27 September 2018

This week's Noticeboard includes a message from Anne Ainsworth, information about an initial consultation regarding Al-Hijrah School and much more.

Included in this update:

From the Director

Dear Colleagues

Firstly, huge congratulations to all those involved in arranging the Learning to Shape Birmingham conference that took place earlier this week. The conference had a focus on quality practice and sharing of good examples of leadership and the challenges schools face. The feedback from those who attended has been excellent so well done all.


On Wednesday the Interim Executive Board of Al-Hijrah School started the first stage of consultation on the proposal to change the age range of Al-Hijrah. The proposal is that from September 2019 Al-Hijrah will offer mixed gender primary education only, on a new site, converting to an academy following a directive academy order that was issued by the Department for Education in May 2017. To participate in the consultation, please give your views at www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/people-1/alhijrahdraft. The consultation will run until 26 October 2018. Briefings were held for staff and parents earlier this week and I would like to thank everyone at Al-Hijrah for their continued hard work and how they have engaged with this consultation.

At the end of last week I visited Oscott Manor and Priestley Smith. Thanks to both schools for your time showing me around, I really enjoyed seeing what you do. Both schools go above and beyond for their students. Please do keep getting in touch to invite me to your schools, more visits are being arranged and I’m very keen to visit and meet up with as many of you as possible.

Towards the end of next month I will be heading out to Tanzania for a couple of weeks to volunteer in an orphanage that has a primary school. I’ll talk briefly about my time there at the Headteacher briefings in November (booking links below). I’ll include more information on the charity in Noticeboard in future weeks and there may also be opportunities to link in with the school in Tanzania for those who are interested.

The academic year is now fully up and running with Forum meetings taking place. It was good to attend really productive meetings of the Primary and Early Years Forums last week and I was sorry to miss the Special Forum. The Post 16 and Secondary Forums will be happening in coming weeks.

In this week’s Noticeboard you’ll see information from Razia Butt about the Equalities and Cohesion Toolkit. I’d encourage schools to sign up to the interactive sessions that have been arranged and also send Razia any examples of good practice for the termly updates to the Toolkit.

We're continuing to receive feedback about Noticeboard and thanks to those of you who have got in touch. We recognise that our weekly update has a larger audience than just schools with colleagues in early years, colleges and even HE reading it on a weekly basis. We've therefore made a slight change to the name to reflect this. So, like Prince or Madonna, we now just have one word in our name - Noticeboard.

Finally please note the information about published admission numbers from Education Infrastructure. It’s really important that schools notify BCC of any planned changes to their PAN for September 2019 entry.




Local Authority Headteacher Briefings: 8 and 13 November 2018

**Please note that the venue for the North briefing has changed to Villa Park.

Thursday 8 November 2018 8am - 10am Foyle Studio, mac Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park B12 9QH https://ht-briefing-081118.eventbrite.co.uk
Tuesday 13 November 2018 3pm - 5pm Aston Villa Football Club, Villa Park
Birmingham B6 6HE

CONTACT:   education@birmingham.gov.uk

School Organisation Proposal for Al-Hijrah School

As Anne mentioned above, the Interim Executive Board of Al-Hijrah School is consulting on the following proposal;

  • Alteration to the Age Range of the school from 4-16 years to 4 -11 years

If the proposal is approved it will result in the school becoming a primary school.

We are keen to receive your views on the proposal. Full details of the proposal along with how to comment are provided at the web link below.


CONTACT: School Organisation Team, Education Infrastructure (edsi.enquiries@birmingham.gov.uk)

Changes to Planned Admission Numbers from September 2019

We are asking all schools to notify Birmingham City Council of a change to PAN for 2019 entry in order to support the coordinated admissions process.

Please complete and return the attached form to edsi.enquiries@birmingham.gov.uk by 5 October 2018.

This request is in accordance with the School Admission Code and is particularly relevant to non-LA schools.

Mastering Equality and Inclusion; Equality & Cohesion Toolkit, All Equal All Different

We are delighted to announce the publication of the Equalities and Cohesion Toolkit; All Equal, All Different which was developed through collaboration between Birmingham head teachers and the Education Resilience team, in partnership with BRAP.  We are offering interactive sessions that will cover the practical application of the Equality Act 2010 within a dynamic education context.  This is an opportunity to reflect on practice through a whole school approach, to examine controversial issues and learn about resources, tools and approaches that will ensure compliance with the law whilst building resilience with children and young people.

For more information about the sessions and to book places, please use the link below. All sessions run from 9.30am to 3.30pm. 

Please note that the Toolkit is intended to be a living document so I am very keen to hear any examples of good practice from Birmingham schools to be included in the termly update of this Toolkit. You can access the Toolkit on the Birmingham City Council website.

