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Volume 1 - March 2006


									    Volume 15 – March 2008

Welcome to the latest eUpdate - as we are finally         A fundamentally important aspect of this project is the
through the Joint Area Review, we can focus on the        development of a Primary Strategy for Change, which
day job once again. As you can see, the world             we need to submit to DCSF by 16 June 2008. We
continues to move fast on the children‟s front. We        have just launched a consultation on Transforming
are progressing work on our Integration Project,          Primary Education in Luton (response deadline 30
which is fundamentally about achieving more join up       April) and the responses to this will inform the
on the front line, and in that context the work on the    Strategy for Change. The consultation reflects and
Primary Strategy for Change – see below.                  builds on the work done by primary heads at the 30
                                                          January senior managers‟ meeting and contains
Similarly, the work on Building Schools for the Future    some ideas about which we would very much value
is hotting up as we move forward to the next stage        your and governors‟ input. We look forward to
with our 2 Bidders. I would also not want this bulletin   hearing your views.
to pass without putting a marker down on the good
spread of Ofsted outcomes this term has brought.          For more information, contact William Clapp at
                                                 or telephone 01582
As for me, well after 8 months I have moved beyond        546496.
„new girl‟ status in Luton and feel very much part of
the furniture. Periodically, I am allowed out of Unity               Performance Challenges
House and am gradually (too slowly) making my way
round the schools. These visits are hugely valuable       The Children and Young People's partnership
and demonstrate the diversity, richness and ambition      reviews on a quarterly basis the main performance
that is Luton.                                            challenges against targets and current outcomes.

                                                          Current priority areas are:

Debbie Jones                                                   Increasing take-up of Immunisations and
Corporate Director, Children & Learning                         vaccinations
                                                               Reducing obesity among children
   Progressing Integration Project and                         Meeting the needs of children with a complex
      Primary Strategy for Change                               disability
                                                               Supporting children in need and their families
                                                               Increasing educational standards at all key
As we seek to build on our strong foundations and
take children‟s services in Luton to the next level it
                                                               Tackling bullying and increasing the safety of
has been very helpful to have headteacher and other
                                                                young people
school representatives joining the partnership
workshops at Putteridgebury held on 19 February                Reducing the number of young people aged
and 4 March. These have taken forward our                       16-18 who are not in education, employment or
thinking on how the Children & Learning department              training (NEET)
and other agencies might configure themselves to               Reducing the number of teenage pregnancies
provide excellent joined-up services for children,
young people and their families. A further workshop       Each priority is part of the new Local Area Agreement
has now been scheduled for 14 April 2pm at Luton          set by the local strategic partnership and signed-off
Rugby Club and school representatives are once            by the East of England Government Office. Targets
again warmly invited to participate.                      against each priority are set and an individual action
                                                          plan is agreed for monitoring and reporting purposes.
                                                          However, the most important thing is that we engage
with children, their families and their schools in        Let’s MEND it!
ensuring that these challenges are addressed
effectively.                                              Luton has received funding to run a weight
                                                          management programme for kids which focuses on
For more information, contact Jenny Williams at           children to make healthier choices for life. MEND or telephone 01582            (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition and Do it!) is a free, fun
548177.                                                   programme for overweight children aged between 7
                                                          and 13 years old and their parents / carers. It‟s a
     Targeted mental health in schools                    practical, fun filled, action packed ten-week course
                                                          which helps children and their families develop the
                                                          knowledge, skills, motivation and confidence to build
We have been successful in bidding for funding under      healthier habits which should last a lifetime.
a Department of Children and Families initiative to
develop innovative models of therapeutic and holistic     Luton teaching Primary Care Trust (tPCT) have
mental health support in schools aimed at children        joined forces with Active Luton to deliver MEND in the
(aged 5-13) and their families who are at risk of         town, supported by a network of local health,
experiencing mental health problems.                      education, community and social care professionals.
                                                          Each MEND programme includes two hour sessions,
The project will build on the strong and well evaluated   twice a week for 10 weeks which both the child and
model of early intervention within Luton (On Track        their parent or carer attends. One hour of practical
and BIP) and includes the Social Emotional Aspects        information, discussions, tips and ideas is followed by
of Learning (SEAL) programme. It will extend and          an hour of getting active and having fun for the kids,
develop this approach into new schools through staff      and support for parents or carers. It includes a trip to
training and support, developing peer support             a local supermarket to put learning into practice. The
networks, group work with children and young people,      children also get their own pack of resources
parenting support etc. The project will offer a multi-    including quizzes, delicious healthy recipes to try,
agency team of specialist staff from the Child and        information about getting active in Luton and even
Adolescent Mental Health service (CAMH), education        their own MEND T- shirts.
support and behaviour support services, school
improvement and voluntary agencies who will work in       Said Karen Tate from Luton teaching Primary Care
partnership with schools to deliver the service.          Trust (tPCT): “Evidence from across the UK has
                                                          shown that the MEND programme can improve
The high schools will be Stopsley, Lealands and           knowledge, fitness and stamina, nutrition and self
Denbigh and the project will include some of their        esteem. Not only do kids and their families benefit,
feeder schools. The project team are in the process       they also have great fun!”
of approaching schools and discussing the rollout
with them.                                                As one MEND parent says: “The course gave us lots
                                                          of positive ideas and helped us to tackle this issue
For more information – contact Tim Skinner on tel         together. I am really, really grateful.”
no: 548974 or or Marc Van Roosmaleen on tel no:
708162                                                    The programme is being run from Lea Manor
                                                          Recreation Centre in Marsh Farm, High Town Sports
              Tackling the big ‘O’                        & Arts Centre and Luton Regional Sports Centre.

