Noticeboard - 20 April 2023

Welcome back and we hope you've enjoyed a restful end of term break. This week's noticeboard contains a message from Sue Harrison, information on the forthcoming national Emergency Alert test and much more!

A Message from Sue Harrison, Strategic Director for Children & Families 

Dear colleagues

I hope you all had an enjoyable and restful end-of-term break.  I want to welcome you back into the summer term and share some good news that has been announced this week.

Following a recent inspection of children’s services earlier this year, I am delighted to report that Ofsted confirmed Birmingham’s children’s services have been given a "Good rating"

Before that, children’s social care services in Birmingham had been graded ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted since 2010.  I am really pleased to see Ofsted acknowledging the greatly improved partnership between Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Children’s Trust.  They have recognised the positive impact this has had on families, particularly around our early help strategy.

None of this would be possible without you.  I’m incredibly proud of all your hard work to improve the lives of children and families in Birmingham.   You are making a real difference, thank you.


National Emergency Alert Test 

On Sunday, 23 April at 3pm there will be a national test of the Emergency Alerts service. These alerts are designed to notify you if there is a danger to life nearby, this could be related to extreme weather warnings. It’s important for children and young people to be aware of this test so they understand exactly what to expect, and know it's nothing to worry about.

The test will see people receive a message on the home screen of their mobile phone, along with a sound and vibration for up to ten seconds.

For the test, no-one needs to take any action – the sound and vibration will stop automatically after ten seconds. All people need to do is swipe away the message or click ‘OK’ on their phone’s home screen - just like for a ‘low battery’ warning or notification - and continue to use their phone as normal.

More information for children and young people can be found at CBBC Newsround: What is the Emergency Alert System and when will we get messages? or you can visit Emergency Alerts

Please also remain mindful of families who may be experiencing domestic abuse, many of whom keep second phones. The government has stressed that the alarm will not sound if the phone is switched off or put on airplane mode, and that the Refuge charity’s advice should be followed. More information on how to ensure the alerts are turned off in these situations can be found at

For any queries or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact the safeguarding team at

Update for Primary Offer Day - 17 April 2023

Birmingham School Admissions received 12,658 applications for reception class places by the closing date of 15 January 2023. We are pleased to report 98.68% of families were offered one of their preferred schools on National Offer Day (17 April 2023).

A Newsletter with key information was sent to all on-time applicants last week, and is also available online:

The School Admissions team will not generate waiting lists until 9 May 2023. This is to allow families time to consider offers made and submit any refusals to the local authority by the deadline of 2 May 2023, the outcome of which will be more robust waiting lists. The deadline for appeals which are subject to infant class size legislation is 16 May 2023. Appeals received after this date will be classed as late and may not be heard before the start of September 2023.

Parents who have applied for non-Birmingham schools should make enquiries with the relevant local authority regarding the operation of waiting lists and their process for submitting appeals.

The Admissions ICT team will not create primary ATF files until mid/late May 2023 to accommodate ongoing offer updates.

Finally, late applications received after the final closing date will be processed in date order. In order to support the safeguarding of children, if you are aware of any families who have not submitted an application for their child to start reception class in September, please advise them to apply online as a matter of urgency by visiting

Thank you for your support.

Developing Local Provision Phase Two Launch

Following a thorough evaluation of all the Developing Local Provision projects, and the announcement of funding for Phase Two, we are committed to communicating the key information relating to the development of this work over the next two years. This is a high priority invitation for all mainstream headteachers and MAT leaders.

There is also now a plan for Special Schools to benefit from the DLP, and there is new funding for this. 

Before you break up for a well-earned rest we are therefore pleased to announce the details of three identical events enabling mainstream heads to choose the time and venue that is most convenient for you. The launch of Special Schools DLP will be on May 2nd.

At this launch Helen Ellis, Director of SEND and Inclusion and the DLP Team will explain the new criteria for this funding and present what happens next. All this will be set in the context of the city’s education data and our priorities for our SEND Improvement Plan.

There are two places allocated to each school so that you can also bring the SEND / Inclusion / DLP lead from your leadership team.

Please see below detail of the events and links to book your place via Eventbrite. Further details will be sent to you prior to the event, via the email used to book your place.

