Notice: 28 January 2021

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

Included in this update:

Director update

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday, the Government confirmed that schools and colleges will not return to face to face education for all until the 8 March 2021 at the earliest. Plans about how to reopen schools and colleges are clearly being considered at a national level and when we have more information we will of course share it.  We did get confirmation this week that half term will proceed as normal and that schools will not be expected to be open for children whose parents are critical workers or those that are vulnerable. I do, at this point, want to acknowledge our early years providers, particularly those in the PVI/childminder sector, who are open throughout the year and continue to be open to all children.  We do not underestimate the role that you have played throughout this pandemic. Please be assured of our continued support and appreciation for your hard work and commitment to the youngest children in the borough and their families at this time. 

Over the next two weeks briefing sessions have been arranged to provide information about school budget allocations to mainstream schools. Information on how to book is detailed below.

The Attendance Team have been receiving enquiries about what support is available for schools when they have concerns about pupils who are not participating in remote learning. Some additional resources that have been produced for schools to use.

A feature on the noticeboard this week is the Telford 16-19 website, designed to assist students in selecting their post 16 placements. We also have an update regarding the Kickstart programme and Telford and Wrekin, with partners, have been one of the first councils to get this up and running. This programme aims to create job opportunities for young people and the council itself will provide 100 work placements as part of the scheme.  All great stuff!

Best wishes

Simon Wellman
Director: Education and Skills

Prime Minister’s statement on the national lockdown position

Information from the DfE.

The Prime Minister has announced that it will not be possible to resume face-to-face learning immediately after the February half-term and instead hopes it will be safe to commence the re-opening of schools and colleges from Monday 8 March 2021. This is in response to the national public health data and pressure on NHS capacity.

If the Government achieves its target of vaccinating everyone in the four most vulnerable groups with their first dose by 15 February 2021 then those groups will have developed immunity from the virus around three weeks later, that is by 8 March. It is for this reason that we hope it will therefore be safe to commence the reopening of schools from Monday 8 March 2021.

Education settings, as well as students, parents and carers will be given at least two weeks notice to prepare for a return to face-to-face education.

Schools and colleges will remain open to vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers after February half-term, as they are now. All other pupils will continue to receive high quality remote education at home. This is in line with the wider national lockdown measures to help minimise the spread of the virus and respond quickly to the new variant.

Early years provision should continue to remain open throughout and should continue to allow all children to attend full time or their usual timetabled hours. This includes early years registered nurseries and childminders, maintained nursery schools, as well as nursery classes in schools and other pre-reception provision on school sites.

The Prime Minister has also committed to providing a programme of catch-up into the next financial year. This involves a further £300m of new money to early years, schools and colleges for tutoring, as well as working in collaboration with the education sector to develop specific initiatives for summer schools and a coronavirus (COVID-19) premium to support catch-up.

In recognition that extended school and college attendance restrictions will have a huge impact on children’s learning, the Government will work with parents, teachers and schools to develop a long-term plan to make sure pupils have the chance to make up their learning over the course of this parliament.

The government will also continue to provide support for pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals through the national voucher scheme or lunch parcels to those learning at home during term time next half-term. Support will also be available during the half-term holiday for vulnerable families through the Covid Winter Grant Scheme.

Education attendance restrictions are to be reviewed again in mid-February when the Government will look at when more pupils and students can be brought back into schools and further education.

Read the full statement made by the Prime Minister.

Handling complaints during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

The DfE acknowledge that the pressures caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) might affect schools’ usual processes and timescales for complaints. However, schools should still consider complaints, particularly those relating to the provision of remote education. 

Guidance to support effective delivery of remote education is available.

Contact your local council or call the police on 101 if you’re told a child is at risk.

Schools and complainants can contact DfE for more information about school complaints.

Ofsted will consider complaints from parents that relate to the school as a whole. This includes complaints about:

  • the quality of education being provided, including remote education
  • pupils’ wellbeing and safety

Ofsted normally expects parents to seek to resolve any concerns with the school in the first instance. See Ofsted’s complaints process.

For all information please view the best practice guidance for school complaints procedures 2020.

Update on the secondary school and college testing programme – change to confirmatory PCR tests

Information from the DfE.

The secondary school and college testing programme is continuing to use lateral flow tests to identify cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst staff and pupils who are asymptomatic.

Following new advice, NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England are temporarily pausing the need for a confirmatory PCR test following a positive result with a lateral flow test in secondary schools and colleges. In line with clinical advice, confirmatory PCR testing will remain in place for primary school staff as testing is done at home. Following a positive lateral flow test result, an individual will need to self-isolate in line with government guidance, and contact tracing will need to be undertaken. It will also be the trigger for self-isolation payments.

