Octavo News

Edition 6 - March

Welcome to the latest edition of Octavo News. We are delighted to announce that our service contracts for 2016-17 are now available to purchase via the Octavo portal, ready for the next year ahead. We are also looking towards the Summer Term and the training we can offer our customers for the final term of the academic year.

As we come to the end of the financial year we also mark the end of Octavo's first year of business. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their continued support and we look forward to building upon this year's success in the future.

In this edition:

  • Guidance for purchasing 2016-17 contracts and services
  • Local Hero
  • Teacher Recruitment Fair - report back
  • Summer Conferences and Training
  • Vulnerable Groups update
  • Croydon Literacy Centre is relocating!
  • Meet the Team - Education Business Partnership
  • We're Growing! Recruitment and introductions

Purchasing for 2016-17

Octavo's 2016-17 Service Offer is available to purchase via the Octavo portal, using the 'Quick Buy Form' in the 'Services' area. We are here to assist you at any point in the process and hope that some small tweaks we have made will make the process more streamlined for you, our customers.

Click here for a step-by-step guide for purchasing.

Rest assured that invoicing for 2016-17 contracts and services will only begin in April 2016.

Croydon Council Brokered Services

These will once more be available to purchase via the Octavo portal. These offers go live on our portal as and when they are confirmed by the individual services. We hope to see the final submissions made shortly.

Academic year contracts for Academies

We've taken on board your feedback and introduced contracts based on the academy financial year. These will work in conjunction with a five month bridging contract to take our academies through to September, the start of their financial year.

Both contracts must be purchased at the same time. The Octavo portal will not allow a site to purchase an Academies Bridging Contract (for the period 1st April 2016 – 31st August 2016) without first purchasing an Academies Annual Contract (for the period 1st September 2016 – 31st August 2017). Billing for the Bridging Contract will be processed from April 2016. Billing for the Annual Contract will only be processed in September 2016.

Here to help

Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions of if you'd like assistance with your ordering!

Local Hero: Principal of the Year!

This edition's local hero is Mohammed Ramzan, Principal and Chief Executive of John Ruskin College, who achieved the prestigious award of Principal of the Year at the National Centre for Diversity Grand Awards in January.

Of his award, Mohammed Ramzan said, “I am very proud of these achievements as this a testimony to the hard work and dedication of our Staff, Students and Governors who have been part of this journey. We are an inclusive College with the focus on Learner success which is central to everything we do. We are delighted that the National Centre for Diversity has recognised the achievements of John Ruskin College.”

Mohammed has worked in Education and Training for 16 years. He has wide experience of the Further Education Sector in developing curriculum; improving teaching, learning and assessment; student support; stakeholder engagement; and coaching managers to improve performance. His contributions have included National recognition for John Ruskin College to become the first college in the country to achieve the Leaders in Diversity accreditation through the National Centre for Diversity and the College achieving Investors in People Gold.

Our sincere congratulations go to Mohammed and all of those at John Ruskin College. Keep up the good work!

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!

Octavo & Croydon schools working together to address recruitment challenges

Saturday 6 February saw Octavo host the 2nd annual Teacher Recruitment Fair. The recruitment fair was the culmi­nation of months of work by the CHTA and Octavo and was organised to address the increasing shortage of high quality teachers entering the profession, and to proactively support Croydon schools with their current recruitment challenges.

The recruitment fair was supported by a national and regional advertising campaign, developed to attract current, past and new teachers, or anyone interested in becoming a teacher. The advertising ran over an eight-week period and comprised press adverts in The Guardian, various platforms within Croydon and local papers across Epsom, Sutton, Kingston, Wandsworth and Bromley.

The fair took place between 10am and 1pm at Fairfield Halls and it was clear from the buzz through the day that the event was of value to both attendees and exhibitors. Feedback from the schools that exhibited has been extremely positive with all involved looking forward to how we can build on this success over the next year.

“I had a wonderful morning at the Recruitment Fair a few weeks ago, and learnt a great deal about the fantastic and innovative work going on in education in my home town. Thank you for organising that opportunity for me, and others in my position, to get a flavour of teaching in Croydon. I am excited to start my teaching career in such a diverse and supportive borough.” - Comments from an Attendee

“We were delighted to be involved in this positive and worthwhile event. Could we please be included next year?” - Comments from an Exhibiting School

New! Introduction of SBM Network

Octavo are delighted to introduce the School Business Manager network as part of our dedication to improving the skills and knowledge of school business managers across the borough.

Following the successful launch of the SBM network in March, we will soon be timetabling the meetings for 16-17. At the launch meeting delegates voted for the speakers they wish to hear from in the upcoming meetings which will bring informative updates on premises, HR and finance. Discussions amongst the group were lively and helpful. Members are also able to share best practice and store documents in their online group on the Octavo portal.

