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A message from Christine McInnes:

23 November 2023 weekly update

23 November 2023

This week, Christine updates on the SEND meeting with the DfE and NHS, the SEND Localities consultation, the KALE Conference and recent committee meetings; and shares the slides and data from the recent Headteacher Briefings.

Dear Colleagues,

SEND update

The SEND system review with DfE and NHS England took place last week. We were thanked for the evidence submitted and for the detailed answers we were able to provide to the panel’s questions. Since then we have been asked to provide additional evidence by the end of this month to respond to questions the panel did not have time to ask on the day. A huge thank you to everyone involved in the preparation and on the actual day. Once the panel have made their judgements about progress, there will be an internal government department quality assurance process and it won’t be until that point that we will get the letter which will probably now be in January.

Thank you to all Headteachers, Inclusion Leads and all other school leaders who attended the Localities pre consultation engagement activities at the end of term 1. The interest in this system wide change programme has been phenomenal and the questions which were posed during the meetings were extremely searching and gave KCC a huge amount of insight as to how we implement the changes necessary. It is also necessary to thank those schools who offered to host parental events so parents are fully supported to engage in this piece of work. Following all the feedback, the consultation will launch on Wednesday 29 November 2023 and will close on Wednesday 24 January 2024. This will give sufficient time after the Christmas break for all other stakeholders to be able to engage and ensure their views are heard.

KALE conference

Last week I was delighted to attend the annual KALE conference, with Cabinet Member Rory Love and Roger Gough, Leader of KCC. It was great to see so many of you there and fantastic to have the opportunity to hear the awesome and inspiring Maggie Alphonsi MBE, the English former rugby union player and is now a regular commentator on  Sky Sports, BBC Sport and England Rugby TV. Thank you to Chair Ashley Crittenden and Joy Fourie and her team for all the work that went into another great conference.

Committee meetings

On Tuesday, the CYPE Cabinet Committee considered a paper on next year’s council budget, Family Hubs, the next edition of the KCP and the SEND sufficiency plan. The reports are available through the previous link.

For those of you that are interested in buildings disposal, Policy and Resources Cabinet Committee took place yesterday, the report of interest can be found on page 159.

And today the Governance and Audit Committee will be considering the most recent review of Home to School transport.

And finally…

Thanks again to all who attended the recent briefing meetings. I am really pleased to include the Headteacher Briefing Powerpoint Presentation (PDF, 1.1 MB) that was shown during the meeting in this bulletin for those of you who were unable to attend, as well as the education data presentation (PDF, 1.2 MB) and Kent Adult Education Family Learning brochure (PDF, 599.1 KB).

I am also delighted that this bulletin includes the PIAS Handbook - a big thank you to those in the PIAS team who contributed.

Have a good week.

Christine McInnes
Director of Education and SEN