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A message from Christine McInnes:

13 March 2024 weekly update

13 March 2024

This week, Christine shares details of the upcoming maintained schools budgets briefing and the dates of the summer term headteacher briefings, and shares Public Health information on Measles and other recently published documents and consultations.

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you had a restful break over the half term (which seems like a long time ago) and apologies for the break in delivery of the KELSI bulletin which was due to technical difficulties. Many of us are busy preparing for the SEND Accelerated Progress Plan assessment as the evidence needs to be submitted by the end of the month.

KCC published it’s budget on Monday 19 February and the papers can be seen on the KCC Democracy website

Given the current interest in budgets we have organised a briefing for headteachers of maintained schools taking place on Wednesday 20 March from 1pm to 2pm and Teams invitations have been circulated. If you haven’t seen the invitation and want to attend please contact Ellen Steven by emailing

Key meetings

CYPE Cabinet Committee took place on Wednesday 6 March. The full agenda and reports are available in the main pack

And the supplementary reports pack is also available.

Reports that may be of particular interest are:

  • 8 - Presentation on post 16 Supplementary report- held over due to staff sickness
  • 9 - KCC Maintained Schools Estate pg 101
  • 11 - LADO Annual Report pg 127
  • 13 - SEND Therapy contracts Supplementary report
  • 14 - LGSCO report pg 183

I also met with KALE on Tuesday 5 March and KSENT on Friday 8 March.

Consultation and future reports

As we take the next step in the Early Years review, the Early Years public consultation is now live. Further information is available on Kelsi.

I know some of you were waiting for the publication of the Localities report at this month’s CYPE Cabinet Committee. The Localities consultation attracted a record-breaking 832 responses including 440 from parents and carers. We included the facility for free text and 1,493 comments were submitted.

We wanted to ensure full consideration of the rich, qualitative data that we have gathered, so made the decision to take the report and recommendations to the following CYPE meeting which will take place in May 2024. At that meeting we will be presenting a report which makes recommendations in relation to Localities, Specialist Resource Provision and outcomes of the Special School Review.

The report will also include the result of the construction of the Kent SEND system definitions of Predictable and Exceptional need.

Apologies for the delay to this publication but I hope you understand the rationale.

Summer term headteacher briefings

A big thank you to the many that sent in your evaluations and suggestions for future headteacher briefing meetings. It’s really helpful to have your suggestions.

I am really pleased to let you know that Ofsted colleagues will be providing an update similar to last year at the forthcoming briefings which will take place on:

  • Tuesday 11 June 2024 from 1pm to 4pm
  • Friday 14 June 2024 from 9:30am to 12:30pm (timings venue dependent)
  • Thursday 27 June 2024 from 1pm to 4pm
  • Friday 28 June 2024 from 9:30am to 12:30pm (timings venue dependent)

Venues TBC in a future bulletin.

This is an opportunity to find out about current developments and how the Kent data compares to national and regional data.

Public Health information on Measles

This week Public Health colleagues delivered a briefing on Measles. Please find the Public Health Measles presentation (PDF, 296.1 KB) and a recording of the briefing is also available.


Wraparound childcare guidance (National)

The DfE has published new guidance on wraparound childcare for schools and trusts. The guidance outlines the role of schools and trusts in relation to wraparound childcare, for children of primary school age. It also offers a practical guide for setting up wraparound provision, run by schools or PVI providers, on a school site.

A world-class education system: The Advanced British Standard (ABS) consultation (National)

Planned for introduction over the next decade, the ABS is a new baccalaureate-style qualification framework intended to take the best of A levels and T Levels and bring them together into a single, unified structure, ensuring technical and academic education are placed on an equal footing.

This is a long-term reform and views are now being sought from all interested parties - the consultation is now available

Local publications

In addition to the rolling programme of SEND roadshows that are taking place across the county to raise parent and carer awareness of available support, we will be publishing the following guidance in the near future:

  • The SEND Handbook - guidance for professionals to understand how the education, social care and health system works and to drive increased consistency. This will be published in March and then disseminated.
  • The SEND Resource Directory and Inclusion manual - an online publication for all stakeholders including parent and carers launching in March.


I was delighted to visit The Oaks Specialist College this week. The Oaks Specialist College was established in 2018 as a specialist education and skills provider for 18 to 25 year olds. Having established excellent relationships with local businesses and community organisations, The Oaks is really successful in developing skills for independence and getting their students into employment. Meeting and talking with the students, finding out about how the College enables them to take successful steps into adulthood was really fantastic. A huge thank you to CEO Gordon Tillman, Principal Ros Leach and the rest of the team for their time.

And finally…

There is much in the media about the impact of mental illness on the UK workforce and of course its on your agenda as a concern. I thought this recent research on the relationship between school attendance and mental health would be of interest.

With best wishes

Christine McInnes
Director of Education and SEN