15 November 2018

This week's Noticeboard includes a message from Anne Ainsworth, information about closing schools due to severe weather and other updates for schools.

Included in this update:

From the Director

Dear Colleagues

I’ve talked before in Noticeboard about the work that has taken place over recent weeks to set a balanced Council budget for 2019/20 onwards. The budget consultation was launched on Tuesday.  Please do read the proposals document and participate in the consultation which is running until 31 December 2018. It’s really important that we hear your views. You can find all the documents you need at https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/brumbudget19.

We had the second Headteacher briefing on Tuesday afternoon. Thanks very much to everyone who attended and thanks to everyone over the past two weeks for your feedback on these sessions.  We want to continue to improve what we offer to you and how we communicate, which we can only do with your honest and helpful feedback. So, thank you very much. The slides presented have been emailed out to attendees and are also available on the BCC website here for those of you who were unable to attend. The next briefings will be taking place in March and we’ll use your feedback to shape the agenda and format of the sessions. If you have any other suggestions about these briefings, please get in touch with us at education@birmingham.gov.uk. We ended the briefings by showing a film produced by the pupils and staff at James Brindley to celebrate them achieving Silver in UNICEF’s Rights Respecting School programme. Thanks to John Bradshaw for sending this to us, it is a truly inspirational film that shows the importance of the Rights Respecting work as the UNICEF banner travels across the city to each of the James Brindley settings. The film is now on the UNICEF website at https://www.unicef.org.uk/rights-respecting-schools/resources/ideas-from-schools/videos-created-schools/.

At the sessions we asked you to provide us with any email addresses at your schools that you'd like Noticeboard alerts to be sent to each Thursday. We have updated our distribution list with all the email addresses you gave us at the briefings. Any further requests can be sent to education@birmingham.gov.uk at any time.

At the briefings Razia Butt mentioned the training that is happening in January for schools who would like to take part in the Rights Respecting Schools programme. You can find details of the session on the Birmingham Education Support Services website here and schools can also contact Razia (razia.butt@birmingham.gov.uk) if they’d like to discuss the programme. We now have over 240 schools participating in the programme and Birmingham is really leading the way.  It’s something we should be incredibly proud of, and is truly child centred work.  For those of you who are not yet involved, I’d really encourage you to contact Razia to find out more.

This week schools should have received a copy of Once Upon A Time In Birmingham: Women Who Dared To Dream, a recently published book that celebrates 30 inspirational Birmingham women who dreamt big and fought for what they believed in, often against the odds. Cllr Brigid Jones, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, and Cllr Jayne Francis, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, wanted every school to be sent a copy so that pupils can learn about these inspirational women and also talk about other Birmingham women who have achieved great things. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the book and thanks to those who have already been in touch this week.  Pupils from 5B at Parkfield are pictured below with the book.


Finally it’s that time of year again when we send you the guidance on closing schools due to severe weather. Last year you’ll remember the blanket closures due to the snow we had in December and again in March so hopefully the weather will be kinder this year. We sent the guidance to Headteachers direct (not the enquiry addresses due to the confidential nature of the message) so please check you have received this and contact schoolclosures@birmingham.gov.uk if you have any queries.

Have a lovely weekend.




School closures in the event of severe weather

A letter was sent by email to the Headteachers of maintained schools on Tuesday confirming Birmingham City Council’s (BCC) recommended arrangements for closing its maintained schools in the event of severe weather. The letter has been copied to Academy Principals.

The decision to close a maintained school due to severe weather lies with the Headteacher in consultation with the Chair of the Governing Board. In extreme circumstances such as heavy snowfall, the Acting Corporate Director, Children and Young People in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Schools, may decide to close all schools and centres that are maintained by BCC. The timing of the decision will be informed by an assessment of the conditions and forecast. It will also seek to prevent people making unnecessary journeys.

Whilst there is no arrangement in place which would result in all academies in Birmingham closing automatically once BCC decides to close all of its maintained schools, we anticipate that academies will wish to co-ordinate their decision making and take the same approach as BCC.

