18 October 2018

This week's Noticeboard includes a message from Anne Ainsworth and other information for schools and settings.

Included in this update:

From the Director

Dear Colleagues

On Sunday evening the Pearson Teaching Awards are taking place. We’re delighted that Maggie Rose, Headteacher at Timberley Academy, has been recognised and wish her all the best in the Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School category.

Following the recent SEND inspection and as part of the Written Statement of Action, Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC) has been asked to undertake a survey of anyone who has experience of using Birmingham's  SEND services. Please share the link to the survey (https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/N8GCNLF) with families and encourage them to complete it before the deadline of Friday 9 November. Responses are completely anonymous and it takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

As I mentioned in a previous Noticeboard, I will be heading to Tanzania this weekend to volunteer in an orphanage that has a primary school for a couple of weeks. I’ll be back after half-term and Julie Young (Julie.H.Young@birmingham.gov.uk) will be Acting Corporate Director while I am away. Thank you to all those of you who have been in touch with me over the last few weeks, I hope you all have a relaxing half-term break when it comes.




Local Authority Headteacher Briefings: 8 and 13 November 2018

**Please note that the venue for the North briefing has changed to Villa Park. The agenda for the sessions will be shared in next week's Noticeboard.

Thursday 8 November 2018 8am - 10am Foyle Studio, mac Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park B12 9QH FULL
Tuesday 13 November 2018 3pm - 5pm Aston Villa Football Club, Villa Park
Birmingham B6 6HE

CONTACT:   education@birmingham.gov.uk

Birmingham SEND Partnership Survey

As Anne mentioned above Birmingham Voluntary Service Council is undertaking a survey to review and gain an understanding of the experience of those who use Birmingham's SEND services. Please share the link with parents and encourage them to complete the survey. The closing date is Friday 9 November 2018.

LINK: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/N8GCNLF

Pupil Attendance: Deletion from Roll

The Regulations regarding deletion from roll must be strictly applied.  Deleting children from the register outside of the Regulations is an offence in law and can lead to a poor judgement by Ofsted.  For example, pupils cannot be removed from roll under the ‘reasonable distance’ rule without the parents forwarding address and contact details, even if there is a new school. 

In addition, please note that children may not be removed from roll after 20 schools days just because they are absent from school. 

There is guidance on deletion from roll on the Attendance webpage.

However, it also recommended that schools attend the training provided by PAC&T which can be accessed via their website. PAC&T also provide training on Pupil Registration and Accurate Coding (a major issue in legal cases); Ofsted and Attendance; and Reducing Persistent Absence (which is at above national average levels in the city). Colleagues are advised to make use of these courses or they may not run.

CONTACT: Edwina Langley (edwina.j.langley@birmingham.gov.uk)

Notification of Local Authority special free school bid

In July 2018 a special and alternative provision free school wave was launched by the DfE for Local Authorities seeking to establish new special or alternative provision free schools. In recognition of the current and future need for specialist ASC provision for Birmingham children and young people, an initial bid has been submitted for consideration.

This is an initial bid that the DfE will be considering alongside other local authorities to support national sufficiency. Successful bids will be announced early 2019 and competitions will then launch in the successful areas through the publication of specification and proposer guidance.

Further details are available on the DfE website via this link.

CONTACT: Sharon Scott, Interim Assistant Director SEND (sharon.scott@birmingham.gov.uk)

Management of Off-site incidents

Building on work undertaken by a school consortia in the south of the city and the Police and following extensive consultation with the professional organizations we are pleased to release guidance on managing off-site incidents at the beginning and end of a school day.

It is acknowledged that school staff often undertake tasks either within directed time or as allocated tasks to ensure the safe, orderly departure of students from the school site and the area immediately surrounding the school during the school day. On rare occasions, incidents take place that may:

  • Put students and staff at risk of harm
  • Require communication and a coordinated response from Police colleagues

This guidance is not meant to be read as definitive policy, but has  been written to help schools formulate their own response to this situation. the guidance can be found in the policy & procedures tile on the Schools Safeguarding web page. https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/downloads/file/10767/managing_incidents_off_school_premises_october_2018

Guidance for schools during the current EpiPen shortage

You will be aware that there is currently a world-wide shortage of EpiPens leading to a delay in getting prescriptions. This delay has also led to a limited supply of JEXT and Emerade pens. Whilst pens are still being dispensed the delay in issue could lead to occasions where a pupil doesn’t have ready access to an epi-pen. The following guidance has been drawn up by the Schools Safeguarding Team, Public Health & the School Health advisory service  (SHAS)  to mitigate this situation.

