Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the festive season and the opportunity to spend time with friends and family.
We return to the Spring Term full of optimism for the future, but again find ourselves having to wrestle with the demands of dealing with COVID. More of that later.
I am delighted to take this opportunity to welcome the staff of The Beacon Federation to the WeST family of schools. As hoped, these schools officially joined WeST on 1st January 2022, and we very much look forward to working collaboratively in the years to come. To recognise the individual identity of these schools, and match our established model of working, I am pleased to announce that Mr Mark Mitchell is the Headteacher of Ermington Primary School and Mrs Lucy French is the Headteacher of Ugborough Primary School. Mrs Karen Dixon remains the Headteacher of Manor Primary School but also has additional responsibility as a Hub Leader within WeST.
Plymstock School also sees a change in leadership with Mr Alan Yendell taking on the role of Acting Headteacher from the start of term.
Returning to the theme of COVID, to keep staff and children safe we will continue to embrace our established system of controls. However, recent government guidance has seen a move towards greater flexibility in helping to keep schools open for face to face teaching. We will explore varying approaches to maintaining the maximum number of children in school when confronted with increasing staff absence.
As we start the new calendar year I would like to take this opportunity to share a couple of key strands of work that are tightly linked to WeST’s Strategic Plan.
People & Partners
Continued promotion of WeST’s values and ensuring that we recognise them in our daily work, actions and relationships.
Demonstrating behaviours that promote our values, establish our ‘culture’ of how it feels to work in WeST, and, most importantly, contribute to the delivery of the blend and standard of education in which we believe.
Talent Management Strategy. Making sure that we recruit, retain and develop talent. Potential colleagues seeing the value of working within a strong family of schools and the opportunity it affords.
Making sure that we attract fantastic trainees onto our Initial Teacher Training Programme (ITT).
Greater familiarisation and impact of the Early Career Framework (ECF) with carefully scaffolded training for both ECTs and their respective mentors.
Curriculum & alignment
WeST Primary curriculum training, Day 3, at Crowne Plaza – Monday 28th February 2022
English aligned curriculum
Forensic Reading Programme
Read, Write Inc. resources and training so that high quality delivery is embedded across WeST primary schools
WeST secondaries seeing significantly stronger curriculum alignment so that the power of genuine and meaningful collaboration can be realised. Deliberately moving from ‘networking’ to collaboration for the benefit of all children
Strong common assessment to inform progress and planning
In the meantime I wish everyone a happy, prosperous and safe 2022.
Rob Haring, CEO
Covid LFT testing
Happy New Year to you all.
As you are all aware we are all asked to under a LFT twice a week. With the increased infection rates that we are currently facing with the Omicron variant of Covid, it is important to undertake this test. The government has stated to expect up to 25% reduction in the workforce in the coming weeks. Currently across the country it is estimated that 1 million people are self-isolating.
Please ensure you test twice a week, and if you have any symptoms, please test each day. If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid you are also required to undertake a LFT each day for seven days. If during these seven days you test positive, you must book a PCR and self-isolate.
WeST are very mindful that in some roles we are required to travel across various schools. In order to ensure we reduce the risk of spreading Covid if you do travel across multiple school, please can you test each day.
If you have had Covid within the last 90 days, you can still test as described above.
The coming weeks are likely to be a challenging time for us all. We very much appreciate the effort everyone is making to reduce the risk in our schools
Director of Estates
A big welcome to all of our new starters
The new term has brought new faces to the schools and business units across the Trust. We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all to WeST and hope you are beginning to settle in.
As part of the Trust aim of continual improvement, we would be interested to know about your experience of the selection process that led to your first day with us and your initial first couple of weeks.
We would therefore appreciate it if you would spend a few minutes completing the anonymous form that can be found here or via the QR code above by 31st January. Please also look out for an email with the link in if it is easier for you to access from there.
If you would like to discuss this or encounter any problems opening the form please contact the HR Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01752 891754 Ext 1765.
Clarification on the changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and Trust Expectations
Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason. The guidance states that individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period and those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart.
Following this update, the Trust expectation is that all staff who test positive will undertake LFD tests commencing early on day 6 and then on each consecutive day, and will return to work following two consecutive negative tests (subject to feeling well enough to do so). For absolute clarity, individuals who meet the necessary requirements can, and are expected to, return to work following a 2nd negative LFD result on day 7 as per national guidance. This is because an LFD test can be done early enough on day 7 to facilitate attendance at work, and the day 6 test done 24 hrs before that.
