Condition Improvement Fund – bids invited

The DFE has launched their latest round of Condition Improvement Fund for Academies, details of which can be found on the DFE website.  New applicants must register on the DFE portal by midday on Friday 29 November, and the deadline for completed bids is midday on Friday 13 December.

Portsmouth Ice Skating – School Group Offers

We are excited to confirm that Portsmouth Ice Skating is coming to the Guildhall this winter. To help spread some festive cheer, the Portsmouth Ice Skating team is offering a group booking discount for school groups of over 15 – the perfect end-of-term treat!

Open from Saturday 23 November 2019 through to Sunday 5 January 2020, the skate sessions are one hour long and start at 10am with last stake at 8pm (or 9:15pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays) – the perfect end-of-term treat.

New for this year, the ice rink includes a canopy to ensure skating sessions go ahead whatever the weather and in addition to being wheelchair accessible at all times, the team has scheduled dedicated SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) sessions. Skate aids are also available to hire for those wanting to build confidence on the ice.

Hot drinks will be available to purchase rink-side and visitors are encouraged to use Portsmouth’s surrounding outlets.

To book your school group session, and to receive the school booking discount, please call 0845 299 7991.

Follow us on social media to keep up to speed with the latest news and updates:

Facebook: PorsmouthIceSkating
Instagram: Portsmouth_Ice_Rink
Twitter: PortsmouthOnIce

For more information please visit: or call 0845 299 7991.

Publication of SEN Area Inspection Report

Message from Alison Jeffery, Director of Children, Families and Education – 24 September 2019

I am delighted to let you know that Portsmouth SEND local area inspection report has been published today following the Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspection visit which took place from 1st to 5th July 2019.

This report can be found here

This was a very wide-ranging inspection of the support for children and young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and disabilities and I am pleased that the hard work of a large number of services across education, health, social care and the voluntary sector, has been recognised in the report as contributing to improving outcomes for children, young people in the city and their families.

The report commends work across all services to implement the significant SEND reforms of recent years and celebrates the impact of partnership working in the city, something which we all value highly, of course the inspectors have specifically highlighted the following as strengths:

  • ‘Shaping Better Futures Together’ (parents coproduction group)
  • Dynamite (young people’s group)
  • School nursing, the specialist health visiting service and ECHO
  • Integrated therapy service
  • CAMHs and CAMHs-LD
  • Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs) in schools
  • Short break offer
  • Integrated adult learning disabilities service

Some innovative good practice has also been recognised, including:

  • Coproduction and person-centred annual reviews
  • Joint commissioning
  • Inclusive practice in schools
  • Use of Ordinarily Available Provision guidance and the Schools Therapy Pack
  • Quality and timeliness of EHCPs
  • Promotion of a ‘needs-led’ approach to accessing support
  • Collaboration via the Portsmouth Education Partnership
  • The work that has taken place to reduce school absence and fixed term exclusions, including use of restorative practice
  • Training and professional development e.g. via the SEN Support project and SENCo network

The report also helpfully confirms the areas that we want to improve, including:

  • Educational outcomes for those on SEN Support
  • Independence and employment for young people with SEND
  • Transition from children’s to adult services including paediatric to adult health servicesWe will of course continue to work to further improve services and outcomes for those in our city with SEND. Thank you so much to everyone for your important contribution to this.

The inspection report is both an important validation of the dedication and commitment from all those involved in supporting children and young people with SEND and their families and the difference this is making, as well confirmation of the steps we still need to take. Julia Katherine and colleagues across the partnership have already drawn up a post inspection action plan which will be going to the SEND Board for consideration next month. If anyone has any questions about the report or the action plan please do not hesitate to get in touch with Julia at [email protected]


Slides from Heads Breakfast 16/09/19

Please find attached the full set of slides from Monday’s Breakfast Briefing. Thank you to all those who were able to attend the briefing. It was an excellent turn out despite the fact we had to rearrange it for a Monday morning.

Mike Stoneman
Deputy Director, Education and Early Help

Portsmouth governor training – up and running!

We were delighted to welcome 12 new Portsmouth governors to an induction session on 17 September. The training was very well received, with governors valuing information about education in Portsmouth, an introduction to the role of governor, and the chance to network with other new governors.

Our October training offer for governors includes courses on finance (maintained schools only), governor responsibilities for Looked After Children, safeguarding, and inclusion. We will be repeating the induction session in January 2020. For more information or to book see the traded services website or email [email protected]

Welcome to the 2019/20 school year!

Please find attached a letter from Alison Jeffery, Director of Children’s Services, giving updates and information about developments for 2019/20 as well as reflecting on achievements during the 2018/19 school year.

September training with the Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance

The Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance is ready to go with a packed programme of free and low-cost CPD and Networks running throughout the year. To book your place, please see the links below for our September courses or visit

17th September                                       NPQSL
18th September                                       NQT Induction and Welcome meeting
18th September                                       Portsmouth English Network (Primary)
18th September                                       Portsmouth English Network (Secondary)
18th September                                       Recently Qualified Teachers (1-3 years after qualifying)
19th September                                       TA Skills Training
23rd September                                      More Able Network
24th September                                      Train to Teach Event
25th September                                      NQT Professional Mentors Briefing Session
25th September                                      NPQML

My Teacher on a Postcard competition and exhibition

The deadline for entries to the My Teacher on a Postcard competition is Friday 13 September. There will be a public vote for the shortlisted entries from the Teacher on a Postcard competition. We will let you know when voting opens and would ask for your support in promoting the public vote far and wide to your parents, staff, community and beyond. It will be a fairly short voting period – probably about ten days. The winners will be announced at the Teach Portsmouth Awards evening.

The Teacher on a Postcard Exhibition will take place at HIVE on the lower ground floor of Portsmouth Central Library on the Tuesday 29th, Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st of October from 9.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Everyone is welcome to visit. Please promote this in your newsletters and on your website.

Portsmouth School Experience Programme – funding available for schools

At the beginning of September we will be launching the first of our campaigns to encourage people to consider teaching in Portsmouth. The campaign will include the invitation to prospective teachers to register to gain school experience in a Portsmouth school.
We are therefore looking for host schools to take prospective teachers over the course of the 2019/20 school year, probably over 2-3 days, and allow them to:
– Sit in on a variety of lessons, working with pupils under the guidance of the teacher;
– Receive advice from the Head or CPD lead on routes into teaching;
– Talk to a newly or recently qualified teacher in the school about their experience.
We hope to be able to secure some funding from the Portsmouth Education Elementary Fund to contribute to the administrative costs to schools of providing quality school experiences which could be up to £1500 for a school (or group of schools) able to take up to 10 prospective teachers over the course of the year.
To express an initial interest in taking part please contact [email protected] by Tuesday 25 June.

Portsmouth Pride 22nd June

Portsmouth Pride takes place on Saturday 22nd June. The PEP is proud to be supporting this event and we would encourage all members of our school communities to join us; staff, pupils and parents/ carers

We will be part of the parade with our PEP banner. We would love to have a large contingent our staff, pupils and parents with us. Please feel free to bring your own school banners, wear bright colours and get ready to make some noise! The PEP contingent will meet at 9.300am opposite The Yomper statue (outside the marines museum on Eastney Esplanade PO4 9PX) on and we will head to the Coffee Cup at 9.45 to join the parade.

The main event takes place on Castle Field, Southsea from 11am – 7pm and the PEP has a stall at the event so please come and say hello. For further information or to let us know that you will be joining us please contact Sarah on 07825 420519 [email protected]