Winners celebrate success at Teach Portsmouth Awards evening

The contribution of teachers from across Portsmouth was celebrated at a glittering awards ceremony at the Gaiety Bar on South Parade Pier on Friday 4 Oct.

On behalf of Portsmouth Educational Partnership, Portsmouth City Council hosted the second annual Teach Portsmouth award ceremony to recognise those inspirational and hardworking teachers who excelled in the nine categories of outstanding progress, creativity, innovation, community, inclusion, wellbeing, partnership, unsung hero and overall achievement.

Laura Nerssessian from Trafalgar School won the outstanding progress award. She has achieved outstanding results for her GCSE classes, securing progress grades which put the students in the top 5% of the country for both grades 5-9 and 7-9. The department is one of the two top performing departments in the school and Laura’s passion for teaching and learning is continuously driving the department forward. Laura’s aspirational goals for the students have been key in motivating and supporting them to achieve above and beyond.

Cllr Suzy Horton, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “It was a real privilege to share in the celebrations for our motivational and dedicated teachers tonight and I congratulate them all. The quality of candidates for the awards was superb and the winners must be very proud to know that they are held in such high regard by their pupils and peers.”

With almost 80 Lifetime Achievement Awards presented for teachers with over twenty years services, the winners of the other categories were as follows:

  • Outstanding progress – Laura Nerssessian from Trafalgar School
  • Creativity – Mrs Griggs and the Upper Junior Team at St George’s School
  • Innovation – 11 by 11 at Ark Dickens School
  • Community – The School Council at College Park School
  • Wellbeing – Jeanette Leavers from Castle View
  • Inclusion – Helen Merel at Lyndhurst School
  • Partnership – Reading resilience volunteers at the Youth Chaplaincy
  • Unsung Hero – Charmaine Caruana at Copnor School
  • Overall Achievement – joint winners Steve Labedz, Natalie Sheppard, Debbie Anderson and Polly Honeychurch

As the finale to Teach Portsmouth week – in which schools took part in a variety of activities from Teach the Parents, tutor group takeovers – the event prompted children and schools to put forward more than 100 nominees, demonstrating just how valued teachers are across the city.

As a further celebration of teachers in Portsmouth, on 29 – 31 October, in half term week, the winners of the ‘My Teacher on a Postcard’ competition will be shown in an exhibition at The Hive in Portsmouth Central Library. Children and their families will be able to visit the free event. The competition saw over 2,000 entries being submitted in a visible and moving demonstration of the regard in which pupils hold their teachers.

Applying online for school places

If your child is moving up to junior school or secondary school next year, then the window for applying for school places is open now. The deadline for transfers to secondary school is 31 October 2019, and the deadline for transfers to junior school is 15 January 2020.
Applications for starting school open on 4 November 2019.

Apply online now at:

Early Years 2019/20 Training and Development Package

It’s not too late to sign up for a 2019/20 Early Years training and development package. Universal support is available free of charge to all settings, whilst pre-purchased packages give a 40% discount on courses bought separately.

2019/20 Portsmouth Governor Training Programme

Have you seen our new training offer for governors at Portsmouth maintained schools and Academies? See the full governor training programmewhich includes a wide variety of both free and paid for sessions, and reserve a place via the traded services website or by emailing [email protected]

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