Notice: 15 July 2021

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

Included in this update:

  1. Executive Director Update
  2. New town centre A-level course gives students a taste of multi-million pound learning hub
  3. Government launches campaign encouraging families to rediscover Summer 
  4. COVID-19 updates for all schools and settings
  5. COVID-19 updates specific to secondary schools
  6. Pre-exclusion hotline: 07816372459 
  7. Summary of COVID-19 guidance changes: Still collating questions
  8. Grants of £500 available for young people 
  9. Statement for secondary schools regarding missed routine immunisations 
  10. New school admissions code 2021 
  11. Adversity and trauma-informed practice 
  12. Family Safeguarding
  13. Violence Against Women: Women’s Aid
  14. Authorised absence from school due religious observance for Eid al-Adha 
  15. The reading framework: Teaching foundations of literacy
  16. Your views matter - Telford and Wrekin SEND Co-production Charter 
  17. Video created by inspiring young learners encourages others to book an annual health check 
  18. Parents Opening Doors: Picnic in the park
  19. Parents Opening Doors: Befriending scheme 
  20. Arthog Outdoor Education Centre – Update on residential courses Autumn Term 2021 
  21. School transport news
  22. Virtual School updates 
  23. Autism Spectrum Condition training 
  24. An important message regarding the new Teacher CPD service and Early Career
  25. 2021-22 CPD course booklet 
  26. Wild World Heroes Summer Reading Challenge 
  27. Teacher’s Reading Challenge 
  28. Summer Holiday Activities 2021 
  29. South Asian Heritage month
  30. Project Xpedition: An innovative creative journey for young people

Executive Director Update

Dear colleagues

As we come to the end of the academic year, I want to acknowledge just how difficult this past year has been for early years, schools and post 16 providers within the borough. It is fair to say that helping our children and young people find their way through this unprecedented period has been a challenge. However, it is clear that you have delivered with absolute commitment, passion and ambition; supporting and minimising as far as possible, any long-term effects of the pandemic for children and young people in Telford & Wrekin.

I want to say an enormous thank you to each and every one of you in all of your different and varied roles. I have seen so many examples of empathy, resilience, ambition and creativity over the past 15 months. It is clear that you always put the needs of children and young people first in our borough, and at this time, with a particular focus on their individual emotional health and wellbeing. We know, because they told us, that our children enjoyed coming back to schools and appreciated the feeling of ‘belonging’ upon their return.  You have also been aspirational and ambitious with their education and plans for the future, despite the challenges that we have faced.

It has also been lovely to see so many good news stories shared over the year through the Education Noticeboard, from schools and providers winning awards, right through to our own achievement of Telford & Wrekin winning Cooperative Council of the Year. The important take away from these accolades is that they showcase our love for the work that we do and the difference that we can make; whilst also connecting with our local communities. It is a great testament to all your efforts.

It is the day to day work and the relationships that you make, that inspire our children and young people and makes the biggest difference. This is always true, and whilst particularly evident over the past year, you should all feel extremely proud of the impact that you have made and that you continue to make, day to day.

Looking ahead to the new academic year, we are keen to move our collective agenda forward. We plan to refresh our Belonging Strategy focusing on pupil voice and influence with a focus on what ‘belonging’, in education settings, means to them. The strategic partnership board is also developing to ensure we are in a strong position to advance our key priorities.  We have already begun our work on raising attainment for disadvantaged groups with the involvement of Challenging Education and introduction of Raising Attainment for Disadvantaged Young People (RADY) in schools and we are moving ahead with cluster focused preventative activity and the consideration of different ways to commission alternative provision.

However, now is the time to stop and pause. Please make sure you all have some well-deserved time off over the summer break, look after your own wellbeing and spend time with family or friends. Let’s hope, there is plenty more sunshine to come!

You are all brilliant!  Thank you again for all that you do.

Stay safe and be kind!


Jo Britton
Executive Director of Children’s and Family Services

New town centre A-level course gives students a taste of multi-million pound learning hub

Telford College has begun delivering a range of maths A-level classes at Addenbrooke House in Telford town centre as a forerunner to the construction of a multi-million pound hi-tech digital learning hub in the town’s Station Quarter.

The Maths, Digital and Enterprise Hub, which will be kitted out with the latest digital learning technology, is a collaboration between the college, Telford & Wrekin Council, and other partners, and will have close links to the business community.

Councillor Shirley Reynolds, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People, Education and Lifelong Learning said: “The investment we’re making in Telford’s Station Quarter as part of a successful Town’s Fund bid will open up huge opportunities for young people in our borough and further afield. 

The plans for the new hub are ambitious and it’s great to see learners getting a taste of what they can expect in the course at Addenbrooke House.”

Telford College principal and chief executive Graham Guest said: “Maths and digital qualifications are a vital pathway to higher quality and better paid career opportunities for the people of Telford, which is why this new hub is so important.

“The future of education needs to be built around imaginative and creative collaboration and we are keen to work closely with partners across the business, school and local government sectors”.

17-year-old Joshua Tibbetts, a former Telford Langley School student from Dawley, as enjoyed studying at Addenbrooke House. He said: “The town centre location was really easy to access. It’s closer to where I live, and it opens up the college to more people. I can see Addenbrooke House appealing to more people as a place to study A Levels.”

Joshua is hoping to study maths at one of the Russell Group universities when his Telford College A levels are complete.

Telford College principal and chief executive Graham Guest said: “Maths and digital qualifications are a vital pathway to higher quality and better paid career opportunities for the people of Telford, which is why this new hub is so important.