Members of staff who are unable to take LFD tests and who will therefore need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation are expected to notify their school/service area that this is the case along with reasons.
Wembury Primary – Meadow Rise Official Opening
On Friday 3rd December, Wembury Primary celebrated the official opening of their new Foundation and Key Stage One build. Amongst others, Sir Gary Streeter and Councillor John Hart were in attendance.
The modular eco building (containing three stunning new classrooms and a natural decking area) has been named ‘Meadow Rise’ by Susie Evans, former headteacher of Wembury Primary who worked for many years towards achieving this brilliant outcome for the children. Wembury Primary are exceptionally grateful to Mrs. Evans and also to all those who supported her along the way with this endeavour: school governors (Sheila Jenkins, Catherine Woods, John Holden, Matt Bennett - to name just a few); Westcountry Schools Trust; Devon County Councillor John Hart; Bailey’s Partnership and TG Escapes.
Acting headteacher Lyn Chamberlain said: “Wembury Primary has always prided itself on being a warm, nurturing environment with high aspirations across the curriculum and our fabulous staff ensure that each individual is valued and supported to develop their interests and talents with a focus on instilling a ‘love of learning’ for life. This new development is a valuable contribution to our pupils’ journey."
Statutory Sick Pay self-certification period temporarily extended
An amendment was made to the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Regulations from 17th December allowing employees to self-certificate for up to 28 days through to 26 January 2022. The amendment applies to workers whose spell of incapacity for work commenced before 17 December 2021 (but was not yet longer than seven days on that date) or for any spell that began/begins within this period i.e. from 10th December at the earliest and onwards. The change has been introduced in order to allow GP capacity to be increased and support for the coronavirus vaccine booster program to be maximised.
If you have any questions at all related to these two changes to national provisions please direct these to your local school team or alternately the HR Helpline HR@westst.org.uk or 01752 891754 ext. 1765.
The HR Team
Money worries can affect anyone at any time. The New Year is often a time people consider their financial wellbeing and we’d like to highlight some options.
Did you know that Money Helper provides a range of online guides and calculators? Its free to use and facilitated by the Department for Works and Pensions. They also offer online, WhatsApp, and telephone support for a personal and confidential discussion.
Did you know that you may be able to access grant support too? Or perhaps you may know a former staff member from education who needs a little support? There are a range of schemes providing financial grants for personal circumstances which don’t need to be repaid. Full details of current schemes are on the Staff Portal.
Hello, my name is Julie Eames and I am a teaching assistant at a West primary school. I am currently in my final year of a BA(Hons) primary education degree. I would really appreciate your help with my research project. Through my project I am hoping to gain a greater understanding of well-being in primary education. Please could you complete the attached questionnaire via the link; it should take no longer than 15 minutes. To clarify this questionnaire is to support my development journey as a Marjon student please see the attached participation document which will provide you with further details.
Thank you for your support
New Year, New You?
With many looking for new year resolutions, healthy changes start with little changes. Whether you want to lose weight, get active or quit smoking, Better Health provides lots of free tools and support.
There are also a range of apps to kickstart your health.
FREE LEVEL TWO TRAINING COURSES FROM THE AIM GROUP AND WESTCOUNTRY SCHOOLS TRUST:
THE DOMINO EFFECT - ANTICIPATE THE SIGNS, BEFORE THE DECLINE
The AIM Group is excited to include all Westcountry Schools Trust Schools in its brand-new FREE campaign #TheDominoEffect. Thisis aimed to raise awareness of the impact mental health and neurodiversity problems are having on today’s generation all without cost. By gaining an essential understanding of these issues, we can all become better equipped to support individuals and prevent the problem from spiralling out of control.
653 people connected to WeST have already signed-up for these free courses from the Aim Group. Some of the most popular subjects, from the many courses available, have been:
Adverse Childhood Experiences (tailored to understand how separation, divorce and death in a family can influence a child's mental health)
Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties (understand characteristics of ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia & Dyscalculia, importance of early diagnosis, assessment methods available to diagnose learning difficulties)
Understanding Autism (learn how individuals process sensory information, understand characteristics, understand conditions, learn how speech, language and communication differ in people with Autism)
Understanding Behaviour That Challenges in Children (supporting positive behaviour, effective communication & how to manage challenging behaviour)
Understanding Children and Young Peoples Mental Health (Understand factors which may affect Young Peoples mental health, the impactthat they have and how to support them with these issues)
There are also other fantastic courses such as Safeguarding and Prevent, Equality and Diversity, Business Admin, plus many more . . .