CONTACT EMAIL FOR SCHOOL CLOSURES: schoolclosures@birmingham.gov.uk

Road Safety Week: 19 - 25 November

There’s still time to do your bit to support Road Safety Week 2018 (19-25 November). This year’s theme is ‘Bike Smart’, providing a great opportunity to shout about the safety of those on two wheels. Cycling is one of the healthiest, cheapest and most environmentally-friendly forms of transport available with the benefits to public health, congestion and the economy widely acknowledged.

Register now to be part of Road Safety Week 2018 and get a free electronic action pack. Take part in the Week by promoting the Bike Smart theme or focusing on any other road safety issue that is important to you.

For Birmingham Cycle Revolution bike safety tips, why not include a link on your school website to: www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/50122/cycling?

There are many ways to get involved and promote the ‘Bike Smart’ message – you could run a bike breakfast, organise a bling your bike event or a special bike themed assembly.

Whatever you are doing don’t forget to let us know by tagging @bhamconnected on either Twitter or Facebook and use #bikesmart

Traded Services Booklet

Please find attached a copy of the 2018/2019 Birmingham Traded Services booklet for schools, academies and other educational settings.

Our aim is to deliver high quality services that are both value for money and meet the specific needs of your school. We are committed to working in partnership with schools and academies and assisting you in  achieving the best possible outcomes for our children, young people and families remains at the heart of everything we do.
Within this booklet you will find a brief description of each BCC traded service and the all-important contact details.  If you have any queries or would like Julie Newbold to visit your school please do not hesitate to contact her (julie.newbold@birmingham.gov.uk).

FREE assemblies and training for teaching about infections, hygiene and antibiotic resistance

Resistance of bugs to antibiotics is an important priority for the NHS and Public Health. The local Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) plan aims to inform children about practical steps they can take to reduce the spread of infections. Two FREE, local opportunities are available for schools to raise pupil and staff awareness:

FREE assemblies

Assemblies have been developed for primary and secondary schools to increase knowledge and encourage positive actions, to be delivered by NHS and University staff, and pharmacy students.

To arrange a visit to your school, or for more information contact amrschools@aston.ac.uk

FREE e-BUG training

e-Bug is a fun, free microbiology resource for KS2-5 science and PSHE teachers that helps children understand health, hygiene, infections and antibiotics. All the resources are available at  www.e-bug.eu

e-Bug organises FREE Train-the-Trainer workshops for teachers on the e-Bug resources and their use in lessons. The 3 hour sessions cover 4-8 interactive activities including microbes, antibiotics, vaccinations, STIs and hand, respiratory and oral hygiene. Teachers discuss the benefits of the sessions here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QRDZ5uQoBI&t=5s 

FREE training sessions are available for Birmingham and Solihull schools on 4th, 5th or 6th February 2019. For information or to book a place email Chris.baggott@birmingham.gov.uk by Friday 7th December 2018.

PSS Training Opportunities

A centre based CPD opportunity for those new to coordinating the use of the Birmingham Toolkits to assess needs and support provision management.

PSS are pleased to offer the following courses in November 2018

  • 1 day Using the Birmingham Toolkits Course: 30th November  or
  • 1 afternoon Individual Target Plan Leader Training: 30th November

A one day course aimed at SENCOs not experienced in coordinating use of the Language & Literacy and Maths Toolkits to assess needs and support delivery of appropriate provision. During the day participants will be shown how to lead others within their settings in assessing specific skills using the toolkits and also how to then lead others in using this assessment profile. This training includes the Individual Target Plan approach leader training but has a more detailed focus on the assessment aspect of the graduated approach.  Delegates can also book to attend the afternoon only for ITP leader training.

For further information please speak to your PSS teacher and to secure your place please book online via the Access to Education website.

Cognitive Behavioural Approaches for Post 16 Providers: Friday 30 November 2018

A workshop for school sixth-forms, colleges, universities and post 16 providers is taking place to explore good practice in understanding and applying Cognitive Behavioural approaches within their setting.

