Noticeboard - 25 January 2024

This week's noticeboard includes a link to the recent Public Health measles webinar, information on Early Education Entitlement, Funding towards RAAC surveys, Traded Services, Training opportunities and more.

Included in this update:

Measles

The Public Health team recently held a webinar to provide a measles update to schools.  A recording of the session and the presentation slides can be found at this link.

For any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact the Health Protection team at HPTeam@birmingham.gov.uk.

Non-Statutory Guidance for Schools and Colleges: Gender Questioning Children

Government Consultation

The Department for Education, working closely with the Government’s Equality Hub, has worked to produce non-statutory guidance on Gender Questioning Children, to provide clarity for schools and colleges, and reassurance for parents.

They are now consulting on this guidance and seeking views from parents, teachers, headteachers, pupils and clinicians. 

The consultation can be found at this link and the closing date for responses is 12 March 2024.

We would encourage you to contribute to the consultation, and for those school leaders who would like an opportunity to discuss the guidance and the implications for practice in more detail, Razia Butt, Director of Thriving Children and Families will be hosting a webinar on Monday, 29 January 2024 at 15:00-16:00.

Simply click here to join the webinar on the day

The guidance will also be discussed at the forthcoming Education Safeguarding Group on 23 January 2024.

For any queries in the meantime, please contact the team at education@birmingham.gov.uk

Further content:

Funding towards RAAC surveys and how to make a claim by 1st February 2024

The council has undertaken RAAC surveys for its maintained estate. However, there may be some non-maintained schools that undertook their own surveys. Please find below information on how to make a claim towards the funding of the survey. 

The Department for Education has agreed to fund up to £4,000 (including VAT) per setting towards RAAC surveys. 

Qualifying criteria:

  • The survey must have been completed between 30 August 2023 and 1 November 2023, and had the primary purpose of identifying RAAC.
  • The outcome of the survey must have been reported by the responsible body via the RAAC questionnaire on the Capital Portal.
  • An appropriately qualified building surveyor or structural engineer carried out the survey (please refer to DfE guidance)
  • No previous surveys to identify RAAC have been funded, or carried out, by DfE for that setting or establishment unique reference number(s) (URN or UKPRN).

To make a claim:

The responsible body should complete a RAAC survey claim form and email the relevant information to RAAC.Awareness@education.gov.uk no later than 1 February 2024 including:

  • establishment name(s)
  • RAAC status (if RAAC was identified or was ‘inconclusive’, please confirm you have emailed a copy of the report to DfE or attach it to this email)
  • attach the invoice, with clear identification of eligible building surveyor or structural engineer details, survey date, survey purpose (RAAC identification), cost and location.

Early Education Entitlement

2-Year Funded Place

As you will be aware the new offers for Early Education Entitlements are being phased in during 2024 / 2025. The first phase starts from April 2024 where eligible working parents of 2 year olds will be able to access 15 hours of working entitlement and here is what you need to know:

  • The working eligibility criteria and application process will be the same as the current 30 hours for working parents of 3&4 year olds.
  • Parents can apply now - applications will need to be made directly to HMRC. You can signpost parents to www.childcarechoices.gov.uk where the most up to date information will be made available to support parents.
  • Parents will need to apply for and receive their eligibility code on or before 31st March 2024 to be able to access the 15 working hours entitlement from 1st April 2024. Encourage parents to apply early in case they need to provide any additional information to HMRC to support their application!
  • An eligible 2 year old can access their place from the term after they turn 2 years old as long as they have their code in time.
  • Providers will be required to check the codes are eligible for the term being applied for, using the same system that you currently use to check the 30 hours codes – ECS. 
  • Please do not allow children to access their entitlement until you have confirmed that they are eligible to do so.
  • There may be a very small number of families eligible for 2 year funding under the current disadvantaged eligibility criteria who may also be eligible for the 15 hours. working entitlement. These parents can only claim 15 hours in total and cannot claim both elements. These parents should be encouraged to remain on the current disadvantaged entitlement until they can apply for 30 hours working entitlement.
  • Parents who have recently reconfirmed their Tax Free Childcare accounts and now wish to apply for the 2 year old working entitlement, may have to wait until their next reconfirmation date to enable them to do this. Please ensure that you encourage parents to apply as soon as their reconfirmation window opens as some of these dates may be very close to the 31 March deadline for receiving the code.

