Proposed Christmas INSET 18th December

Sent on behalf of Simon James, Service Director Education and Gareth Drawmer, Head of Service Achievement & Learning

Dear Colleagues,

I am sure that you will all now be aware of the government announcement on Tuesday for schools to consider closing on the 18th December. The guidance that has been issued is clear, that schools may consider voluntarily closing on the 18th December to ensure that, given the time it takes for Covid to present in individuals, any tracing activity that needs to be completed by a school will be closed by the 23rd December. It is clear in the guidance that this is a voluntary choice presented to schools and there is no obligation for you to do this. Clearly the consequence of choosing not to do this may mean that school leaders could be contacted on Christmas Eve to facilitate track and trace.

If you do choose to move an INSET day we are aware of the significant consequences of this action. You will have planned your staff training for the year and may have commissioned external trainers to deliver the sessions. Many of you will have front loaded your days this year due to the challenging nature of the autumn term and you may not have the option to move a day. You may also not be in a position to deliver training to staff on the 18th due to the short timeframe of the announcement.

We would therefore suggest the following options for you to consider when making your decision:

If taking the 18th as a training day

  • Consider disaggregating the time from the day and spreading it across the remainder of the academic year as twilight training sessions to cover the hours from the day.
  • Where possible take out a training day from this academic year to compensate for the December date.
  • Remember that moving an already published INSET day may have consequences for families who have planned holidays around that day and to reassure them that they will not be penalised for following through with their plans.
  • If you have no available INSET days that you can flexibly move – consider a variation to a term date to compensate for the additional day. The most natural point for this would be to extend the summer term for a day, closing on Thursday 22nd July

If not taking the 18th as a training day

  • Consider the impact on staff with regard for childcare on that day if their child’s school is closing
  • Ensure that you have robust plans in place for track and trace support if needed on Christmas Eve
  • Consider taking the day as a remote learning day for the school with appropriate levels of activity for pupils for the day.

As always we are happy to discuss any issues that you may have and to support you in your decision making. We are aware of the time pressure for decisions to be made and we hope that our position as set out above is helpful to you and your leadership teams.

Warm regards,

Simon & Gareth

Changes to 2021 National Curriculum Assessments

Changes to 2021 national curriculum assessments

Earlier today, Thursday 3 December, the Secretary of State for Education announced measures to support pupils taking exams and assessments in 2021.

We recognise the difficulties that primary schools are facing in light of the ongoing disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19). Therefore, we have altered our approach to the 2021 national curriculum assessments, and will focus on the most important summer assessments for schools, pupils and parents.

For 2021, we have removed:

  • all key stage 1 (KS1) tests
  • the key stage 2 (KS2) English grammar, punctuation and spelling test
  • the requirement to make and report teacher assessment judgements for science at KS1 and KS2

To further support schools, we:

  • have delayed the statutory introduction of the multiplication tables check – schools may choose to take part on an optional basis
  • have extended the timetable variation periods for phonics and KS2, to allow schools greater flexibility if pupils cannot take the tests on the scheduled dates because of coronavirus disruption
  • have removed the requirement for schools to submit applications for pupils who need additional time in KS2 tests or notifications that they used an aid (such as a scribe or word processor)

This means that the following statutory assessments will continue in 2021:

  • the phonics screening check for year 1 pupils (and year 2 pupils who have not met the expected standard previously)
  • KS2 English reading and mathematics tests
  • KS1 and KS2 teacher assessment (excluding science)
Guidance for 2021 national curriculum assessments 

We have published the following:

Statutory guidance for assessing and reporting the early years foundation stage (EYFS) profile and pupils at the end of KS1 and KS2.

Guidance for schools and local authorities involved in the administration and moderation of statutory teacher assessment in 2021:

KS2 access arrangements guidance about how schools can support pupils participating in the 2021 KS2 national curriculum tests.

KS2 timetable variations guidance about how schools can reschedule KS2 tests if pupils are absent.

Multiplication tables check technical guidance for IT and network managers at schools choosing to take part in the optional 2021 multiplication tables check.

Reminder: reception baseline assessment window for early adopter schools closing soon 

The assessment window for schools participating in the reception baseline assessment early adopter year, closes on Friday 18 December. After this date, schools will not be able to administer the assessment with their pupils.

