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A message from Christine McInnes:

29 February 2024 weekly update

22 February 2024

This week, Christine shares updates on Ofsted and the Kent 'Big Listen' events, Public Health information on Measles and Vaping, and other recently published documents and consultations.

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you had a restful break over the half term and this first week back is going well.


A big thank you to the many that sent in your evaluations and suggestions for future headteacher briefing meetings. It’s really helpful to have your suggestions.

Last year we piloted an input from Ofsted to summer term HT briefings which proved very popular and we will be repeating again this year. This is an opportunity to find out about current developments and how the Kent data compares to national and regional data. Dates are being finalised and will be at the end of June and beginning of July.

In addition to these meetings Ofsted is running the ‘Big Listen’ The first of the Kent Big Listen events, these Ofsted-led events scheduled to last three hours, will take place in Gravesend on Thursday 9 May. If you are interested in hosting a Big Listen event, Ofsted are seeking appropriate locations (a large room available during the day plus parking for visitors) on the following dates

  • Friday 10 May
  • Thursday 16 May
  • Friday 7 June
  • Thursday 13 June
  • Friday 14 June.

If this is of interest please let Ellen Stevens know as soon as possible and we will pass onto Ofsted.

Public Health information on Measles and Vaping

Today’s bulletin includes information on measles and a vaping survey for secondary schools.  The Public Health Team will run a Teams briefing session on Measles on Monday 11 March from 1pm to 2pm to answer any questions you may have, please look out for the invitation.

The particular dangers of vaping have been in the media recently and the KCC Public Health team is gathering important intelligence so I would very much encourage secondary colleagues to complete the questionnaires.


Wraparound childcare guidance (National)

The DfE has published new guidance on wraparound childcare for schools and trusts. The guidance outlines the role of schools and trusts in relation to wraparound childcare, for children of primary school age. It also offers a practical guide for setting up wraparound provision, run by schools or PVI providers, on a school site.

A world-class education system: The Advanced British Standard (ABS) consultation (National)

Planned for introduction over the next decade, the ABS is a new baccalaureate-style qualification framework intended to take the best of A levels and T Levels and bring them together into a single, unified structure, ensuring technical and academic education are placed on an equal footing.

This is a long-term reform and views are now being sought from all interested parties - the consultation is now available

Local publications

In addition to the rolling programme of SEND roadshows that are taking place across the county to raise parent and carer awareness of available support, we will be publishing the following guidance

  • The SEND Handbook - guidance for professionals to understand how the education, social care and health system works and to drive increased consistency. This will be published in February and then disseminated.
  • The SEND Resource Directory and Inclusion manual – an online publication for all stakeholders including parent and carers launching in March.


I was delighted to visit The Oaks Specialist College this week. The Oaks Specialist College was established in 2018 as a specialist education and skills provider for 18 to 25 year olds. Having established excellent relationships with local businesses and community organisations, The Oaks is really successful in developing skills for independence and getting their students into employment. Meeting and talking with the students, finding out about how the College enables them to take successful steps into adulthood was really fantastic. A huge thank you to CEO Gordon Tillman, Principal Ros Leach and the rest of the team for their time.

And finally…

KCC published it’s budget on Monday 19 February and the papers can be seen on the KCC Democracy website

With best wishes

Christine McInnes
Director of Education and SEN