25.02.22 Message from the Director of Education re COVID19 and other matters
PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR CHAIR OF GOVERNORS
I hope you had a good half-term, survived the storms and are looking forward to spring. I have attached an updated letter for you re’ COVID19 from public health and also a letter for you to send to parents/carers. There will be an opportunity to ask questions or clarifications at the heads briefing next Friday. For your information, I have also attached the latest local COVID dashboard.
i) OFSTED Inspections - Two primary schools had their inspection reports published this week. Chaseside Primary School has moved from RI to good which is excellent news for Mel and her team and well deserved. Similarly, St Michaels C. Of E. Primary School (Brigadier Hill) maintained its good inspection outcome which is also really good news for Jan and her team and again really well deserved .
ii) Senior Adviser for Safeguarding & Inclusion – Dani Lang has now started in post and will be picking up a considerable amount of work with schools and will also be available for school improvement work. Dani has been headteacher of Brimsdown School for the past 5 years and brings with her a huge amount of experience.
iii) Anna Vaughan & Professional Learning - Unfortunately Anna will be leaving us at the end of March to take on another role outside of Enfield. Anna has been a super colleague and as you know has organised some excellent professional learning and she will be sorely missed. We will be reviewing the professional learning offer (CPD) for 2022/23 which is likely to focus much more on core or key areas such as safeguarding, SEND, governance, early years, and training for support staff . Other CPD will be offered and there will be discussions with headteachers through your phase meetings/reps concerning this.
iv) Government Consultations - the DfE are consulting on changes to three significant areas which will impact on schools. There are separate consultations on attendance, (https://consult.education.gov.uk/school-attendance-policy-and-strategy-team/school-attendance-improving-consistency-of-support/) on behaviour policy and guidance and also on suspensions and permanent exclusions. (https://consult.education.gov.uk/school-absence-and-exclusions-team/revised-school-behaviour-and-exclusion-guidance/) We will review the key aspects of these consultations at the headteachers briefing next Friday.
V) Headteachers’ Briefing 4th March 10:30am to 12:00pm - You should have received a teams invitation to this briefing. The agenda will include an update on COVID19 and vaccinations, the consultations referred to above, cluster meetings (re’ declining school rolls and impact), behaviour review offer, Ofsted update. I will send an updated agenda prior to the meeting.
vi) Local Elections 5th May - just to remind you that these are taking place and the council will move into “purdah” or a pre-election state from 23rd March. Guidance for schools will be sent out closer to this date.
vIi) SEND partnership strategy consultations - Enfield local authority are consulting on their SEND strategy for the next 4 years 2022-26 and would like to engage headteachers in this process. If you would like to contribute to the strategy, two consultation meetings are being held on Thursday 17th March – mainstream headteachers – 1:30 to 2:30 and on Friday 18th March - Special school heads - 1:30-2:30. If you would like to be involved please contact Victoria Adnan on Victoria.Adnan@enfield.gov.uk
viii) Alternative Provision review - a report has been completed by Alex Atherton regarding AP and this will circulated shortly – it is a rather long document (158 pages) and does find that there is a lot of good practice and strong provision but also makes a range of suggestions/options for improving provision and practice.
It is of course really good news that the COVID restrictions are coming to an end although of course there is still a need to be cautious. But it does create some local optimism even if events in the Ukraine are putting a severe dampener on this and our thoughts are with the people affected by this terrible war. Spring is the time of new growth and my daffodils are coming through as are the hyacinths which of course is such a contrast to the events in Eastern Europe.
I look forward to seeing you next Friday if not before.
Director of Education