All assessment materials must remain confidential and be kept securely for use when the assessment becomes statutory in autumn 2021.

If you are participating in the early adopter year and have any questions, please contact 0330 088 4171.

Closing the Gap in Bucks Workshop – Register now!

Closing the Gap in Bucks Workshop Dec 2020 Agenda

Closing the Gap Workshop Letter

Dear Colleagues,

Following on from the conference held in November, we are pleased to invite all Headteachers and Chairs of Governors to a workshop on Friday 11th December 2020, 1pm – 3pm.  The focus will again be Closing the Gap in educational attainment for vulnerable children, specifically Culture.

Attached is a letter from Gareth Drawmer which provides more information, as well as the agenda, which features Marc Rowland (Education Endowment Fund) and Sarah Soyei (Equaliteach).

Please register on Eventbrite by following the link here: closing-the-gap-in-bucks-culture-workshop-tickets The workshop is online using MS Teams.

Any problems with registration, please contact me directly.

Kind regards,

Hazel

Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

Buckinghamshire Council

4th Floor, County Hall

Walton Street

Aylesbury,

HP20 1UZ

Guidance for Schools

DfE Announcement 031220_ (002)

Guidance for Schools on the End of the Transition Period 031220

Dear Colleagues,

Following this morning’s press announcement on https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-measures-to-support-students-ahead-of-next-summers-exams , the government has now published guidance with extra information on GCSE, AS and A levels in Guidance to support the summer 2021 exams. A summary of this morning’s announcement is attached above for information.

Also attached above is a summary of the different pieces of guidance relating to preparing your school for the end of the transition period: Guidance for schools during the transition period and after 1 January 2021.  As the government are continually updating the guidance, please do check the gov.uk website for updates.

Kind regards,

The Equalities and School Improvement Team

Governor Training Sessions – Register your place

Teams Instructions For Particpants

Please circulate this to all governors

Dear Colleagues,

There are 2 sessions remaining this term and places are still available to register via Eventbrite.

You are required to register via Eventbrite as we use the contact list for communicating updates and documentation. If you do not register on

Eventbrite you may miss out on important information, such as documentation sent out prior to or after the course, updates or changes of dates or times.

The next session is Monitoring the Single Central Record on Tuesday 8th December at 6.30pm. Register here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/monitoring-the-single-central-record-tickets-122082687605

The final session this term is The Role of the SEND Governor on Thursday 17th December at 6.30pm. Register here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-role-of-the-send-governor-tickets-122084755791

Attached are instructions for using MS Teams. For any session it is recommended you join the meeting several minutes beforehand to ensure you are logged on by 6.30pm.

I apologise for any confusion that may have arisen regarding registering for these training sessions, if you would like any further information please contact me at schoolgovernance@buckinghamshire.gov.uk .

Kind regards,

Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

Buckinghamshire Council

4th Floor, County Hall

Walton Street

Aylesbury,

HP20 1UZ

DfE School Governance Update December 2020

Welcome to the December 2020 edition of the DfE’s school governance update, where you will find key announcements and information to support you in your governance role.

For this edition we have created one version to cover both maintained schools and academy trusts– the articles are listed below for information.

Introduction
1) Governing and trust boards role and meetings during coronavirus (COVID-19)
2) (Academy trusts only): View my financial insights (VMFI) tool update is now live and available to academy trustees
3) Diverse Governance Webcast Series
4) Efficiency savings with Teaching Vacancies services
5) ‘Something’s Not Right’ Home Office campaign
6) Get funding and support to set up a digital education platform
7) Information about the transition from the European Union for schools and academy trusts

Here is the link to the page:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-governance-update/school-governance-update-december-2020?utm_source=GU&utm_medium=Not&utm_campaign=Dec

If you would like to provide us with any further feedback on the content or format of this update please email: schoolgovernance.update@education.gov.uk.

Thank you,

School Governance Unit

Department for Education

Governor Training – Places still available

Dear Colleagues,

We still have places available on the evening sessions as per the attached list.  Book your place using the Eventbrite link and you will receive a confirmation email. Apologies for having to cancel a couple of sessions but this has been unavoidable.

