Skip to content

A message from Christine McInnes:

26 May 2022 weekly update

26 May 2022

This week, Christine shares a farewell message from Matt Dunkley, an update on the SEND Redesign and details of the Summer Headteacher Briefings.

Dear Colleagues,

A message from Matt Dunkley to start this week’s bulletin:

I shall be retiring next week and wanted to take this opportunity to say goodbye and a huge thank you to all of you in the Kent family of schools and settings for the fantastic work you have done for children and young people in Kent in the last five years. During that time your leadership has taken Kent schools and settings from strength to strength, and your partnership with the County Council over initiatives such as the EEFective Kent Schools project and Reconnect have led to real benefits for Kent children.

Above all we worked together through the biggest leadership challenge of our careers in two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. The way Kent headteachers and KCC officers worked together through the pandemic to protect vulnerable children, interpret and implement government policy and guidance and keep children safe and connected to your schools, virtually and physically, was truly inspiring. The pandemic impacted all of us, and the way we worked together to try and minimise the impact on children and their education is a source of great pride.

I would like to thank colleagues in KAH for the challenging and constructive relationship, which I know will continue with Interim Corporate Director of CYPE Sarah Hammond, and Director of Education Christine McInnes. I wish you all every success in future, and I am sure both the partnership, and Kent children and young people, will continue to thrive.

Kind regards

Matt Dunkley CBE | Corporate Director | Children, Young People and Education

SEND Redesign: Internal Staff Consultation

The SEND Redesign has been progressing and an internal Kent County Council staff consultation has started and will run until Friday 24 June 2022. The consultation is considering how we organise and structure the SEND service to ensure that it is fit for the future.

The SEND Service will be making some changes this year, as we know, based on feedback from you as schools and from parents, carers and staff within the SEND service, that we can do better. We are also aware that the demand for SEND services has grown over recent years and that we are expecting the demand to continue to grow. Therefore, the SEND service needs to change so we can do better for you, the children, young people and families of Kent, and make sure services are fit for the future and can respond to the growing demand in a timely way.

The SEND Redesign is focusing on the internal structure and organisaton of the service only and we want to make sure that any changes made are meaningful. Through changing the structure and organisation of the service we want to make working together easier and for our services to become simpler to navigate, so we can become more inclusive by identifying needs and putting support and interventions into place at an earlier stage.

Read the full article to find out more about the SEND Redesign.

Summer Headteacher Briefings with Christine McInnes

We would be delighted to see as many of you as possible at Christine’s summer headteacher briefings. All sessions begin at 2pm and there will be a demonstration of the Inclusion dashboard from 1pm.

  • Tuesday 14 June from 2pm to 4pm at Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel, Hollingbourne.
  • Thursday 16 June from 2pm to 4pm at Mercure Dartford Hotel, Brands Hatch.
  • Monday 20 June from 2pm to 4pm at St Augustine’s, Westgate-on-Sea.
  • Wednesday 22 June from 2pm to 4pm at Ashford International Hotel.

To reserve your place, please email confirming your name, school and the session you are able to join.

I wish you a peaceful break over half term.

Best wishes

Christine McInnes
Director of Education