Government launches campaign encouraging families to rediscover Summer 

An update from the Department for Education

The government’s ‘Rediscover Summer’ campaign has been launched to help inspire families to get out and about safely and make the most out of summer. The campaign highlights a range of activities and opportunities for families, children and young people such as exploring a local museum or discovering a National Cycling Network Trail and families are encouraged to get back out and ‘Rediscover Summer’ after a year of missed opportunities.

Whether it’s visiting the places that inspired your favourite books, trying out a new sport or even learning how to code, the campaign will show families that there are plenty of new activities to try wherever they live. Throughout the duration of the campaign, each week of the summer holidays will promote a separate theme from sport and creativity to nature and heritage.

A Save The Children survey has shown how the pandemic has negatively impacted the social lives of our children and young people, with a third of children playing alone more, and a quarter having played less sport since the pandemic, raising concerns about the impact on their well-being. The government is using this campaign to encourage families to enjoy the range of leisure activities on offer after a year of missed opportunities.

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said: ''Our young people deserve a summer filled with exciting and enriching activities after everything they’ve missed out on as we’ve fought to control the virus. We want families to get out there and enjoy what’s on offer, and our Rediscover Summer campaign will help them do that. The summer has been given the best possible start with a terrific England run in the Euros.’’

Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said: ''Rediscover Summer will provide families with some fantastic opportunities to get back to the activities they may have missed out on over the last year. Our Summer Home Activities list will offer up more free ideas and options for children to stay active and have fun, and our expanded Holiday Activities and Food programme will also help families access opportunities both indoors and outdoors.’’

Parents have worked so hard to keep their children entertained so I hope they can take advantage of these to use the holidays creatively, helping to boost children’s wellbeing after what has been a really difficult time. A GOV.UK webpage has been launched, which gives a taste of the activities available over the summer to inspire parents and families and help young people get involved in their local communities. No matter where you live, the campaign will show there is something for everyone.

The full ‘Rediscover Summer’ guidance is available to download:

Rediscover Summer guidance

COVID-19 updates for all schools and settings

An update from the Department for Education

Information on the use of face coverings on dedicated school and college transport
On Monday, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced that Step 4 of the COVID-19 roadmap will go ahead on the Monday 19 July. The Prime Minister also said ‘we expect and recommend people wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with those you don’t normally meet such as on public transport’. We have therefore updated our operational guidance for settings which now recommends that face coverings are worn on dedicated transport to school or college when prevalence is high. This will be kept under review.

School and college leaders can take operational decisions about their own settings, but in doing so they should consider all steps and measures available and their impact on provision for students, using national guidance, their own risk assessments, and advice from their director of public health. Initial support for decision making should be sought from the DfE COVID-19 helpline on 0800 046 8687 or by referring to local arrangements. Schools and colleges are expected to deliver a full curriculum or education and training programme, including any wider school or college offer for their students.

Encouraging testing participation in schools and colleges
Over 62 million rapid COVID-19 tests have been completed as part of testing in education since Monday 4 January. This is thanks to the efforts of everyone in the education sector and the dedication of staff, students and their parents.

As the Secretary of State for Education set out last week, we are working to remove current restrictions in line with Step 4. However, in order to minimise disruption to students and staff for the end of the summer term it is vitally important that staff and students continue regular testing. Maintaining momentum of the rapid testing programme is key to helping break the links of transmission.

To support your continued efforts in encouraging staff and students to report and participate in testing, you can now access the COVID-19 testing reporting data for your setting on the view your education data (VYED) portal. To view your data, you will need to log in using either your Identity and Acess Management System (IDAMs) or DfE sign in.

New household account feature for parents reporting test results
NHS Test and Trace are continuing to develop and improve the process for self-test reporting. Currently, if a parent is submitting results through their account on behalf of a child, they have to enter the child’s details every time they report a result.

As a result of feedback from parents, NHS Test and Trace have introduced household accounts. This allows parents to save their children’s details to their own user accounts so parents can report results for multiple members in the household more quickly and easily.

When reporting self-test results parents will now be offered the opportunity to create a household account, which should take no more than 2 minutes. Parents can then add all household members to their account, enabling them to save time when reporting all future self-test results.

Information for schools on remote education for the next academic year
As set out on the GOV.UK website in the schools COVID-19 operational guidance for Step 4, schools should maintain their capacity to deliver high quality remote education for next academic year in case it is needed. The remote education expectations and support offer can also be be found on the GOV.UK website

We will review over the summer and into the autumn term to confirm if another temporary continuity direction is needed.

Summer tutoring for school pupils
The National Tutoring Programme 2020/21 (NTP) is available to access during the summer holidays, either in schools if your school is open and running a summer school, or online at home. There is flexibility with tutoring arrangements, with the option of starting sessions before the end of term and completing over the summer holidays, or alternatively for all sessions to take place during the summer holidays.

Find out how to access summer tutoring with an approved NTP Tuition Partner on the NTP website. You can email if you have any questions.

Proposals set out for exams and assessments in 2022 for schools and colleges
Exams next year are set to recognise and mitigate the disruption to students’ education, under proposals on arrangements for 2022 launched on the GOV.UK website yesterday.

The suggested arrangements for GCSEs, AS and A levels include choices about the topics students will be assessed on for some subjects, and giving schools and colleges advance information about the focus of content of the exams for other subjects.

Ofqual and the Department for Education are also running a consultation on arrangements for vocational, technical and other general qualifications (VTQs).

