Birmingham City Council

Further Information about Birmingham Schools

This page is known as: www.birmingham.gov.uk/school-information

School Uniform

School Travel Expenses

Home to School Measurements

Walking to School

School Meals

School Term Dates

School Fund

Education Welfare Service

Specialist Support for SEN

Religion / Belief

Military Families


School Uniform
Governing Bodies are responsible for deciding whether or not pupils should wear a school uniform. Parents should contact individual schools for details of the uniform policy and any sports kits. Generally school uniforms should be available in High Street shops and other retail outlets rather than from one supplier. Schools should offer arrangements so that no family feels unable to apply for admission on account of high uniform costs and details should be available from individual schools.



School Travel Expenses
If your child goes to a school more than three miles from your home (measured by the nearest available walking route), you may qualify for financial help to meet the cost of public transport to and from school.

Full details are given in the School Travel Service web page.



Home to School Measurements
Distances are calculated on the basis of a straight-line measurement between the applicant's home address and a point decided by the school (usually the front gates). The local authority uses a computerised system, which measures all distances in metres. Ordnance Survey supplies the co-ordinates that are used to plot an applicant's home address within this system.

1 mile = 1.609 Kilometres (Km).



Walking to School
In recent years the number of children who are driven to school has steadily increased. This contributes to traffic congestion and air pollution. Less walking and cycling to school is affecting children's health and independence. Birmingham City Council is committed to encouraging more children to walk or cycle to school, or to catch the bus for longer distances.



School Meals

For many years the Authority has taken great pride in the meals available to pupils and provides options that take into account health, religion, medical and localised requirements as well as the latest government requirements for nutrition and reductions in salt, sugar and fat.

All secondary schools operate a cash cafeteria service that allows pupils to exercise choice in food eaten while enjoying a value for money meal. The price charged for school meals is reviewed each year in April. For more details about school meals visit the School Meals web pages.

Entitlement to free school meals
Schools must provide a free meal to those pupils whose parents / carers or pupils themselves receive benefits, subject to certain conditions. Anyone requiring more information about entitlement should visit the Free School Meals web pages and contact the school's headteacher or their nearest neighbourhood office.



School Term Dates
School term dates for the next two years are available on the School Term Dates page.



Contributions to School Funds and School Trips
There is no charge or cost related to the admission of a child to a school. Many schools operate a school fund to which they ask parents to contribute small sums. Such donations are entirely voluntary. The money collected in this way is used to pay for activities or to buy equipment that is not provided from the school budget.

School trips are an important part of school life and can contribute to the ethos of the school. Schools may ask parents for a voluntary contribution towards the cost of a school trip but may not charge for a trip which takes place in school hours or is part of the National Curriculum. Many schools offer help to those who are unable to afford the cost of school trips. Details are available from individual schools.



Education Welfare Service
The Education Welfare Service promotes the importance of regular school attendance for all children of compulsory school age. In addition, the service provides a wide range of help and advice to parents. Education Welfare Officers are in regular contact with schools and schools are aware of the times when their local Officer can be contacted.

More information is available from the Education Welfare Service page.



Specialist Support for Children with Learning Difficulties in Mainstream Education
We believe that children and young people with learning difficulties should be welcomed and educated in their local mainstream secondary school. This is where the majority of these children are educated. To meet the needs of children and young people in their local community benefits them both academically and socially.

If you as a parent, or the headteacher or a member of staff in your child’s school, feel that your child has special educational needs and may require additional help, talk to the Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at the school. The Special Needs Co-ordinator has regular contact with specialist teachers and psychologists who can work with the school to gain a better understanding of your child’s learning needs and to develop teaching approaches that will meet them.

More information is available from the Sensory Support for SEN page.



Military Families
Birmingham Local Authority understands that families of UK Service personnel often have to move at short notice within the UK and from abroad. If we receive an In-Year application along with an official letter from the MOD, FCO or GCHQ stating a relocation date, then we will be able to arrange a school place in advance of the relocation. Please contact the School Admissions and Pupil Placements Service on 675 0555 for further advice.



Religion / Belief
The law requires all community, Academy, foundation, and voluntary aided schools without a religious character to provide Religious Education that fulfils the requirements of a locally agreed syllabus. For Birmingham schools this is the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. Voluntary Aided Schools with a religious character normally follow a Diocesan syllabus or one agreed by the governing body.

Religious Education is intended for all pupils. However, parents have the right to withdraw their child from all or part of RE. This will need careful thought and discussion and parents are encouraged to discuss with Head teachers the Religious Education provision in the school.

All schools are also required to have collective worship for all pupils every day. This will follow a pattern agreed by the governors of the school. Collective worship is intended for all pupils. However parents also have the right to withdraw their child from collective worship.