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10 DECEMBER 2020
Thank You!
During these trying times, ConnectEd would just like to say a big thank you to those among us who are continuing to work extremely hard to support one another. We appreciate all of your hard work! 
Our newsletter is divided into the following sections:
National News - including the latest Government advice and information
Local News - including Back to school resources, and PASS and SGO Update
Good News - something to bring a smile to our faces!
Business Section - including Policies, CPD opportunities, Our Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Scheme, contact details, Plus, News from the Key.

National News

Below are a few of the most recent Government updates for Educational settings:
Implementing flexible working: training for school leaders - First Published 1st December
Teaching about relationships, sex and health - First Published 1st December
Teacher training: families - First Published 1st December
Face coverings in education - Updated 27th November
New funding to support schools and colleges during Covid pandemic - First Published 27th November
Coronavirus (COVID-19) contingency framework for education and childcare settings - First Published 27th November
Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - Updated 27th November
Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - Updated 26th November
Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak - Updated 26th November

Further information, guidance and resources can be found on 'The Key' at the bottom of this newsletter or by logging onto our members page on the ConnectEd website and clicking The Key and selecting The Key for School Leaders.


To read the latest City of Wolverhampton Council Education Providers' Bulletin, please click here

To view the DRB weekly update, please click here

City Diversity Celebrations 2021

At this time of the year we would normally be in the latter stages of preparation for our City Diversity Celebration. Sadly, this year, this has not been possible. Click here for more information on the 33rd City Diversity Celebration in 2021!

Strengthening Families Hubs

A number of questions have been raised about Strengthening Families at recent ConnectEd Network meetings. Our colleagues from Strengthening Families have provided the following information and supporting documents attached:

Children’s Village, Dove, Market Hub and Graiseley Strengthening Families Hubs will be opening on the 16th November initially for our Health services to resume their clinics for children and families across the city. There has been agreement that they will also support the need to undertake statutory work where agreed by management and support staff who travel into the city to see children and require suitable ‘touchdown’ spaces. Strengthening Families Workers and Social Workers continue to be asked to work from wherever possible in line with government guidance. Both SFW’s and SW’s are seeing children as usual either within the home or at schools where this is beneficial. 

The pathway for referral requesting support from Strengthening Families has not changed, The Team Around the Family Pathway is attached for your reference. 
Adult Education have requested to use the space in the hub to deliver ESOL (this funding is specific to Bingley/ Graiseley) and Family Learning linked to worklessness. 
Attached is the contact details of all the hubs with Delivery Managers and Social Care Team Managers emails. Also attached are the details for all Strengthening Families School Link workers.

Early Help Navigators are available to support with initiation of EHA and Training and their contact information can be seen below:

Baljeet Farmer – Eastfield and Bilston Area
Andrea Hadley – Graiseley and Bingley
Laura Marsden - Dove and Whitmore Reans
Janine Till - Low Hill and Children’s Village

Eclipse Support contacts for System issues, training and navigation/ Initiation:

Stacey Homer -
Balraj Juss -
Libby Brown -


Please see attached here the Young People Schools competition on behalf of Public Health Wolverhampton, and please find all resources attached here.
Closing date for entries is 9th December 2020.

Back to school Resources
  The Black Country Rainbow Hour  Updated!
Rainbow Booklet We hope that you have enjoyed the November edition of the Rainbow Booklet so far! We will be launching the next edition in January with a SEND Smile version also coming out too. 
Rainbow Trackers – Make sure your pupils are logging any physical activity that they complete during the term on the new Rainbow Trackers. You can submit these online, and pupils will receive one of three badges for free, children can also earn Children’s University stamps when they take part!
One Run Global – We have teamed up with One Run Global who are an organisation who want to get as many people moving as they can, from all around the world on the 10th December as part of Human Rights day. You can sign up and get involved by following the instructions on the attachment and if you want to find out more please visit their website. You could be taking part along with many other schools from around the globe! Why not make this part of your Rainbow Hour on the 10th December!
Photography Competition – Don’t forget, you can get involved in our Physical Activity Photography Competition and submit your photos online using the hashtag #BlackCountryRainbowHour. All the information is included on the attachment and is in the Outdoor and Nature section in the November Rainbow booklet. There are range of prizes available with vouchers from £20 to £50 available for pupils, so get snapping!
Love Exploring App – The Love Exploring App is now live! And can be downloaded onto smartphones for free. This is a great way to get out and about with the family and see what animals you can spot in your local parks and green spaces!


