13.9.23 - Message from the Director of Education

FAO: Headteacher/Principal

Dear Headteacher/Principal,

I hope you had a really good first week of term and pupils have settled back in well despite the very hot weather last week. You may remember we had a lot of Ofsted inspections late last term so congratulations go to Mel at Starksfield and to Rebecca at Southbury and their staff – both schools received good outcomes in their inspections which of course is excellent news for the schools and their local communities. Also on the good news front, the borough’s phonics results this year are the best they have been for sometime being 2% above the national average. Also GCSE results across the borough (with one school to come in) are 4% above outcomes in 2019 with many schools improving on that baseline. It is also clear that reading needs to be an area of focus more generally and we are looking to develop a reading strategy to improve reading outcomes. The outcomes will be shared at the headteachers briefing later this month.

i) SEND Conference – 10th November – As mentioned previously, the SEND headteachers’ reference group requested that a conference was organised focusing on SEND as this is a key issue for many if not all schools in the borough – due to rising levels of need, increasing numbers and of course the general financial issues faced by schools. The conference will be at no cost and will take place at Highlands Secondary School (lunch will be provided by the school) and it is being planned as a whole day event. The morning will consist of a focus on funding, the Delivering Better Value Programme, the Direction of travel (vision) for the borough, the banding consultation and also a focus on the legal side. In the afternoon, there will be an opportunity to share good practice from borough schools (we are of course happy for schools to put themselves forward for this part). Thanks to Vin from Highfields for providing the venue.

ii) Year 6 Police workshops – Safer Schools Partnership - Enfield Safer School Partnership are offering a workshop of  presentations to Year 6 students in all Primary Schools in Enfield.

The topics covered would be Personal and Online Safety, County Lines, Drugs, Gangs, Robbery and Sexting. In addition to this we will be delivering talks on dangers of fireworks and Anti-Social behaviour over the October, November period. The presentations as mentioned will be delivered to Year 6 students with an opportunity for questions and discussion.

We are be looking for  these presentations to take place from Monday 25th September 2023 up till 20th October 2023 ( Half Term ). There will be two time slots available, one in the morning one in the afternoon and  there can be some flexibility around timings.   The workshops are an hour in length and would be delivered to the whole year group.

Could you please let us know a convenient day / slot for a Safer School Officer to attend and deliver the presentation on the above subjects. Each subject will be addressed with a view to expand on the individual topics in more detail on a future date.   

Please can I ask that all responses be sent to following mailbox below and marked as Primary Presentations in subject field. NAmailbox-.NorthPrimarySchools@met.police.uk

iii) Primary Universal Free School Meals Funding  - The borough has now received the first tranche of funding for UFSM and we expect to passport this funding to schools by the end of this month.

iv) Windrush Wonders: Tales of Travel and Triumph

The Enfield Caribbean Association published Windrush Voices last year. I know that a number of secondary school have used this book. Three stories have been chosen from that book and Windrush Wonders created. It tells the true tales of individuals from the Windrush Generation who left their homes in the Caribbean for greater opportunities in the UK. The Enfield Caribbean Association have kindly sponsored giving a free copy of this book to all primary and special school in the borough. You should receive your school copy shortly.

v) Self Harm & Suicide prevention working group – A headteacher representative is asked for this task and finish group to look into a training offer by the Enfield Safeguarding Partnership. If you are interested, please could you contact me directly. The correct date for the first meeting is 19th September from 1:30 to 3:30pm.

It has been a very busy week for me of course too and the RAAC issues are still high on the agenda. Many maintained schools will have had or will have an initial visit from our teams in the council – and I expect diocesan schools and academy chains will be equally active. If you do have RAAC in your school you do need to inform the local authority due to the potential safeguarding issues involved. On a lighter note, you may know I love my tennis so is was fascinating to see the US Open – it is finals weekend at my local club but I am not sure I should be proud to be in the super vets final!! Age does catch up with you!!

Best wishes.

Peter Nathan