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A message from Christine McInnes:

18 January 2024 weekly update

18 January 2024

This week, Christine shares the Kent SEND six month review feedback letter from DfE and NHS England and updates on school attendance in Kent.

Dear Colleagues,

Kent SEND six month review feedback letter

I am really pleased to include the feedback letter from DfE and NHS England (PDF, 173.8 KB) following their review of activity in the Accelerated Progress Plan which took place in November 2023. You will see the considerable work by all those involved and the progress that has been made. A big thank you to the many education leaders in Kent that have contributed to the improvement so far.

We are carefully considering the contents of the letter to help us prepare for the next review which will take place in April, around the same time we are expecting the next SEND Area inspection. Whilst there is some overlap in the evidence, the inspection will be under a the framework which was first implemented in January 2022.

You can find further information on the KCC website

PIAS - School Attendance

You may be aware that Simon Smith joined KCC as Head of PIAS a year ago. Prior to his appointment, attendance was a key issue of concern raised with me by headteachers, second only to concerns about SEND. I can’t remember the last time the issue was raised, our countywide attendance data is showing improvement and this week DfE invited Simon to be one of the presenters at the upcoming South East virtual best practice sharing event in February to ‘showcase some of the excellent work you’ve done in Kent since the guidance came out’. Praise indeed and well done to PIAS and also all the education leaders doing great work on tackling this critical issue.

And finally... spring term headteacher briefings

We are very much looking forward to seeing you at the next round of headteacher briefings. The draft agenda (PDF, 165.6 KB) is available. Just a reminder of the dates and venues below-

  • 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.

Best wishes

Christine McInnes
Director of Education and SEN