School-to-School support for COVID-19 Recovery
The government is funding school-to-school support for schools that need particular help with COVID-19 recovery, which can include support focusing on developing remote education provision, stabilising education structures and the welfare of staff and pupils. System leaders in education provide support for an average of 5 days and in line with the current COVID-19 guidance for schools. Please click here for further information.
PASS and School Games Organiser Update 

RESULTS for multi skills L2 and L3 competition

Congratulations to all who took part there were some fantastic performances!  You can view the RESULTS TABLE here.

Special Schools Battle of the Wolves
1st – Penn Hall       2nd – Tettenhall Wood        3rd – Penn Fields
Nicky will be distributing medals, certificates and a trophy for the overall winner.
City Couch to 1 – 5K 400+ children and 13 staff including 1 Headteacher took up the challenge from Highfields, Our Lady & St Chad, St Edmunds and Smestow. Results will be sent out to individual schools.
Secondary Schools’ Battle of the Wolves virtual competition continues in all schools. Results need to be in by Friday 4th December
Sportshall Pentathlon - Remember to get your results in by Friday 11th December
Winter Wellness Activity see attached sheet. Feel free to modify or adapt as suits your school’s needs.

PE virtual networking meeting Monday 18th January 2021 for both primary, secondary and special schools. PE leads - An invite will be sent out with the agenda. The meeting will be 2.00pm – 4.00pm
12 Days of Festive Activity
Celebrate the festive season in a time of despair! We have a list of fun activities that you can do in school or at home to encourage activity and spread happy cheer. Click here to find out more.

This programme is to train girls who are the least engaged in PE as leaders. Full details and how to apply can be found here.
Follow us on our social media platforms for up-to-date news and information:

Free trees for schools and communities
Woodland Trust want to make sure everybody in the UK has the chance to plant a tree. They’re giving away hundreds of thousands of trees to schools and communities. To find out how to order yours, click here.

ConnectEd's NEW 

ConnectEd are delighted to announce that, in partnership with SIPs Education (Sandwell LA), we have established our own recruitment portal and will be able to offer an NQT Pool to Partnership schools across all phases.
The portal will open for applications from 9th December 2020 to 12th February 2021.

It is anticipated for Primary applications the selection and interview process will take place shortly after February half term and we will be looking at potentially involving a number of headteachers to support this process.
Secondary schools will be granted access to a Secondary specific database.
Further updates and information will be sent to all schools in due course.

In the meantime ConnectEd will be actively promoting and marketing the new pool to universities, partner organisations, Wolverhampton Local Authority and schools to attract and recruit high quality NQTs to work in our schools.

We would be grateful if you could share the advert and expression of interest form below as widely as possible using your social media platforms and with students who may be on placement in your school and are seeking NQT posts in Wolverhampton and / or Sandwell. Your support will be very much appreciated.

This information can also be found on our website.

If you have any questions or would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact Harinder Jandu.

Click here to watch the video
Click here for the expression of interest form
  NPQ Programme - Spring 2021 Cohort
Application window now OPEN!
Please note that funding arrangements for NPQ programmes have altered and DfE Scholarship funding is no longer guaranteed.
ConnectEd Partnership, through Best Practice Network are offering NPQ qualifications through the Apprenticeship Levy. Applicants can still apply through the traditional route, where costs would need to be met by either the individual or the school.
Click on the following links to find out more information and how to apply:
NPQML  and   NPQSL  self/school funded
NPQs through the Apprenticship Levy

For further information, please visit our website, or speak to Harinder Jandu

Reminder! NQT first Assessments due 
Please note that the First Assessment for your NQTs are due to be completed by Friday 11th December 2020.
If you have any queries regarding the assessment process, please contact Bal Athwal.
  Secondary Curriculum Hubs 2020

We are pleased to bring you another programme of Secondary Curriculum Hubs for this term - these are for subject leaders and teachers of each of the curriculum areas to attend and can include NQTs.  

