Headlines – 26 January 2024

Headteachers’ Termly Briefing

Many thanks to those that attended the Heads’ Briefing on Wednesday. If you missed it, the (1 hour) recording is here.

We were grateful for the feedback on the briefing and DBE services. If you would like to give us some additional feedback on the 3 short questions asked at the end of the briefing click here.

iSingPOP Partnership – Now Booking for Summer Term…

 Main Events and Workshops in school are completely FREE to book through our Diocesan Partnership with iSingPOP for 2024 as part of the Alive legacy.

Spring term dates are now fully booked so we are looking at Summer Term dates. We are operating on a first come first served basis at the moment so do get in touch with Emma Emma.Kenyon@isingpop.com as soon as possible to make sure you don’t miss out.

To find out more about what a ‘main event’ or workshop involves you can look at the iSingPOP website here

We’ve had some lovely feedback from Heads about Classroom Worship which is completely free for this year. Log on details have already been emailed to you but if they are lost in a long inbox just contact Joanne.Evans@coventrydbe.org who will send them to you again.

Alive 2023 Legacy Fund

The Mother’s Union in the Diocese of Coventry have set aside a fund of £2,500 to support parish and school initiatives towards the spiritual development of children in response to Alive 2023.

Grants of up to £250 will be awarded to the school after consideration by the DBE and the Mother’s Union Committee. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2024 and successful applicants will be notified by the 1 April 2024. If you would like advice on your bid contact April Gold.

Download the application form here. Or email Joanne Evans for a copy.

Upcoming CPD Still Available to Book…

Global Christianity in RE

30 January 2024

16.00-17.30 – online via Zoom; or book to receive the recording

Hosted by Jen Jenkins and with content from invited speakers, this RE CPD session will focus on the Christian worldview and the diversity of Christianity as a worldwide religion. Book a place (or to receive the recording) here.

SIAMS Termly Update

07 February 2024

16.30-17.30 – online via Zoom; or book to receive the recording

Led by Jen Jenkins, DBE RE and Spirituality Officer, these termly sessions are intended to support those schools who are due for inspection within the next two academic years. The session will guide delegates responsively depending on what schools need, and there will be an update on any local and national information on good practice. Book a place (or to receive the recording) here.

The Governors’ Role in Monitoring and Evaluation for Christian Distinctiveness and SIAMS

04 March 2024

17.30 – 18.30 – online via Zoom

Led by Jen Jenkins, DBE RE and Spirituality Officer, this online session will show governors what to look for in terms of Christian distinctiveness and the role governors play in the Christian vision of the school. Delegates will be given tools to help monitor and evaluate as part of their strategic role to ensure the flourishing of pupils and adults. Book a place (or to receive the recording) here.

School Admissions and Appeals for VA Schools and Academies – For Presenting Officers, Governors and Office Administrators

07 March 2024

14.00 to 15.30 – online via Zoom

£25 for DSA subscribers/£50 for non-subscribers

This training session, led by Joanne Evans, the DBE’s Admissions and Appeals Officer, aims to ensure an understanding of the admissions and appeals process, what is lawful and what is not, and delegates should go away feeling more confident in their knowledge and practice. Book a place (or to receive the recording) here.

Launch of the New RE Agreed Syllabus – Monday April 22

You are invited to the launch of the new Coventry and Warwickshire Agreed RE Syllabus on Monday 22 April 2024 – 14.00-17.00

In-person at Coventry Council House or online via Microsoft Teams

The rooms (in-person and online) will open 30 minutes before the start to facilitate networking and will remain open for the same amount of time at the end also.

Complete this form to register your means of attendance.

Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership New Programme – ‘Leadership for Renewal’

Leaders have borne an immense weight both personal and professionally throughout the past few years. So CEFEL has developed ‘Leadership for Renewal’, a 12-month programme investing in your leadership’s personal well-being, mental health and ongoing flourishing – to renew and sustain you for the next phase of the journey. The aim is that this programme provides participants with a refuge, a harbour, a ‘reservoir of hope’ and a deep personal and professional investment into the next phase of their leadership.