Confirmatory PCR testing was introduced to minimise the chance of false positive results with lateral flow tests. When coronavirus (COVID-19) prevalence rates are high, however, Public Health England has advised that the performance of lateral flow devices and PCR tests are broadly comparable for infectivity and expected to be indistinguishable when used at test sites, significantly reducing the need for routine confirmatory testing.

Guidance for secondary schools and colleges on logging coronavirus (COVID-19) test results

Information from the DfE.

It is important for secondary schools and colleges to log test results, both positive and negative, on your individual school or college account on the NHS Test and Trace Log Results website. We need to know about all results (not just positive) for public health and virus containment reasons. We will also use the test results recorded to calculate funding allocations.

Further guidance on how to log test results can be found in the NHS Test and Trace how to guide which can be found on the secondary schools and college document sharing platform.

Access to asymptomatic tests for staff in private, voluntary and independent nurseries (PVIs) and childminders

In recognition of the crucial role played by staff in our private, voluntary and independent nurseries (PVIs) and childminders, the Local Authority will be offering priority access to asymptomatic testing at The Place, Oakengates on:

  • Sunday 31 January 2021 
  • between the hours of 10am – 2.30pm.

We have now developed a separate booking system to enable this priority access. 
Staff can simply click on the link below to book appointments for Sunday 31 January 2021 only.

Book a Rapid Test - Invitation Only

Please ensure that you enter the following details when making a booking:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Email Address
  • Provider Name

Please note

  • when attending a booking proof of role, such as a workplace identity badge, will be needed at the appointment to ensure these slots are reserved for the appropriate sector.
  • priority access on this date is only open to PVI/childminders as maintained nurseries/nursery classes in schools will have access to testing via the primary testing arrangements that start from 25th January. 

Early Years and Childcare Providers please note that this priority session is being run as a pilot. Take up will be closely monitored and further priority slots will be scheduled if demand on this first date demonstrates that this is needed in the future for this sector of the workforce.

PPE procurement and access to PPE guidance

The PPE procurement and the access to PPE guidance has been updated to enable us to support all educational settings including, schools, early years (Including PVI settings), childcare and childminders with the ongoing need for PPE during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Download: Procurement and access of PPE for all educational settings 2021
Download: PPE Request Form

If you have any further enquiries about Health & Safety please contact: or

School Budget Briefing Sessions

We recently issued 2021/2022 budget allocations to mainstream maintained schools. We also sent details to the ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency) who will be distributing the information to academies in the near future. 

As usual at this time of the year, we are offering budget briefings to all schools, to explain the make-up of the school funding formula for the forthcoming year and provide a general briefing on school budgets.

Given the current circumstances, this year the briefings will be on-line as follows:

  • Tuesday 2 February 2021            
    • 10am – 11am.
  • Wednesday 10 February 2021
    • 2pm – 3pm.

Please contact Joseph Quayle ( to book. You will then be sent a Teams invite.

As always, these sessions are open to all Telford and Wrekin schools, maintained schools and academies, and there is no charge.

New letters for schools to use where pupils are not engaging with remote learning

The Attendance Support Team have had numerous enquiries from schools about what support is available and the best way for schools to address concerns regarding pupils who are not/refusing to participate in remote learning, and those that are evasive. I am pleased to attach a new series of documents to add to those that schools already use.

As you are aware we currently are not able to take legal action where pupils are not accessing education. We hope that by introducing these letters it provides another tool or strategy to encourage parents to engage with schools and ensure their child is accessing your remote learning offer.  We know from experience that when parents receive a letter from the LA it can offer weight to schools own letters.

These letters are of course samples to assist you and are by no means obligatory. AST will continue to support schools during this very difficult time.

Available to download are:

Referrals should be sent in the usual way to

Telford 16-19 Website: Post 16 Prospectus

The Telford 16 - 19 prospectus has information on the local offer including almost 300 A - levels, BTECs and Apprenticeships across six schools and colleges making Telford an inspirational hub for learning, opportunity and achievement.

Telford 16-19 Website

Please utilise with students to help them make informed decisions on their post 16 destinations and link to the prospectus from your websites.

For more information please contact us by email: or, by phone: 01952 388988.

Telford & Wrekin Council to offer 100 employment opportunities under Kickstart Scheme

Telford & Wrekin Council is leading the way in Shropshire, providing 100 work placements for young people this year as part of the Government’s nationwide £2 billion Kickstart scheme.
The Council has been hailed by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) as the first locally-based employer in Shropshire to begin recruiting for the placements.  

