Train4Tomorrow: Digital and Technical Bootcamps

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Following a recent PESB meeting update, we are pleased to follow up with a great opportunity for your sector to connect local employers with highly-skilled talent from the government funded Train4Tomorrow Digital and Technical bootcamps.
Train4Tomorrow offers free, high quality, digital and technical training to adults in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset, Torbay, Cornwall and Dorset. The training is designed by industry employers to meet open and live vacancies.The programme helps local people advance their skills into growing sectors resilient to the current economic downturn. You can find out more about the programme at
The first digital bootcamps are now concluding and we’re looking to connect local employers with the 750 highly skilled learners completing the bootcamps at a free-to-attend virtual digital jobs fair on April 20, from 9am to 4pm.
You can find out more about the jobs fair here: 

Webinar : Meeting the Needs of Disadvantaged Pupils During and After the Pandemic

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Meeting the Needs of Disadvantaged Students

As schools continue to support pupils both in schools and remotely, as well as starting to fully re-open, Marc Rowland, a foremost expert on the effective use of the Pupil Premium and improving outcomes for disadvantaged learners, discussed via a recent webinar what schools can do to meet the needs of disadvantaged pupils.

About Marc Rowland

Marc is the adviser for improving outcomes for disadvantaged learners for the Unity Schools Partnership, a large cross-phase Multi Academy Trust based in the East of England.

Marc works with the Education Endowment Foundation’s national Research School Network on a range of programmes. He is also working on a range of long term programmes focussed on educational disadvantage nationally, including Essex, Wakefield, Enfield, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Sheffield, South Gloucestershire and Surrey LAs, and the Stoke on Trent Opportunity Area,

The slides and webinar recording are now available on the Portal here.





PFA Training - How we can support those who have experienced crisis

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As we prepare to welcome our children back into our schools many of us will be thinking about how they have been coping during lockdown. For some of our pupils this will have been a difficult time. Thank you for what so many of you have been doing to support those children through the regular contact, both academic and pastoral, during this extended period of remote learning. You may never be explicitly thanked for that support, although I hope you are, but you will have had a positive impact.


Simple empathic listening from a trusted adult is a huge, protective factor in the life of a young person going through a difficult period. We should all be confident that with a caring, thoughtful and empathic approach every contact we have with the children in our schools (and our colleagues, visitors and parents/carers etc.) can be a positive intervention.


For those of you interested in learning a little more about how we can support those who have experienced crisis Public Health England have made the Psychological First Aid training freely available. It takes between 1 and 2 hours to complete and is broken down into easy to digest chunks that explain the four phases of Prepare, Look, Listen and Link

  • ‘Prepare’ to deliver PFA – make sure you know the background and feel ready to act
  • ‘Look’ for signs of distress and assess the situation
  • ‘Listen’ to build understanding and empathy
  • ‘Link’ to further support (community activities and groups, physical activities, voluntary and statutory agencies and online resources)

Having completed the course this week I can recommend it as a useful aide memoir to concepts that are probably familiar to many of us. For any of you may have completed the Mental Health First Aid training this is complementary as it is directed towards helping those who have faced crisis, rather than recognising the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues.


If you don’t feel you have time to complete the PFA training can I encourage you to at the very least take less than 5 minutes to watch the following video, prepared by the Leicestershire Children’s Safeguarding Partnership, which reminds all of us how important it is to truly listen to what young people are telling us (via the spoken word and other forms of communication).

Some of the content may cause ‘afront’ at first but I would encourage you to be open and hear the ‘real content’. Please do connect with your local Designated Safeguarding Lead if the video prompts any concerns you may have for young people with whom you have been working, or speak to in the coming weeks.

Richard Woodland

Director of Inclusion, Westcountry Schools Trust

Plymouth Literacy Professional Learning Community - Launch Webinar

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The Plymouth Literacy Professional Learning Community aims to provide a platform for Literacy Leaders across Plymouth Secondary Schools to share their literacy expertise and experiences to ensure that young people in the city are best supported in their learning and development. 

We are excited to announce the launch of the Plymouth Literacy PLC on Wednesday 3rd February (4.00pm – 5.00pm) at a free webinar specifically for Plymouth secondary Literacy Leads.

The format of our first online meeting will include some input from Plymouth practitioners followed by opportunity for Q&A and informal professional dialogue.

Presentations will include the implementation of a Tutor Reading Programme at Plympton Academy by Claire Jones; Explicit Vocabulary Teaching at Eggbuckland CC by Linda Russell and Oracy at Tor Bridge High by Rachael Davison.


If you would like to get the conversation started ahead of the webinar and introduce yourself to your colleagues, you can introduce yourself on the new Literacy Community by following these links. (Click on Topic and you will see the link to the Literacy page:

Edtech Demonstrator Programme of FREE Short eLearning Courses 

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Now accepting registrations! 

 ‘The EdTech Demonstrator Programme’ is delighted to launch a series of FREE differentiated CPD offer,  providing support and training to our SW settings across the region from our network of 48 Demonstrator schools and colleges, during the course of the Spring Term 2021. 

The SW Disadvantage Working Group is working with the The EdTech Demonstrator Programme to provide a differentiated CPD partnership,  providing support and training to our schools and colleges across the region, starting week Commencing 25th January 2021.


Participation Process:

We have created a simple process for schools to participate in the partnered and fully funded EdTech Demonstrator Programme to help support school leaders and teachers across the South West of England: 

  1. Schools and colleges, teachers and leaders, sign up for courses via CPD Portal ( to gain access to the offer of support

  2. Supported settings complete Programme Initiator Document (PID) for each webinar

  3. Supported settings gain access to short courses & remote education materials from Edtech Demonstrator Programme in advance of webinar

  4. Webinar tailored to the topic provides surgery style support to supported settings

  5. Further support through Edtech Demonstrator Programme offered until Easter 2021. 

The EdTech Demonstrator Programme will provide: 

  • A programme of CPD for the term.

  • A ‘Project Initiation Documents (PID) completed by the first session enables each school to benefit from surgeries + learning resources + 1:1 and ‘Demonstrator’ support throughout.

  • Supported with a series of targeted, practical mixed delivery leadership and teaching & learning resources.

  • 1hr webinar sessions are facilitated by Demonstrators. 

  • Online surgeries time to ask questions and benefit from peer-discussions in a group. ​​

For teaching and learning include:

  • Pastoral Provision

  • Scaffolded Learning

  • Accessible Technology

  • At Home Engagement

For leaders….AND MORE!

  • At Home Engagement

  • Device Procurement Practices

  • Inclusive Visions & Digital Strategy Roadmap

  • Lack of devices

A full schedule of events is  available for booking on the CPD Portal platform.