The subscription for the SBM network is now available to purchase from the 'Finance Services' section of the Octavo portal. For more information contact Patrick Leavy, School's Finance Manager.

Return of Mathematics Lesson Study

Following the success of the funded lesson study project last year we are delighted to be able to offer a further opportunity for schools to join a mathematics lesson study community. The Croydon Mathematics Lesson Study Hub has received LSEF legacy funding so there is no charge to schools. This opportunity is available to both schools who took part last year and new schools.

Please click HERE to view the the project outline. For further details, contact Joanne Wallin.

Summer Conferences & CPD

Lego Convention

A chance to explore how your school can use LEGO to motivate and engage pupils in variety of subjects. We welcome keynote speaker, Dr David Whitebread, who will be opening the event with his talk on how play and playfulness can enhance learning. Book your place today!

Get Playful! Lego convention

20th April, 12.45pm-4.30pm

CPD and Training

Our CPD programme for the rest of the academic year is extensive. We have a host of training for all members of staff including the subject leader meetings, training for admin staff, workshops for TAs and support for Senior Leadership. Click here to view the programme for the next three months.

The next CPD programme will be circulated on Tuesday 22nd March.

New Location for Literacy Centre

The Literacy Centre will be making an exciting move over the Easter Holiday to a new home at Howard Primary School.

At present some building work is taking place to create a wonderful new learning environment for our children to work and thrive in.

"We would like to say a very big thank you to John Robinson, the head at Howard, and his team for the very warm welcome they have extended to us. We are very much looking forward to moving into our lovely new home. We would also like to say a big thank you to Purley Oaks Primary school where we have been based for a number of years, and who have always made us feel welcome."

Our new address will be:

Howard Primary School

Dering Place

Croydon, Surrey


Tel: 07920 657 752

We look forward to welcoming you to our new centre. We will be confirming the opening date in the very near future.

Meet the Team - Education Business Partnership

Octavo's EBP Team is Croydon’s primary link between education and business; offering employability skills as well as being a centralised work experience broker. Our highly experienced and professional team supports pupils and students in secondary schools, academies and colleges. Whilst we have a strong relationship with Croydon schools and businesses we work closely with many establishments across South London.

Our team has a proven track record of delivering high quality programmes and activities that have a demonstrable impact on outcomes achieved by young people. We have significant experience, professional knowledge and expertise ensuring our service to you is fit for purpose and value for money. Our programmes and services are supported by longstanding and positive relationships with employers across a wide range of business and industry sectors.

We offer a range of programmes that provide young people with the opportunity to learn for work, through work and about work and enable them to achieve positive outcomes. These include:

  • Work experience placement and management service (pre 16 and post 16)
  • Mock interviews
  • Employability skills

"I think if all students were given this opportunity they would feel more confident in themselves and their abilities" - Business Volunteer

"...a great opportunity. It teaches them all about teamwork and the need to go the extra mile in order to stand out" - Business Volunteer

To discuss how we can work with your school or business contact as at ebp@octavopartnership.org

Vulnerable Groups Updates

Regular updates from Octavo's Vulnerable Groups team are available on the Communications page of our website or when logged in to the Octavo portal.

Click HERE to read the most recent update from the team.

**Keep on eye out for the Vulnerable Groups Network meetings for 2016-17. The subscription is available to purchase from the Octavo portal now!**

We're Growing!

Due to the increasing demand for our services we have some exciting vacancies here at Octavo including:

    Full details of each role and how to apply can be found on the Careers page of our website.

    Keep up to date with the latest career opportunities with Octavo via Twitter and LinkedIn.

    Welcome to...

    Graham Mayes, IT Service Manager

    Graham has 35 years of experience in the IT services industry across the private and public sector. He is passionate about the IT sector and maintains a knowledge of the latest trends, systems, tools and practices. His goal in joining Octavo is to make sure schools receive the service they deserve to meet their ever growing requirements.

    Graham attended the recent CHTA conference to introduce himself to Heads. If you didn't get a chance to meet him and would like to discuss your school's IT requirements don't hesitate to get in touch. He would be happy to come out and meet you.

    Welcome Graham!

    Claire Potter, Head of Finance

    Octavo are delighted to welcome Claire Potter as the new Head of Finance. Claire is currently working for a large multi-academy trust in Surrey which has expanded rapidly over the last two years. She brings with her a wealth of experience from schools and Academies as well as prior commercial experience. Claire will be joining the company in mid April.

    That's All For Now...

    That's all from us for the Spring Term. We wish everyone a restful Easter break and look forward to welcoming you all back for the final term of the academic year.

    If there is an item or topic you would 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.

    All suggestions can be sent to enquiries@octavopartnership.org