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Newsletter 13 - October 2021

Wow it has been a fast start! I hope the first month of the academic year has gone well for you all. You will be glad to know that our place-based work is in “pole-position,” as we implement our agreed Autumn and Spring Term plans.

Headlines this month include…..

  • We have a new Minister overseeing the pilot place-based strategy. Baroness Barran MBE was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education on 17 September 2021.She was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from 26 July 2019 to 17 September 2021.To find our more
  • Congratulations to Lee Sargeant who has been appointed as Headteacher of Devonport High School for Girls. We wish you well in your next leadership challenge Lee and are pleased that you remain in Plymouth.
  • Thank you for submitting your TAG data to SWIFT and to Jon Lunn for collating it. The outcomes achieved represent a new baseline for secondary schools in the City and it is our aspiration, recognising there is some uncertainty around examination in 2022, that we maintain this trend of improvement.
  • The Strategic Education Group met for the first time this month. Amongst other things to consider the KPI framework that will provide a framework through which we can evaluate the success of our collaborative efforts. These draft KPIs will be published shortly with Headteachers having the opportunity to comment and shape.
  • OA Funding Bids have been signed off by the Place-Based Strategy Board, which is chaired by Hannah Woodhouse, the Regional Schools Commissioner. Further bids are being written to support a “Curriculum Excellence Programme” led by the West Country Trust for Plymouth. Also, a bid to support further roll out of the Sparx Maths offer across the City. Once these have been published they will be shared. Minutes of the meeting are published on the portal here…(insert)
  • Thank you for your continued support of the Plymouth Secondary Improvement Portal, which continues to be an essential facet of our work. If you have not provided invoicing details yet, please do so here.
  • At the next PLT meeting, November 2nd, Martin Smith will be joining us to give you a briefing on the new NPQs and the ECF, implications for schools.
  • Ofqual and the Department for Education have published the outcome of the recent consultation on adaptations to exams in 2022, as well as outlining further information on grading in 2022 and the launch of a new consultation on TAG contingencies. This paper provides a brief summary of the key points:

With thanks for your continued support and engagement with our work.

Best Wishes

   Tony and Chrysta

The Plymouth Secondary Strategy update:

Strand 1: 

Individual School Support
Partnership Support
MAT School Improvement Support

  • Developing Trust central capacity via TCAF
  • Co-ordinating the TSI Focused/Enhanced Support Offers across the city
  • Generating a co-ordinated schedule of SI visits across SATs/MATs/LAMs

Programme overview and Updates
  1. All schools eligible for the TSI Focused/Enhanced Offers have been matched with Trust/System Leaders and will be supported by Laura Carboneras and Chrysta Garnett. Two external Trusts (STEP Academy Trust & Chiltern Learning Trust) are sighted on the place-based plan and keen to share their own expertise and trust internal capacity to support our work.
  2. The Autumn Term schedule for school and Trust SIP visits has been confirmed. Tony and Chrysta will be in touch with Trusts/Heads to confirm their attendance and timings.

Strand 2: 

An outstanding CPD offer in the city that builds leadership capacity to implement evidence-based improvement. Heads of Implementation working closely with MAT CEOs leading on the following strands:

  • Leadership (Greenshaw Learning Trust)
  • Curriculum (WEST Country Trust and Ted Wragg Trust)
  • English and Literacy (WEST Country Trust)
  • Maths and Numeracy (Ted Wragg Trust)
  • Teaching and Learning (Thinking Schools Academy Trust and Greenshaw)
  • Inclusion/SEND (Transforming Futures Trust & Plymouth LA)
  1. 100% of Plymouth Secondary SLTs have accessed the Greenshaw Learning Trust Leadership 360 diagnostic. Following the data analysis, each Headteacher will be provided with a school insights report against the standards; each participating leader will be provided with a leader insights report comparing their perceived strengths with the observations of peers. This will be confidential to the leader and will inform their own professional development. An anonymised City Insights Report will show strengths and challenges in terms of the whole City and will inform Leadership Training in the second half of the Autumn Term. 
  2. The TARGeT(Training and Retaining Great Teachers) programme was successfully launched on Sept 28thwith fully funded face-to-face training delivered to over 14 Plymouth secondary schools in person at China Fleet. Senior Leaders attending this programme will develop a robust plan to support every teacher in their school/Trust and develop the skills and knowledge to build on schools’ already existing CPD programmes.  
  3. A fully funded Trauma Informed Schools CPD offer is now available to book on the Portal:  Two senior leadership places are available per school for this initial training, to be followed with opportunities for EOIs for 70+ colleagues in the city to undertake the TIS Diploma in Trauma and Mental Health Informed Schools and Communities (Practitioner Status).
  4. Our regional Whole School SEND colleagues have shared their fully funded virtual training offer for Senior Leaders, SENCOs, Governors and Curriculum Leads in schools and Trusts. You can access the full offer here:

Strand 3: 

Develop and implement a strategy to tackle key barriers to system improvement. 
  • Reducing student mobility across the city
  • Tackling disadvantage at scale with focus on literacy
  • Agree evidence informed model of primary-secondary transition
  1. Our colleagues Jon Eaton (Research School) and Scott Davies (WeST) very kindly offered an additional virtual ‘Bonus’ session for Plymouth Literacy Implementation Leads on Sept 24th. A recording of this event and resources can be found here (scroll down):   We will be asking Literacy Leads to share their worked examples of literacy implementation plans later this term so that Plymouth can have a central bank of exemplars to support colleagues in their work.
  2. James Buchanan (All Saints Academy) has now been appointed to the role of Inclusion Base Co-ordinator following the instrumental work of Richard Woodland, Director of Inclusion at WeST in establishing the bases last academic year 20-21. The Inclusion Cluster Based Strategy group will provide oversight of the cluster bases and help maintain the strategic direction of this important piece of work in reducing student mobility in the city.
  3. Pupil Premium expert Marc Rowland has helpfully produced a downloadable worked example of the new DfE Pupil Premium Strategy document on his blog which you can find here:

Communications and Collaboration:

Don't forget to explore the Portal's exciting new Professional Learning Communities.

'It’s a place for us to meet and connect, to support and advise, to grow and improve - ourselves and others'.

If you haven't already joined, you can join the community Here
Please encourage your colleagues to visit the platform, and if you haven't already follow the Plymouth Secondary Strategy via our  Twitter feed @PLSecondaStrat 
The portal can be found here:
CPD Portal   
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