Date and time



Booking link

Monday 24th April

14:30 – 16:00


Christ Church Secondary School, Yardley Wood

Tuesday 25th April

08:30 – 10:00


Prince Albert High School, Perry Barr

Tuesday 25th April

11:00 – 12:30


Boa Digital, Nechelles

Tuesday 2nd May

14:30 – 16:00

This session is specifically for Special School Head Teachers.

Face to face, venue TBC

Cultural Competence – how aware are you?

The Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership’s Learning and Development team has created a survey to assess the level of cultural competence across safeguarding agencies, in order to help shape the development of multi-agency safeguarding training and improve practice.

The survey takes no more than five minutes to complete and can be found here: Cultural Competence Survey – please note that the closing date for responses is 5pm on Friday, 28 April 2023.

Please feel free to share this survey with colleagues to support the ongoing training development.

For any queries or further information, please contact:  

Birmingham Virtual School Designated Teacher Conference

We’re delighted to invite schools to join us at the inaugural Birmingham Virtual School Designated Teacher Conference taking place at Tally Ho on Thursday,18 May 2023, 09:00-15:00.

Designed for experienced DTs working with looked after children, those new to the role, staff supporting as well as those within school with safeguarding responsibilities overseeing other students with a social worker.

The jam packed agenda includes keynote presentations from Jaz Ampaw Farr​ and Nick Barwick and a selection of workshops to choose from:

  • Embedding TIASS in primary and secondary schools
  • Reducing suspensions and PEx using multi-element panning
  • Supporting transitions
  • Understanding and supporting the impact of trauma in Autistic children and young people
  • Moving from a behaviour policy to a relationship policy

To secure your place simply register here: BVS Designated Teacher Conference May 2023 – we look forward to seeing you!

For any queries or further information, please contact:

Nexus Training Programme Now Available for Schools

This training is designed to help schools understand how to use the system, including its various functionalities. While elements may already be familiar, it is highly recommended that schools sign up for the training to ensure they are up-to-date with the latest features.

Please note that not all the functionality will be live in the first release, but it is coming in a future release. This future release will allow you to raise referrals and manage the paperwork for Annual Reviews. However, signing up for the training now will allow you to see the data that we hold and give you a better understanding of the system and which will be beneficial for you when the additional functionalities are released.

The training will start next term, but there are a few dates available beforehand if they are more beneficial to you. We encourage you to sign up as soon as possible to secure your spot as seats are limited.

The training has been split up into two cohorts to allow everyone book onto an overlapping sessions. If your preferred time slot is sold out, please check cohort 2 for additional times.  To sign up for the training, please  sign up to ONE session and ONE cohort via the following links:

An email with joining instructions will be sent out nearer the time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Laura Beaumont:

Reducing Parental Conflict Training

We’re pleased to offer you an opportunity to book onto an Amity Train the Trainer session, focusing on Parental Conflict.

Amity toolkits and sessions really make a difference to everyday practice. They provide the essential strategies and tools that are key to supporting families achieve good outcomes.

Wednesday, 10 May 2023 – Via Microsoft Teams

  • Session 1 – 09:30-12:30
  • Session 2 – 13:00-16:00

Monday, 26 June 2023 – Face-to-Face – venue to be confirmed

  • Session 1 – 09:15-12:15
  • Session 2 – 12:45-15:45

Friday, 30 June 2023 – Face-to-Face – venue to be confirmed

  • Session 1 – 09:15-12:15
  • Session 2 – 12:45-15:45

To book your place simply email the School Safeguarding Improvement team at

Please note that places are limited to 20/22 delegates at each session, and will be booked on a first come, first served basis.

For any queries or further information, email

SEN Experts Required to Assist with Exclusion Reviews

When a child is permanently excluded from a school by the school’s Disciplinary Committee, the parent has the right to request that the decision is reviewed by an independent panel. This is a statutory requirement, and the review must be scheduled 15 days from the date a request is made. The parent can also request that a SEN expert attends the review, regardless of whether the child has an official diagnosis of special educational needs or not.

Parents are increasingly making this request, and so we are looking to create a pool of SEN experts, which will greatly assist our ability to arrange suitable dates for reviews.