Public Health England (PHE) Advice Service call volumes
The PHE Advice Service, part of the DfE COVID-19 helpline, provides advice to education and childcare settings on the action they should take to respond to positive cases of COVID-19 in their setting. The service is currently experiencing high call volumes and longer call wait times. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this may be causing. Calling later in the day may enable us to answer your call more quickly, using option 1, then option 1.

If your call is a general enquiry relating to COVID-19 in your education setting, the DfE COVID-19 helpline is available to answer any questions you may have, in order to speak to an agent please press option 1, then option 3.

COVID-19 updates for secondary schools and colleges

An update from the Department for Education

COVID-19 test kit delivery schedules for Asymptomatic Test Sites (ATS) in secondary schools and colleges
The delivery schedule for the ATS on-site test kit deliveries, and delivery of proportionate PPE, for the week commencing Monday 12 July is now available on the secondary schools and colleges document sharing platform. Please check the published delivery schedule prior to contacting the helpline in relation to expected timescales for receipt of deliveries. Please wait for 48 hours after a scheduled delivery date before contacting the helpline.

Instructions for use with Orient Gene COVID-19 test kits for secondary schools and colleges
A small number of boxes of Orient Gene test kits for ATS testing include incorrect instructions for use. The instructions are incorrect because the swabbing methodology for Orient Gene has been updated for nasal-only swabbing by the manufacturer and is therefore suitable for use by anyone aged 12 or above (the incorrect instructions implied this was not the case). The Orient Gene COVID-19 test kits can be used in schools and colleges for ATS testing alongside the published guidance on the document sharing platform. 

We can also clarify that all secondary age students can swab themselves if they are able to under appropriate supervision (this includes 11-year-olds in year 7).

You can download the correct rapid lateral flow test kit instructions for nose-only tests from the GOV.UK website.

Test kit order reminder for secondary schools and colleges
After Tuesday 13 July 2021, any orders placed between Wednesday 14 July and Saturday 31 July 2021 will arrive at the start of the Autumn term.

If you need to place an order before 5pm on Tuesday 13 July 2021, but you do not want delivery until next term, you can request a delay by completing the ‘additional delivery instructions’ free text box when you place your order.

COVID-19 LFD test kit inventory survey for secondary schools and colleges
Secondary schools and colleges are invited to participate in a short survey. This will help us better understand total stock levels of home self-test kits, as well as your availability over Summer to receive deliveries so that we can ensure you are ready to continue home testing in the Autumn term. This information will help forecast test kit demand for continued regular home testing for pupils and staff until the end of September when asymptomatic testing will be reviewed in schools and colleges. Please note that we do not expect staff to attend settings for the sole purpose of receiving test kit deliveries. Your answers do not impact your ability to order test kits using the ordering website.

The survey will only take you a few minutes and we very much welcome your participation by completing the survey by Tuesday 20 July 2021.

For any queries about this survey, please contact the DfE helpdesk on 0800 046 8687 (8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday).

Pre-exclusion hotline: 07816372459 

The hotline continues to be used by a number of schools. The team are able to provide immediate telephone support and offer instant in school support to discuss the potential exclusion.

The hotline has been used really well, supporting schools before an exclusion occurs, in order to prevent it from taking place. Restorative conversations and direct work with a young person and/or colleagues have prevented a number of fixed term exclusions over the past few weeks. For those schools that have gone ahead with issuing an exclusion, the offer of support, with the reintegration meeting, has proved useful in preventing further exclusions.

The hotline is manned by the current Behaviour Support Advisory (BSAT) Team and will bring their expertise to supporting schools. There will be two duty members per day and this will allow contact in addition to support for schools and individuals.

Please remember to use the Exclusions Hotline and share this information with colleagues, as the team are ready to support you.

For more information with regards to the team, please contact BSAT Team Leader (Darren Lennon) by email at

Summary of COVID-19 guidance changes: Still collating questions

Last week we published a table, which collated changes to the Department for Education COVID-19 guidance, to display what is changing for ease of reference. Please be reminded that a printable version of the COVID-19 guidance table is still available to download, and that these changes apply from 19 July 2021.

Do you have any questions about the guidance? If so, we are still compiling these so please complete the short feedback questionnaire, and we will compile a set of frequently asked questions, with answers.

Covid-19 Feed back Questionnaire

Grants of £500 available for young people 

The Leader and Cabinet Members' Young Person Grant Scheme is a monetary award to support children and young people living in the Borough of Telford and Wrekin between the ages of 15 and 25 years old in one of the following categories: 

  • Education, training and / or employment
  • Equipment
  • Travel
  • Enterprise funding.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of young people across the country and the council hopes that the grants will offer some hope of a brighter future to residents aged 15-25 in assisting them to take the next steps in their career. A grant of up to £500 is available for young people who live in Telford and Wrekin, who are seeking support to help get them into education, employment or training.

The money is available to each applicant who can demonstrate how the funding could successfully help them overcome barriers that are currently preventing them from accessing education, employment or training. It is also available to those seeking to start up their own business but need that initial investment.

Applications are open now and will close on 26 July 2021. For more information or to submit an application please visit the Telford & Wrekin website. Further terms and conditions can also be found on there.  

Statement for secondary schools regarding missed routine immunisations

Shropshire School Aged Immunisation service would like to invite parents/guardians of pupils who were in Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10 (during this academic year 2020/2021) in Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire who have MISSED any of their routine vaccinations in school to contact the team.

This applies to routine immunisations, such as the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) as one example, and NOT COVID-19.

They are producing a waiting list and arranging clinics to allow parents/guardians to attend.

Please contact the Team by email to or by telephone on 01743 730028.

New School Admissions Code 2021 

The Department for Education have asked the Local Authority to circulate information about the new school admissions code.

