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A message from Christine McInnes:

14 December 2023 weekly update

14 December 2023

This week, Christine updates on the SEND scrutiny sub-committee, the localities consultation and the Spring headteacher briefings.

Dear Colleagues,

Christmas preparations and now in full flow and I expect you are very much looking forward to the end of term. Thank you to those of you that have sent me beautiful Christmas cards which have cheered me up no end.

Key meetings attended

Just one to report on – the SEND scrutiny sub-committee which was focused on work in schools and the reports pack, which doesn’t include all the work going on, is now available.

Localities consultation

We are delighted that the localities consultation is gaining so much interest and traction with more than 150 responses in the first week. Many collaborations and local school groups are having meetings and discussions to decide how to respond which is wonderful; thank you to all colleagues for taking the time to do this. It must be noted that if schools decide on a collective response, those responses still need to be submitted individually. Responses from collaborations or other groups do not have any more weight than a response from a parent.

Many schools have been submitting queries about the funding formula and how allocations will be decided; the public consultation is on the principles and the model which must be finalised before any financial decisions can be made. Financial modelling is being done in the background based on a number of scenarios and schools will be fully involved in the development of the final model. This work will start in February as we close the public consultation. I am sure that many schools will be keen to work with us on this piece of work and thank you to the schools who have already expressed an interest in this important piece of work. The key driver for all the improvement work is for more children to be educated in mainstream schools alongside their peers and it is very humbling to have so many schools coming forward to offer their support and to be part of the solution.

Headteacher briefing meetings Spring term

The dates and times have been confirmed for the headteacher briefings in January and February 2024.

  • West Area - 26 January 2024 from 9am to 12noon - Orida Hotel, Maidstone.
  • South Area - 29 January 2024 from 1pm to 4pm - Ashford International Hotel, Ashford.
  • North Area - 30 January 2024 from 1pm to 4pm - Mercure Hotel, Brands Hatch, Dartford.
  • East Area - 8 February 9am to 12noon - Darwin Conference Suite, University of Kent, Canterbury.

Please complete the booking form for HT’s to confirm attendance

The agenda will include an update on localities implementation and a marketplace of agencies that are available to work with schools. An agenda will be circulated in the near future.

And finally

Marisa White, Assistant Director Education (ADE), East Kent, is partly leaving Kent following 36 years of dedicated public service. A huge thank you from many of you to Marisa for her work in a range of different roles over the years. Marisa will be still working with KCC in 2024 in a new role just two days a week from January. Rob Veale, who has been working with us since November, will be the new ADE East Kent.

With best wishes for a peaceful Christmas break.

Christine McInnes
Director of Education and SEN