The first young people are expecting to join Telford & Wrekin Council by March.

The aim will be to give young people the chance to learn new and transferable skills as well as provide access to online learning to help young people prepare for all aspects of employment. The intention is that all Kickstart employees will be ‘work-ready’ by the time they finish the programme, supporting them on their future career journeys.

The Kickstart scheme was announced by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, as part of his Plan for Jobs. It enables employers to offer six-month job placements for 16-24-year-olds claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, with their wages paid by the Government for up to 25 hours per week.

Mr Sunak’s vision is for hundreds of thousands of new, subsidised jobs to be created across the country.

Cllr Shirley Reynolds Cabinet Member for Children, Young People, Education and Lifelong Learning said: “We are extremely proud to be recruiting 100 employees through this unique initiative to provide opportunities to kickstart the careers of young people.”

Ben Vaughan, Employer Manager for DWP in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin said “The DWP are really excited to be working with our colleagues at Telford & Wrekin Council to deliver the Kickstart scheme. They will be creating a broad range of vacancies across their different departments that I know will be very appealing for our younger jobseekers. Their Kickstart jobs are the first locally led vacancies to appear in Shropshire for our work coaches to begin supporting their jobseekers to apply for, and we have already had a significant amount of interest in them.”

Placements will be available across a broad range of service areas, from leisure and teaching to heritage management and more. The Council has committed to offering the candidates the opportunity for a second six-month placement to gain wider experience.

The move underlines the commitment of Telford & Wrekin Council to support young people, whose employment prospects have been particularly badly hit in the past year, largely due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the UK economy.

While unemployment in Telford & Wrekin is below regional and UK rates, there has been a worrying growth in youth unemployment which is now proportionately higher that across the West Midlands and England.
Telford & Wrekin’s youth unemployment rate, at 8.4% is above both regional and national figures (England 7.4%, West Midlands 8.3%). In contrast the district’s overall unemployment rate of 6.2%, is below that in the West Midlands (7.3%) and England (6.3%).
In Telford & Wrekin there were 6,925 people aged 16 and over claiming unemployment related benefits in October 2020, a reduction of 190 people - or 2.7% - from the month before.
There were 1,615 young people aged 16-24 in Telford and Wrekin claiming unemployment related benefits in October 2020, five less than the month before, equivalent to a fall of 0.3% from the month before.

If you’d like to find out more why not join the weekly Kickstart information session. These take place every Wednesday between 10am and 11am for anyone who is interested in a Kickstart role. The session will include details of what roles are on offer, how to apply plus some interview tips.

Get in touch with the Job Box team to book a place.

Share the social media post from Telford and Wrekin Facebook or @TelfordWrekin Twitter.

Update to Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2020

Keeping Children Safe in Education KCSIE 2020 has been updated following the UK’s exit from the EU.

This is specifically in relation to Part 3 and the recruitment of school staff from within the European Economic Area (EEA) where there is a requirement for an European Economic Area (EEA) check.

The following paragraphs have been updated as follows:

149. From the 1 January 2021 the TRA Teacher Services system will no longer maintain a list of those teachers who have been sanctioned in EEA member states. Advice about how information on a teacher’s past conduct may be obtained can be found at paragraph 172.

172…… In addition, schools and colleges must make any further checks they think appropriate so that any relevant events that occurred outside the UK can be considered.

These checks could include, where available:

  • criminal records checks for overseas applicants - Home Office guidance can be found on GOV.UK; and for teaching positions
  • obtaining a letter of professional standing from the professional regulating authority in the country in which the applicant has worked.

 Advice about which regulatory or professional body applicants should contact is available from the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom, UK NARIC.

It is imperative that senior leaders, governors and office staff who deal with recruitment or the single central record have been updated on this.

It would be advisable to record somewhere that the change has been communicated with these people.

Further information can be found in the following documents:

All of the relevant HR Safer Recruitment Guidance Documents have also been updated and can be found on the HR SharePoint site for those that buy into HR Advisory Services.

For further enquiries please email:  

West Midlands Employers – Invite to Human Resources and Organizational Development Conference - School Zone Sessions

The Local Authority is a member of West Midlands Employers and they have asked us on their behalf to invite you to take up their offer of one free place per school, on either both or one of their School Zone sessions running alongside their Human Resources (HR) and Organizational Development (OD) Conference in March.