The new draft code and associated regulations were laid before Parliament on 13 May 2021. As neither Houses of Parliament objected to the draft Code within a 40 day period, it can now be brought into force. To do this, the minister has signed an Appointed Day Order, which will bring the Code 2021 and all its provisions into effect from 1 September 2021.

The main purpose of the changes to the Code 2021 is to improve the in-year admission process, in particular for vulnerable children. The changes include introducing more detail on the process for managing in-year admissions; changes to improve the effectiveness of Fair Access Protocols; giving children adopted from state care outside of England equal admissions priority as children who were previously looked after in England; and clarification of which address to use for the admission of service or crown servant children. There are also further minor clarification changes.

Admission authorities should familiarise themselves with the all new provisions of the Code 2021 in order to ensure that they are ready to comply with it when it comes into force. A link to the new School Admissions Code 2021 can be found below:  

School Admissions Code 2021

We have also published two additional pieces of guidance: new guidance to help local authorities and admission authorities process admission applications for children adopted from state care outside of England and updated guidance around the effective operation of Fair Access Protocols.

In a response to questions raised by admission authorities more information is provided (in the annex on the GOV.UK website) on the initial implementation actions required from admission authorities for fair access protocols and admissions priority for children adopted from state care outside England. Admission authorities do, of course, remain responsible for considering what actions they need to take to comply with the Code 2021

Adversity and trauma-informed practice 

Young Minds have published a guide to adversity and trauma-informed practice specifically for professionals working on frontline services.

As professionals, we need to become adversity and trauma-informed, and this guide gives examples of how to put this into practice, and how to take care of ourselves as well as those we work with. This is a short guide for professionals working on the front line and discusses the following:

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences are highly stressful, and potentially traumatic, events or situations that occur during childhood and/or adolescence.
  • Adversity and trauma can have a long-lasting impact on young people’s mental health and their relationships with other people in their lives.
  • We should see people’s reactions and responses to adverse and traumatic events as attempts to survive and make meaning in their lives.
  • Not all young people who face childhood adversity go on to develop trauma-related symptoms, or wider mental health problems.
  • These experiences directly affect the young person and their environment, and require significant social, emotional, neurobiological, psychological or behavioural adaptation.
  • Young people make these adaptations in an attempt to; survive in their immediate environment, find ways of mitigating or tolerating the distress they are facing by using the resources available to them, establish a sense of safety or control, or to make sense of the experiences they have had.
  • Relationships really do matter, and every contact with someone who has experienced adversity and trauma can be an opportunity for healing and growth.
  • As professionals, we need to become adversity and traumainformed, and this Guide gives examples of how to put this into practice, and how to take care of ourselves as well as those we work with.

Below is an extract from the article for professionals about ‘what support might I need?’

Adversity and trauma does not only impact the person who has experienced it directly, but also affects people around them. Professionals working on the frontline, such as teachers, social workers, counsellors, therapists, nurses, and others directly supporting the person are at risk of ‘taking on’ their experiences. This can also be the case for family members, close friends or advocates supporting the person.

It is vital we recognise the negative impact that hearing about people’s experiences of adversity and trauma can have on our own physical, mental and emotional health. If we are; consumed by feelings of anger at the injustice they have faced, distracted by the despair at the treatment they endured; or dissociated from the sadness we experience, then the quality of care, attunement and empathy we have for the person may be diminished. This can be extremely difficult, especially when we are working with children, young people or adults who have had experiences that are similar to our own. If we do not recognise the effects of witnessing distress on our own lives, we might try to make sense of it in inappropriate ways, such as in relationships with our own children, parents or work colleagues.

The complete article is available for download:

Adversity and trauma informed practice guide for professionals

Family Safeguarding

Following on from the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Governors Termly Update, in the Spring term, the Early Years and Education sub group invited Darren Knibbs, Strategic Lead for Practice Development and Innovation, and Emma Martin, Interim SDM FOR Family Connect, EDT and Strengthening Families, to a meeting. They posed a number questions to them regarding the Safeguarding Partnership, which went live at the end of last month.

The document linked below sets out the questions that were posed, and the the responses from Emma and Darren.

Safeguarding partnership questions and responses

Violence Against women: Women’s Aid

Women’s Aid have produced a poster (which is available for download) about domestic abuse and highlighting the need for all to take a stand against abuse and the sexist behaviours which underpin Violence Against Women and Girls. Please share this freely amongst colleagues. The numbers below may also be helpful:

01952 385385 (Family Connect)
01952 676500 (out of hours)
Or dial 999 in an emergency

Authorised absence from school due religious observance for Eid al-Adha 

As you may be aware that the festival of Eid is on the first of the new Islamic month and this is decided on the moonsighting an evening before the Eid day. Eid is likely to be on either 20 or 21 July 2021, this date will be confirmed on or after the 10 July 2021.

The dates of Eid differ and this information is supplied by colleagues in the Multi-Cultural Development Team.  Pupils are likely to be absent from school over a period of three days, though traditionally schools only authorise one or two days (R code). Ultimately it is the Headteachers decision on how many days the school will authorise. but the dates that may fall into Eid are 20 and 21 July 2021.

Please direct any queries to the Attendance Support team by email to or telephone on (01952 3) 85220

The reading framework: Teaching foundations of literacy 

On the 10 July 2021, the Department for Education released the Reading Framework, which outlines guidance of schools on expectations for teaching early reading.

The guidance:

Full details can be found on the GOV.UK website.

The reading framework - Teaching the foundations of literacy

Your views matter - Telford and Wrekin SEND Co-production Charter 

The Telford & Wrekin Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Co-production Charter is now open for consultation. Your views are important, please tell us what you think.  

