Octavo News

Issue 1 - June 2015

Welcome to our first edition

The Octavo Partnership has now been trading for two months. We would like to thank you for all of your good wishes and support in our early days. We have great plans to develop and grow to best suit your needs and those of your students. Our mission is to provide the very best education support services and it is through your advice and feedback that our partnership with you will grow.

The aim of our newsletter is to keep you up-to-date on news and developments that apply to you. We know you're busy so we'll aim to keep it as to-the-point as possible with links provided should you wish to go further into detail. We welcome your input on what you'd like to see here, so please do leave us a note in the comments section at the end of the newsletter.

In this edition we have updates on:

  • Octavo Teaching Open Day
  • #TeachCroydon campaign
  • Oftsed success in the borough
  • Coaching
  • EYFS conference report back
  • Headteacher appointments
  • NQT programme 2015-16
  • Support for in-house Attendance Officers
  • New DFE guidance for schools on mental health
  • Autumn term conference on Autism
  • Literacy Centre applications for Sept 2015
  • Career opportunities at Octavo
  • Invoicing
  • Octavo points of contact

Octavo Teaching Open Day

Thank you so much to all of you that supported our first teaching open day. We are delighted that there have already been appointments made as a result. The support of Croydon schools was phenomenal. We were able to offer over 20 workshops and stands for delegates to visit. Entertainment included choirs, djembe drumming, dance and gymnastics. It was a lovely day and generated over 100 possible candidates.

We are continuing to work with our headteachers to discuss ways to support you at a time when we appreciate recruitment is proving particularly problematic. We will be presenting some options for next steps to the CHTA in due course.


Following on from the success of our Teaching Open Day we would like to keep the buzz going and help raise the profile of Croydon as a destination of choice for building a teaching career. One small way in which we are doing this at present is by promoting vacancies in schools via Twitter using #TeachCroydon, thereby creating one central reference point for twitter users on the hunt for jobs in schools. We would encourage all schools to join us and use the same hashtag when tweeting vacancies.

If you would like us to promote your vacancy, tweet us the details or alternatively if you are not active on Twitter, send the job title, closing date and a link to the full details on your website to careers@octavopartnership.org

Ofsted Success

We have had some really positive outcomes in the borough recently meaning that over 91% of our primary children now attend a ‘good’ or better school. We would like to congratulate all those schools who have recently received positive reports from Oftsed. Having had the opportunity to hear about the many networks you have to support each other, we are sure that this will continue to improve.


It was great to hear so many of you being so enthusiastic about coaching at the primary headteacher breakfast briefing. We now have a team of 9 coaches who are able to offer training which is accredited by the Institute of Educational Coaching. This can be offered as Inset, twilights or day courses.

Our next centrally run course is on the 24th June in the lovely setting of Heathfield House. Full details are available here or login to book a place now.

'Building Strong Foundations for Learning' EYFS conference

Octavo’s first conference, on Wednesday 22nd April was a great success. Key note addresses from Susan Gadd and Neil Farmer outlined the current key areas for focus in the early years, including Ofsted expectations, effective leadership and the characteristics of outstanding learning. Their presentations were described by delegates as ‘inspiring’, ‘so useful’ and ‘very informative’.

‘Case studies of good practice’ presentations from schools locally and further afield added great value to the day. Delegates noted how well the presentations supported the key note addresses in showing, ‘what it looks like in practice’. A lunchtime market place allowed delegates to visit a variety of standsand meet with the Reception Baseline Providers and other relevant exhibitors.

Overall the feedback was extremely positive and we look forward to supporting schools in developing and improving EYFS provision in the future.

Headteacher Appointments

When a vacancy arises, we always welcome the opportunity to support you to find the perfect match between school and new headteacher. The Local Authority commissions Octavo's School Improvement team to support maintained schools for up to 1 1/2 days of the process; usually shortlisting and a one day interview. Schools should be aware they would need to purchase an additional day of adviser time if interviews last for two days.

Many schools have expressed their appreciation of our input in the appointment of other senior leaders and we would be delighted to support you in this area also. You can contact your school's link advisor directly or Lead School Improvement Advisor Clare Dudman

NQT programme 2015-16

We are pleased to present the newly qualified teacher (NQT) and induction managers training programmes for 2015-16. This year, our NQT programme continues to benefit from a partnership between Valley Teaching School Alliance and Octavo. This partnership aims to draw on excellent local practice and expertise.