  • Session 1
    • 3 March 2021
    • Focus on Mentoring with a speaker from the Young Ladies Club – Hannah Oyewole. Who will talk about raising aspirations for those young disadvantaged ladies.
  • Session 2
    • 4 March 2011
    • Coaching in Schools – session from the Leadership Edge around their journey and the 3 tiers of coaching.

Further information can be found in the downloadable flyer.

To book please contact West Midlands Employers –

Early Help Assessment and Support Plan Training

  • 12 February 2021
    • 9.30am - 1.30pm
    • Virtual on ZOOM
  • 19 March 2021
    • 9.30am - 1.30pm
    • Virtual on ZOOM

The course is designed to support practitioners to produce high quality Early Help 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: This training will be held on ZOOM.

The requirement to join the course is that you have firstly completed the Ollie - online Early Help Assessment and Support Plan Training.

Also you must have read all documents prior to attending as we will be using these documents throughout the session.

To Access the half day ZOOM training you will need to book on via Ollie training.

Book your place on Ollie

You will receive all reading documents when you book on through Ollie. You will also receive your ZOOM invite Direct from the Trainer - Ted Daszkiewicz (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 
  • 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.

Target staff

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

All TWSCB courses are booked through Ollie, an electronic Learning Management System.

If you already have an Ollie account, please visit the Ollie website and search for the course under ‘Adults and Children’, select ‘Enrol Me’, ‘Classroom Event’ and ‘View all sessions’.  Please note that our course titles are prefixed with ‘TWSCB’.

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,

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

SENCo Network Meeting 4 February 2021 - Don’t forget to book your place

Don’t forget to book your place at the SENCo Network Meeting (cross phase) on:

  • Thursday 4 February 2021
  • 4pm - 5pm.

During this session we will be asking SENCo’s to share strategies, learning experiences and top tips.

We are planning an interactive session using breakout rooms to enable you to network in smaller groups and talk to other SENCo’s.

We are looking forward to seeing you.

Please book you place by email:

Course code: LSAT 227

Reminder: SEND Plan on a Page

Thank you to everyone who has sent in the ‘Plan on a Page’ exemplars so far, if you have not yet sent it for your school, please can we request that you send by email to

Templates are available to download from the Local Offer along with an example ‘Plan on a Page’. We can use these to advise and guide should further information be necessary. Only one example needs to be returned for your setting.


All CPD courses running online until February Half Term 2021

Further details of all of our courses can be found in the CPD Booklet, available on the Telford Education Services website.  For the majority of courses bookings continue to be made in the normal way by completing a CPD booking form and sending it via email to

CPD course until February Half Term 2021.
Supporting SEND in the classroom - for newly qualified teachers (LSAT 502) Monday 1 February 2021

1.15pm to 4pm

Induction and NQT mentor network and update (CPD 516) Tuesday 2 February 2021 4pm to 5.30pm
The role of governors in effectively monitoring your school’s remote education offer Tuesday 2 February 2021 4.30pm to 5.30pm

Safer Recruitment Training
Part 1 (this course should be booked via Human Resources)

Wednesday 3 February 2021 9am to 4.30pm

Designated Safeguarding Leads Refresher (SG 107)
(this course must be booked via Ollie)

Thursday 4 February 2021 10am to 11.30am
SENCO Network Meeting (LSAT 227) Thursday 4 February 2021 4pm to 5.30pm

Safer Recruitment Training
Part 2 (this course should be booked via Human Resources)

SEND: Building Capacity in your school part 2 (LSAT 403) Tuesday 9 February 2021 3.45pm to 5.15pm
Teaching and delivering outstanding EAL provision for 'new to English'
pupils and advanced bilingual learners in primary schools
(CPD 712)
Tuesday 9 February 2021 1pm to 3.30pm
Newly Appointed Safeguarding Governor Induction Training (SG 103) Wednesday 10 February 2021 5pm to 7.30pm
Meeting the OFSTED requirements and developing reading strategies
for EAL learners at KS2
(CPD 714)
Wednesday 10 February 2021 3.30pm to 6pm
Raising Awareness of Prevent (SG 101) Thursday 11 February 2021 1pm to 2.30pm
Understanding and managing your school budget (GO 508) Thursday 11 February 2021 9.15am to 12noon
Meeting the Statutory Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the EYFS (EY 009) Thursday 11 February 2021 4pm to 5.30pm

Sue Dyson
Traded Service Specialist
School Performance and Development

For bookings please email

Autism Education Trust (AET): Good Autism Practice

One free place per school

  • Tuesday 23 February 2021
    • 9.30am to 3.30pm.
  • Wednesday 16 June, 2021
    • 9.30am to 3.30pm.