These are the Curriculum hubs which are available to book now:

LANGUAGES AND EAL - Tuesday 8th December 2020

SOCIAL SCIENCES/VOCATIONAL - Wednesday 9th December 2020 - please book your place now!

All sessions will take place from 4pm to 5.30pm via 'Teams'

Follow the link(s) above to book or to view full details click here.  For further details please contact Lisa Davies
 Y6/Y7 Transition 2021  

At the meeting of Wolverhampton Secondary Headteachers last week it was agreed that they should, where possible, hold their Y6 into Y7 transition days during week commencing 5 July.

 Engagement Model Training
Children previously assessed at P1-P4

The Engagement Model will become Statutory in September 2021. This has been delayed by one year, allowing 2020/2021 to be a transitionary year. 
ConnectEd Partnership are offering free on line training for schools previously assessing pupils at P1-P4 on the following dates:

  • Thursday 14th January 2021
  • Thursday 25th February 2021    

The sessions will take place via Teams from 3.30pm – 5.00pm and participants only need to attend one of the sessions which will cover most of the training. An optional session will follow in the Spring Term.
Places will need to be booked by emailing


  Train to Teach with ConnectEd Partnership  

Does your school have any staff who are interested in training to become a qualified teacher through the School Direct Route?
The application window for teacher training starting September 2021 is now open.
To find out more, and to book a place on one of our School Direct Information events being held soon, please click here.

              Policies  Updated!

The following policies have been reviewed and the group have agreed that no amendments are required at this time:

  • Assaults on School Staff
  • Amalgamation of schools

The policies have been updated to reflect the date of review and have been forwarded to schools and are available on the ConnectEd Partnership website for those schools that buy in to LPAAC.

   2020-21 CPD PROGRAMME 

ConnectEd Partnership are pleased to offer the following CPD opportunities for 2020-21 – please click on the relevant programme to see full details and how to apply:

Secondary NQT Professional Development Network  
Recently Qualified Teachers Programme 
National Professional Qualification for Middle Leaders (NPQML)
National Professional Qualification for Senior Leaders (NPQSL)
National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) - Further details to follow
Inspirational Teacher Programme (ITP)
HLTA Preparation and Assessment
National Award for SEN Coordination (NASENCO)
Safeguarding Programme
Diploma in School Business Management Level 4 (on-line course)
DRB Ignite - Senior Leaders Briefing

All our CPD programmes can also be found on our website

Additional CPD will be advertised on this newsletter and via our website as it becomes available, including our Secondary NQT Professional Development Network and Secondary Curriculum Networks.

If you have any questions relating to CPD opportunities please contact Harinder Jandu.

Updated!  Connected Partnership, Maternity, Paternity
                & Adoption Leave Pooling Scheme 2020 – 2022

Maternity Paternity & Adoption Leave Pooling Scheme - Closure of Accounts 2020/2021
Please note for the financial year 20/21 ending on 31 March 2021 the last date to submit payroll reports is Friday 30 April 2021, therefore late submissions will be discounted.  It is really important for those schools who do not use WCC payroll provider that you arrange to submit payroll reports on a monthly basis. Please see below extract from the Scheme arrangements (terms and conditions)
The school must be committed to submitting claims and payroll information monthly.
Claims forms submitted by email for every employee who is on or due to go on leave to ensure accurate monitoring and prompt reimbursements to Electronic signatures are acceptable. Claims must be submitted again when the individual resigns or returns to work to confirm that date. Leavers must be notified to the scheme. (Some maternity benefits are dependent on returning to work).
It is vital that schools notify their payroll provider as soon as possible of intended leave, resignation and return to work dates.  Therefore, salaries are adjusted in a timely manner and correct reimbursements can be processed from the scheme to schools.
Submission of payroll reports
You will have to submit absence details on a monthly basis and provide evidence from your payroll provider detailing the amount paid to the absent employee. This should include salary, Occupational Maternity Pay (OMP), Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), SMP Credits, Employers National Insurance (NI) and Employers Pension contributions.   Please ensure there are no duplicate costs shown such as allowances.  Please note those schools using WCC payroll provider will not have to provide monthly payroll costs as these are provided directly to ConnectEd Partnership. For those schools that don’t use WCC payroll provider, please ensure you notify the scheme of any payroll overpayment credits so that they can be refunded to the scheme. This can happen sometimes towards the end of the employee’s leave when your payroll provider makes the final SMP credit adjustments. Costs for those Staff commencing or returning from leave part way through a month will be proportionate this includes salary costs, Employers pension and Employers NI Costs.
Your designated officer, Helen Perkins, will assist you with this and with your permission liaise with the payroll provider.
If you have any questions regarding the above content, please contact Helen Perkins (working days are Monday, Tuesday & Fridays 01902 290154 or email