Please also refer to the guidance in the 4 October Noticeboard.

The child’s medication:

Schools should already have a list of children who require Auto-Adrenaline Injectors (AAI) and the expiry date of the medication:

  • It is advised that you review the list and note those pens that are due to expire in 2-3 months.
  • Write to the parents informing them of the expiry date and asking they they make an appointment with the GP to get a repeat prescription

The School ‘Spare’ Pen:

  • In January this year schools were advised to buy a school spare auto-adrenaline injector. I am aware that some schools have done this and have 2-3 ‘school pens’. It is proposed that during the shortage schools within consortia could loan each other one of their spare pens so that each school has a ‘spare’ for use (remembering the restrictions on  dose and age)
  • Remember you cannot use one child’s prescribed epi-pen for another child.

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

Statutory Testing 2018-19

Part 1 Return Forms

This document includes a covering letter for the attention of Head Teachers, Head of Centres, Chairs of Governors and Business Managers.  The letter attached here explains why all LA maintained schools, nurseries, children's centres etc., as well as voluntary controlled schools, are required to complete and return the enclosed Declaration of Compliance Form and the Outstanding Issues Report Form and return by 21 December 2018.  This document must be read in conjunction with Statutory Testing 2018-19 Part 2 Guidance & Checklist (below)

Statutory Testing 2018-19 Part 2 Guidance & Checklist

This document includes a covering letter and Guidance Notes for the attention of Head Teachers, Head of Centres, Chairs of Governors and Business Managers.  The letter and guidance notes attached here explain why all LA maintained schools, nurseries, children's centres etc., as well as voluntary controlled schools are required to complete the enclosed Statutory Testing Checklist prior to completing and returning the Annual Declaration of Compliance and Outstanding Issues Report Form by 21December 2018.  This document must be read in conjunction with Statutory Testing 2018-19 Part 1 Return Forms (above).

CONTACT: David Board (david.board@birmingham.gov.uk)

Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF)

£100m of revenue generated from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy has been redistributed through the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF) via the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). This fund is for one year only and is intended to improve children’s and young people’s physical and mental health by improving and increasing availability to facilities for physical activity, healthy eating, mental health and wellbeing and medical conditions.

Allocation to Responsible Bodies (RB)

Birmingham City Council has received a total allocation of £750,902 for community, foundation and voluntary controlled schools. We will be allocating this funding directly to schools based on number of pupils that are eligible for Pupil Premium, with no school receiving less than £500. The funding can be used for the following developments:

Refurbishment of rebuilding of:

  • Changing rooms
  • Sports halls and gyms
  • Swimming pools
  • Teaching and catering kitchens
  • Dining spaces, to include seating and tables
  • Spaces for mental health support

Modification of facilities to improve accessibility for pupils with disabilities, such as:

  • Hoists to allow access to swimming pools
  • Adaptations to cooking facilities
  • Adaptations to changing room facilities
  • Wheelchair-accessible paths and planters in garden spaces
  • Sports wheelchairs
  • Hydrotherapy pools

Creation or renovation of:

  • Garden spaces for growing produce
  • Playgrounds and active play spaces, such as resurfacing, climbing walls or multi-use sports panels
  • Sports pitches, hard courts and athletics tracks
  • Improvements to facilities, such as floodlighting, security fencing, pitch drainage

Provision of equipment, such as:

  • Permanent goalposts
  • Outdoor table tennis tables
  • Defibrillator
  • Gym equipment
  • Cookers, fridges and freezers
  • Bike stands

We recognise that some schools will be recipients of a smaller grant amounts. Below are some examples of smaller scale expenditure:  

  • Water fountains
  • Playground markings to facilitate active play
  • Cooking equipment such as table-top hobs and food processors
  • Gardening planters and equipment
  • Fixed sports equipment, such as wall-mounted basketball boards

HPCF cannot be used for:

  • Operational costs, including hiring or leasing of facilities
  • Viewing stands
  • Car parks, roads or landscaping
  • Bars, sleeping accommodation, offices or other parts of a project that have little or no health and wellbeing content
  • Projects (or elements of projects) where work has already been completed.
  • The repayment of loans
  • The purchase of land or buildings

There will be an opportunity for eligible schools to bid for additional funding for larger projects. We are particularly keen to support projects based on collaborative working with other schools/organisations and long term behaviour changes leading to better pupil health and wellbeing.