More information is available on the SEND local offer website for Telford &Wrekin.

You can feedback using the survey link below or you can share your thoughts by email.

Consultation Survey

Feedback to PODS:

Feedback to Telford & Wrekin Council:

The closing date for the consultation is: Friday 6 August 2021

The Launch of the final Co-production Charter will take place in the Autumn Term.

Video created by inspiring young learners encourages others to book an annual health check 

A group of inspiring young people from Derwen College have created an important educational video to raise awareness of annual health checks for people with learning disabilities.

Students at the specialist residential school in Gobowen, near Oswestry, produced the video as part of a work experience project with NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The video is aimed to help young people with learning disabilities to understand the process of an annual health check in a simple, easy to understand format. 

Watch the video

The six young adults who star in the video are performing arts students at Derwen College and are aged between 18 and 25. The video talks about what is involved in an annual health check, in the student’s own words, and helps to put other people’s minds at rest as to what they can expect.

Staff at the college helped the students with the filming, including teacher Tara Edwards, who directed the video and coordinated the whole work experience project, as well as Jess Vaughan who helped to film and edit the video.

Speaking about the project, Jess, Pathway Leader of Performing Arts at Derwen College, said: “This has been a fantastic project and is something that our students and staff have both been pleased and proud to be a part of.

“The opportunity to create a partnership with the CCG has been great as it fits well with our curriculum and gives our learners the opportunity to work with NHS professionals, tackle important issues and gain valuable work experience. These kinds of opportunities are particularly important during these difficult times when opportunities have been very slim.

“The message within the video means a lot to us as sadly we lost one of our students in May this year who would have been part of the video. One week she was here, looking forward to the final term and doing her Duke of Edinburgh, and the next she wasn’t.

“We have also lost two students suddenly in the past, so getting the message across about annual health checks is all the more important to us. 

“We all enjoyed filming across the college campus, especially because the project has been on hold for 12 months. It is great to be able to come together and get the students stuck into their work experience once again, and of course we are all very pleased with the result.”

Parents Opening Doors: Picnic in the park

Please can we request schools and settings to share the flyer for Parents Opening Doors (PODS) Picnic in the Park with your families.

The event will take place on: Monday 2 August 2021
There will be lots of fun activities and workshops available on the day, including:

  • A gaming van
  • Science workshops
  • The Owl Man
  • Bouncy castle
  • Inflatable assault course
  • Wizard school
  • Go karts
  • Tombola stall.

Download the flyer to share with families:

PODS Picnic in the Park

PODS Parent Carer Forum supports families who have a child or young person with a disability or additional need. for more information visit the PODS Website.

Parents Opening Doors: Befriending scheme 

The Parents Opening Doors (PODS) Befriending Scheme is a network of trained parent volunteers who support other parents of children with special needs at the time of diagnosis or during challenging times related to their child’s disability. Every befriender is someone whose own child has special needs.  They know what it is like to cope with a new diagnosis and the challenges that come with it in the future. This service is free and confidential. We support parents of children with any type of disability or special need.

Become a PODS telephone befriender
Are you the Parent Carer of a child or young person with a special need or disability?
Do you have some spare time to spend listening and supporting other parent carers on a 1:1 basis? If so, why not become a PODS befriender?
The PODS befriending scheme offers emotional support, and some practical strategies, to parent carers who have a child with a disability or additional need.

Please feel free to share this information with families at your setting. 

PODS befriender scheme advert

PODS befriender scheme poster

For more information on the befriender scheme, please email the PODS Member Support Co-ordinator:

PODS Parent Carer Forum supports families who have a child or young person with a Disability or Additional Need. for more information visit the PODS Website.

Arthog Outdoor Education Centre – Update on residential courses Autumn Term 2021 

Arthog OEC is expecting to be open in September 2021 for all its schools, following the guidance from both the English and Welsh Governments, and from Telford & Wrekin, as restrictions are lifted for residential visits.

As part of the ongoing monitoring and management of residential and non-residential operations, Arthog will continue to regularly monitor and assess the procedures and risk assessment to manage the risk associated with COVID19 with our operations. Arthog has adopted the UK Outdoors Covid-safe Charter for residential educational visits as displayed on the GOV.UK website. 

During these challenging times we would like to reassure our schools and parents that Telford & Wrekin Council are continuing their supportive approach to bookings. Invoices will be issued after a course has taken place and will be based on the actual numbers attending. This temporary measure will be extended to end of the Autumn Term 2021.

Please be 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.

For bookings from 4 January 2022 the terms and conditions that accompany the booking form will apply, including the cancellation policy.

If you would like to contact us about and existing booking, or to make a new one, please make contact by email to or telephone on 01341 250455.

School transport news

Autumn Term Transport Arrangements
Following the recent Government announcement that they are ending bubbles for early years settings, schools and colleges we can confirm (subject to any further announcements) that the following arrangements will be in place on all Home to school transport within the Borough for the Autumn Term:

  • The Arriva S buses will no longer be running.
  • The fleet busses, coaches, taxis and minibuses will no longer have dedicated bubbles.

Letters confirming the transport arrangements will be sent out to parents over the next few weeks.

Independent Travel Training (ITT)
The Independent Travel Training service is part of Telford & Wrekin Council’s Road Safety and Sustainable Transport Team. We work with young people who currently have transport assistance to get to school and college. Please visit the ITT website for further information.