If you have any queries or concerns, please email the team at: earlyeducation@birmingham.gov.uk

2-Year Funded Place - No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)

2 year old children from families who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF) may be eligible to access a EEE place. As these are some of our most vulnerable children, we really need your help to make sure these children can access their funded childcare place as soon as possible - the earliest they can start is the term after their 2nd birthday.

Parents who have a status of ‘no recourse to public funds’ cannot claim any benefits, so will not be eligible for 2 year funding via the universal credit route or other benefit route. These parents may be receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989, they may be asylum seekers, they may be here on work or student visas, or may have no immigration status.

If a family, or a professional supporting a family, approaches you for a childcare place these are the things you should do. Firstly, if the parent hasn’t already tried to get a code please help them to complete the on-line application. The eligibility application will say that the parent is not eligible because the parent will not show up in the benefits system, so then you will need to do the following:

  • There are NRPF guides on EYMIS – please read them
  • Ask the parent or professional to show you evidence that they have ‘No recourse to public funds’ – this could be a Biometric Residence Permit (card) or a letter from a Social Worker supporting the family.
  • You will need to make sure that the family does not exceed the financial threshold – £26,500 for families with one child or £30,600 for families with two or more children and they must not have savings or investments that exceed £16,000.
  • There is an application form that needs completing (on EYMIS) and you should complete this with the parent – please don’t send them away with the form as some parents may not understand what to do. You keep this form on file for when we audit you.
  • Once you have confirmed that they have NRPF and have not exceeded the financial threshold you can email us with their code and confirm they meet NRPF criteria and we will update the code to eligible.
  • You can either then add the child to your headcount claim or if they have never accessed a funded place before and headcount has passed you can submit a flexible funding request arranging for them to start asap.
  • You will need to complete a parent declaration form as you do for all funded children.

If in doubt please email the team at: earlyeducation@birmingham.gov.uk

Schools Financial Services Combined Strategic / Budget Financial Planning Tool

FAO: Headteachers and School Business Managers/Bursars

Schools Financial Services (SFS) Combined Strategic / Budget Financial Planning Tool is available for maintained Primary, Secondary and Special Schools to purchase.

As in previous years, SFS has separated the funding calculation element from the strategic reports to enable assumptions to be changed and modified throughout the year as and when announcements and guidance on future years funding are released from the DfE.

The council's requirement for a strategic forecast in 2023/2024 was removed for this year. However, this template will remain in its previous format of a combined strategic / budget report.

The template will calculate estimated outturns and key KPI’s when information on anticipated income, expenditure and funding has been input by the school. SFS can still support schools with forecasting future years funding by sending you a pro-forma to complete which will enable us to calculate your estimated funding for future years in the following areas: S251, EYSFF, Teacher Pay and Pension Grant (where still separate), Pupil Premium, Growth, Resource Base and Post 16 funding. Once the pro-forma has been completed and returned, schools will receive a blank report template and a print out of the projected funding for future years.

The report and documentation will be sent as an encrypted email, at a price of £220 (Corporate Discount has been applied for 2023/2024).

The key benefits to your school include:

  • Enabling the assessment of effective and efficient use of resources
  • Ability to respond to fluctuations in pupil numbers and funding
  • Support the requirements of the Schools Financial Value Standard
  • Comply with Ofsted and Audit recommendations
  • Allow modelling of different funding scenarios

SFS can support Schools in completing the combined strategic / budget plan if required; the price would be £49.00 per hour.