You will be required to provide assurances on how the allocation has been spent by completing an “Outturn Certificate”. This will confirm that the funds have been used for the purposes provided and spent in accordance with the terms and conditions of the grant. We will write to the eligible schools individually to let them know the amount they have been allocated and details of how they can bid for additional funding.

School Nurseries Capital Fund September 2018

In September 2018 the DfE rolled out the School Nurseries Capital Fund application process to all LA'S. The purpose of the funding is to create new high quality school based nursery places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds. Funding criteria is very specific and priority will be given to those proposals that are aimed at closing the disadvantage gap in the early years and boosting social mobility.

Please see the applicant guidance available on EYMIS via this link regarding funding criteria.

If you have a robust proposal that meets the funding criteria please complete the following sections in the application form that is also included in the link and email to Kevin Caulfield, Childcare Sufficiency and Early Education Entitlement Manager (kevin.caulfield@birmingham.gov.uk).

Sections: 3,6,7,8,9,12

The deadline for submissions is end of play Monday 29th October 2018. Due to the very tight deadline for the final submission to DfE (22 November 2018), applicants can expect contact from Kevin Caulfield W/C 5th November 2018 to arrange a site visit and further progress school proposals.

Be Safe Be Seen

The clocks go back 1 hour to GMT on Sunday 28 October and the daylight hours will be reduced during the winter term. After the half term break, the nights will start drawing in, and it’s difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to be seen by other road users. The change brings lighter mornings and darker evenings, bright and fluorescent clothes show up best by day, especially in dull or misty weather, and reflective materials can help you be seen as the days become shorter.

It’s important to spread key safety messages to people travelling sustainably to school, to make sure they can be seen and to keep them safe. If you would like to carry out some work with your pupils then here is a link to a lesson plan and a game.

Why not hold a bright day and see how bright your pupils can be, or ask them to design a high vis tag to wear on their bag or coat?  You could hold a design a tee shirt competition that cyclists can wear.  If you take part in these activities why not tweet about it and copy us in at @bhamconnected.

CONTACT: Mandi Slater (mandi.slater@birmingham.gov.uk)

Birmingham Careers Service – Getting the Best Careers Information, Advice and Guidance for your Students

Birmingham Careers Service is the perfect local choice for schools, academies and colleges wanting the best for their students.  Buying our Matrix awarded quality service ensures you will be meeting your statutory responsibilities to provide independent, impartial careers information, advice and guidance (CIAG) for your students from Year 8 upwards under the Education Act 2011 and Careers Strategy 2017, as well as helping to evidence that you're implementing the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Our advisers are all trained and professionally-qualified to Level 6, have DBS clearance and benefit from continuous professional development. Our service gives you full flexibility to buy the CIAG provision you require to meet the needs of your students.  For further information please go to https://www.birminghamcareersservice.co.uk/traded/

Highlights for the 2018/19 academic year include:

  • Flexible pricing structure giving you a service tailored to your needs
  • Discounts available for “bulk buy”
  • Tracking & follow up service that includes completion of your September Guarantee and Annual Participation returns and production of a Destination Report
  • Specifically tailored Career Action Plans that link directly to Education, Health & Care  Plans for students with special education needs

If you want to find out more, contact Sian Powell (Contracts & Trading Manager) on 0121 675 6128 or sian.powell@birmingham.gov.uk

Link2ICT: Helping schools manage mental health concerns

The safeguarding and emotional wellbeing of children and young people is at the heart of all Link2ICT services and our comprehensive suite of services ensures children and young people can receive the education they deserve in a safe and healthy environment.

Our children are facing a mental health crisis with 1 in 10 struggling to cope with daily life. The government wants schools to play a key role in improving the help available to children and young people with thousands of extra staff being trained to support new mental health teams.

