Noticeboard - 4 May 2023

Welcome to this week's noticeboard which contains an update on the Senior Leadership team from Sue Harrison, important information regarding Oracle, a request to kindly complete the Summer 2023 Census, and more!

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

Senior Leadership Team Announcements

I’m pleased to formally announce the appointment of Razia Butt to the role of Director, Thriving Children and Families.

Razia has been an Independent Education Adviser with the Children and Families Directorate over many years, and I’m delighted she now joins us as an invaluable member of the Senior Leadership Team, bringing a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise.

This new role within the Children and Families Directorate brings together all the teams that work directly with children, young people and families to embed integrated working across our teams and partnerships. Championing an inclusive Birmingham where all children and young people can thrive.

Razia’s name will already be familiar to many of you, and I hope you’ll join me in giving her a very warm welcome. I know she’s looking forward to connecting with you in her new role over the coming months.

Lisa Fraser, Assistant Director, Education & Early Years left us on 1 May to take up a new opportunity in London. Lisa has played a pivotal role within the Directorate over the past three and a half years, not least of all guiding schools and colleagues through a difficult time during the COVID pandemic, and I’m sure you will join me in wishing her every success for the future.

I’ll look forward to providing you with further updates in due course and thank you all for your continued support.

With kind regards


Oracle System – Finance Update for Schools

As you are aware, there are issues with the Oracle system which are significantly impacting schools’ business operations and we continue to focus on implementing solutions as a top priority. We understand the frustrations and pressures caused by this ongoing situation, the delays you’re experiencing and the need to keep you informed on progress.

Over the coming weeks we will keep you regularly updated on solutions and associated delivery timelines, with the latest Oracle system update summary set out below. This update is focussed on financial transactional services as a follow-up to recent discussions at the BASBM session held before the Easter break.

To help ensure that information reaches all intended audiences, please email the mailbox with details of any alternative or preferred channels and please also let us know if you’re not receiving Oracle updates via email, so that we can add your email address to our distribution list.

  • Year-End deadline extension – Following the recent communication on the extension of the year-end deadline to the 5th of May, we acknowledge that for many of the Non-Cheque Book and EPA schools, this deadline will not be achievable due to the ongoing technical issues set out below. As a result, we are proposing to extend the deadline for a period that sufficiently enables the council to provide the information you need to update your management information systems and complete your year-end activities. Although we cannot yet provide a fixed date whilst work continues to fix technical issues, please be assured that we are actively working to complete this work as the highest priority.
  • Reconciliation Files – It has been identified that salary information is missing from the 2022/23 file that was sent out (Week 13) and work to prepare and transfer the Week 14 files has identified errors preventing the production of the file. Work to address and fix these issues is continuing as a key priority and we can only recommence circulation of the rec files when these have been resolved.
  • Missing journals – Some journals posted on behalf of schools are not showing on individual reconciliation files. These cases are currently being investigated and an update will follow in due course. 
  • Missing income – Additional resource has been put in place to help reconcile missing income so that we can start assigning schools income. If you have recently raised a query regarding missing income, you may receive an email requesting additional information to resolve your case. Please note that the council’s Cashbooks Team requires the correct Oracle coding to reconcile and post income. If you do not have the Oracle coding, please provide the corresponding previous SAP code instead, as this can help us trace and resolve your case.
  • Salary payments posted to code H400 – Due to an Oracle system issue, since April 2022 some salary payments had been incorrectly posted to subjective code H400 (Oracle equivalent subjective 1G05), which is a code related to expenses rather than salary. Although a fix to resolve this issue corrected the majority of incorrect postings with effect from October, some cases were not corrected automatically within Oracle. These remaining cases have now been identified and will shortly be corrected within Oracle. A central correction will be applied to the council’s general ledger for impacted schools, moving the H400 miscodes to the appropriate salary code. This will allow the CFR data we report on behalf of schools to the ESFA to accurately reflect spend for each school without the need for further adjustments. This does not materially affect the bottom line for schools however it may cause a difference in your MIS cost centre spend within staffing. This will now enable schools to clear these items from suspense to a relevant cost centre without the need for circulation of a correction file.
  • Duplicate/Cancelled Invoices – We are aware a number of schools have not had cancelled invoices reflected on the individual reconciliation files. These cases continue to be investigated with a view to circulating a correction file.

DfE Statutory School Census – Summer 2023

Census Date: Thursday, 18 May | Final Return Date: Wednesday, 14 June

Schools will have received information regarding the Summer 2023 Census and guidance on how to make submissions.

This is a polite reminder to ask schools to kindly complete the Census as early as possible, and preferably to submit the first return by Monday, 22 May 2023.

Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation in completing the Census and should you have any queries, please don't hesitate to contact the team at:

Fair Access Protocol Update

The revised Fair Access Protocol was implemented on 1 September 2022.  Since the start of the school year a total of 479 pupils have been placed at Birmingham schools under the Fair Access Protocol. 213    of these pupils have been admitted ahead of the Fair Access Panel meetings.

The high proportion of children admitted under the protocol without the need for a placement decision by the Fair Access panels highlights the level of support with the protocol by schools in the area.  This engagement by schools helps to reduce the length of time that a potentially vulnerable pupil is out of school and the Local Authority is very appreciative of schools participation in the process. Thank you.

It is important that the procedures outlined in Birmingham's Fair Access Protocol are followed correctly in order to ensure compliance with the School Admissions Code and to safeguard vulnerable children. Schools should ensure that:

  • claims for Fair Access credits for pupils admitted through the usual in-year process are submitted promptly via the Schools’ Portal or by emailing the Fair Access Team
  • details of any exceptional circumstances that might mitigate against the admission of a child referred for placement under the protocol are submitted ahead of the relevant Fair Access Panel meeting
  • pupils are admitted as soon as possible after receiving notification that a child has been placed by a Fair Access Panel or Local Sharing Panel

The Fair Access Team can be contacted by email at and the Fair Access Protocol is available on the Council’s website: Birmingham's Fair Access Protocol

Save the Date! 10 July 2023

For the SEND Improvement Strategy and Inclusion Strategy Launch Event - Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Edgbaston Road, Birmingham B5 7QU

More details on the event, along with how you can book your place will follow shortly, but we wanted to be sure you had the date firmly in your calendars to avoid disappointment.

Fully Funded Early Years Training

The Early Years Development Programme (EYPDP) is part of the DfE’s Early Years Recovery Programme to help address the impact of the pandemic on the youngest and most disadvantaged children. Delivering high-quality, evidence informed professional development to early years practitioners. The programme is being delivered by Education Development Trust (EDT) and the next cohort of learners are due to start this September, with registration now open.  The programme has been designed to fit flexibly around busy lifestyles and is supported by cover costs. Modules include:

  • Communication and Language (with content from Speech and Language UK)
  • Early Mathematics (with content from early years mathematics experts Dr Sue Gifford and Dr Cath Gripton)
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (with content from the Anna Freud Centre)

Registration for cohort 2 starting this September is now open and places are limited.

Find out more by visiting:

Midlands Heart Stronger Practice Hubs

Early Years Settings can now register to take part in a range of new EEF evaluations of early years programmes, co-funded by the Department for Education’s Stronger Practice Hubs.

These fully funded projects will test the impact of interventions which aim to support young children’s (2-5 year olds) early language skills:

Find out more by visiting the Education Endowment Foundation website

Early Years Inclusion – Dingley’s Promise

The national Changemakers programme led by Dingley’s Promise has now reached 5,000 early years professionals providing training on inclusive practice for children with SEND.  

The programme has a range of courses and learning options to support practitioners, including the accredited ‘Level 3 Certificate in Early Years Inclusive Practice’ for individuals, and non-accredited inclusion training for pairs of learners and whole settings. 

Find out more by visiting: Early Years Inclusion Programme - Dingley's Promise

Should you have any queries or require further information regarding the above, please don’t hesitate to contact Early Years Consultant's duty support:

Cultural Style Week 2023

Cultural Style Week is a new global movement to encourage and empower people of all backgrounds to celebrate their unique cultural heritage through fashion, hair and beauty.

People from all over the world are encouraged to participate and take part wherever they are by proudly wearing their cultural styles across the week of 21-27 May, sharing their pictures online with the tag #culturalstyleweek

Schools can participate in celebrating the richness of the cultural diversity of their students through general participation, holding student events, talks and celebrations.

For more information, please visit the Cultural Style Week website:

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 here:  Birmingham Careers Service

Please be aware, this does not replace the school's statutory duty to provide impartial and independent careers guidance.

Birmingham Adult Education Service – Free Online Qualifications

The Birmingham Adult Education Service is offering FREE online qualifications in a number of subjects, including:

  • 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)
  • Word: Beginners | Improvers | Advanced
  • Excel: Beginners | Improvers | Advanced
  • PowerPoint: Beginners | Improvers | Advanced
  • Outlook: Beginners | Improvers | Advanced
  • Teams: Beginners | Improvers
  • SharePoint: Beginners | Improvers | Advanced
  • OneNote
  • Cyber Security Awareness for Businesses
  • Power BI
  • Microsoft Project Online Essentials: Improvers | Advanced
  • Microsoft Planner
  • OneDrive

For any queries or further information, please contact Sameena Asmat: /



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