The National Bus Strategy Survey
The Government is investing £3billion into the nation’s bus network and we’d like to present a really strong plan of what a Telford bus service could look like and attract a slice of this investment.
Please take five minutes to complete our short survey? 
The National Bus Strategy Survey- Telford and Wrekin Council

Virtual school updates 

There have been updates in the following areas:

  • Virtual School Head Extended Duties
  • Model Policy and CPD update

Virtual School Head Extended Duties
The DFE has announced that from September 2021, Virtual School Heads will be strategic leaders who promote the educational outcomes of children with a social worker. Meaning there will be a local champion for children with a social worker in every local authority in England. This will ensure that more focus is placed on children with a social worker, targeting support earlier on in these young people’s lives and helping improve how they engage with education. 

This will build on the existing role of a Virtual School Head, who help champion and improve the educational outcomes for children in or on the edge of care, enhancing relationships between schools, colleges and local authorities so that pupils receive support from professionals that will help them develop and progress throughout their time in education.

Extending the role of Virtual School Heads delivers on a key recommendation of the Government’s Children in Need review in 2019, which looked at what further support children in need of help and protection may require. The enhanced role will also be central to ensuring that the Government’s education recovery package reaches and benefits children with a social worker, with Virtual School Heads able to advise on the best use of the Recovery Premium to meet their needs and how access to the National Tutoring Programme can improve their outcomes.

VSH’s newly extended role will include additional responsibilities, such as increasing awareness among schools, colleges and social workers, of how education plays a crucial part in the care of these children, improving the visibility of support services for children with a social worker and ensuring Virtual School Heads champion this group in local authority planning.

The guidance on promoting the education of children with a social worker:

  • defines the cohort of children in scope
  • explains what the extended role involves
  • provides direction on how to partner with education settings to improve children’s outcomes.

The additional role of the Virtual School Head does not require the Virtual School Heads to provide direct intervention, help and support for individual children with a social worker or their families. This guidance does not change existing duties for looked-after and previously looked-after children, and should be read in conjunction with statutory guidance Promoting the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children.

Further details will follow in due course.

Policy and CPD Updates
The Virtual School Team have recently updated the 'Supporting Educational Outcomes for Looked After and Previously Looked After Children’ Policy and this is available for download.

We would like to thank all those who contributed to and attended the Virtual School Annual Conference on 2 July 2021; it was a thought provoking and informative morning.

Looking to next academic year, the Virtual School will continue to offer termly updates for Nominated Governors and DTs as well as network meetings for Post 16 and Early Years providers (information and booking procedures can be found in the CPD Booklet).

If your school would like to receive free attachment and early childhood trauma ‘raising awareness’ training, either for identified staff groups or whole-school, please make contact by emailing and this can be arranged with you directly.

An online Personal Education Plan (PEP) refresher/ New to role training is available in the Autumn Term, on Wednesday 8 September 2021, 9.30am - 11am and Monday 13 September 2021, 4pm - 5.30pm. To book a place, please email the PEP Coordinator:

We’d continue to urge all schools to become Attachment Research Community (ARC) Members and will be providing specific support to schools in the Autumn Term to guide you in making the most of your membership. Details and Information about how to become a member can be found on the ARC website

As ever, we’d like to extend our thanks and huge admiration for all your ongoing support over this academic year and we look forward to working in partnership with you again in the coming academic year

Autism spectrum condition training 

We are having a huge drive on increasing the understanding of Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) within Telford & Wrekin schools, to increase inclusion. We would like all schools to co-work with us to achieve this whole-borough vision. To support this co-work, and make achieving this vision a reality, we are funding a free place for one member of your senior staff to attend the ASC Lead training, during the forthcoming autumn term.

Why does my schools need an ASC Lead?
A lead autism practitioner is needed in every school in Telford.  The ASC Lead can then drive planning the support and provision for children with social communication needs, across the school. 

What impact will the ASC Lead have in my school?
Having a Lead for ASC will enable all young people to have an increased sense of belonging to their school and promote inclusion.  This is essential because it will increase the holistic development of each young person identified with ASC. 

In addition, if requests are made for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), schools will be able to demonstrate levels of interventions linked to the graduated response. Furthermore, the acquired skills across all school staff will assist with the presentation of young people to the emotional health and wellbeing panel for consideration to be placed on the ASC pathway. The content of the AET links to the Ofsted framework for inspection, and therefore will support each school when engaging with Ofsted Inspectors.

Next Steps
We ask that you work with us and that all schools sign up one member of staff for the ASC Lead training. Please identify the member of staff who is, or will be, the autism lead in your school and ask them to sign up to just one of the dates below. The autism lead will need to be a senior member of your team who is able to oversee the development of policy and practice.

Dates and Contact Details
The dates are as follows:

  • 13 October 2021
  • 3 November 2021
  • 10 November 2021
  • 17 November 2021
  • 24 November 2021
  • 1 December 2021
  • 8 December 2021.

To book a place on a course, please send a completed CPD booking form to  To book on the ASC training please complete a booking form.

Once your member of staff has received the ASC lead (Leading Good Autism Practice, or LGAP for short) training, I would encourage them to then begin to organise the delivery of whole school training. This can be achieved by contacting Michael Lane (Senior Educational Psychologist and ASD Lead) who will co-ordinate the allocation of training staff to schools.

An important message regarding the new Teacher CPD service and Early Career Teachers 

Please see the message below from the Teaching Regulation Agency, received by Telford & Wrekin Appropriate Body on Wednesday 14 July 2021, for circulation to schools

Many induction tutors/coordinators are yet to sign in to the DfE’s new Teacher CPD Service to confirm how they plan to deliver statutory inductions next year, or to confirm that their school does not expect any early career teachers (ECTs).

