, technical and other general qualifications in the academic year 2020 to 2021. The purpose of this is to make it easier to locate guidance on the same topic.

Early years foundation stage profile - Information 2021

In 2021, the early years foundation stage (EYFS) profile will not be mandatory but we will require providers to use their best endeavours to complete it and provide the information to year 1 teachers and parents, if this is possible. This will be a judgement for schools and practitioners, depending on their individual circumstances.

We recognise that the EYFS profile is a valued and crucial tool, which supports children’s development and their transition from reception into year 1. However, we understand the additional pressures that teachers are facing during this challenging time.

Schools that complete the EYFS profile in the summer term will not be subject to statutory external moderation. There will be no requirement to submit data to the local authority or to confirm whether you have completed it to the Department for Education.

This change applies to schools that are early adopters of the EYFS reforms, as well as schools that are following the current statutory framework.

National free school meal voucher scheme

Information from the DfE.

The national free school meal voucher scheme went live on Monday 18 January 2021.

You will be able to place orders for supermarket gift cards on behalf of the parents and carers whose children are eligible for benefits-related free school meals, to cover the period between 18 January 2021 and 12 February 2021 (4 weeks).

These gift cards are worth £15 a week per eligible child. You can order eCodes to be delivered direct to parents’ or carers’ email addresses. Families will receive an eCode by email to redeem for a supermarket of their choice. Alternatively, you can arrange for the eCode to be delivered to the school email, so you can provide eGift cards by post, collection or delivery to families without internet access.

Ordering from the scheme

You should have received an email on Wednesday 13 or Thursday 14 January 2021 with details of how to activate your account or reset your password for the site by midday Sunday 17 January 2021.

If you have not received this email, please complete Edenred’s online change request form.

If you have not yet registered, please do so as soon as possible.

Once you have registered:

  • you will be notified whether to begin ordering on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday (18-20 January 2021). These initial order dates are being allocated in three batches to help manage demand on the site. Please note, if you are registering on the site after midday Sunday 17 January, your order date may be later than Wednesday but within five days of registration
  • please avoid attempting to log in before the ordering date you are given – you will not be able to access the website before then
  • you will need to prepare your order file before you can order (see page 5 of the admin guide for further details). If you’re emailing vouchers to families, you should also check that their email addresses are up to date
  • you can choose to order for a whole school (for eligible children), order eCodes which cover more than one week and order eCodes which cover more than one child in the same household. See page 6 of the admin guide for full details and top tips
  • please endeavour to place one order covering multiple families, not multiple orders for each family. This will mean your order can be processed more quickly

Families will receive their 16-digit eCodes within 4 days of the order being placed. eCodes need to be redeemed into eGift cards before they are used (see the step-by-step guide for further details).

Families will be able to choose from a range of supermarkets.

In the first week of the scheme the ordering site is likely to be very busy so you may be placed in a queue. The ordering website will be open between 6am and 10pm Monday to Friday. The busiest time is expected to be between 8.30am and 10.30am and at lunchtime, so you may wish to choose a different time to place your order.

Other free school meals provision

As well as using the national voucher scheme, your school still has the option of providing food to your eligible pupils via a lunch parcel, through a caterer or food provider, or via a locally arranged solution. This could include providing vouchers for a local shop or supermarket, or sourcing vouchers through an alternative provider.

For those arranging vouchers locally rather than through the national voucher scheme, more details will be available soon on how you can claim back these costs. Beyond the fact that it will need to be a valid claim based on eligible children and support provided over the specified timeframe, claims will not be subject to any additional criteria and so will be paid in full. The rates are £15 for vouchers or a £3.50 top up if you are providing lunch parcels. These amounts are per week, per eligible child.

Please note that you can use a mixture of vouchers and lunch parcels if different options suit different families better.

You can also read the full guidance on providing free school meals during the national lockdown

School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme

The School Fruit and Vegetable Schools (SFVS) was temporarily paused following the Government announcement on 4 January 2021 to restrict attendance at all schools to most pupils other than to vulnerable children and children of critical workers.

However, the SFVS deliveries will resume from Wednesday 20 January 2021, meaning that those children who are attending will be able to benefit from the scheme.

The SFVS provides a daily piece of fresh produce to children in Key Stage 1. However, recognising that pupil numbers will fluctuate, we therefore ask that you redistribute any spare produce in the following ways:-

  • Distributing it to all pupils attending your school, not just those in Key Stage 1; or
  • Making it available to parents when they drop off or pick up their children, so that children can consume it at home; or
  • Add it as an additional item to lunch parcels if your school is providing parcels rather than vouchers to children eligible for free school meals who are learning at home.

If you find that you have substantially greater quantities of produce than you can use as above, please either inform your SFVS distributor, or, alternatively, the SFVS helpdesk, and the amount of produce you are scheduled to receive will be amended.

SFVS Helpdesk:

Spring 2021 school census – Guidance Notes

Available to download are the School Census – Spring 2021 Guidance Notes. These notes will assist you to prepare for the Census, they are for all school types including PRU’s and all software systems. Full Census guidance is available: Complete the School Census.

Download: Preparation for School Census January 2021

If you have any further enquiries please contact:
Phone: 01952 388136

SEND Plan on a Page

During the lockdown in March schools created a ‘Plan on a Page’ for their students with EHCP’s, these demonstrated the reasonable endeavours that would be put in place to provide education during this time.