Education Infrastructure Traded Service: Notification of 10% uplift in fees for 2024/25

As schools consider their plans to maintain and develop school buildings and sites for the new financial year, it is imperative that schools are undertaking the necessary checks and implementing all necessary Health and Safety measures. The Education Infrastructure traded service provides access to dedicated experienced individuals who can offer professional advice on a whole range of matters which include:

  • providing support with managing your buildings (including any health and safety concerns),
  • providing information on your property, asset or site including any ownership or boundary queries,
  • support in managing school organisation projects, as well as training and advice on your duty holder and asbestos management responsibilities and other statutory duties.

More information can be found here: Education Infrastructure | Birmingham Education Support Services.

In line with corporate guidelines, we are preparing to uplift our services by 10% for the new year. The new prices will be as follows:

Core offer:

Community / VC Schools, LA Nurseries and Children’s Centres

Academies with 125-Year BCC Lease or Foundation Schools

VA Schools, Academies without a Lease

Option 1

Option 2

Option 1

Option 2

Option 1

Option 2

£842.60

£1,149.50

£842.60

£1,149.50

£721.60

£918.50

Academy conversions:

Charge

Community

VA Schools

VC schools

Governance

£2,425.50

£2,425.50

£2,425.50

Commercial Transfer Agreement

£3,031.60

N / A 

£3,031.60

Lease

£3,638.80

£3,415.50

*£3,415.50

Sub-Total

£9,095.90

£6,064.30

£5457.10

School Agreement where school is part of a PFI/BSF FM or ICT contract

£2,887.50

N / A

N / A

Deed of Variation where school is part of a

PFI/BSF FM or ICT contract

£5,775.00

N / A

N / A

Total

£18,191.80

£6,064.30

£5,457.10 or *£9,095.90

* If required

Schools who are already subscribed  will have their subscription automatically renewed on 1st April 2024. If schools no longer wish to subscribe to this service, please let us know by Wednesday, 31 March 2024.

Going forwards, we are aiming to simplify our service by providing one core offer for schools to purchase with optional extras if needed.

If you would like to engage with us to offer any feedback relating to the current offer, e.g. What you feel is missing, how it could be improved etc we will be interested to hear this. We will be launching a BeHeard Survey in the Summer Term and to seek comments / suggestions for the new offer to be implemented in April 2025.

Educational Psychology - Traded Services 24/25 Subscription

The Service will soon be sending out information about our traded services offer for 2024/2025.

We continue to value our working partnership with schools. The regional and national challenges of recruitment and retention of qualified EPs in LA services continues to have an impact on service capacity.  We had to make difficult decisions last year that led to a reduction of hours to some settings to ensure that we could deliver achievable commitments for the full year.

For this forthcoming traded year, it was important to prioritise maintenance of current levels of delivery as much as we were able to for the majority of schools. We have provided more details in the subscription information.

We have also maintained capacity for our larger city-wide projects and centrally held training for schools to additional purchase alongside their subscriptions.

We continue to encourage more use of our services in systemic ways to respond to the need. This will increase the impact of our service delivery for more children in settings. We are looking at Service Redesign and will naturally involve schools and families in that process when reviewing service delivery.  

Please contact Dr Pauline Bromfield, Head of Service/Principal EP at pauline.bromfield@birmingham.gov.uk if you require any further information.

Supporting Refugee Children in Schools – Free webinars

These free webinars are aimed at teachers and school (primary or secondary) and/or college staff but are also appropriate for individuals hosting refugees or anyone who wants to get some practical tools for supporting young refugees to flourish in education in the UK. Although each webinar has a particular country focus (enabling the participants to understand the educational and displacement contexts of particular refugees), the majority of the content (such as practical interventions) is directly applicable to young refugees from all backgrounds.

  • Drawing on our research and experience of working with young refugees and asylum seekers for over 12 years, Refugee Education UK staff will:
  • Provide an introduction too supporting refugee students who arrive in your school.
  • Outline the previous educational and displacement experiences of children and young people seeking safety in the UK.
  • Explain the educational implications for newly arrived students with a focus on barriers to progress and achievement.
  • Outline practical strategies that you and your school can adopt to overcome these challenges.
  • Share details of free REUK and partner resources that can help you engage with refugee learners and develop your policies and practices.

