Octavo News

Edition 3, September

Welcome to the Autumn term!

Octavo Partnership would like to welcome all schools back after the Summer break, ready to kick-start the next academic year.

We've been busy over the summer break preparing for the upcoming year and therefore this edition of Octavo News is packed with updates on what you need to know for the next academic year and what we at Octavo can offer you.

The September edition of Octavo News will include:

  • Updates on Octavo Staff
  • Local Heroes
  • Service Updates
  • Invoicing and Finance Updates


We have a number of new faces and as well as appointments to new roles.

Congratulations to the following existing members of staff have been appointed to new roles:

Clare Dudman - Lead School Improvement Advisor

Natalie Kruger - Business Development and Brand Manager

Kassie De Souza - Marketing and Customer Services Officer

We are also fortunate enough to welcome a handful of new faces to Octavo:

Kennedy Bhagwan - Senior ICT Consultant (SIMS)

Greg Szostak - Senior ICT Consultant (Tech)

Louise Watts - SIMS Helpdesk

Amanda Palmer - Finance and Customer Services Officer

Louise Knight - Senior Business Support Officer - Educational Psychology

Dense Chickwendu - Senior Business Support Officer - School Improvement

Diane Keogh - Schools Finance Officer

Angel Brown - HR Adviser

Danielle Greenidge Scott - Educational Psychologist

Alison Bell - Educational Psychologist

Sophia Janson - Educational Psychologist

Zena Lawrence - Educational Psychologist

Joanna Redzimski - Improvement Adviser (Schools)


Unfortunately we have also said goodbye to a few faces:

Peter Lilja - Information Services Manager

Beverley Carabache - SIMS Helpdesk

Sameerah Jeerooburkhan - Governor Services Apprentice

All three will be sorely missed and we wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

Local heroes

Michaela Groves has been awarded an MBE in the Queens Birthday List. Michaela is the school business manager at All Saints CofE Primary and she received an MBE in recognition of her services to charity.

Want to honour someone you know making a difference or an outstanding contribution to education? Send your stories to enquiries@octavopartnership.org with the subject line:Octavo News - Local hero and it may be featured in an upcoming issue!


School Improvement

Happy New (academic) Year!

The School Improvement team have been hard at work preparing an update for all schools on various subjects, based on the feedback you have been giving us. Included is information on the team, the CPD offer for this term and the support programmes they offer.

The School Improvement Newsletter will be distributed by the end of the week ending 18th September and will be avilable to view at www.octavopartnership.org.

Octavo's Conference Season

This Autumn Octavo Partnership will be hosting a series of Conferences covering a range of important and innovative topics.

The season will commence with our Mathematics conference 'Mastering the Primary National Curriculum for Mathematics', The conference will address a number of key principles of a mastery approach to teaching mathematics, including deep understanding and variation theory.

Following the same week is this term's SEN and Behaviour conference - Improving outcomes for pupils with autism, a one day conference organised by Octavo and Croydon Council for SENCOs, teachers and support staff in all early years, primary and secondary schools on improving outcomes for pupils with autism.

The last conference in the series will be 'SMSC and British Values Conference: What does this mean for schools?' This conference will explore in depth the nature of this issue and consider how it can enrich your pupils' personal development from the perspective of Ofsted.

All three courses are now available to book. Click HERE to book now.

Autumn Term CPD

Full details of the CPD offer for the Autumn term can be found here

Educational Psychology


Over the last year a working group made up of headteachers, the Croydon Council and Octavo staff have been meeting to plan how best to promote and develop nurture in our primary schools. This is in response to an increase of pupils with complex social, emotional and mental health needs. The group has now produced a pack that will be made available to primary schools later this term.

There is strong evidence to suggest that adopting a nurturing approach at both primary and secondary school will improve the wellbeing of all pupils, and that pupil wellbeing is closely linked to pupil attainment.

The pack is intended to provide information on nurture provision in Croydon, from having a nurturing ethos to running a full time nurture group for children with acute needs.

Nurture groups are an evidence based approach to supporting children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties in school. Some schools in Croydon have been using nurture groups for some time and found it to be an effective way of supporting children who struggle to cope with the challenges and pressures of a large mainstream classroom.

There will be a formal launch of the pack in October and it will be available at www.octavopartnership.org but in the meantime please contact Denise Dyer or Susan Moore at for more information.

Due to high demand we are running Theory and Practice of Nurture 3 day certificate course, the 3 day accredited training for Nurture Groups again in the Autumn term. The training will take place on 12th and 13th November and 2nd December.

Promoting a nurturing approach in Croydon’s primary schools

Thursday, Oct. 15th, 3:30-5pm

Bramley Bank Short Stay School

170 Sanderstead Road Sanderstead CR2 0LY.

  • Are you a nurturing school?
  • Do you effectively support the needs of children with social, emotional and mental health needs?
  • Are you running or would like to run a nurture group and would like support in setting this up

Come along to find out more about the Croydon approach, to receive your copy of Promoting a nurturing approach in Croydon’s primary schools (a newly developed pack for Croydon schools), and to find out about support available to develop nurture provision in your school.

RVSP to nurturing@croydon.gov.uk

Human Resources


The Octavo HR team compiles a monthly newsletter to keep schools up to date with key HR issues for schools to consider and review over the upcoming term.

