Schools Newsletter – November 2018

Message from our Chair

As we approach the end of the calendar year it is a good time to reflect on the progress we have made and look forward to the exciting work ahead of us in the New Year. I was therefore thrilled to be joined by stakeholders from across the Opportunity Area at the recent Stakeholder Meeting where we presented and discussed the progress of projects already underway and discussed some of the key issues facing young people in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire. In this letter, you will read about some of our ongoing activities and some initiatives that are just starting. The pace of the programme is increasing as we move from the planning stage to the implementation stage.

As always, we value your contributions and encourage you to continue to give us feedback on the programme as it progresses. The key to sustainability lies in building partnerships and promoting collaboration. Two key questions, therefore, relate to: “How well are we adopting a collective approach to tackling social mobility? What can we do better?” Whatever setting or context you are working in, please open the discussion with staff on these two important questions, and come and share feedback with us at our next Stakeholder Meeting in January.

If you would like to speak to the Opportunity Area team about any aspects of the programme please do not hesitate to contact them on They are always keen to hear new suggestions and to hear from schools looking to benefit from the programme so would be delighted to arrange a phone call or visit to your school.

Tricia Pritchard

SEND Reviewer Roles

The Fenland and East Cambridgeshire Opportunity Area, in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council, is recruiting for a team of SEND reviewers to improve outcomes for children with special educational needs and disabilities in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire. These SEND reviewers will act as expert advisors to schools as well as coordinate supportive SEND activity for school clusters in the region. These are one-year fixed term posts, available either full or part time on a secondment basis.

If you are looking for the chance to work with schools across Fenland and East Cambridgeshire and think this role might be of interest to you we would love to hear from you. Please send your CV and a cover letter to Bethan Du-Mont, Opportunity Area Programme Coordinator, (, by 9:00 AM on Monday 17th December. More information about the role can be found in the job description and person specification but if you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Bethan.

Teaching Assistant Training Tenders

Following an audit of the training needs of teaching assistants in the Opportunity Area, three key areas were identified as priorities:

  • Behaviour management
  • Supporting pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL)
  • Confidence in using ICT

We are now seeking providers to deliver training in the above areas for Key Stage 2 teaching assistants in the Opportunity Area so invite applications from groups and organisations who have experience in the field. To view full details of these training tenders please visit the following webpages:

For more information, please contact

MITA Training

The East Cambridgeshire and Fenland Research School are running ‘Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants‘ training in the Spring and Summer Terms. Opportunity Area schools can access this training fully funded. The training, which has received extremely positive feedback from its first round, supports school leaders in identifying and implementing sustainable change using the evidence base to make the best decisions for their own context.

For more details, visit the Research School’s website where you can also find information about further training, sign up to the Research School newsletter and read about evidence based practice in a range of settings.

Recruitment Incentives Grant

We know that recruiting teachers can be a challenge, and that recruiting the right people to vacant posts is of huge importance to your schools. Our recruitment incentives grant is available to schools in the Opportunity Area who are struggling to recruit to vacant posts.

The grant is for up to £10,000 to be spent on a range of incentives for new teachers. These incentives include CPD (including Masters courses), learning visits to other schools (including in other parts of Europe), driving lessons, childcare vouchers and cover for personal days. You can mention the incentives in your job adverts. Schools who have already benefited from this grant have reported that these incentives have helped to attract applicants who otherwise would not have applied to the school.

If you would like more information or to request this grant, please contact

Funded Parental Engagement Sessions

The Fenland and East Cambridgeshire Opportunity Area is funding Contact ( to run sessions for parents throughout the Opportunity Area to give them information about accessing support for children and young people with special educational needs and/or mental health concerns. Attendees at previous sessions have commented:

  • “I learnt a lot about special educational needs today and support for me to support my son at school.”
  • “I feel I know more information on special education needs support, EHCP and where to find information about it.”

There is one remaining session due to take place in Chatteris on Friday 30th November. After this, a webinar providing information about how to access SEND and mental health support will be available online from Friday 7th December for parents to access if they have not previously attended these sessions.

Please do advertise these opportunities to parents, particularly those who may be struggling with accessing support for their children’s special educational needs or mental health concerns.

For more information, please contact

Foundation Teacher Training Programme

We know that there are brilliant teaching assistants in your schools, who would make ideal teachers but face barriers in accessing teacher training programmes. We have partnered with Cambridgeshire County Council’s Teach in Cambridgeshire to offer a funded two-year schools-based route into Qualified Teacher Status. This is open to both primary and secondary schools in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire. For more information, please see the attached flyer here

Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund (TLIF)

The Department for Education is funding five programmes in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire through the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund. These are free for all Fenland and East Cambridgeshire schools. The programmes are:

  • Institute of Physics – The Future Physics Leaders Programme provides professional development and support for specialist physics teachers, newly qualified teachers (NQTs) and non-specialist physics teachers. Now recruiting for 2019. Contact
  • Ruth Miskin Training – Literacy CPD in the teaching and leadership of phonics and early reading. Fully subscribed but places may become available. Contact
  • Tom Bennett Training – Two courses offered: one for teachers (Running a Room) and one for leaders of all levels (Running a School). These courses raise knowledge and skills for all staff, enabling them to design, build and maintain an optimal culture of positive behaviour. Now recruiting for 2019 and 2020. Contact
  • The Geographical Association in Partnership with the Association for Science Education – Development programme Geography Science Teaching, specifically aiming to develop pedagogy that enables teachers to acquire knowledge in science and geography through critical use of evidence and argument that leads to improved engagement and attainment. Further details are available at or by contacting
  • Education Development Trust in partnership with the Chartered College of Teaching – Development programme for early career teachers. A sustained professional development programme which provides expert support for newly qualified and early career teachers (in the first five years of their career), accelerating their progress to become an excellent classroom teacher. The programme also includes input for school leaders and existing in-school mentors in the participants’ school with the aim to increase in-school capacity for development and support. Further details TBC.

Visit to find out more, or contact to discuss any of these programmes further.

National Professional Qualifications (NPQs)

The Department for Education has recently developed a reformed suite of National Professional Qualifications (NPQs). Teachers in Opportunity Areas have exclusive, fully-funded access to these qualifications.

See here for the full list of providers:  The following NPQs are available:

  • National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)
  • National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)
  • National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH)
  • National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL)

Each provider will have a slightly different approach and curriculum, so please contact your preferred provider for details about their course.If you have any queries about this, please contact

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