11 October 2018

This week's Noticeboard includes a message from Anne Ainsworth, an update from School Admissions and other information for schools and settings.

Included in this update:

From the Director

Dear Colleagues

As I mentioned in Noticeboard last week, I visited Adderley and Saltley on Friday with Razia Butt and senior officials from the Department for Education. Quite frankly I was blown away by the work of these two fantastic schools, and the child-centred practice I saw.  It was incredibly impressive. Thanks to both schools for a really uplifting visit that ended an extremely busy week. Always good to remember why it is we do what we do!

This week I and other partners from the Clinical Commissioning Group; Children's Trust; and Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust met with the DfE and NHS England regarding the Written Statement of Action for SEND that is being produced following the recent Ofsted/CQC inspection. I’ll be talking with Headteachers shortly about the best way to involve and engage with schools on this complex piece of work. SEND remains a very important issue for Birmingham and the support of schools and education providers will be crucial.

Next month the Council will start a consultation on its proposals for the 2019/2020 budget. You’ll all be well aware of the financial challenges faced by the Council so difficult decisions will be taken. I’ll share more information in future Noticeboards and at next month’s Headteacher briefings. Thanks to all those of you who have booked to come to the briefings, I look forward to seeing so many of you there. We’ll be sharing the complete agenda in Noticeboard before half term as I know from feedback that you find this useful.

On Wednesday the 2018 Brum Youth Trends report was launched at a summit at the Town Hall. I was sorry not to be able to attend the summit but would encourage you to read the report which contains insight from over 1,200 young people in Birmingham, sharing thoughts and opinions on issues such as health, mental health, arts, heritage, culture, identity, employment and lots more. It was fitting that the report was launched on World Mental Health Day, particularly as 58% of the young people who responded to the report said they were either suffering with or dealing with anxiety. Here’s the link for the report - you can access it on the Beatfreaks website.

Finally I know from my discussions with schools how keen you are for your pupils to get involved with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. This week the Organising Committee started a piece of work to develop the brand for the Games and I was delighted that pupils from Priestley Smith were involved in the first focus group on Wednesday. One or two other schools will be taking part in focus groups, but everyone will be able to help shape the brand and take part in the #2022voices public engagement campaign online, at roadshows and in libraries and leisure centres over the next 22 days. See the press release here  https://bit.ly/2ITNA9b. The feedback from the first focus group was excellent, both in terms of enthusiasm and creativity, and I’d like to thank the staff and students from Priestley Smith for their contributions. There will be lots more opportunities over the next four years for you and your pupils to get involved in the Games, and we will share these with you via Noticeboard but do also keep an eye on the Games website https://www.birmingham2022.com/




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

Ethnic Monitoring Form: Updated

The Ethnic Monitoring Form has been updated in accordance with the DfE school census guidance for 2018-19. The form can be accessed on the Birmingham City Council website via this link.

CONTACT: Sandra Dawkes, Senior Intelligence Officer (Sandra.C.Dawkes@birmingham.gov.uk)

Half day signs of safety and well being training

Half Day Signs of Safety and Wellbeing (SOSW) for Education
Wed, 24 Oct 2018 13:00 - 16:15
Venue: The Pavilion, Moor Lane, Birmingham, B6 7AA

This course is available to Designated Safeguarding Leads and Education based staff with a pastoral and/or attendance role. Designed to enable effective completion of the SOSW paperwork, Early Help Assessment, Our Family Plan and the Request for Support in a way that captures family input alongside professional concern. Please book via the BESS website.

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

School Admissions update

We would like to update schools on progress in relation to current activities and the recent introduction of new systems within the School Admissions and Fair Access Service:

Secondary Transfer 2019

We have received nearly 7500 online applications for Secondary Transfer – a higher number than at this time last year. The deadline for applications is midnight on 31st October 2018 and we would kindly request that primary schools remind the parents/carers of their Year 6 children to submit an application at https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/schooladmissions by that deadline.

Due to the need to meet statutory deadlines for the secondary transfer process, it is highly likely that we will have to make this work our highest priority during October/early November and would therefore ask for your continued support and patience as this focus may impact on the delivery of other areas of the service including in-year activity.

In Year Applications and Pupil Movement Forms

At the start of September the Schools HR Portal was given the facility for schools to submit their weekly In Year applications and Pupil Movement Forms to us. , and for us to communicate subsequent distance measurements back to schools. It was also used to send out the Year 7 and Reception waiting lists that were managed by School Admissions and Fair Access Service until the end of August.  We are pleased to say that in terms of the In Year applications and Pupil Movement Forms we received over 2500 in-year applications and over 1000 Pupil Movement Forms in September alone and would like to extend our thanks to the overwhelming majority of schools that have signed up to submit this key information to us so we can ensure safeguarding and effectively monitor that all children are in receipt of an education. 


Parents/carers are now able appeal online for those schools that we administer appeals for through the Birmingham City Council website.  