Governor training programme Nov 2020

All sessions are conducted using Teams, so please ensure the device you plan to use is compatible prior to the start of the session.  Once registered a link will be sent to you 24 hours before the session. If you do not receive the link contact me at schoolgovernance@buckinghamshire.gov.uk It is recommended you test the link before the session starts.

Some sessions have documentation to be sent out prior to or after the date, if you are not registered on Eventbrite you will not receive this information. Also, if we have to make changes to a session and you have not registered you will not be contacted.

We have not yet finalised any dates for the Spring term but will be in contact as soon as possible.

Regards,

Hazel

Hazel David

School Improvement Team

Children’s Services

Buckinghamshire Council

4th Floor, County Hall

Walton Street

Aylesbury,

HP20 1UZ

 

Hazel.David@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

For COVID-19 updates visit: https://schoolsweb.buckscc.gov.uk/covid-19-corona-virus-latest-advice/

Closing the Gap in Buckinghamshire, 6th November 2020

 

Welcome

Thank you for attending the Closing the Gap in Buckinghamshire conference on Friday 6th November.  The presentations, recordings and documentation are included in this message. Please note the recordings are run via Microsoft and you may be required to sign in to an account first.

Many thanks to all the presenters for providing such informative items and useful resources. It was a thought-provoking conference and generated some very interesting questions and discussions.

Further actions are planned to address this issue within Bucks and we will be in touch soon.  If you have any questions please contact the School Improvement Team at sis@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

Gareth sent a preliminary newsletter, prior to the conference, which is available here:

Newsletter

Introduction to the Conference by Gareth Drawmer, Head of Achievement and Learning

Introduction from Gareth Drawmer

 

Disproportionality

Oliver Foxell
Operations Manager
Youth Offending Service

Disproportionality Presentation

Odd One Out

Carol-Anne McCollum
Executive Co-Headteacher
The Three Schools

Odd One Out Presentation
Powerpoint

 

Achievement For All

Clare Pankhania
Headteacher
Highworth Combined School

Achievement For All Presentation
Highworth KS2 Results
Twitter
Recommended Reading CP
Powerpoint

 

Closing the Gap – Climbing the Stairs

Jo Pikulski
Co-Headteacher
and
Paula O’Shea
Lead DSL and Pastoral Lead
Disraeli School

Closing the Gap – Climbing the Stairs Presentation
Powerpoint

 

Pupil Premium and Disadvantaged 

Marc Rowland
Adviser
Unity Schools Partnership and the Education Endowment Fund

Disadvantaged Presentation
Powerpoint

Tara McVey
Deputy Headteacher
The Towers School in Kent

Powerpoint

 

Please tell us what you think?

We do value your feedback, so if you haven’t completed an evaluation form the link is here:

Closing The Gap Conference Evaluation 06Nov20

Buckinghamshire School Improvement Team

sis@buckinghamshire.gov.uk 

Closing the Gap Newsletter – Autumn 2020

Sent on behalf of Gareth Drawmer, Head of Achievement and Learning

Dear Colleagues,

Please find attached the first newsletter concerning our strategy, Closing the Gap in Bucks.

Closing the Gap newsletter Autumn 2020

The first event is the conference this Friday, I look forward to seeing you there.

Warm regards,

Gareth

Gareth Drawmer

Head of Service

Achievement & Learning

Closing the Gap in Bucks Nov 2020 Agenda

Sent on behalf of Gareth Drawmer, Head of Achievement and Learning

Dear Colleague,

Thank you to everyone who has already signed up for the Closing the Gap conference on Friday. Please do register if you are keen to hear from primary and secondary schools, both within and outside of the county who have developed strong models of support for pupils who are eligible for the pupil premium.

Closing The Gap

The agenda for the session is attached to this email.

Closing the Gap in Bucks Nov 2020 Agenda

This is the first piece of outward facing work that we are carrying out to support the agenda of closing the gap in Buckinghamshire and will be followed by a series of events to support school leaders in this area.

I appreciate that this is a hugely challenging time for you all, but I hope that you will make time on Friday afternoon to attend the conference. We all recognise that the attainment gap is not going away and that the events of the past six months have compounded the issues for many of our children.

I look forward to seeing you (albeit virtually), on Friday.

Warm regards,

Gareth

Gareth Drawmer

Head of Service

Achievement & Learning

Children’s Services

Buckinghamshire County Council

County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 1UZ