22 November 2018

This week's Noticeboard includes a message from Anne Ainsworth, information about the appointment of a new Director, safeguarding updates and more.

Included in this update:

From the Director

Dear Colleagues

As you will be aware from our email to you yesterday, Birmingham City Council has appointed Dr Tim O’Neill as Director for Education and Skills (DCS). Tim is currently Strategic Director for People (DCS and DASS) and Deputy Chief Executive at Rutland County Council and will be joining us in the new year. The full statement with more information is available on the BCC website and we’ll share details of Tim’s start date with you when this has been confirmed.

Tim O'Neill

On Monday this week I attended the Children’s Strategic Partnership Executive meeting. This group has been established to oversee the work that we need to undertake across Birmingham with regards to services for children, and in particular children who may be vulnerable and those with SEND. I’m incredibly excited about the new ways of working that are being developed and the sense of joint collective ownership to improve outcomes for children.

Following the SEND inspection earlier this year, a written statement of action has been drafted and you should have received it earlier this week. I recognise that we produced the SEND Strategy earlier this year and a lot of work went into this, including significant contributions from schools. I’d like to reassure you that this work is being built on with the written statement of action and I look forward to continuing to work with you on this important agenda.

A reminder that Birmingham City Council’s budget consultation is underway and you can find all the information you need at www.birmingham.gov.uk/brumbudget19. Please take the time to read all the proposals and respond to the consultation before the deadline of 31 December 2018.

Thank you again for your feedback after the recent Headteacher briefings. I can assure you that we read every page! And we are reviewing your suggestions so that we can continue to improve the format and content for the spring briefings. In next week’s Noticeboard we’ll provide you with details of the next briefings which will be taking place after Tim O’Neill joins us.

Below you’ll see information about the formal consultation that started today on the proposal to change the age range of Al-Hijrah School. This consultation will run until 20 December.

Finally, Tuesday 20 December was United Nations Universal Children’s Day and it was lovely to see lots of our Rights Respecting Schools celebrating. Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20th each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children's welfare. Razia Butt includes information below about the Rights Respecting Schools training happening in January for any schools interesting in joining the programme or getting advice on progressing through it.




UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools training: 24 January 2019

This course is an introduction to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting School Award and is aimed at providing delegates with strategies to involve and inform all members of their school community and work towards the Recognition of Commitment Stage.

Places can be booked on the BESS website http://www.birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk/Event/70394.

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 links 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)

Fortnite: Advice from School Nursing Team

Many of you may be aware of the risks and concerns around children playing the online game Fortnite, which has a 12 rating but is played by much younger children. We have been made aware of an emerging trend, where people are playing strip Fortnite using webcams. The rule is that when you achieve a “kill” you have to strip off, potentially adding an additional risk from children being exposed to and/or sharing indecent images whilst playing the game.
Please could you share this information with parents and colleagues and remind them that any inappropriate/unlawful contact with children online needs to be reported.

Counter Terrorism Safeguarding Training - Operation Explorer

Please note there are limited spaces for this multi-agency training for school based WRAP Trainers and Single Point of Contact for Prevent.

More information is available on the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board website.

Supporting children and young people in need of immigration advice

The Education Resilience Team are working with MI Friendly Cities and Central England Law Centre to support children and young people in need of immigration advice.

Another Windrush scenario is waiting to happen. Many schools do not know they have children in their classrooms with insecure immigration status or none at all, even though they may have British birth certificates. Early solutions are needed to protect them from being barred from student finance, work, renting and more once they reach 18. The most flexible immigration law provisions are those available to under 18s. Many may be eligible to become British or at least have a form of leave to remain, safeguarding their future and the investment you have made in their education. 

As part of the MiFriendly Cities projectCentral England Law Centre has an experienced specialist immigration adviser ready to come into your school to talk about citizenship and nationality to your Y11s+ directly -perhaps as part of the KS4 citizenship curriculum- and to parents of all pupils (primary and secondary) in separate sessions. Private, individual legal advice will be available at the end of the session, with follow-up as needed - all free of charge and confidential.  For follow-up we work closely with Kids In Need Of Defence UK, another Law Centre project. Please contact Inger, immigration adviser directly on 07366139621 or inger.denhaan@centralenglandlc.org.uk

 Al-Hijrah School proposals

The interim Executive Board of Al-Hijrah School is consulting on the following final proposal:

Alteration of the age range of the school from 4-16 years to become 4-11 years of age

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

The IEB are keen to receive your views on the proposal.

The formal consultation (representation period) runs from 22nd November until 21st December 2018.

Details of the final proposal and how to comment are available online: https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/people-1/alhijrahfinal 

Bournville Infant and Bournville Junior Schools: Variation to Admission Number

The following proposals to amalgamate Bournville Infant and Bournville Junior School from 29th April 2019 were approved by the Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture and the Acting Corporate Director for Children and Young People on 8th August 2018:

  • Discontinue Bournville Infant School
  • Alteration to the age range from 7 - 11 to 4 - 11 years and enlargement of the premises of Bournville Junior School.