CONTACT: Razia Butt, Resilience Adviser (razia.butt@birmingham.gov.uk)

Unconscious bias: Introductory workshop for schools

This interactive workshop will introduce participants to the concept of unconscious bias, exploring how bias manifests itself in our everyday lives and how it can influence decision making when it comes to children, their families, communities and work colleagues. The aim is to focus on what we can do about ourselves to expose some of the values, beliefs & habits of thinking that often determine how we behave towards others.

By the end of this workshop participants will 

  • have a better understanding of bias and how it can help to address issues of inclusion and inequality
  • understand how bias is reproduced and maintained
  • know how to apply strategies which can help them and others to de-bias

For more information about the sessions and to book places, please use the link below. All sessions run from 9.30am - 12.30pm

CONTACT: Razia Butt, Resilience Adviser (razia.butt@birmingham.gov.uk)

Model Safeguarding Policy - Codicil Update

Two required changes have been made to the model policy:

  • Working closely with Ofsted we have further updated the section in the model policy on Peer on Peer abuse to stress the issues of the gendered nature of peer on peer abuse, that abuse is abuse and should never be tolerated or passed off as 'banter' or 'having a laugh', and linking the section to the work already in the policy to children who pose a risk to children and sexting.
  • The reference to Early Help panels has been removed from  '3 Steps to delivering Early Help' as these meetings no longer exist within the city. Advice on the Early Help process can be obtained from the Early Help Support team on 0121 303 8117 or ehst@birmingham.gov.uk

There is some work currently being undertaken on the issue of consent in the light of the GDPR requirements and the need for a new Information Sharing Agreement that will require another codicil in November, but given the importance of addressing Peer on Peer Abuse we wanted to introduce this update as soon as possible.

A copy of the codicil and the updated policy can be downloaded from the Birmingham City Council website.

CONTACT: Jon Needham (jon.j.needham@birmingham.gov.uk)

Section 175 tool

I have 2 projects that require school comments and am looking for volunteers from across the phases and designations:

Section 175 - beta testing the new tool
I know this is really short notice but we have the opportunity to test the new section 175 safeguarding self assessment tool before it goes 'live' later in October. I need x2 volunteers from the primary sector, x2 volunteers from the secondary sector, x3 from the independent sector and x2 from the special schools sector.
We are meeting at Holte School in Nechells on the 1st October at 12.30, for a snack lunch and to review the new tool. If you are interested please email to register your involvement and so I can order you lunch.

ICPC attendance over school holidays
This summer we put in place an interim arrangement for notifying schools when a statutory initial child protection conference was called that required a school to attend. I would like to call a very short working party to look at how we make this system work more appropriately for this academic year. The dates for the meeting are:
*  23rd October - 15.30-16.30
*  November - 15.30-16.30
*  20th November - 15.30-16.30
I am looking for x2 reps from each phase and designation to help develop a city wide approach. I am happy to host this at Lancaster Circus but I know parking here is dreadful, so if you want to volunteer and also host I would be happy to accommodate.

Autumn School Census

  • Census date: Thursday 4 October.
  • Return date: Monday 8 October

Schools can access a letter with this Noticeboard that provides important information about the census.

CONTACT: Sandra Dawkes (r&s@birmingham.gov.uk)

Updated Information - Schools Financial Governance Process

Following a number of queries that have recently been raised by Head Teachers, School Business Managers and Clerks to Governing Bodies regarding the new schools financial governance process, a decision has been made to review the deadlines for when the financial reports need to be submitted to the full Governing Body for discussion and approval.

It has been agreed that the deadlines for the reports should be by the end of the Autumn Term i.e. by December and by the end of the Spring Term i.e. by March.  We hope that the change to the previously suggested deadlines will be helpful and will maximise the potential for financial information to be communicated effectively to all governors.

CONTACT: Sue Beer (sue.beer@birmingham.gov.uk)

Birmingham Audit: Fraud Spotlight newsletter

Fraud Spotlight provides useful information for colleagues on a range of topical issues, fraud prevention and details of areas that are inherently exposed to the risk of fraud.

This edition includes articles on salary overpayments, password security and cash security – it’s well worth a read.  You can download a copy from the Birmingham City Council website.

If you have any fraud suspicions, require advice or guidance or would just like to see a specific topic covered in a future edition please contact Corporate Fraud Team on 0121 303 2185 or email birminghamaudit@birmingham.gov.uk

Key Stage 2 Swimming Attainment

Swim England’s Schools Swimming website contains details of the Swimming Charter along with guidance to help support you achieve your Key Stage target.

If you would like support to progress swimming for your pupils and to allow us to have a better understanding of need within the city, please email sid.hardy@birmingham.gov.uk with the percentage of children within your school reaching swim targets by the end of Key Stage 2.

School Visits to the Library of Birmingham

Although Birmingham is going through major redevelopments The Library of Birmingham is open and welcomes school visits.