Generous bursaries available for small school leaders or those from schools in financial difficulty.

Found out more of the CEFEL website here.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Support for Headteachers

You can find support links from Warwickshire County Council here.

For those in Coventry and Solihull, you may wish to contact your occupational health teams or contact April Gold for discretionary access to the Diocesan counsellor.

All Headteachers and education staff can access Education Support which is completely free and dedicated to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of teachers and education staff in schools, colleges and universities. They have a free helpline for immediate, confidential, emotional support with a qualified counsellor – 8000 562 561

DFE – Reducing Workload and Improving Wellbeing

 On Monday 15 January 2024, the DfE announced reducing workload and improving well-being for teachers and school leaders. They are offering the following:

Free one-to-one professional supervision for school leaders through a funded scheme delivered by the Education Support charity. Over 1,400 leaders have benefitted from the support so far.

Co-created with the sector, the Education Staff Wellbeing Charter sets out shared commitments to promote, protect and enhance the wellbeing of staff. The charter can be used to create a well-being strategy, and schools are invited to sign up.

The school workload reduction toolkit helps schools to review and reduce workload. You can also read the early recommendations of the workload reduction taskforce, made up of representatives from all four teaching unions, teachers, leaders, academics and other sector experts.

Advice from fellow teachers and school leaders through the DfE Teaching Blog – which is by teachers, for teachers. There are blogs covering everything from reducing teacher workload to working flexibly and supporting teacher wellbeing

From April 2024, they will begin funding a three-year mental health and wellbeing support package. The package will provide professional supervision and counselling, ensuring more school and college leaders can access support.

Headteacher Update Podcast: A School Leadership Survival Guide

From the ‘Headteacher Update’, this (1 hour) podcast offers crucial advice and lots of practical tips to help primary school headteachers – especially those new to post – to survive and thrive in the top job while maintaining their own wellbeing and work/life balance. (Registration is required to access but it is free).

The episode is hosted by Helen Frostick, a National Leader of Education and former primary school headteacher. She is also a long-standing member of the Headteacher Update editorial board.

Unlocking School Funding: A Comprehensive Guide to Securing Grants and Funds

In an increasingly challenging landscape where budgets are continually strained, finding additional funding sources is crucial for the sustained success of schools and trusts. In this 3 min read from the Schools and Academies Show, they provide a list of five grants and funds that your school or trust can apply for, helping you to balance the books and navigate these financial constraints.

Also don’t forget that your local parish may have access to educational and social funds, trusts or grants that may help your school and families. Ask your vicar or foundation governors.

Free Tree Top Trumps from Forestry England

Did you know that the English oak tree can live for 800 years? Discover the different tree species growing in our nation’s forests and some of their leafy secrets with this Tree Trumps card game from Forestry England. Download it here.


Jaz Ampaw-Farr – a 60 Second Short on Imposter Syndrome

Someone recently asked us if we could have ‘Jaz back’, clearly remembering the amazing impact Jaz Ampaw-Farr had on us all when she was our keynote speaker at a Headteacher Conference a few years ago…

Here is a recently uploaded ‘short’ from Jaz (1 min) on that common feeling of imposter syndrome and how to deal with it for yourself, or for someone you lead.

A Prayer for Holocaust Memorial Day – Saturday 27 January

God, source of all freedom,

on this Holocaust Memorial Day we pray to you.

We remember the freedoms stolen from millions of Jewish, Sinti, black, gay, disabled people and other groups despised by the Nazis in the lead up to and during the Second World War.

We remember the lives lost in that War and in genocides since,

in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

We remember that today, in the UK and around the world, millions of people face prejudice, discrimination and hostility simply because of their identity.

God, source of all freedom,

help us to find courage to challenge attitudes of hate and intolerance,

help us to work for the protection of fragile freedoms that we often take for granted.

help us to see in others your image and to love our neighbours, that all might live in peace.

In the name of Christ.


Shared by The Revd Michaela Youngson, Assistant Secretary of the Methodist Conference and Connexional Ecumenical Officer

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