More information on the experience required and the role of the SEN expert can be found at this link: Suspension and Permanent Exclusion Guidance - Appointing a SEN Expert

If you’re interested in offering your expertise, or require further information, email Sheila Boylan:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Risk of NEET Students

From 17 April 2023, Birmingham Careers Service will begin to take year 11/12/13 referrals of young people who:

  • Are identified on their school’s Risk of NEET Indicator (RONI) Register– or the school’s equivalent indicator
  • Are predicted to have no education, employment or training (EET) offer, or their school has identified them as at risk of not taking up their EET offer

Full details and a referral form can be found on the Birmingham Careers Service website.

This does not replace the school's statutory duty to provide impartial and independent careers guidance.

Free Online Qualifications from Birmingham Adult Education Service

Birmingham Adult Education Service are offering FREE online qualifications to residents of West Midlands Combined Authority to study in your own time in:

  • Mental Health Awareness – Level 1 Award (TQUK)
  • Alcohol Awareness – level 1 Award (NCFE)
  • Substance Misuse – Level 1 Award (NCFE)
  • ADHD Level 1
  • The Role of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo)
  • Understanding Autism – Level 2 Certificate (NCFE)

For more information on these courses, email

Refugee Week 19-25 JUNE 2023                                                                                                                         

It’s time to start planning your school’s participation in this year’s Refugee Week. Birmingham is a City of Sanctuary, (CoS); Birmingham City Council has been awarded as a local authority of sanctuary, and we have many schools that are also accredited with a sanctuary award. Birmingham has a long history of being home for people from all over the world who have fled violence and persecution. Our schools are the best place to start instilling a culture of welcome, kindness and compassion, and Refugee Week is our opportunity to raise awareness, learn about international issues, and to celebrate the contributions of people who have sought refuge.

To help you plan activities Refugee Week UK has launched a resource pack for children and young people with lots of imaginative and learning ideas for schools to participate in:  Children and Young People's Pack

The Schools of Sanctuary network is also hosting a free webinar for schools about celebrating Refugee Week:

Schools of Sanctuary: Refugee Week Launch, 25 April 2023: 16:00-17:00

In this free hour-long online event, we will be sharing the latest resources, opportunities and suggested activities for this year’s Refugee Week

  • Counterpoint Arts, the organisers of Refugee Week, will launch and introduce their Children and Young People’s Activity Pack,
  • Jake Rose-Brown will share updates about ‘A Day of Welcome’ a Refugee Week initiative specifically aimed at helping teachers and schools get involved. This will include details of FREE upcoming webinars with famous authors.
  • We will share some ideas and activities to recognise this year’s Refugee Week theme of ‘Compassion’

To register click here:  Schools of Sanctuary: Refugee Week Launch

If you would like to connect with a local organisation in Birmingham that works with sanctuary seekers, please visit the BARMS website where you will find a directory of Birmingham asylum, refugee and migrant support services.

MCKS Charity UK

The MCKS Charity provides schools across the country with food, toiletries, and sanitary products so that children have consistent access to essential supplies through their ‘School Pantry Cupboards’. 

MCKS also run breakfast clubs and provide emergency supplies over school holidays and during exam times for children and families who may be struggling. 

Their aim is to relieve poverty and help alleviate suffering in the UK through food pantries, feeding programmes, informative support, and charitable services under the MCKS name.

For more information, email or visit

Peer Mediation Plus

Funding is available for schools in the West Midlands to help set up a Peer Mediation scheme and train staff to get the most out of the scheme in the Spring or Summer terms 2023.

Peer mediation involves children being trained to mediate their peers’ conflicts at school. It is underpinned by the same values that inform adult mediation. It is voluntary, inclusive and leads those people who find themselves in a dispute, to find their own solution to their problem, rather than being told what to do.  It is conflict resolution for young people, by young people. 

What’s included:

  • Pupil workshop
  • 3 days mediation training - with up to 24 selected peer mediators
  • Staff CPD (3 twilights or one-half day and one twilight)
  • Lunchtime Supervisor Training (a 90-minute session)
  • Invitation to a WM Peer Mediation Leads Network
  • Evaluation including a follow up visit to the school once the scheme is established

Schools are asked to commit to all aspects of the offer and to make a financial contribution towards the costs. The total cost to deliver this work is £2,634.00 per school, but each school will be asked to contribute just £500.00.

For further information, contact Libbs Packer at Peacemakers


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