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A message from Christine McInnes:

23 November 2021 weekly update

23 November 2021

This week, Christine shares details of our upcoming Ofsted Headteacher Webinar on Monday 29 November.

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to inform you that we have confirmed the date for a KCC briefing from Ofsted which will take place on Monday 29 November from 4pm. We will be joined by Matthew Newberry, Ofsted HM Inspector, South East Region who will be updating on the phased return to inspection; giving a refresher on the Education Inspection framework; sharing details of the Ofsted review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges; answering your questions; and covering other noteworthy issues. If you have any questions you would like to ask in advance, please email

Please join us on Monday 29 November from 4pm on Microsoft Teams. A recording of the webinar will be available through the same link for anybody unable to attend on the day.

Good to see so many headteachers at the KAH ‘Connected Leaders’ conference last week, what a joyful day! My thanks and congratulations to the organising committee and to Joy Fourie of LLSE for keeping the show on the road. Key note speaker Diana Osagie’s no excuses approach and passion for keeping the focus on getting the best deal for children and young people was inspiring and challenging, as well as absolutely hilarious. If you were not able to attend I recommend you get to hear this woman speak or at the very least, read her book 'Courageous Leadership'. Other speakers included Roger Gough, Ben Walden, Adrian Webster and Sally Lees, as well as some great workshops. This was also Alan Brookes last conference as he is retiring at Christmas. I haven’t known Alan for long but I know he has made a great contribution to developing KAH and establishing a more robust partnership between KAH and KCC. Alan will be much missed, though I don’t think he will be missing us much. Enjoy the golf Alan!

This week I was really pleased to visit Dimples Nursery in Dartford and Bright Beginnings Nursery at North Kent College in Gravesend. It was great to have a chance to see such outstanding early years practice with children having fantastic opportunities for learning through all kinds of play. One standout moment was when a little boy with autism came over to say hello to us, a first for him. I was really grateful to the staff for hosting myself and Alex Gamby, TEP Head of Early Years and Childcare, and to Alex for organising the visits.

You will be aware that Kent is in the process of establishing its own Associate Research School as part of our work with the Education Endowment Fund. Thank you to those schools that submitted applications, the selection process took place this week with all school teams making presentations to the panel. Each submission was very different and choosing between them has been a really difficult task, we will be announcing the successful school in the near future. A big thank you to the KCC and EEF staff involved in the rigorous process.

I have been watching the sorry tale of Azeem Rafiq and the racism he experienced at Yorkshire County Cricket Club unfold with a mixture of sadness and relief that the issues have been surfaced and are now rightly in the public domain. Hopefully, this will provide the opportunity to address the racism in a systemic way, improving the game and the experience of players. Given the perpetrators claimed the racism was just ‘banter’, which is often the case with bullying, I found this article interesting  - seven ways that banter can become bullying

With all best wishes

Christine McInnes
Director of Education