Noticeboard - 9 May 2024

Welcome to this week's noticeboard containing a message from Dr Sue Harrison, Strategic Director for Children and Families, details on our new Interim Head of Service for Attendance and Inclusive Pathways, and much more.

Included in this week's noticeboard: 

Message from Dr Sue Harrison - Strategic Director for Children and Families

Dear colleagues

I hope you’ve enjoyed a restful May Bank Holiday weekend, and thank you again to everyone who joined us at the recent Balanced Education System and School Improvement workshops and who has been in touch since. I’m committed to maintaining communication with you and one of the ways I’ll be doing this is using Noticeboard to provide you with updates each week.

The updates will, I hope, ensure that you’re kept fully up to speed with the latest Children and Families directorate news and strategic activities, together with any staff changes, advanced notice of dates for webinars, events and briefings, secondment opportunities and such like.

Please do let me know if there is anything specific you’d like me to include in future, but the aim is to provide you with ongoing quality information.

As you know, we recently undertook a consultation on proposed changes to our travel assistance policy. Last month the council’s Cabinet approved the revised policy and the Children and Young People’s Travel Service are now communicating with families about what this means for support from September. We’re sending information out to schools separately about the changes to the policy and what this means for your families and the revised policy can be found at this link.

Last week I wrote to schools regarding the Oracle Finance, Payroll and HR system explaining that a paper would be presented to Cabinet this month, recommending that the reimplementation of the Oracle system did not include the use of Oracle for schools. Upon Cabinet approval, the council will then begin to identify the best options for schools in moving away from the use of this system. I understand this situation may prove unsettling, and in order to provide you with more detail around this and allow an opportunity for questions, I would like to invite schools to a webinar on Thursday, 23 May 2024 at 11:00-12:00. You can join the webinar by simply clicking on this link. I do hope you’ll be able to attend, but for those who can’t, we’ll ensure a recording is made available shortly afterwards.

We also issued guidance for those schools who may be facing the challenge of prospective industrial action, you can access this information using this link. I know you are making every effort to remain open for our most vulnerable children and for those taking part in external assessments.

Thank you to those schools who supported with the the elections last week in providing space for polling stations, and my heartfelt thanks to you all for everything you and your teams do to support children, young people and their families.

As the season of sports days and teddy bear’s picnics approaches, I hope we have more sunny days and you are able to enjoy these special events in the warmer weather, making wonderful memories for your children and their families.

With very best wishes


Webinar for schools on Oracle Finance, Payroll and HR system: 23 May 2024

As mentioned above, schools are invited to a webinar with Sue Harrison on Thursday, 23 May 2024 at 11:00-12:00.

You can join the webinar by simply clicking on this link and a recording will be made available shortly afterwards.

Interim Head of Service for Attendance and Inclusive Pathways

We are delighted that Wasim Arif has joined BCC as the interim Head of Service for Attendance and Inclusive Pathways this week. Wasim has worked in many Birmingham schools and brings his experience of supporting the development of inclusive pathways for Attendance and Preventing Exclusions. He is looking forward to working with schools across the city and we will keep you updated on progress.  He can be contacted at

2023-2024 Year End Accruals (Non-CHB/EPA)

We would like to thank all Schools for their submissions thus far. 

For all Schools where the Year End Submissions are still outstanding, the deadline was 19 April 2024, and we are now no longer accepting further school accrual submissions.

We will close the school accounts from the Oracle position as at 31 March 2024. 

Please note that Nil Returns still require a submission. 

At the end of each financial year, the Chief Finance Officer has the responsibility for preparing the annual accounts for the City Council, this includes consolidating school accounts. 

The DeMinimus of £1000 has been set, and all accruals must have evidence attached that support the accrued figure.

Full guidance on Year End Accrual Procedures for Non-CHB and EPA schools can be found at this link

For any queries please contact:

Section 175 2023/2024

FAO: Headteachers/Principals and DSLs

We felt it important to address the situation around this academic year’s Section 175 and explain the Education Safeguarding Team’s position.

