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A message from Christine McInnes:

10 December 2021 weekly update

10 December 2021

This week, Christine shares Ofsted's annual report and shares initial details of the next round of headteacher briefings.

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach the last week of term, the news is far from festive, with new COVID measures, a major review into the circumstances which led to the dreadful murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and the jailing of two Metropolitan police officers following their compromising a crime scene by taking photos of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman and then sharing them.

With the worst of human behaviour hitting the headlines, it makes me value the examples of the best in us more. Whose heart did not melt to see Adele reunite with her English teacher Ms McDonald?

Ms McDonald, "so bloody cool, so engaging… she really made us care" taught Adele English for just one year over 20 years ago and inspired her to become the lyricist she is today. That is just one teacher, one pupil, one story, but we know the transformational work of school leaders and staff carries on day in day out. That is something to take the time to celebrate and be very proud of.

The challenges of the year and the impact of ‘a hokey-cokey education: in the classroom, at home, separated in bubbles, isolating alone’ for all pupils and students are detailed in the recently published Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills 2020/21. Again, much to be proud of, but also useful pointers about what we need to strengthen going forward.

In KCC, we are continuing to work on SEND and the contribution of serving school leaders Mike Walters and Ashley Crittenden is invaluable in aligning what we do and how we communicate to best effect in our joint enterprise with schools to improve the SEND system. As the incoming Chair of KAH, I have been working with Mike on planning the next round of Headteacher briefing meetings which will take place over the two weeks beginning 31 January and 7 February, dates and venues to be confirmed.  As Mike comes into the Chair’s role, it does sadly mean that Alan Brookes will be leaving us. I know Alan has worked tirelessly to develop KAH and the relationship with KCC and will be missed, though I’m not convinced he will be missing us!

With the government planning major forms in the post 16 sector, it is really important that you respond to the soft consultation about the nine recommendations emerging from the research undertaken through the local 16-19 Review. The initial findings and draft recommendations are available. You can find further details about the Review on Kelsi or contact the team by emailing The consultation closes today, Friday 10 December.

Finally, I hope that the final week of term is not too gruelling and you find a few moments to reflect with your staff on all that has been achieved this term.

With all best wishes

Christine McInnes
Director of Education