Thanks to the media you can‟t ignore the fact that the    So if you care for a child aged between 7 and 13
UK has a growing weight problem and more                  years you think might be overweight and would
alarmingly you are now seeing increasing numbers of       benefit from MEND, or you are a professional who
overweight and obese children. Recent data taken          like to find out more about referring children onto
from measuring Luton children in reception and year       MEND, contact Karen on 01582 55 71 78 or email
6 paints a worrying picture. The percentage of   You can find out more
children who are overweight in year R (4 year olds) is    about MEND by visiting their website at
11.3 per cent compared to the East of England at 9.1 There is also a link on
per cent and those in year 6 (10-11 year olds) is 21.1    the partnership portal which will take you to a leaflet
per cent compared to 15.5 per cent in the East. 

There is strong evidence that obese children become       A child who has been through the MEND programme
obese adults and this can lead to many problems           said: “I never liked wearing jeans before, now I wear
such as heart disease and diabetes as well as             them all the time and I even had to put an extra hole
bullying and discrimination in employment.                in my belt!”
School meals are the best!
                                                            Cllr Tahir Khan, executive member with responsibility
The council‟s school catering teams are clued up on         for children‟s services said: “This is fantastic news. I
the benefits of a healthy diet and successfully provide     would like to thank all our partners for their
up to 13,500 school meals a day – all to the                contribution and support. This funding will enable us
government‟s strict nutritional standards which             to raise the profile of play in Luton, and support us to
reinforce the importance of a balanced and varied           provide good quality play experiences for children
diet.                                                       and young people in the town."

School meals have come a long way from stodgy pie           For further details on play facilities, Luton Play
and mash. If you visit a school during lunchtime you‟ll     Strategy or Luton Play Partnership please contact
be surprised at the variety of meals on offer from          Nila Patel, Play Strategy Manager, on 54 73 36 or
sweet and sour chicken and rice to Indian biriani           email:
dishes to roast meals served with potatoes and
vegetables as well as mouth watering salads                       New Children & Young People’s
available every day via the salads bar. With catering                  Partnership Portal
staff continually attending skills training sessions, new
healthy recipes are constantly being developed and          The Luton Children & Young People's Partnership is
with around 80 per cent of meals being homemade,            an active collaboration of agencies, responsible in
staff have more control on the salt, sugar and fat          different ways for the care and development of
content. A variety of cooking methods are used              Luton‟s children and young people.
including meals being oven baked and steamed.
                                                            The new partnership website
Catering staff also work with schools to help them          highlights and facilitates this multi agency approach.
achieve „Healthy School‟ status. Over 40 Luton
schools have achieved the government‟s national             The website includes:
standard where the programme is based on a whole-
school approach to physical and emotional well-being           partnership news - multi agency news related to
focused on four core themes: personal, social and               children‟s services
health education; healthy eating; physical activity;
emotional health and wellbeing. National healthy               partnership document & resources - providing
schools programmes have brought sustained                       an online space to post and share key
improvement in behaviour, standards of work and                 information, resources, procedures and protocols
school management.
                                                               children & young people’s plan - as well as
                    Time to Play                                access to the full plan and review documents, the
                                                                About us section provides an online summary of
Christmas came early for children and young people              the plan and what we are doing to improve
in Luton in the form of a £548,000 grant from the Big           outcomes for our children and young people.
Lottery Fund to improve play facilities in the town.
                                                               directory of services for children & young
Over three years, the funding will provide better play          people - an online directory providing children,
facilities in Ashcroft recreation ground and Mayne              young people, parents, carers and professionals
Avenue open space as well as develop a play project             with access to a wide range of contact details for
to meet the needs of disabled children and young                a variety of children‟s service providers (search
people and create a town centre based drop in café              results are fully exportable in Word or Excel
for vulnerable 11 - 16 year olds.                               format).

