Message to Staff – 31st March 


Announcing Awards Day

Update on Cost of Living


Dear colleagues

Well I have been here over 16 years now and I have never had a term like it. Wow.

I am still buzzing with the Ofsted Outstanding. I am keen for our CQC care inspection to happen, so that our wonderful residential teams can also demonstrate their outstanding work and enjoy the same public recognition.

Well done to everyone at Portland. This was a team effort reflecting all the different jobs in the organisation. I am so happy that we have this recognition – which is a real tribute to your skill and hard work in making every day really special for our learners and citizens.

We also had a great visit from the Duke of Edinburgh and I got a lovely letter from his private secretary thanking us for making him so welcome. Fun bit of trivia: the plaque the Duke unveiled is the very first one he performed as a Duke.

Letter of Thanks


Announcing Awards Day

Awards Day will take place on Wednesday 5th July and our special guest is local swimming legend Ollie Hynd MBE.

To make it an outstanding occasion we need great nominations. Get your thinking caps on about who has been an outstanding learner or citizen.

You can nominate as many individuals as you like and you can nominate an individual for more than one category (but you will need a separate form).

Those clever bods in marketing have created an easy-to-use online form:



Update on cost of living

We have been getting a number of enquiries (particularly to payroll) about some of the initiatives I announced back in the autumn.

The big one is of course your pay will rise by 9.68% from tomorrow and you will see the immediate impact of that on pay day in April.

I also told you about a plan to introduce something called advanced pay. This is where you can draw down up to 50% of your pay 48 hours after working a shift. We have reviewed a range of commercial providers for this and have now selected our preferred option to bring you a very efficient low cost service in the near future.

The other opportunity we have been trying to promote is additional shifts (e.g. care, catering functions and learning support). Again, we have looked at a range of software providers to organise shifts and put text messages out to anyone who has registered an interest in additional shifts. We have now identified our preferred software provider.

So, we are at the stage of checking that advance pay and shift rota software will work together with our existing payroll software. By the end of April we hope to have placed the orders and then it will be up to 2 months to get the systems in and working.

I will keep you posted on key developments but I hope to have everything working by July.

That’s all for now. It has been quite the term and I hope everyone now has some time off to enjoy the Easter holidays.

All the best