Due the technical issues encountered last academic year with prepopulating the audit and the feedback provided by DSLs around the difficulties this caused, the Education Safeguarding Team did not want to risk the same happening this year. The decision was therefore made not to include pre-populated information. This was explained to DSLs during April’s District Network Briefings.

Following these briefings, we received feedback from Headteachers through the Safeguarding in Education meetings and Primary/Secondary forums around the extra workload that this had created. Consequently, the Education Safeguarding Team approached PHEW to seek a resolution. We wanted to ensure that there would not be the same problems as last year; that schools that had already commenced the audit would not be affected and that any completed work would not be overwritten. Whilst PHEW assured Officers this would not happen, they did not make them aware that audits could only be pre-populated if they had not been accessed / opened. We are very sorry for the inconvenience and share your frustrations around the difficulties that this has created. 

We acknowledge that this may have caused additional work for you. With this in mind, we will be extending the time period for completion of the audit and will be here to offer support where required. The new submission date will be Friday 27th September.

Going forward, we will be reviewing suitable platforms for the administration of next academic year’s Section 175, and will be inviting schools to a consultation group to inform future practice.

Please accept our sincere apologies once again for any inconvenience this has caused and thank you for your continued support. 

For any queries or support regarding Section 175 please don’t hesitate to contact the team at  

 School Wraparound Childcare Survey 2024

We would be extremely grateful if you could complete the School Wraparound Childcare Survey if: 

  • You currently deliver wraparound childcare
  • You intend to deliver wraparound childcare
  • You are interested in delivering wraparound childcare
  • You have a third-party provider delivering wraparound childcare on the school site

Purpose of this survey:

The Local Authority has been allocated Capital and Revenue Funding to support childcare providers to create new places where there are gaps across the city. 

This is a great opportunity and to ensure we maximise the funding and create places where they are needed. It would be helpful to understand the current supply chain to inform our funding strategy moving forward, including:

  • Which providers currently deliver wraparound childcare places?
  • The current number of places available to Primary School age children
  • The various delivery models currently operating.
  • Barriers to current delivery.
  • The appetite for providers to expand their current delivery capacity to meet future demand.

In addition, we will also be asking if you are happy to be contacted for a follow up conversation and potential involvement in a Focus Group.

We want to make sure we hear the provider voice in this process so again please engage with the survey.

Schools are key to this programme, and there is a strong expectation from Department for Education  that schools will fully engage with the Local Authority by providing information through surveys and other data collection methods to shape and inform ongoing strategies to ensure statutory duties are met.

We would appreciate your support in completing and submitting the survey no later than 5pm on Friday, 17 May 2024: Wraparound Childcare Survey 2024

Thank you in advance for your participation and support in providing this valuable information.

Operation Encompass

As of 1 April 2024, the Birmingham Children’s Trust’s Domestic Abuse and Interpersonal Violence team assumed the primary responsibilities for Operation Encompass. This transition presents a chance for the Trust to strengthen their collaborations with the education sector, while continuing to work closely with the council’s Education Safeguarding and West Midlands Police colleagues.

The Trust’s Domestic Abuse Education Lead will ensure that children affected by Domestic Abuse receive the necessary support, recognising them as victims in their own right. The role will also assist education settings and staff in implementing early interventions when receiving Operation Encompass notifications.

To this end, the Trust would be extremely grateful if schools could complete a short survey by following this link: Operation Encompass Survey 2024. Please note the closing date of 7 June 2024.

The information schools provide will prove invaluable in guiding and developing the services that the Trust provides to education staff during early interventions and will shape Operation Encompass moving forward.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the survey, your support is greatly appreciated.

If you have any queries in the meantime regarding Operation Encompass or the survey, please don’t hesitate to contact Shameelah Hussain, Domestic Abuse Education Lead at