Welcome message from Lauren Ovenden, Director of Education

Welcome to the new academic year! I hope you have all had a restful break over the summer and the new term has started well. 

Firstly, thank you for all the work you have done to support our children and families as that has enabled 74.4% to achieve a good level of development, which is slightly higher than our last year’s rate of 72.7% and above the national average again by some margin (national being 67.3%). You do vital work in setting such a strong foundation for our children’s success, and we look forward to working with you over the coming year.

We are pleased to advise that the new hourly rates have been updated in our Financial Guidance.

Our Early Years, Childcare and Business Development Service priorities are:

  • Reduce the gap in level of development across all EYFS age cohorts to support school readiness at Reception and set a target that every cohort of children achieves above the national average as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage profile at the end of Reception year.
  • Ensure that learning and developmental delay/SEND is identified early and timely appropriate support and information is provided to ensure children make expected levels of progress
  • Roll out of Governments expansion of FEEE entitlements to and increase the uptake of the Free Early Years Education offer among 2,3 and 4 year olds

Over the summer, we have worked on developing the range of information, advice and training to the early years sector.. This will be updated as new training packages are developed.

As we start the new term, can I advise that Daniel Phelps is currently acting into the Director of Children’s Services role as Heather Flinders is not currently in work. We expect arrangements to be in place until November, and Daniel’s email address is Daniel.Phelps@walthamforest.gov.uk. I will work with him to continue our ambitious agenda until Heather is able to return. 

As a local area, we are currently in the “inspection window” for a number of inspections, including a SEND Local Area inspection. Thank you in advance for your support in our preparation, and should we receive the call, during the inspection period.

In the interim, wishing you all the best for the new academic year.

Best wishes,

Lauren Ovenden

Director of Education