Simply click on the appropriate link below to book your FREE place.

A day in a life of the Maternity Unit: Free organised NHS School Visits

Birmingham Women’s Hospital for a ‘Day in a Life’ exposure to careers in maternity services.

You can’t be it if you can’t see it!

Working in the NHS is a privilege and one of the largest employers in our city. Exposing our young population to the wonderful metropolis of opportunity at an earlier age is key component of our ‘Reducing Health Inequalities’ agenda.

During the visit, we aim for children to achieve the following:

  • Build trust and connection to a local healthcare provider.
  • Be exposed to multiple career choices and passionate people holding those roles within our facility.
  • Learn about health/safety/confidentiality as a guest within the facility—children will learn in advance about these important areas of healthcare.
  • Learn about paths to careers and things they can do to build their interest in a field.
  • Have a chance to meet people and ask questions and develop ideas for further exploration. This is a taster offer for children to begin developing their interest in the NHS.

Dates Available: 16th February, 24th May, 17th June, 3rd July, 18th September, 2nd October, 7th November, 18th December 2024.

For more information please email: Amy Maclean, Development Lead, Maternity and Children for the Ladywood & Perry Barr Locality Partnership - amy.maclean@nhs.net

Underage Youth Vaping

FAO: Secondary School Staff

A new national reporting system is available for schools to report underage vape sales: Be Vape Vigilant - UKVIA

Filing a report simply involves giving details of the suspected illegal activity which will in turn be passed onto the relevant authority.

School staff are best placed to know about where and how children are sourcing their vapes and so can add greatly to the intelligence.

Boosting Nature in Schools

Is your school eligible for a £10,000 grant? 

The National Education Nature Park and Climate Action Awards aim to empower children and young people to make a positive difference to both their own and nature’s future.  The grant is to be used to boost nature in education settings and schools are being invited to apply for it. 

Eligible schools will have received an email to invite them to apply for this grant.  The list of eligible schools is here: Nature Park and Climate Action Awards funding allocations - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).  

If your school is on the list but you didn’t get an email please contact: westmidlandsnaturepark@ltl.org.uk 

Even if your school isn’t eligible for a grant there are lots of resources available on the website: Resources | Education Nature Park and suggestions for other funding Finding Funding | Education Nature Park 

These free programmes will provide educators with the resources, support and guidance needed to put nature at the heart of education. Embedding nature across everyday teaching and learning will give every child and young person in England the opportunity to develop a meaningful connection to nature, contribute to nature recovery across the country and build resilience for a changing world. 

Services for Education

Services for Education (SfE) is delivering National Professional Qualifications in partnership with Best Practice Network.

The Spring 2024 application window for National Professional Qualifications is now open.

The final deadline is 28th January 2024, so don’t miss out and apply today!

This is the last cohort with confirmed scholarship funding available, so please ensure staff are registered whilst fees are covered.

Working in partnership with Best Practice Network, SfE is proud to be a delivery partner for a range of professional development programmes to support teachers and school leaders at all levels – from new teachers following the Early Careers Framework through to senior leaders engaging with National Professional Qualifications. 

SfE provide the following NPQs: 

  • Senior Leadership (NPQSL)
  •  Leading Behaviour & Culture (NPQLBC)
  • Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD)
  • Leading Teaching (NPQLT)

The suite of National Professional Qualifications are DfE fully funded and are designed to support aspiring and current leaders in schools to grow and develop the skills needed to have real impact on the lives of young people and fellow colleagues.

Find out more here: https://www.servicesforeducation.co.uk/npqs/

Twilight Online Safer Recruitment - 17:30-19:00

  • Thursday 1st February 2024
  • Thursday 8th February 2024
  • Thursday 22nd February 2024
  • Thursday 29th February 2024 

This online course is delivered as four twilight sessions to give flexibility for busy professionals: To secure your place simply book here

 

 

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