If you have not yet had a member of your school attend this course, there is still the opportunity for one free place. 

This course is designed for those professionals who work directly with autistic pupils, by providing essential practical strategies and resources. You will also gain a solid understanding of autism which is presented as a difference and not a deficit. For those who are an autism lead in their setting, or aspiring to become one, this course also offers the chance to build up knowledge and experience for both your own practice, and to help in advising others. 

Key Outcomes

  • develop their knowledge and understanding of good autism practice
  • reflect on and improve their practice through guidelines and activities
  • learn how to use the schools’ autism competency framework to evaluate and develop how they work.

Target Audience: SENCOs, Autism Leads, teachers, teaching assistants, learning support assistants (cross phase).

Course code: EPS 103

Book your place:

Book on Ollie

Developing the Role of Teaching Assistants in Supporting SEND

  • Part 1: Wednesday, 24 February 2021
    • Online via Microsoft Teams
  • Part 2: Wednesday, 12 May 2021
    • 1.15pm to 4pm
    • Online via Microsoft Teams – To be confirmed

This is an exciting two part course which provides an opportunity to reflect on current practice and explore what makes an effective teaching assistant. The gap task, to be completed before session 2, will include an audit of current practice in classrooms in preparation for action planning.

Key Outcomes:

  • be able to identify effective TA support for teaching and learning
  • conduct an audit in school
  • create an action plan for whole school development

Target audience: SENCos and teachers

Course code: LSAT 507

Book your place:

Book on Ollie

New SENCo Establishing yourself as a SEND Leader

  • Part 1: Monday 8 March 2021
    • 9.15am to 3.30pm.
  • Part 2: Tuesday 9 March 2021
    • 9.15am to 3.30pm.

This course is aimed at SENCo’s new to the role in the last 12 months, or those who want a refresher.  This will complement any SENCo who is still studying towards their SENCo qualification, but is also supportive to those SENCOs moving to the area, as there is an emphasis on practices specific to Telford and Wrekin procedures. 

The course covers:

  • the role of a SENCo
  • professional knowledge
  • the Local Offer
  • SEND information report
  • SEND Policy
  • the graduated approach, including pathways of support
  • and much more.

Key outcomes:

  • SENCOs will have information and advice which will assist them with: 
  • supporting the identification of children with special educational needs
  • coordinating provision for children with SEND
  • tracking and monitoring the progress of children with SEND
  • ensuring there is high quality teaching and intervention for children with SEND
  • developing SEND Provision in the school further
  • liaising with parents of children with SEND
  • liaising with other providers, outside agencies, educational psychologists and external agencies in Telford and Wrekin.

Target Audience: SENCOs

Course code: LSAT 302

Book your place:

Book on Ollie

Breaking Barriers in Maths with Numicon

  • Friday 19 March 2021
  • 9.15am - 12noon.

The Numicon: Breaking Barriers intervention is available to buy online and is a fantastic resource to identify where pupils are struggling with their maths and providing activities to fill in the gaps in learning.  

This course is aimed at raising awareness of the multi-sensory application of this intervention and the simplicity of its use for supporting SEN and teaching to address pupil misunderstanding in maths.

Target audience: SENCo’s; Mathematics coordinators; Teachers in years 1 - 6; HLTAs who support interventions in maths.

Course code: LSAT 406

Book your place:

Book on Ollie

Census 2021

The Census Survey takes place every 10 years and provides a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales.

Local Authorities, charities and other organisations use the census data to decide how to allocate services and funding in areas such as education, transport and healthcare.

The next Census is taking place Sunday 21 March 2021.

The Office for National Statistics has developed Let’s Count! - an exciting free education resource programme that teaches children (both primary and secondary age) about the Census. The programme has achieved accreditation from MEI, NATE and the Geographical Association, and the resources have been designed to teach children both in the classroom and at home.

Further information about Let’s Count! can be found on the Let's Count! website.

If schools would like to let parents know about the census through their school newsletters, the Office for National Statistics have included the suggested short summary below.

‘The census is coming, and it’s about you. By taking part, you will help inform decisions about the services you and your community need, like doctors’ surgeries and new schools.

Without the information you share, it would be more difficult to understand your community’s needs and to plan and fund public services.

Whether it’s using the data to plan apprenticeship schemes, new bike lanes or nursery spaces, your information makes a difference to the life of every single person in England and Wales. 

Census Day is Sunday 21 March. You can fill yours in online as soon as you get your access code in the post.  If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let The Office for National Statistics (ONS) know.

For more information, visit the Census website


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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