The Joint Governing Board are now applying to the Office of the School's Adjudicator to make a variation to the admission arrangements by;

  • Removing all reference to the Infant School in the admission arrangements
  • Altering the admission year of the Junior School from year 3 to Reception
  • Altering the admission number of the Junior School from 96 to 90 (the newly amalgamated school will continue to offer an additional 6 places in Key Stage 2)
  • Altering the reference to siblings and year 2 to year 3 transfer in the over subscription criteria.

If anyone has any queries or  comments regarding this variation request please contact the Chair of Governor via the schools.

CONTACT: Anne Cull, Chair of Governors (0121 675 9098)

BEP event: Suicide Safer Schools

Enabling schools to develop confidence in asking about and responding to suicidal ideation

During the session, we will discuss:

  • The work of PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide and HOPELineUK
  • The prevalence of young suicide
  • Talking about suicide
  • Prevention, Intervention and Postvention (Responding to a Young Suicide)
  • Self-Care

We will then go through a condensed version of the session that you can take back to your schools.

Tuesday 4th December

09.00 – 11.30 OR 13.00 – 15.30

Suitable for Pastoral staff, Newstart leads or other interested staff

£30 per two attendees to cover resources for schools

Book here: https://www.bep.education/shop/events/building-suicide-safer-schools/

Invitation to Schools/Youth Groups to perform at Children’s Library, Library of Birmingham during Advent

The Children’s Library invites schools/groups (up to 30) to perform on our Story Steps in the Children’s library during Advent (weekdays only).

  • Participants can sing, read, act or perform music for up to 20 minutes from 11.15am to finish by 12 noon.
  • We have a wide selection of percussion instruments that can be borrowed on the day for the event and a pupil can be chosen to open our giant advent calendar!
  • Invite families to come along to watch the performance
  • There will also be a Christmas Trails around the library
  • There will be room for schools/groups to eat their packed lunch afterwards and take part in a competition to win the school a £20 book token.

Contact the Children’s Library by email if your school is interested; also please give us a preference of 3 dates.

We look forward to seeing lots of children and families liven up the Children’s Library for Christmas.

CONTACT: Childrens.library@birmingham.gov.uk

NQT Induction Tutor Training: 10 January 2019

This training will make clear the process of induction and mentoring and will raise awareness of what is required in schools to ensure they comply with statutory guidance.


  • An understanding of the statutory requirements for supporting newly qualified teachers
  • An introduction to observation, feedback, and action planning in response to statutory requirements

Date: 10 January 2019
Time: 1pm - 4pm
Price: £130
Location: Unit 3 Holt Court B7 4AX

CONTACT: Niall Crawford (niall.crawford@servicesforeducation.co.uk)

Link2ICT Online Safety Event: 29 January 2019

With Safer Internet Day on 5 February 2019, join us for this safeguarding event, that will provide advice and resources to use back at school, supporting the ever-changing landscape of the online world. It will also be an opportunity to keep up-to-date with statutory guidance from the DfE, guidance produced by the UK Safer Internet Centre as well as the government’s own “Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018”, “Revised Prevent Duty for England and Wales” and other national benchmark expectations.

On the day you can build on your existing practices or we can point you in the right direction in your online safety provision, within the safeguarding agenda. There will be a number of workshops catering to specific school personnel, as well as workshops by leading online safety experts.

Development Outcomes

  • Understand your role and responsibility in school in upholding safeguarding measures
  • Audit your existing policies and provision - linked to 360 safe self review tool, and create actions for the future
  • Access to resources for use in your classroom
  • Network with online safety experts who will address issues you may have encountered in school

Places will be limited, so please book your space now at www.link2ict.org/onlinesafety2019.  

SIMS – The Next Generation

Link2ICT are inviting you to join us on Thursday 29 November 2018, for a live demonstration of SIMS Primary, SIMS Finance and SIMS Apps. This event is free to attend with an opportunity for you to see the future of management information systems in schools.

Link2ICT will be working alongside Capita SIMS to showcase the new platform and all of its new features that will help you manage school data, easily and effectively.

On the day, demonstrations will include:

  • SIMS Primary completely transforms the way primary schools use information.
  • SIMS Finance is the new solution to streamline financial management across an academy or multi-academy trust.
  • SIMS Apps –  including Parent app, Parent Lite and Student app.roduct, supports GDPR data accuracy by collecting the most up-to-date data on pupils and parents. Student app lets students view important information, such as their timetable, homework they've been set and feedback once it has been marked.

This event is aimed at senior leadership and school administrative staff from all school phases.

Register now at www.link2ict.org/simsnextgen

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