They should be encouraged to check the list of schools we administer appeals before submitting and will need to fill out one form per school.  Families will receive an automatic acknowledgment to their email address and not in the post.

CONTACT: admissions@birmingham.gov.uk

EYSFF Autumn Term 2018 Data Collection

In order to calculate Actual Allocations for the Autumn Term 2018 and determine funding allocations for the Early Years Pupil Premium the LA needs to collect data from schools based on the Oct 2018 CENSUS. Schools are requested to complete a data collection template in order to supply this data for the Autumn Term. Any failure to supply accurate data may have a detrimental impact upon a school’s funding.

The deadline for completion is Friday 26 October 2018 and again without the data the LA will not be in a position to accurately determine a school’s funding. Schools may access the return on the Birmingham City Council website.

It is the school's responsibility to check your Data and Census numbers against the Autumn 2018 Actual budget statement when issued and discrepancies resolved before the Spring term census.

CONTACT: fairfunding@birmingham.gov.uk

Pupil Attendance – Children on CIN/CP plans

The Education ‘Children in Need of Protection’ (CINP) Team is now up and running.  The CINP team will look at attendance data in relation to children on CIN/CP plans and may contact your school if  the attendance of a particular child  is of concern.  They will also answer attendance related queries from colleagues in the Children’s Trust regarding families with whom they are working.  The aim of the initiative is to raise the attendance and progress levels of our most vulnerable children.

To assist with this task, schools are reminded to ensure that their MIS attendance data is uploaded to the Local Authority’s database at least weekly.  This is essential in ensuring that children are safe, attending school and that their legal right to an education is being safeguarded.  Uploading the data means that we can check the ongoing individual attendance of children without having to bother hardworking attendance staff!  It also enables us to answer queries about attendance from Councillors and MPs when schools are closed during the holidays.

Schools with queries about the attendance of individual children should continue to email Court Section via ewsheadofficeadministration@birmingham.gov.uk

The BEP Skills Forum

Thursday 18th October 2018 | 09:00 - 11:30 | BEP Office, The Arch, 48-52 Floodgate St, Digbeth, B5 5SL
In partnership with Enabling Enterprise, our forum will provide BEP Enhanced Primary School Members with a FREE training opportunity and access curriculum projects, teaching activities, classroom resources and skill assessment tools to build pupils' essential skills. This offer includes training and resources, usually costing £650.00.
Skills Forum training will introduce teachers to the Skills Builder approach. It will explore best practice for building the skills and outlines the resources available to schools.
Assess skills
Our award-winning Skills Builder framework and online tool allows quick and easy assessment of the essential skills. In this way, teachers can highlight progress, target areas of weakness and provide evidence of impact.
Classroom resources
Our classroom resources help teachers quickly embed the essential skills into daily classroom practice. They include downloadable posters, certificates, guides and tools to focus on the next steps.
Teaching activities
Provides access to 3 curriculum projects, short, focused activities that are easily  integrated into your curriculum and require minimal preparation, are easy for teachers to use while remaining a highly effective way to build skills.
Book your place here: https://www.bep.education/shop/events/the-bep-skills-forum/ or email events@bep.education for enquiries or more information.

Termly Network meeting for Careers Coordinators/Advisers in Schools

Careers Network Meeting Thursday 25th October 2018

Cadbury Sixth Form College, Downland Close, Birmingham B38 8QT.
10.00 – 12.00 am (with option of College Tour and Lunch between 12.00 – 1.00)

The Termly Network meeting for Careers Leaders/Advisers in school and colleges provides an opportunity to discuss and share ideas in response to  local and national developments. The Autumn meeting will focus on new resources available to schools to help young people identify and develop employability skills and an opportunity to hear and discuss  how different providers are meeting Gatsby Benchmark 4 ‘Linking the Curriculum to Careers’.

To book a place, please visit the BEP website.  Cadbury has kindly offered lunch for those who would like to view the college facilities. Please state if you would like to stay for lunch with any dietary requirements.

HR Workshops: New for 2018/19

This year, HR Services for Schools is pleased to deliver a number of new training workshops.  We have launched two new workshops, and following the success of last year’s ‘Tricky Conversations’, are running a further session of this highly popular course.

1) An Introduction to HR Administration in Schools

This interactive session is designed for staff in schools responsible for administering HR and will cover:

  • understanding school types
  • understanding types of employees in schools
  • where do school staff terms and conditions of employments come from
  • contracts of employment
  • continuity of service
  • recruitment
  • probation
  • pay, grading & allowances
  • term time only & banked hours working
  • absences
  • school HR portal
  • Q&A

2) Perfecting Performance Management

Aimed at providing leaders and managers with an opportunity to explore and develop key techniques to build on and perfect their:

  • appraisal meetings
  • approaches to performance management

This workshop will help delegates to develop their confidence and skills to:

  • prepare for these important meetings
  • reflect on individual performance, both tasks and behaviours
  • develop objectives to achieve the strategic goals defined in the School Improvement Plan, for the diverse range of staff and roles that they manage
  • manage meetings with greater confidence, clarity of expectations, outcomes and next steps

