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A message from Matt Dunkley CBE:

28 February 2020 weekly update

28 February 2020

This week, Matt announces some important changes to the March Headteacher Briefings and shares an update on round two of the EEFective Kent Project.

Dear Colleagues

This week I have been lucky enough to get out and about in West Kent with visits to one of our Special Schools, a Primary school and a Children’s Centre. I always find it a pleasure to speak to the children and young people first hand to hear about their school life and their interests. I experienced some great provision and my thanks to Gordon Tillman and Sam Perryman at Oakley School, Caroline Powell at Rusthall St Paul’s Primary School and to Charlotte Cooper the Unit Lead at Little Forest Children’s Centre for all making me feel welcome.

Coronavirus links and updates can be found on the Kelsi homepage and schools are asked to check the PHE website every day to ascertain the latest advice. The PHE website is being updated whenever the advice changes.

**STOP PRESS** Changes to Headteacher Briefings - March 2020

Important news about the Headteacher Briefing meetings which I am hosting with KAH colleagues in March. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the four dates we have previously posted will now be condensed into two large meetings taking place on Monday 16 March at Ashford International Hotel.

My apologies for this last-minute change, but I am keen to ensure that we have a robust agenda to maximise your time away from school. I am very pleased to confirm that we have managed to secure HMI Phil Minns and Claire Prince to begin the discussion about SEND in the new Inspection Framework and the expectations of all partners in the Area SEND.  I am also pleased to have Andrew Ettinger the Head of Collaborative School Improvement Education Trust to continue the theme of inclusion, with discussion on supporting and developing inclusive practices in our schools, I will also share key updates and the strategic vision and direction of SEND in Kent and finally, a round-up of the latest school funding news.

  • The morning session starts with refreshments at 9am for 9:15am start. The meeting concludes at 12:15pm
  • The afternoon session starts with refreshments at 1pm for at 1:15pm start. The meeting concludes at 4:15pm.

Please can I ask you to confirm which session (AM or PM) you wish to attend by email to

EEFective Kent Project

You’ll have heard that KCC and the EEF have created a joint pot of money that Kent schools can access to fund proven school improvement approaches.

The first round of early adopters have grasped the opportunity, gone through the application process and taken up the offer of matched funding. 97% of the first-round applications to the EEFective Kent Project were successful and many schools are already booking dates for training or interventions for the Summer and Autumn terms. Feedback from the schools in the first round found the application process to be straightforward and quick to complete.

If you missed out on the first round or if the timing didn’t work for your school, you can apply in round two, which opens on 20 April and closes on 1 May. The choice of 13 evidence-based approaches which covers literacy, maths, science, formative assessment and working memory, some for the whole school or class and some for targeting groups of students, means that there really is something for all schools.

Round two coincides with the start of the new financial year so we hope this will be an incentive for even more schools to take advantage of this great offer. The third and final round of funding won’t take place until next year.

If you want to find out more about the choice of school improvement approaches on offer and find the right one for your school, as well as learn what you can do to prepare a successful application, then book a place at one of the roadshows taking place on 21 April

If you haven’t seen it yet, there is lots of information on Kelsi with a prospectus (PDF, 3.7 MB), some of the most frequently asked questions (PDF, 176.7 KB) and more information about the roadshows (PDF, 913.8 KB). Finally, if you have any questions, feel free to email

Matt Dunkley CBE
Corporate Director
Children, Young People and Education