All courses are accessed online within a 6-week window and are completed on a laptop or computer at the learner's home. No Exams are involved, and the courses are following an online platform which you read through and answer questions with a few paragraphs per answer - no essays! All the information needed is provided, and available to you 24/7. Once finished You can do as many further courses as you like. However, you can just do one course at a time.
The only criteria the learner must meet to be eligible, is the following.
Aged 19 or over on or before 31st August 2021
Have lived in the UK/EU for 3+ years
Not already on a Government funded course (Apprenticeship for example)
Each course is completely free, but the learning provider reserves the right to charge a drop out fee in the event a learner enrols but then drops out without providing a reason. That said, the college will grant extensions if the learner has a reason as to why they won't be able to complete it within the allocated time.
Please note: under the college request you may need to attend a short webinar that will need to be attended to ensure we get you successfully enrolled onto the correct course
If you are interested in undertaking one of these Free Online courses, then please contact your admin support. When you sign up, please use your school email address.
Any questions you may have Chris Greenfield will be in touch on 0203 900 3091 once you are registered to walk you through everything and make sure you are happy.
We are delighted to inform you of the following exciting career opportunities within our Trust:-
Westcountry Schools Trust is looking for the following vacancies:
WeST are looking for a Senior Administrator for our School Improvement Team. If you are dedicated and highly proficient in the delivery of business administration to a dedicated team, this post provides an exciting opportunity to develop your career in the education sector. This role involves working closely with our Directors of Education and the wider School Improvement team, calling for the ability to work independently with a high level of initiative and accuracy. The ideal candidate will also have a strong administrative background with excellent project management, written and verbal communication skills and ability to remain calm and controlled in a demanding and constantly changing environment. For more information, please go here.Closing date: 9am (GMT) on Monday 17th January 2022.
This is an exciting opportunity to join the newly established Breakwater alternative provision, and exciting collaboration between Plymouth secondary schools and Plymouth City Council as a:
Teaching Assistant (fixed term - maternity cover)
Teaching Assistant (fixed term August 2023)
Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust and Westcountry Schools Trust are working in partnership to provide bespoke support to small groups of pupils in Year 7 and 8. Located at either All Saints Academy Plymouth or Eggbuckland Community College the teacher and teaching assistant, supported by Educational Psychologists and a seconded senior leader, offer a relationally-based approach to identify the academic and social barriers that are hindering the pupils’ ability to be successful in their mainstream setting. Pupils typically engage in a 10-week programme at The Breakwater, during which they maintain contact with their home-school. For more information on the above roles, please go here.Closing date: 9am on January 14, 2022.
The Learning Institute is looking to appoint an End Point Assessor for the Teacher Standard to provide opportunities for individuals and communities through high quality education, training and research programmes that challenge personal barriers and promote social inclusion. The Learning Institute believe learning should be informed by research, guided by ethics and committed to communities. The Learning Institute is an End Point Assessment Organisation for apprenticeship standards. For more information on this role, please go here.Closing date: midnight on 16th January 2022.
Glen Park Primary School are looking to appoint an excellent Office Manager to join their hardworking and successful team. Glen Park are looking for a strong and experienced candidate who can support their School Business manager and school leadership team in all aspects of school administration. For more information on this role, please go here.Closing date: noon on Monday 17th January 2021.
Woodford Primary School is seeking to appoint an enthusiastic, conscientious and self-motivated Cleaner to provide a key role in maintaining the cleanliness of our school site, ensuring a welcoming and safe environment for the whole school community. The hours will be 2 hours per day Monday to Friday during term time with a more flexible approach during the 3 week periodic clean (1-week spring break/2-week summer break) under the supervision of the Site Manager. For more information, please go here.Closing date: 21st January 2022.
Plymstock school are looking for the following vacancies:
Cover Supervisor – Required from January 2022. The successful candidate will enable the provision of learning to continue in the absence of the teacher, by utilising pre-prepared lesson plans. The Cover Supervisor will effectively manage the behaviour of students and where no cover duties are required, will undertake activities to assist teachers in the delivery of the curriculum. This is a permanent, part-time post – 30 hours pw x 39 weeks pa Salary – Grade D - Plymouth SCP 8 - 14 (Actual pro-rata salary £14,229 - £16,026) (FTE Salary £20,493 – £23,080) Closing Date: 9am – Friday 7 January 2022.