Friday 30 November 2018 from 9.30am-1pm 
Venue: 10 Woodcock Street, Aston, Birmingham, B7 4BL

Following the Post 16 Mental Health Conference arranged by the Post 16 Forum in July 2018, this workshop provides delegates with an introduction to cognitive behavioural approaches, as well as the evidence base. Delegates will be informed of practical approaches which can be used in their work and will also have the opportunity to practise some key cognitive behavioural strategies that can be used with young people.

The workshop will include the following sessions:

  • Introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Approaches and what they involve.
  • Practical strategies for supporting young people with recognising and challenging negative thoughts
  • Impact of negative thoughts of feelings and actions
  • Further examples of key Cognitive Behavioural techniques and tools

This is the first of three workshops to better equip Post 16 Providers to support students with their mental health and wellbeing.

Book your place and to find out further workshop details

CONTACT: 14-19 Participation Service (14-19@birmingham.gov.uk)

Gymnastics World Cup offer for schools

In March 2019, top international gymnasts from around the world will compete at Birmingham’s Genting Arena for the prestigious 2019 Gymnastics World Cup, and we would like to offer your school the opportunity to be inspired by the amazing gymnasts from 9 competing countries.

You are invited to bring children to watch the men’s competition for a special price of just £9.68 per person for a bronze seat (£7.50 + £2.18 fees), or £12.50 per silver seat (£10 + £2.50 fees) per session. If parents would like to come in addition to staff, we are happy to also offer the reduced ticket. For more information about seating, visit www.gymnasticsworldcup.co.uk and follow the ticket links for the venue layout. Do not purchase your tickets online, as the school offer is only available by calling.

Please note this offer is only for the men’s session.

Saturday 23 March

Session one - men’s competition – doors open 12:00pm, competition 1pm-4:05pm

If you would like to attend, please call 0844 338 8002 or email groups@theticketfactory.com and quote the discount code ‘schools’.

We hope to see you there!

Veolia EnviroGrant funding of up to £1,000 available for schools

Does your school make a positive difference to your environment or community within Birmingham? Would you benefit from financial support to get an exciting project off the ground, or develop an existing initiative into something bigger and better?

The Veolia EnviroGrant scheme has been set up to help local groups, schools, societies and charities protect or improve their local community and/or environment with grants of up to £1,000. The grants can be used for practical action, promotion or education. By providing new facilities, or improving existing spaces, projects awarded a grant can leave a lasting legacy by improving the quality of life for the local community.

Please see the attached leaflet for further information regarding the scheme. Grants are awarded twice a year – May and November.

The closing date for the next grant awards is Friday 30 November 2018.

If you would like any further information and to apply, please visit the Veolia website.  

Fully decorated Christmas trees

There`s nothing like a real tree to get your pupils and staff into the spirit of Christmas.

Fully decorated trees supplied by Birmingham City Councils award winning team Floral Decorating Team.

  • Delivery & Removal included
  • 1 - 4M sizes available

For a quote please contact us on 0121 464 0422 or email floraldecorations@birmingham.gov.uk

More information about the team is available on the BESS website

Cooperating for Inclusion: Free event on 20 November

Headteachers, staff, governors and parents join Tim Brighouse, Mick Waters, schools and community groups on UN Children's Day 20 November 10am-1pm at Children's Quarter - Schools and Communities: Cooperating for Inclusion; Birmingham City University, Eastside.

Sir Tim Brighouse - known in Birmingham as an inspirational Chief Education Officer - has written and taught on school improvement, leadership and teaching. Mick Waters, Professor of Education at Wolverhampton, is an ex-headteacher championing compassionate schooling. He has questioned whether the school system is fit to help all pupils achieve their potential.

Children's Quarter is the co-operative alliance based in Birmingham, committed to inclusion for ALL children and young people. This event will launch a charter describing how schools and communities can collaborate for all children, particularly those that are vulnerable to social exclusion.

The event is free; is generously supported by Birmingham City University as part of the partnership between Children's Quarter and the Centre for the Study of Practice and Culture in Education. It takes place at BCU's Curzon Street campus on Eastside in Birmingham; 20 November 10-1pm, with lunch to follow.

For details, to book places and find out how to join or support Children's Quarter, see http://www.childrensquarter.org

Social Links