School Leadership Briefing – Spring Term 2022

16 February 2022 at Exeter Racecourse

“Inclusion and Education – all means all.”


Thank you to everyone who attended the  DSLS Spring School Leadership Briefing on 16 February 2022 at Exeter Racecourse hosted by Rachel Shaw, Chair of DSLS Schools Executive Committee.

Notwithstanding the ongoing Covid-related pressures in school, we had an excellent turnout and it was great to see so many colleagues in person once again.

In addition to some updates from the RSCSW and DSLS, Tracey Jones provided an overview of the SEND 100 Project to include free CPD modules and other support for mainstream settings.

We were also delighted to welcome a range of experienced SEND leaders from across Devon to share their experiences with us. Many of the pupils in specialist and alternative provision settings have had difficult experiences in mainstream education. Sarah, Rob and Mark shared with us what they have learnt from working with these children and young people and helped us to reflect on how we ensure our schools are truly inclusive.

The feedback on the day was overwhelmingly positive describing the SEND speakers as “authentic”“brilliant”“engaging”“amazing”“fantastic”, and their presentations “interesting”“thought-provoking” “inspiring” and “challenging thinking”.

In the afternoon, we held a CPD session on Ofsted in direct response to recently appointed school leaders wanting to know what to expect during an Ofsted Inspection and how best to prepare. We were grateful to Rachel Miller who stepped in at extremely short notice to cover for Paul Walker (who had received the Ofsted call for one of his schools!) and to Andy Smith from Haywards who shared his positive experience of a recent inspection at Haywards Primary. A copy of Andy’s presentation, which school leaders described as  “a really useful, detailed account”, with “helpful” and “practical advice”, is also included below.


Looking ahead, the date of the DSLS Summer Briefing is 29 June 2022 at Exeter Racecourse and we will have a focus on “Developing a Broad and Balanced Curriculum”. The agenda and guest speakers for the day will be confirmed shortly and you can book online here.

We look forward to seeing you next time and please encourage other colleagues to come along!