For the latest information of road works see: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/roadworks

School visits to the Library of Birmingham

There’s a lot to do in the Library. Bring along your own worksheets or share a story on the Story Steps. Take your pick from the huge range of fiction and information books, Shakespeare collection, folk and fairy tales, Black British Arts and Culture and other collections. The Story Steps seats up to 90 children!  We have 6 children’s computers – just bring your library card and PIN. Tour LoB for fascinating views from the Secret Garden and 9th floor Skyline Viewing – a great discussion topic about our city’s development.

There is lunch space on a first come first saved basis, so let us know on your registration form.

If children have a Birmingham library card they can use it at the Library of Birmingham. If they haven’t joined the parents/guardians can register online (see link). Give us the Self Registration number so we can process the library card.

If you have further queries about visiting then email or just complete a registration form on the website and send it to childrens.library@birmingham.gov.uk.

Bookstart Treasure Packs for 3-4 year olds: 2018/19 school year

If your school has a nursery: the new intake of 3-4yr olds are eligible for a Treasure Pack for the 2018/19 academic year. You will be able to gift a Treasure Pack to those children who are aged 3-4yrs old and are now attending your nursery. 

Complete the form, fill in and send it by Friday 15 December 2018 to receive your delivery.

Delivery Timeline:

  • Orders - September - December 2018
  • Order Collation - January 2019
  • Order Delivery/Collection - February - May 2019
  • Mop Up delivery - June 2019

For the academic year 2018-19, where gifting is to those children who would have gone to Nursery in September 2018. 

You can find out more about Bookstart at www.bookstart.org.uk
If you have any questions email:  bookstartbirmingham@birmingham.gov.uk

Tackling Online Hate: International competition

With online hate speech a growing problem and abusive comments from peers one of the key causes of upset online for young people, schools across Europe are being invited to take part in a competition aimed at tackling the issue.

SWGfL, a partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre, is helping to deliver SELMA (Social and Emotional Learning for Mutual Awareness), a two year project along with four other partners: European Schoolnet, For Adolescent Health, The Diana Award, LMK and Centre for Digital Youth Care. Co-funded by the European Commission SELMA aims to tackle the problem of online hate speech by promoting mutual awareness, tolerance, and respect.

SWGfL are looking for teams of young people, aged 15-18, in the UK to submit their best ideas about how to tackle online hate speech. The best entries will be shortlisted, and the winners will be invited to take part in a Hackathon event - with students from across Europe.

The winning six teams from across Europe to come up with the best ideas will be invited to take part in the Hacking Hate Hackathon at the Facebook Digital Learning Centre in Berlin on 5 and 6 December, with all travel costs and accommodation paid for by the SELMA partners!

The hackathon offers a fantastic opportunity for young people from across Europe to meet, learn new skills and share ideas on how to tackle online hate speech.

To enter go to: https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/blog/schools-invited-enter-competition-tackle-online-hate

UK primary schools Glider Challenge in partnership with RAF Museum Cosford

The Glider Challenge offers primary schools a unique opportunity to begin to engage students in years 4, 5 and 6 with STEM subjects. The competition is sponsored by the RAF Museum Cosford and The Learning Partnership to engage as many young people as possible with an authentic Science and Engineering challenge. The competition and supporting curriculum resources are designed to help equip students with the skills, knowledge and experience that they will need to embrace and tackle the global opportunities and challenges of tomorrow. 
The project is fully resourced with lesson plans, printables and activity guides made available here online on the Dendrite STEM Education Community.

How the competition works:

  • Use the guidance and ideas in the content areas to design, build and test gliders through the Autumn and Early Spring terms. There is a variety of additional lesson content you can use from now to explore key principles.
  • Hold an in-school glider flying competition, providing opportunities for students to refine their designs and launching skills. Notes and a video presentation for this are in the content areas below.
  • The team/s (one team of up to 4 from each registered class at the school) with the best distance flying glider is invited to represent their school at the regional finals to be held at the regional Hub in February or March. At the regional and national finals, students will get the opportunity to learn more about flight and will design and compete with new glider designs they make there (all tools and resources provided).
  • Winners of each regional finals will be invited to a National Level Final at the beginning of April 2019.

Further details are in the teacher guide which you can view and download from the Dendrite website.  You can get also more help and information on 01869 346 609.

Primary school Cookathon: 23 October 2018

Chance for all primary schools to be involved in a mass cook-a-long on 23 October 2018.

The recipes to be cooked are Harvest vegetable soup (recipe available from Change 4 Life website) and also bread – made in ‘bread-in-a-bag’ style to reduce mess.

The cooking will be demonstrated by award winning chef Marcus Bean and the demonstration film and downloadable recipes will be available on the Health for Life pages on the Services for Education website after 5 October 2018.

We are aiming for as many schools to be involved and share their photos and experience. The event if free so would be great if you could all join in. On the day please share your photos on twitter using #hflcookathon and include @S4EHES in the tweet.

For further details or to register your interest please email sandra.passmore@servicesforeducation.co.uk.

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