More information and a download of the offer is available HERE

If you would like to discuss your NQTs' needs further, please contact Christine Lonsdale on either 079 20657797 or christine.lonsdale@octavopartnership.org

Supervision Support for Attendance Officers

Our Education Welfare Service has developed an offer of guidance and support to in-house Attendance Officers or staff with attendance responsibilities across different educational settings. To find out how the supervision support service can benefit you click HERE

New DfE guidance for schools on Mental Health

The DfE have recognised the need for better understanding and awareness of mental health concerns of pupils in a strategy to offer better support within the educational setting. One in 10 children has a diagnosable mental health disorder – around 3 children in every classroom. Over the past year there has been an increased emphasis from the DfE on the need for schools and colleges to understand and respond to the needs of pupils with mental health concerns. More details available HERE .

Autumn term conference on Autism

09 November 2015

Improving Outcomes for children with Autism

Be sure to save the date for this one day conference jointly organised by Croydon Council and Octavo. We're looking forward to hearing from key note speaker Dr Glenys Jones, honorary lecturer and researcher in the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) at the School of Education, University of Birmingham.

Other sessions and workshops from:

• Gina Davies - Gina Davies Autism Centre on Attention Autism

• Judith Azzopardi - Chaffinch Brook School

• Dr Jamie Galpin - The Bridge Special School, Islington (AET Training hub)

Keep an eye on the Octavo website or training portal for more details coming soon!

Literacy Centre Applications for September close 1 July!

The Literacy Centre are currently taking applications for September placements. Applications will close on 1st July except in exceptional circumstances such as new EHCP applicants. Download an application form here or from the Literacy Centre Service page on the Octavo portal. Feel free to contact us before completing the form if you require any advice about the application or if there are any special circumstances you wish to be taken into consideration.

It is likely that we will be oversubscribed this term, so early application is advised. In the event of oversubscription the Literacy Centre operates a waiting list system, with priority given to pupils entering Year 6.

Contact literacycentre@octavopartnership.org or tel: 020 8688 4623

Careers @ Octavo

Momentum is already building here at the Clocktower and we are looking to recruit to several positions including:

Keep up-to-date with Octavo vacancies on our Careers page

From the Finance Team: Invoicing Update

Most schools will have received up to two invoices from Octavo Partnership this financial year. We would like to thank you for the feedback we have received on the both the invoicing process and its format.

Due to unforeseen circumstances the system which Octavo Partnership originally intended to use for generating detailed invoices became unavailable. Therefore we had to find a temporary solution, the result of which has been sent out as consolidated invoices at the end of both April and May.

We do appreciate that these invoices could be more user-friendly. The feedback which we have received indicates that most schools would like to receive an invoice with detailed item descriptions and one invoice number for the whole document. In turn we have fed this back to our provider and are currently discussing and designing a new invoice format.

We would like to sincerely thank you for your continued patience and understanding during this time. Any further feedback or suggestions will most certainly be welcomed and can be emailed to accountsreceivable@octavopartnership.org

Points of contact

Educational Psychology: anne.moore@octavopartnership.org

Education Welfare: bhavika.sahiri@octavopartnership.org

Education Business Partnership: ebp@octavopartnership.org

Finance Services: financeservices@octavopartnership.org

Governor Services: governorservices@octavopartnership.org

Human Resources: hrservices@octavopartnership.org

Information Systems: ict@octavopartnership.org

School Improvement: clare.dudman@octavopartnership.org

Literacy Centre: literacycentre@octavopartnership.org

Invoicing and finance admin queries: accountsreceivable@octavopartnership.org

General enquiries, Octavo portal support or user set up: enquiries@octavopartnership.org

Full contact details for all our providers, including brokered services are available on the Catalogue page of the website or within the portal under ‘Services’

We'd love to hear from you

Please do get in contact if you’d like to discuss your requirements. Our forte is providing you with a blend of professional services across our eight key areas.

Or leave us a comment below on the type of content you'd like to see in future newsletters!