As part of last week's World Mental Health Day, Link2ICT has outlined how we are helping schools manage mental health concerns. Through our Safeguarding Suite, leadership and management, teaching and support staff, and interconnecting agencies can effectively and efficiently monitor, record, manage, share, report and audit mental health concerns.

Contact us today to learn more about how Link2ICT can help your school manage mental health concerns or visit www.link2ict.org/wmhd18.

Occupational Therapy Showcase

Staff in Early Years and Primary settings are invited to an Occupational Therapy Showcase on Wednesday 7 November from 3:30 to 5pm at the Oakhill Centre, Harborne. This free event offers an introduction to schools-based Occupational Therapy and is being run by OT staff from Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

The agenda includes training tasters for supporting children with sensory processing difficulties and dyspraxia and helping them achieve their full potential in the classroom, and other short talks. There will also be resource ideas, tools and top tips to take away for your classroom, and OT staff will be on hand to answer your questions.

Details will also be available of additional training and support available to schools in Occupational Therapy, Speech, Language and Communication and School Nursing services.
Please book your place by emailing bchcplus@bhamcommunity.nhs.uk or by calling 0121 466 6266.

Full details are set out in the flyer which you can download from the BCHC Plus website here.

Hall of Memory art competition for Birmingham schools


To commemorate the 100th Anniversary to the end of World War One, the Birmingham Hall of Memory is inviting Birmingham schools to submit drawings/paintings of the iconic city centre landmark. More information is available in the flyer attached here. The deadline for entries is 5 November 2018.


Free Learn Equality, Live Equal Training

The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation is delighted to invite you to our Inaugural Conference being held on Monday 12 November 2018 at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, London. To book onto this conference please click on the following link  http://ow.ly/wZXb30lYO3f 

During Anti-Bullying Week and grounded in a foundation of respect, our event provides a unique opportunity for experts from all sectors to collaborate, inform and improve anti-bullying research and practice. 

We invite anyone responsible for tackling bullying to attend - charity workers, researchers, human resource managers, senior managers, teachers and educators, counsellors, and individuals who work in pastoral care. 

Cookathon update: 23 October 2018

This is a chance for all primary schools to be involved in a mass cook-a-long on October 23rd. The recipes to be cooked are Harvest vegetable soup and delicious bread. The cooking is demonstrated by award winning chef Marcus Bean and the demonstration film and downloadable recipes are available on the Health for Life pages on the Services for Education website here.

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.

Thinking about WW1~Choices then and now. Free workshops

Monday 5 November or Friday 9 November.
9:45-14:30. Peace Hub, 41 Bull Street, B4 6AF

Peacemakers and the Peace Hub are hosting another free workshop at their premises in central Birmingham.

The workshop is for four children [KS2] and one adult [two if required].

We will be thinking about the choices people made during WW1, and how those choices influence us today. We will also be thinking about what we can do today to stand up for peace.

The workshop will be interactive and engaging and will inspire your four young people to go back to school and share their thinking with their peers.

These workshops are very popular so please return the booking form available from our website, www.peacemakers.org.uk as soon as you can. We have space for 3 schools on each day and priority will be given to schools who have not attended these workshops before.

The Peace Hub is a 10 minute walk from New Street station, 3 minutes from Snow Hill Station, 10 minutes from Moor Street station and has a tram stop right outside the front door! Limited parking is available.

CONTACT: Jackie Zammit, Peacemakers (Jackie@peacemakers.org.uk)

Free conference tomorrow Friday 19 October: Girls that Geek

Mac Birmingham | 10am – 4pm | FREE | Cinema | 12+

This day-long conference brings together key speakers from arts and technology industries for a series of discussions that explores women in art and technology.

Speakers on the day include co-founder of VR Girls UK and the Head of the Birmingham School of Media at Birmingham City University, Sarah Jones.

There will also be several workshops from acclaimed artist-educator Becca Rose Glowacki and electronics engineer and MAC tutor Catherine Jones in using conductive materials.

Please see the schedule for full details of the speakers and workshops taking place on the day.

This event is created in partnership with Lara Ratnaraja, cultural consultant and is kindly supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery.

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