The opportunity to play freely is severely restricted          Every Child Matters outcomes - detailing what
due to the dominance of cars in residential roads;              we are doing about each of the five outcomes
lack of tolerance for children and young people; and            provides a snap shot of latest news and resource
limited access to local spaces. And because of safety           related to these.
issues, parents are reluctant to let their children play
out in the street and in parks unsupervised.                   feedback & contributions - Opportunities to
                                                                feedback about both the services provided for
Play provides so many benefits and is deemed                    children and young people in Luton and the
essential to children‟s physical, social and emotional          partnership website, you can also contribute via
development. Through play, children and young                   an online form.
people learn about the world around them and it
develop social skills, such as how to interact and
make friends and can improve their health.
   links to all local partner websites - Designed to      throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. If
    compliment the website of those organisation that      your school has a PTA (or similar group), then
    make up the partnership.                               whatever stage your Association is at, whether
                                                           fledging or more established, the NCPTA has a range
   Every Child Matters publications - An                  of resources and benefits that have been specifically
    automatically updating feed on the homepage            designed to assist you. As part of this support
    provides access to the latest publications             service, I am delighted to invite you and your PTA
    available on the Every Child Matters website.          colleagues to participate in a free local
                                                           fundraising workshop. The event is open to all
For more information contact Adam Thoulass on              PTAs; you do not have to be a NCPTA member to
01582 548012 or Stephanie Cash 01582 547980.               join us. The workshop will give you a unique
                                                           opportunity to share ideas with other local PTA
     Cycle Training for years 5 and 6 in                   representatives and will cover a variety of topics
           schools - BIKEability.                          including:

                                                                        innovative fundraising ideas plus hints
    Essential life skills for all your pupils                            and tips on how to run successful events
                                                                        how to involve more parents, staff and
We can offer accredited cycle training to your school -                  get support from the local business
fully staffed - you provide the trainees and we take                     community
them through their paces to become confident,                           how to raise money without holding an
competent cyclists.                                                      event
Cycling through the New National Standards ensures         The workshop will be held at:
that youngsters are equipped with the understanding
and logic of the road to be able to become
Responsible Road Users - they are the drivers of the
                                                           Ferrars Infant School
future and this is an excellent foundation skill in many   Macaulay Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU4 0LL
ways. All our instructors are fully trained, CRB
checked and ensure that the training is a positive and
                                                           Thursday 17th April 2008
confidence building experience for everyone.               6.45pm for a 7.00pm start until 9.00pm

Trainees need to bring a roadworthy bike and suitable      Places are limited; so call / email your NCPTA
outdoor clothing. We do the rest. If any pupils do not     Regional Adviser now to book
have a bike, they can have one on free long term loan
from Sustrans, who refurbish unwanted bikes, lend          If you require a location map please follow the link
them out and then monitor their use - all for free.        from the workshop section on

Please call to book a course and negotiate costs -         I sincerely hope you and your colleagues can join us.
costs start from £15 per pupil for 10 hours training,      If you would like to discuss any aspect of the
although some free places are offered, depending on        workshop or NCPTA membership, please do not
funding available.                                         hesitate to contact me for a no obligation discussion.

We also provide training for adults at all levels and      Yours sincerely
needs - from complete beginners to experienced
cyclists, from wanting to cycle to the local shop to
wishing to commute across a busy city centre.
                                                           Alison Allen
For more information or to book a course please            Regional Adviser NCPTA – Eastern
contact us on 01582 547153 or email                        T: 01603 436091      E:
<>or check our             * If your school would like to start a PTA, call me for a
webpages on                free Start-up pack, which details the steps required to
<>                          set up an association, including adopting a
                                                           constitution, getting support from parents and the
     Fundraising Workshop for Schools                      various roles.
                                                           Schools eUpdate is produced by the Children and Learning
                                                           Department, Luton Borough Council.
The National Confederation of Parent Teacher
Associations (NCPTA) is a national charity and             If you would like more information, to make any suggestions or
membership organisation, which currently supports          comments or to log an article for a future issue please email the
                                                           editorial team on:
just over 13,000 home school associations

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