3) Tricky Conversations

This workshop will arm delegates with the tools and techniques to help tackle:

  • performance concerns e.g challenging employees
  • inappropriate behaviours
  • tensions between staff members
  • attendance and timekeeping issues
  • handling parental/carer complaints
  • delivering unwelcome news, perhaps around career progression

See what previous delegates had to say:

  • “Really, really useful. If only I’d done this years ago! Thank you for giving me tools to help in the future.” Evelyn Murphy, Head Teacher, St Peter's CE Primary School
  • "I still remember the training very clearly, the three ladies who delivered it were superb." Sam Darby, George Dixon Primary School
  • "Overall, my confidence to just "say it how it is" has definitely increased.....very good and valuable training." Nesrim Mesnani, City of Birmingham School

We are in the process of designing a Recruitment Workshop, which will be available in March and launched in the next few weeks – further details will follow as soon as available.

All course details and bookings can now be made via the BESS website which most schools are now familiar with for booking Education Safety Services training.  If you don’t already have a log in, registration is quick and simple.

If you have any other HR training requirements or questions about the workshops, we would love to hear from you.  Please feel free to email Georgina Hodgetts and Helen Barnes at SchoolsHRCommunications@birmingham.gov.uk

Assessment Briefings For Senior Leaders

The briefing will provide senior leaders with essential information, guidance and updates regarding Statutory Assessment and key assessment issues at both local and national levels.


  • Gaining an understanding of the requirements for statutory assessment across the primary age range
  • Having the opportunity to consider the management of Statutory Assessment duty including accountabilities, security and integrity of the processes
  • Providing details of the cycle of moderation and monitoring in Birmingham Schools

Date - Tuesday 13th November 2018

  • Session 1: 8 am - 10 am
  • Session 2: 2 pm - 4 pm

Places can be booked via the Services for Education website.

Skills for Learning and Life

AT GLADSTONE LTD. provides opportunities for parents - particularly those whose first language is not English - to develop skills to manage everyday activities such as parent/teacher relationships, medical appointments, using public transport, shopping, reading letters,  as well as progression  to further education or employment.

The programme has been welcomed by schools and communities in Birmingham as helping children, as well as their parents, to achieve positive change, particularly overcoming barriers around communication with schools and other professionals.

The provision is in high demand but please contact Yasmin (info@atgladstone.com or 07533 306 054) for further information about accessing support, and if your school or local community centre can host additional training.

All learners who attended the courses last term were successful and have enrolled to next levels.

Junior Volunteering Days at Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospitals: 12-17 November

Supporting the national #iwill initiative, encouraging social action among young people, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is inviting students aged 10-16 to spend a day or half-day volunteering at our Children’s Hospital during #iwill Week (12-17 November).

You bring one or more groups of up to 8 young people each, plus one or two DBS-checked supervisors per group. We provide an experiential learning and social action project that will:

  • introduce healthcare careers
  • raise students’ aspirations
  • educate them about key health issues affecting their long-term health and well-being
  • harness their creativity and energy

Our Autumn projects include learning about epilepsy, a live project helping us to improve our communications, learning about and decorating patients’ plaster casts, and participating in our Big Discussion on emotional wellbeing (ideal for out-of-school groups). Inspire your students with a day of activity in one of the UK’s leading children’s hospitals. 

Visit our website to find out more about our Group-Led Volunteering programme and July project days, and to apply. Or contact Hayley Kinnear (hayley.kinnear@nhs.net) for further information.

Using the new resource ‘Ruby Rafa and Riz. Feel Think and Do’

Free briefing to familiarise staff with our suite of emotional health resources suitable for 7 to 12 year olds.

This is an opportunity to see the resources and hear about their use in schools - most notably the highly successful research project with schools using 'Ruby Rafa and Riz. Feel Think and Do.'

The resources are designed to introduce children to their emotional world, linking their feelings, thoughts and behaviour and learning self-regulation, and serve as an excellent starting point for creating emotionally safe classrooms and emotionally literate schools.

The resources will all be available to buy, including the new digital version of 'Something Has Happened'. More information is on the Services for Education website.

Bargain prices for schools at The Old Rep

Treat your students to a fun festive trip to The Old Rep this Christmas to see the classic story of Pinocchio brought to life on stage! This adaptation of Carlo Callodi’s classic tale follows an inquisitive young puppet, carved from wood by the lonely toymaker Geppetto, and his trusty Cricket companion on a mischievous journey to discover what it takes to become a real boy.

Venturing from the safety of Geppetto’s workshop, Pinocchio finds himself in a series of chaotic situations, narrowly escaping the clutches of Mangiafuoco’s Puppet Theatre, the depths of the ocean and the Land of Toys.School & group tickets are just £9.90 each and every 11th ticket is free. Quote BCCNEWS when booking to get a free performance programme for every child.

To book call Box Office on 0121 359 9444 or email boxoffice@oldreptheatre.co.uk

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