At this time we are requesting that schools and settings take a look at the ‘Plan on a Page’ for each student and refresh them.

Templates are available to download from the Local Offer along with an example ‘Plan on a Page’. Once they are completed we would request that a sample ‘Plan on a Page’ is returned to the Local Authority. We can use these to advise and guide should further information be necessary. Only one example needs to be returned for your setting.

Many thanks in anticipation of your support.

SEND Local Offer - SEND News

The ‘Plan on a Page’ should be sent by email to:

Letter from Minister Ford - 14 January 2021

Please download and share this letter from Minister Ford to all children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their parents/carers and families, and others who support them.

Download: Letter from Minister Ford 14 January 2021

SEND Local Offer - SEND News

Free online briefing for Governors – 2 February 2021

The role of governors in effectively monitoring your school’s remote education offer

An online briefing for governors, taking place Tuesday 2 February 2021 from 4.30pm to 5.30pm via Microsoft Teams.

This session is being provided free of charge and will:

  • explore how to use the DfE’s evaluative grid in judging the effectiveness of your school’s remote curriculum provision
  • enable governors to ask effective questions of school leaders to determine the impact of the catch up funding

It is recommended that at least one governor attends from each school, but it would be particularly appropriate for those governors with responsibility for the curriculum, disadvantaged pupils and SEND.

To secure your place, please send an email to including the following information:

  • Governor’s name
  • School name
  • Governor’s email address

Thank you

Sue Dyson
Traded Service Specialist, School Performance and Development

For bookings please email

Secondary Music Network Meeting – Monday 25 January 2021

We have all been invited to respond individually to the Governments consultation on how GCSE AS and A Level grades are awarded in 2021.

With this in mind you are invited to a Network Meeting, led by Graeme Rudland, to discuss the proposals and consider together the implications for pupils and teachers to help inform responses.

  • Monday 25 January 2021
  • 4.30pm - 5.30pm

To book a place please send a request to to receive an on-line invitation to MS Teams

For up to date information about our events and future network meetings please go to our Facebook page.

Early Years Music Network Meeting – 3 February 2021

The Music Partnership are expanding their successful model of Early Years music making to support children at risk of speech and language delay across Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent and Telford & Wrekin.  This Youth Music funded project called Soundpots runs until the end of 2022 and supports the wider development of language and communication skills of 0 to 5 years olds.

Come along and join in with these network work meetings which are fun, friendly and supportive and always full of ideas to take away and try immediately.

  • Wednesday 3 February 2021
  • 4.00pm - 5.15pm

To book a place please email giving your name, setting name and email address.

For up to date information about our events and future network meetings please go to our Facebook page.

Arthog Opportunities Fund April 2021 to March 2022

(Prior to April 2020 the Remission Places Scheme)

Arthog Opportunities Fund is provided by Telford and Wrekin Council to give financial support to children and young people across the Borough to enable access to the benefits of the Arthog residential outdoor education provision.

Throughout ongoing financial challenges, including those caused by the Coronavirus restrictions, the Council remains committed to sustaining value for money and an accessible Outdoor Education Service.  This is In contrast to the continued national trend that has seen Outdoor Education being outsourced, discontinued or scaled back despite its recognised benefits.   In addition the Council is continuing to invest into the Centre facilities and educational resources in a progressive improvement plan.

As one of only a few councils nationally who still offer any remissions scheme, Telford & Wrekin Council feel it is essential to work in partnership with schools and provide funding to supplement schools’ Pupil Premium Grant funding in order to enable children from low income households to have the opportunity to benefit from these services. Remission places were replaced by the Arthog Opportunities Fund in January 2020 to ensure a fairer, more flexible and financially sustainable approach.

  • The Arthog Opportunity Fund is now allocated on schools’ Free School Meal numbers, for all Telford & Wrekin children and young people in both maintained schools and academies.
  • Each school’s Fund is calculated on a formula based on the ratio of numbers on role to Free School Meal numbers to give the discount.
  • Telford & Wrekin schools will receive their allocation from the Arthog Opportunity Fund in the form of a discount off their booking and this will be shown on the course invoice.
  • Schools will have flexibility over how they use their Arthog Opportunity Fund allocation to best meet the needs of their children/young people  and the extent to which they supplement this with Pupil Premium Grant/other sources of funding;
  • The Arthog Opportunities Fund can be used on any length of course, and at any time of year including weekends and school holidays taking place 01 April 2021 to 31 March 2022
  • To confirm your discount please check direct with Arthog OEC via  or call 01341 250455
  • The Arthog Opportunities Fund April 2022 to March 2023 will be published January 2022 with the annual booking round.

For more information please email: or

‘Be the light’ Holocaust Memorial Day - 27 January 2021

In this unusual year, the Borough’s commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is moving online.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. On Holocaust Memorial Day we honour the survivors of these regimes and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experiences to inform our lives today.

This year’s theme is ‘Be the light in the darkness’.

We will be releasing a recorded commemoration hosted by the Mayor, available for anyone to access on the day through our website – Telford & Wrekin Council Website - Holocaust Memorial Day

We would like to encourage your school, or setting, to light a candle and take part in an activity of remembrance.

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMD), has a wealth of resources from creative activities to lesson plans to support the remembrance of Holocaust Memorial Day.

We hope that you will be able to join in with this year’s commemoration.

You can share your candle lighting, or commemoration with us on our social media - Facebook and Twitter @TelfordWrekin or e-mail



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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