Please submit staff numbers for 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 contract term 

Please arrange to collect and submit the following staff numbers:
The number of FTE eligible staff as at January 2021 payroll run which will be calculated in accordance with your submission of: -

  • All Teaching staff FTE (32.5 directed hours basis)
  • All support staff  (Contracts that are term time adjusted should be counted as full time equivalent)

If you have any queries please refer to the Terms and Conditions in the first instance.

Phase Group and Network Meetings for the Spring Term  NEW!

It has been agreed that the ConnectEd meetings scheduled for (at least) the first half of the Spring Term will be held online via Teams.

Wednesday 20 January at 8.30am PASS Operational Board
Thursday 21 January at 1.30pm WHINS
Tuesday 26 January at 9.30am CN 1
Thursday 28 January at 8am CN 5
Friday 29 January at 9.30am CN 6 &7
Wednesday 3 February at 9.30am CN 3
Thursday 4 February at 8am CN 8
Tuesday 9 February at 9am ASPIC
Thursday 11 February at 2pm CN 4
Friday 12 February at 9.30am CN 2

 If you have any questions or would like to propose an agenda item for a meeting please email Kate Hodgetts

News from The Key
REMINDER - There is a 'helpline' available to members Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm who can be contacted on 0800 061 4500 or via email

The Key provides a weekly news bulletin on policy changes and developments that will affect schools.

New on the Key

Coronavirus: FAQs on school closure
Coronavirus addendum to your exclusion policy: model
Coronavirus: what your local restriction tier means for your school
How to check your curriculum is accessible for pupils with SEND
Remote learning: self-evaluation form (SEF)

Key Voices Podcasts
How have schools coped with COVID-19? with Edurio
Mental health and the return to school with Tana Macpherson-Smith
Rehumanising headship with Darren Morgan
If you would like to share your stories with us, we would love to hear from you.  There is a template at the top of this newsletter, or alternatively contact one of our members of staff at the bottom of the newsletter.
Get In Touch
Here is an overview of the ConnectEd Partnership Team
Got a query or request and not sure who to contact?


Wendy Mann - Business Director                                             

Harinder Jandu - Teaching School Co-ordinator                                         

 Lisa Davies - ConnectEd Teaching School Lead (Secondary)

Helen Perkins - Maternity Scheme Co-ordinator

Sam Perks - Physical Activity and School Sport Lead

Bal Athwall  - Administrator

Helen Hogan - Administrator

Kate Hodgetts - Administrator/Network Co-ordinator

Andrew Weston - Digital Marketing Apprentice
Book your training here 
Please read T&Cs
To visit our website, please go to:
For more information on any of our events or to book a place please go to: 
To join the Partnership or for further information about what the Partnership can offer you contact us! 
The Partnership welcomes comments and feedback on activities of the Partnership, and any suggestions for future development.
Share your good news with us!
Copyright © 2017 ConnectEd Partnership, All rights reserved.
News, updates and information from ConnectEd Partnership

Our mailing address is:
ConnectEd Partnership Ltd
Berrybrook Education Business Suite, Berrybrook Primary School
Greenacres Avenue, Underhill
Wolverhampton, West Midlands WV10 8NZ
United Kingdom

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