Sports Centre Leisure Assistant – Required from January 2022. Saturday Leisure Assistant at Plymstock School Sports Centre (opportunities for additional shifts available) Plymstock have an exciting opportunity for a new member of staff to join their team as a Leisure Assistant. Plymstock are looking for a suitably qualified individual to play a key role in ensuring the success and day-to-day running of the Sports Centre. Please see the Plymstock School website for full details or contact our Sports Centre Manager; email@example.comClosing date: 9am Friday 14 January 2022.
Caretaker (multi-site) - required as soon as possible - Permanent – 37 hours per week x All year round (52 weeks) Grade C (SCP 5 - 7 ) £19,312 - £20,092. Plymstock are looking to recruit a Caretaker to join their Premises Team, undertaking maintenance tasks both reactive and planned, as directed by the Premises Manager. The successful candidate will undertake inspections of the school and resolve any findings as well as being responsible for security lockdown and opening of the school premises. Closing Date: 9am – Wednesday 19 January 2022.
For more information on the above roles, please go here.
Hele's School are looking for an exceptional Finance Officer, who possesses energy and creativity and can provide effective and efficient cover to support colleagues in our Finance department. We would welcome applications from suitably qualified persons. There may be an opportunity for more than one year. For more information, please go here. Closing date: Midnight, 16th January 2022.
Callington Community College are looking for the following vacancies:
A well-qualified and experienced SENDCO to join their team with a passion for working with young people to ensure they receive the education they deserve. You will be an exemplary practitioner with a proven record of expertise in Special Educational Needs. Closing date: Friday 14 January 2022.
A Curriculum Leader of Social Sciences at Callington Community College. Social Sciences (Sociology, Criminology and Psychology) are a popular choice for students at both GCSE and A-Level at the College. Closing date: Friday 14 January 2022.
Callington are looking for a talented, enthusiastic and inspirational Teacher of History, with outstanding interpersonal skills. Callington expects successful candidate to be able to teach all levels throughout the school from Year 7 to A-Level Teacher of History. Closing date: Friday 21 January 2022.
An exceptional individual to join the existing team of Teaching Assistants at Callington Community College. All the Teaching Assistants play an important role in assisting with support for students to enable them to access the curriculum Teaching Assistant. Closing date: Friday 7 January 2022.
Sports Centre Manager to be responsible for the operational management of the Sports Centre. The post holder will monitor access to all sports facilities, providing adequate safety to the sports estate, equipment, staff and users. Closing date: Monday 17 January 2022.
A talented, enthusiastic and inspirational candidate, with outstanding interpersonal skills, to teach Geography. Callington would expect the successful candidate to be able to teach all levels throughout the school from Year 7 to A-Level. Closing date: Friday 21 January 2022.
For more information on all vacancies, please go here.
South Dartmoor Community College are looking for the following vacancies:
Operations Manager - the Operations Manager will be working in a fast-paced environment, overseeing the College’s support services and reporting directly to the Executive Head teacher. They will be one of the College’s leading support staff professionals, working as part of the College’s Senior Leadership Team to assist the Executive Head teacher in their duties, whilst working with wider Trust colleagues to ensure alignment with WeST Strategy. Closing Date: Monday 17 January 2021 at 8.00 am.
Exams Officer - The successful candidate will be hardworking, self-motivated and enjoy working in a team as well as under their own initiative. Previous experience within this area would be advantageous. You will be a committed and loyal individual; with high expectations and an unwavering determination to get the best for students. Closing Date: Monday, 10 January 2022 at 8.00 am.
Head of Year (Non-Teaching) - This is a full time, permanent position, with the year group to be determined on appointment. The successful candidate will work closely with the Directors of Key Stages and the Assistant Head teachers for Progress and Culture to ensure all students within their year group fulfil their potential. Closing Date: Tuesday 25 January 2022.
Teacher (Lead CAIRB – SEND) - The successful candidate will work closely with the school SENDCo in leading the day to day SEND provision across the school. They will also take the lead role in the Communication and Interaction Resource Base (CAIRB). The CAIRB is a 0-25 provision for students with Communication and Interaction needs, all of whom are Autistic. They will have experience of working with children with Autism and an awareness of the challenges these students face within a mainstream environment, in addition to a comprehensive understanding of whole school SEND needs and provision. Closing Date: Tuesday 25 January 2022, 8.00 am.
For more information on all vacancies, please go here.