Before September 2021, induction tutors/coordinators should:

  • Choose a delivery approach in order to meet the new requirements (the easiest way to sign up to a provider-led programme is to contact your local teaching school hub or your appropriate body).
  • Set up their programme through DfE’s online service if they want to use an approved funded provider, or deliver the accredited materials themselves.  We would encourage schools on these routes to access the digital service and nominate an induction tutor before the end of the summer term, or use the service to confirm that you are not expecting any ECTs to start in September 2021.

To find out more about the Early Career Framework reforms, please visit GOV.UK.

For help using the new service please contact

Here in Telford & Wrekin you will be aware that we have held a number of briefings on the Early Career Framework and associated arrangements and requirements.  If you have appointed a new Early Career Teacher for September 2021 and have not yet completed your registration forms with Telford & Wrekin for the Appropriate Body Package, please send an email to and our NQT / ECT Administrator will send you everything you need.  

2021-22 CPD course booklet 

The new 2021-22 CPD Booklet has now been published on the Telford Education Services website and the team very much look forward to receiving your bookings.

From September 2021, as the restrictions around COVID-19 are eased, and when it is safe to do so, It is anticipate that we will move towards a more blended approach, with many more courses being able to return to face to face delivery. However, where courses do need to be delivered online, they will continue to be charged at a lower rate to reflect the savings made by not using external venues.

The team would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience, cooperation and enthusiastic participation in our courses during 2020-21 and we wish you a thoroughly well deserved, enjoyable, relaxing and safe summer break. They very much look forward to seeing you again in the Autumn Term – hopefully in a face to face environment!

Wild World Heroes summer reading challenge 

Telford & Wrekin Libraries are calling all children aged 4-11 years old to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. Every child that can read any 6 library books of their choice over the summer holidays will be awarded a medal and certificate to celebrate their achievement.

The 6 library books need to be read between Saturday 10 July 2021 and Saturday 11 September 2021, to help the Wild World Heroes of Wilderville to make their town a better place for people and animals.

Children can read any type of book, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, audio books, eBook, and eAudio books.

When they join the challenge, they will receive their collectors pack including a poster of Wlderville and their first set of stickers. Once they have read their 6 books, they will stickers, certificate and medal.

This year Libraries have teamed up with the Reading Agency and WWF and themed the challenge around environmental issues. Each week children can also collect craft packs from libraries with an environmental theme- for example making a seed bomb and making a bug hotel. These will be available in limited numbers on a first come first serve basis.

The team would love it if you could encourage children to take part and suggest they bring their medal and certificate into school in September to share with their teachers and classmates. The more confident children may want to tell their friend which books they chose to read.

Telford & Wrekin Libraries will also be running activities via Facebook, themed around nature.

If you would like more information on the Summer Reading Challenge 2021 please email or

Teacher’s reading challenge 

The Teacher’s Reading Challenge is an opportunity for school and library staff to expand their knowledge of contemporary children’s books and develop their understanding of reading for pleasure.

Run by The Reading Agency in partnership with the Open University with funding from Goldsmiths, University of London, the challenge invites participants to:

  • join a supportive and inspired community of educators and readers;
  • set their own reading goals;
  • upload book reviews;
  • access thousands of reviews from teachers and librarians;
  • share best practice;
  • sownload engaging and beautifully designed publisher resources;
  • record and apply their knowledge.

The 2021 Teachers’ Reading Challenge runs from 10 July to 19 September 2021.

If you would like more information on the Teachers Reading Challenge please email or visit the website.

Summer holiday activities 2021 

This is your how to guide to keep busy this summer. With so many fun activities right on your doorstep (in COVID-19 safe environments) you won’t know where to start. Includes summer offers for Telford Ice Rink, Swim4Life crash courses to improve those water skills and lots of Kids-4-£1 activities.

View the brochure here

South Asian heritage month

South Asian Heritage Month will be celebrated from 19 July 2021 onwards at Telford & Wrekin Council. This celebration will include a month of activities to explore the shared cultures and histories of South Asia.

South Asian Heritage Month exists in order to commemorate, mark and celebrate South Asian history and culture, as well as to better understand the diverse heritage that continues to link the UK and South Asia. Please join us in celebrating by signing up to the events which appeal to you,

There is a whole programme of events planned for the month, details of these are below:

DATE TIME DETAILS (Enrol on Eventbrite)
Monday 19 July 2021  


Councillors Raj Mehta and Leon Murray from Telford & Wrekin Council will open the event.
Video link will be shared across Telford & Wrekin Council.

Tuesday 20 July 2021 12.30pm - 1pm       

Yoga With Gita Bhardwaj (Tuesday 20 July 2021) tickets

Thursday 22 July 2021 12.30pm -1pm

Chatty Café -  ‘How Religion & Faith Can bring us Together’

Join Harry Khan who will host how Religion & faith can bring us together.  Come along to our virtual café with your lunch and have a cuppa.   
Share in the discussions or listen and get a better understanding on what religion has to offer. 
Due to very limited spaces booking is essential.

How religion and faith can bring us together (Thursday 22 July 2021) tickets

Friday 23 July 2021 3pm - 4pm

History Session with Abdul Shakoor MBE

Abdul has spent 35 years working with BAME communities and speaks 7 different Asian language and the author of 3 books.
This event will give us a whistle-stop tour through South Asian history and migration, aims to give us an insight to develop our cultural awareness.
If you work with local families from a diverse community or would like further understanding around diverse cultures, this event is not be missed.  Q&A will conclude this event.