Click here to read the latest edition.

Newly Qualified Teachers CPD and Support

This year Octavo Partnership will continue to offer it's extensive and successful support programme to all NQTs. Not only does Octavo offer the statutory support provided by registering Croydon as the appropriate body for NQTs but there is also a popular and varied CPD programme which can be purchased as an annual subscription or booked on a pay as you go basis.

Governor Services

Governors kick start training this term

Governor training has already commenced this term. Included in this terms offer is:

  • A new course for Governors to understand their roles and responsibilities if they are the Admissions Authority for their school (22/9/15)
  • The termly Briefing for Chairs of Governors (23/9/15)
  • Training to understand the changes to the new Common Ofsted Inspection Framework (30/9/15 and 6/10/15)

All courses are available to book here.

For those schools that have purchased our annual Governance contract, please do take up your FREE place on either the Chairs Leadership Development Programme or the Clerks Development Programme. These programmes, delivered on behalf of the National College, provide existing Chairs, aspiring Chairs and Clerks with a valuable learning and networking opportunity over an extended period of time and are an integral part of the governance contract that we offer; it would be a shame to lose this valuable developmental opportunity.

**new service**

Reviewing the effectiveness and impact of the governing body on school improvement? Governor Services are able to assist through facilitated self- reviews with the collective governing body, considering progress against existing governor action plans and helping to develop new development plans. For further detail on how Governor Services can assist with self-evaluation please email the team on governorservices@octavopartnership.org

Information Systems

New Training Offer from Information Systems

The Octavo IT team offer 1-2-1 and Group training sessions for the following courses:

  • SIMS FMS – New User
  • SIMS.Net New User
  • SIMS.Net Extended User
  • SIMS Discover Overview
  • Census & Workforce Workshops
  • Standard SIMS.Net Reporting
  • SIMS.Net Extending Report
  • Attendance
  • SEN
  • Behaviour Management

Please contact us on 020 241 5475 or email ict@octavopartnership.org to discuss your training needs.

Schools Finance

New Faces, New Opportunities

The School's Finance service is proud to welcome Diane Keogh to the team. She brings a wealth of experience in academy, school and private sector accountancy and is AAT qualified. She will initially cover the monthly processing work that Louise Watts has been doing, but will also support Patrick in developing and improving the service. We are very happy that Louise is now working on the SIMS helpdesk and can offer schools her extensive knowledge of FMS.

We are also excited to announce that service lead Patrick Leavy, has started studying towards chartered accountant status with the ACCA qualification. He has his first exam in December!

In accordance with our focus on driving up standards in schools we will announce shortly a raft of new training opportunities. These will include the following:

  • A course in bookkeeping skills,
  • Finance essentials for head teachers,
  • A joint seminar with HR and School Improvement on restructuring,
  • A session on census data accuracy to maximise funding, and
  • Training on Excel at various levels to improve the efficiency and output of finance staff in schools

Details of these and other courses will be available on the Octavo website soon.

The School's Finance team has already started working with academies, providing both accountancy and audit functions. More detail on these services can be found here.

Education Business Partnership

Gold for Team EBP (+CEO)

After a long summer break the Octavo team regrouped during the first week of term by holding a staff picnic at Llyods Park. The picnic included a very competitive egg and spoon race was won by the lovely ladies of the EBP team which include Octavo's CEO, Sylvia McNamara. This was followed by an equally competitive Rounders game which saw some dubious batting (and fielding) by Finance Director, Richard Campbell.

Education Welfare Service

Attendance Coordinators Network Meetings

EWS are restarting the Attendance Coordinators Network Meetings which will be held termly. The first meeting will cover the following:

  • Authorised Lateness (L Code)
  • Behaviour, unofficial exclusions and reduced time-tables
  • Medical home tuition – who qualifies and when?
  • Emotional Based School Refusal and School Truants. What’s the difference and what to do?
  • Coding alternative time-tables: reduced time-tables, home tuition and dual registration

We are also excited to announce that the meeting' Guest Speaker will be Sonia Kapoor, Springboard Manager.

We are still in the process of finalizing a date but hope to hold the meeting in October/November. Details will be posted at www.octavopartnership.org

You Said, We Did...

Following the feedback we received from schools in the Summer Term regarding the invoicing process we are delighted to announce that over the summer we re-designed and re-developed the Octavo invoice.

Schools will now receive detailed invoices at the end of each month for any transactions placed. Each invoice now how it's own invoice number also. Whilst this seems most simple we understand that invoicing has caused a bit of a headache over the last term and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for having patience during this time. We hope to have some very happy business managers this term!

We are also aware that invoices aren't always being sent to the correct contact. Unless told otherwise, Octavo will be sending all invoices to Headteachers so please do advise us if you would like to amend your school's finance contact by calling 020 8241 5467 or email accountsreceivable@octavopartnership.org.


In this edition we have spoken a lot about us but we would love to hear from you!

If there is an item or topic you would really like to see discussed please do let us know. We would love to include more updates on how well our schools are doing and share your inspirational work.

Keep an eye out for upcoming competitions and events for all to get involved with.

All suggestions can be sent to enquiries@octavopartnership.org.