Noticeboard: 15 December 2021

This week's Noticeboard includes messages for schools from Sue Harrison and Cllr Jayne Francis, the updated Right Help Right Time threshold guidance, an update regarding the Children Missing Education web page and more.

Included in this update:

Message to schools from Sue Harrison, Director of Children's Services

Earlier this week, Sue Harrison shared a video message with schools. The video can be accessed at this link.

Message to schools from Cllr Jayne Francis, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture

As we break up for the Christmas holidays, I wanted to say a heartfelt personal thank you to teaching staff, families, children and young people for all the hard work and dedication you have shown during another challenging term.

I am hugely grateful to everyone in Birmingham’s schools for your continued commitment to children and young people.  I know you have all worked tirelessly to minimise the impact on pupils wherever possible with ongoing very challenging circumstances responding at short notice to changes in local and national guidance.

 A special thank you to secondary schools for your support of the NHS School Vaccination Programme this term.  In January, the NHS will start visiting schools to offer second doses to 12-15 year olds and pick up any first doses for newly turned 12 year olds or those wishing to receive the first dose.  This age group are also able to access mobile sites over the Christmas break.  Sadly, Coronavirus is still with us and vaccination remains our best defence.  I would urge everyone who is eligible to get the jab, whether that’s the first dose for young people or the booster for adults.

Let’s help each other stay safe and we can all look forward to a great 2022 with everything the year has to offer.

So, thank you and I hope you have a relaxing Christmas and New Year.

Best wishes


Refreshed 'Right Help, Right Time' threshold guidance

Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership (BSCP) has published the refreshed Birmingham’s threshold guidance ‘Right Help, Right Time’.

The updated guidance (Version 5 with a light blue cover), is now available to download to phones, work computers and other electronic devices or hard copies can be printed out.

The new version replaces the previous version dated February 2020 (with a lilac cover).

Children Missing Education web pages

The council's CME team is available via telephone (0121 303 4983) and continue to process your referrals and notifications through the team’s email inbox (

As the CME team transforms the way it communicates and processes referrals we want to make sure we get it right.  So in the new year we will be looking for expressions of interest from schools and partners who wish to participate in the CME Focus Group.  The purpose of the group is to ensure that the new systems are user friendly and fit for purpose.  We value your opinions and judgements and wish to take you on the journey with us. 

The Noticeboard will list all the latest developments so make sure to keep checking it for opportunities to get involved.

Education Infrastructure - Christmas Bulletin (Issue Dec 2021)

This term’s Education Infrastructure bulletin is available on BESS.

The bulletin covers the following topics:

  • Accessibility facilities
  • Duty holder training
  • Asbestos management plan training
  • Additional Secondary places
  • Growth and Falling Pupil funding

Please contact Education Infrastructure ( for school place planning, capital projects and asset management queries.

Guidance for Schools on the In-Year admissions process

Birmingham City Council does not co-ordinate the In-Year admissions process and continues to advise all families looking for in-year school places to approach their local schools and apply directly.

Schools must process all In-Year applications that they receive promptly, and must not refuse to accept an application, or tell parents that they are unable to apply for a year group in which there are currently no places available.

Where a school has places available, they must offer places to all applicants up to the published admission number for the relevant year group.

The School Admissions Code 2021 states that:

  •  Schools should aim to notify parents of the outcome of their application in writing within 10 school days, but;
  •  They must be notified in writing within 15 school days;
  •  Where an application is refused, schools must also set out the reason for refusal and information about the right to appeal;
  •  Schools must also notify the local authority of every application and its outcome as soon as reasonably practicable but should aim to do so within 2 school days.

Where it is not possible to offer a place, the school must add the child’s name to the waiting list for the year group. This is regardless of how many children are on the list, or how infrequently it experiences movement.  Waiting lists must be held in admission criteria order, and children cannot be prioritised for admission based on the date on which their application was received.

It is also a requirement that schools provide the local authority with details of places available for In-Year admission, and must do so within 2 school days of receipt of a request for this information.

Full details of all the requirements relating to In-Year admissions can be found in the School Admissions Code (2021)

Enquiries about the In-Year admissions process should be made to the School Admissions and Fair Access Team by email at, or by telephone on 0121 303 1888.