South Asian history and migration (Friday 23 July 2021) tickets

Tuesday 27 July 12.30pm - 1pm                

Mindfulness/Meditation with Martina Boshell

Find your inner-self in this mindfulness session.
Mindfulness is a way of staying in the present moment and appreciating all the joys life brings. Practising Mindfulness can give us strategies to cope with life's stresses and worries. Martina is a trained Mindfulness teacher and is currently completing a Masters in Mindfulness at Bangor university and has spent a year studying the Buddhist background to Mindfulness based programmes.
Martina will lead us in some practice and also talk about the SE Asian lineage of Mindfulness.

Mindfulness meditation with Martina Boshell (Tuesday 27 July) tickets

Friday 30 July 2021 3pm - 4.30pm

Managers Panel – Breaking The Glass Ceiling

Host: Manny Jhawar-Gill
Across local authorities there has been under-representation within ethnic minorities. Join us for a panel of managers who are pushing through. Senior Managers from City of Wolverhampton Council and Telford and Wrekin Council will share with you their professional journeys. For some they are the sole “Brown Person” we will hear about the hurdles they have had to overcome, overcoming imposter syndrome, and making the move to apply for senior roles in the first place.

Managers-panel- Breaking the glass ceiling (Friday 30 July) tickets

Tuesday 3 August 2021                   12.30pm - 1pm                                                                                 

Yoga with Gita Bhardwaj

Come and join us in our relaxing virtual Yoga session led by Gita Bhardwaj. A great way to relieve stress and perform some low impact exercise -not to be missed.
For South Asian Heritage Month Gita will not only deliver a relaxing session but share some of the historical background around the origins of Yoga.

Yoga with Gita Bhardwaj (Tuesday 3 August 2021) tickets

Wednesday 4 August 2021 3pm - 4pm

Virtual Tour of the works of Chila Burman

Join Dr Andrew Yarnold, Cultural Learning Facilitator for Wolverhampton Arts and Culture for this talk that will look at the work of Chila Burman, a significant figure in the black British art movement in the 80s and was one of the first British Asian female artists to have a monograph written about her.
Listen as Dr Andrew Yarnold takes you through a selection of Burman’s collection and discusses the theme and ideas informed from their art.

Virtual tour of the works of Chila Burman (Wednesday 4 August 2021) tickets

Thursday 5 August 2021 12.30pm -1pm

Chatty Café -  Theme: Fashion

Host: Anita Ahir and Mandy Jenkins  
As part of SAHM we are launching Chatty café.   Join our hosts Anita & Mandy who will discuss South Asian fashion in our virtual café bring your lunch and have a cuppa.   We encourage you to wear something with a South Asian flavour or just come along for the discussion. 
Places are very limited bookings only.

South Asian fashion (Thursday 5 August 2021) tickets

Friday 6 August 2021 3pm - 4.30pm

Local Women, South Asian Business Owners - Creating Traditions Q & A Session

Host: Sonia Mahay
Local women,  South Asian business owners who are paving their own paths, share their stories on how they are creating a new tradition for themselves as well ad young Asian Women everywhere.

Creating traditions Q&A (Friday 6 August 2021) tickets

Tuesday 10 August 2021 12.30pm - 1pm

Mindfulness/Meditation with Martina Boshell

Find your inner-self with this Mindfulness session.
Mindfulness is a way of staying in the present moment and appreciating all the joys life brings. Practising Mindfulness can give us strategies to cope with life's stresses and worries. Martina is a trained Mindfulness teacher and is currently completing a Masters in Mindfulness at Bangor university and has spent a year studying the Buddhist background to Mindfulness based programmes. Martina will lead us in some practice and also talk about the SE Asian lineage of Mindfulness.

Mindfulness/Meditation with Martina Boshell (Tuesday 10 August 2021) Tickets

Wednesday 11 August 2021 12pm - 13.30pm

Live Cooking Event with Lajina Masala

Whether you’re a beginner in the kitchen or a culinary master chef, cooking lessons will hone your cooking skills to turn you into seasoned professional who’s able to amaze and delight your diners.
Cook along with a local professional Indian Chef, bringing perfectly seasoned and exciting flavour combinations to your table.
Kati rolls – a speedy tandoori stir fry, stuffed into egg fried bread.

Live Cook Along Event with Lajina Masala (Wednesday 11 August 2021) Tickets

Wednesday 18 August 2021 12pm - 1pm

Closing Celebration

Join us in our closing ceremony event highlighting the success of South Asian Heritage Month along with our guest speakers.
You’ll also have the opportunity to give feedback on events you have participated in and inform what we do for next year.
And we’ll top it off with a Virtual Bhangra Dance session

South Asian heritage month closing celebration (Wednesday 18 August 2021) tickets

Project Xpedition: An innovative journey for creative pioneers

Project Xpedition is a new, aspirational programme, It is aimed at Creative Pioneers aged  between 12 and 21 years old in Wolverhampton and the Black Country, Telford & Wrekin, Shropshire and Stafford with an interest in pursuing a career in the creative industries.

Creative Pioneers will work as part of a highly skilled, multi-disciplined arts team across  both Flexus Dance Collective and The Arena Theatre, building an industry toolkit through monthly workshops and discussions focussed on technical roles (lighting, sound, design), event management, project co-ordination, marketing, digital marketing and more.

Alongside this, young people will have ownership over the design and development of an ambitious annual art events, and will become instrumental in shaping the offers of Arena Theatre and Flexus Dance Collective by becoming a member of the Youth Board for both organisations.

Project Xpedition will be delivered one Sunday a month from September 2021 to August 2022.

For more information, and to request a booking form, please visit the University of Wolverhampton 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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