Due to the severe weather conditions in the last week in February and into March, we were only able to hold two of the Area Primary Headteacher meetings in the spring term. The South and North East meetings took place as usual, but we had to cancel the West and Mid meetings – we are really sorry for any inconvenience that this caused for people.
The minutes of the meetings have been written and approved and are attached here – hopefully this will be an adequate substitute for those headteachers who missed the meetings.
As usual we welcomed a number of new headteachers and said farewell to others who were leaving their posts. Nigel Hookway is retiring as the EPHA Executive Director in March, and he was thanked for his contribution and commitment to EPHA in the last two years.
The spring term EPHA newsletter was circulated at the meetings.
Clare Kershaw and colleagues from the Local Authority gave a comprehensive update on the following areas:
- the Education Team restructure, including the appointments so far;
- an update on the EMAT, a new multi academy trust in Essex being established by the Local Authority;
- Information about the changes to Ofsted Section 8 inspections following the consultation in the autumn term;
- an update on the Small Schools Strategy and an invitation to small (and smallish - up to 200 pupils) schools to undertake a review;
- information about FTT subscriptions; and
- the development of a SEND Strategy for mainstream schools.
The presentation – EPHA LA termly meetings Spring 2018 - can be found on the EPHA website at https://essexprimaryheads.co.uk/meetings/termly-area/composite/
Dawn Catley and Brian Shaw, from Active Essex, attended the meetings to share information about the current level and focus of PE and Sports funding, including the new accountability requirements around swimming. The DfE template for reporting the funding was shared at the meeting.
The PE and SS presentation is available on the website
Pam Langmead gave an update on GDPR, including reference to a briefing paper produced by EPHA and the latest (and first) DfE video about GDPR. She has provided a crib sheet for the video and reminded all headteachers about the dedicated webpage on the EPHA website focusing on data protection.
Social Care lead partners attended the meetings to remind headteachers about the current Effective Support Directory available at http://www.escb.co.uk/en-gb/workingwithchildren/earlyhelp.aspx
They also shared information about a new “request for support” portal which is due to go live in April. This will include a wealth of information about effective support and an online referral route. There is a detailed briefing from Helen Lincoln, available on the EPHA website.
Representatives from Virgincare/Barnardos attended the two meetings to share information and contact details about the new service, which commenced in October. Contact details are available on the EPHA website and there is more information at http://www.virgincare.co.uk/service-hub/essex-0-19/
A couple of items of additional business were discussed at the North East meeting, including a focus on school funding, and also the potential cost of Egress Switch secure email.
The Safeguarding Forum meetings took place in the afternoon, following the South and North East meetings, but unfortunately had to be cancelled in the West and Mid. However, Pam Langmead and Jo Barclay aim to reschedule the safeguarding forum meetings for these areas and will contact schools as soon as possible with a new date.
Please don’t hesitate to contact Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments about this information and minutes of the meetings.