Noticeboard - 6 June 2024

Welcome to this week's noticeboard containing a message from Dr Sue Harrison, dates for a series of webinars on the new School Attendance guidance, training opportunities and 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 lovely half-term break and the week has got off to a good start.

To ensure schools remain fully up to speed with progress on the Oracle Finance, Payroll and HR System we are proposing to hold further sessions for specific groups as follows:

Non-chequebook and EPA schools – Wednesday, 19 June 2024 at 14:00-16:30

In-person meeting at Bellfield Junior School, Vineyard Road, Northfield B31 1PT

Please register your place by following this link: : Registration: Oracle in-person meeting for non-chequebook and EPA schools

Cheque book schools – Friday, 21 June at 11:00-11:30

Webinar via Microsoft Teams – please follow this link to join the session: Oracle webinar for cheque book schools

Academies – Friday, 21 June at 11:45-12:15

Webinar via Microsoft Teams – please follow this link to join the session: Oracle Webinar for Academies

A recording of the webinars will be made available soon after for those unable to attend or to act as a refresher. A Q&A document, which will continue to be regularly updated, can also be found at this link: Oracle transition for schools, updates, questions and answers

Many thanks to Nigel Attwood and team for agreeing to host the in-person session at Bellfield Junior School, and our thanks to you all for your continued support in this matter.  

Huge thanks also to those of you who have kindly agreed to be part of our co-production volunteer groups to consider the proposed school improvement portal; the School Improvement Strategy and Terms and Conditions for the Education Board. These are all vital elements of our school improvement journey and it’s important we work together to get them right.

During the past couple of weeks we’ve been scoping out a calendar of events to support schools in forward planning for the remainder of 2024 and for 2025. The plan includes details of all proposed meetings and events, and will be shared with our volunteer groups to gain their feedback prior to sharing with all schools.

In the meantime, please note that the dates for the new Education Board have been confirmed as follows, with meetings planned to run from 14:00-16:00:  

  • 27 November 2024 (initial pilot meeting)
  • 29 January 2025
  • 5 March 2025
  • 09 April 2025
  • 21 May 2025
  • 25 June 2025

Our thanks also to those schools who have recently been notified by Birmingham’s Elections Office that their premises will be used as a polling station for the Parliamentary General Election on 4 July. If you are one of those schools and have already returned your booking form to the elections office, you do not need to do anything further. Our sincere apologies for the unavoidable short notice, and I do hope it won’t have impacted too much on any plans you had made. If you could kindly complete and return any confirmatory paperwork requested by Elections Office colleagues, that would be hugely appreciated.

Your hard work and commitment does not go unrecognised and truly makes a difference to the lives of our children, young people and families, thank you!

With my very best wishes

Sue

School Attendance – ‘Working together to improve school attendance’ 

Webinars

Over the next few weeks, a series of webinars explaining the responsibilities outlined in ‘Working together to improve school attendance’ (which will be statutory guidance from 19th August 2024), will be made available to all schools, including maintained schools, academies, independent schools and alternative providers.  The sessions will explain new statutory responsibilities for schools, MATs, Governors, and local authorities and include details of new regulations related to registration codes, deletion from roll, and the national penalty notice framework.

Head teachers or the SLT lead for attendance are advised to attend all sessions, given that leadership responsibilities in schools are a key feature of the guidance.   Please note that one of the sessions, the role of the Senior Attendance Champion is for school leaders only.

To book your place at each of the sessions, please click on the links provided. The link to the webinar will then be sent to you. Places are limited to two per school or per organisation (this refers to organisations commissioned by schools to deliver attendance support).  You will need to sign up or log into BESS to book your place so please have your log in details ready if you have them. If you don't currently have a BESS account, please contact ssi@birmingham.gov.uk

18th June 2024 (10-11.30) ‘Working together to improve school attendance – the role of schools, MATs and Governors’

This webinar, which will be recorded, will provide schools, MATs and Governors with a brief overview of the new statutory responsibilities related to pupil absence as outlined in the guidance ‘Working together to improve school attendance’.  It will cover Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 5 of the guidance.  The webinar is aimed at Head teachers, SLT attendance leads, Chairs of Governors and other attendance staff. Book here

19th June 2024 (10-12) ‘The role of the Senior Attendance Champion – how to reduce pupil absence!’

This webinar, which will be recorded, will provide SLT attendance leads and Head teachers with an overview of the role of Senior Attendance Champion, attendance policy, whole school approaches that work and the importance of leadership in addressing absence from school as detailed in Chapter 2 of ‘Working together to improve school attendance as well as touching on other relevant chapters in the guidance.  It will also cover persistent and severe absence (Chapter 5) and schools’ new statutory responsibilities related to data.  The webinar is aimed at Head teachers and SLT attendance leads. Book here

25th June 2024 (10-11.30) ‘Pupil registration codes – updated regulations for schools’

This webinar, which will be recorded, will provide schools with details of the updated pupil registration codes as covered in the School Attendance (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2024, which replace current regulations from 19th August 2024.  The regulations as detailed in Chapter 8 of ‘Working together to improve school attendance’ will focus on new coding for exceptional leave in term time, new responsibilities related to code I, and additional codes added to assist with analysis for schools, the LA and the DfE.  The webinar is aimed at Head teachers, SLT attendance leads, and other attendance staff. Book here

26th June 2024 (10-11.30) ‘Deletion from roll – updated regulations for schools’

This webinar, which will be recorded, will provide schools with details of the new deletion regulations as covered in the School Attendance (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2024, which replace current regulations from 19th August 2024.    The regulations as detailed in Chapter 7 of ‘Working together to improve school attendance’ impact CME procedures and create joint decision making relating to particular deletion regulations. The webinar is aimed at Head teachers, SLT attendance leads, and other attendance staff. Book here

2nd July 2024 (10-11.30) ‘National framework for issuing penalty notices – updated regulations for schools’

This webinar, which will recorded, will provide schools with information on the new National Framework for issuing penalty notices, and will include the new statutory duty for schools to consider issuing a penalty notice when the threshold has been reached, and how the local authority intends to implement the framework locally.  The webinar covers Chapter 6 of ‘Working together to improve school attendance’ and is aimed at Head teachers, SLT attendance leads, Chairs of Governors and other attendance staff. Book here

3rd July 2024 (10-11.30) ‘Working together to improve school attendance – the role of the LA and partners’

This webinar, which will be recorded, will provide schools with details of the new statutory responsibilities for local authorities and how the Birmingham City Council aims to work with schools and partners to implement the guidance based on the ‘Support First’ model.  The webinar covers Chapter 4 of ‘Working together to improve school attendance’ and is aimed at Head teachers, SLT attendance leads, Chairs of Governors and other attendance staff. Book here

FAST-track to attendance - deadline for referral

Colleagues in schools are reminded that all FAST-track cases must be concluded and referred to ELIT by the 1 July 2024.  After that time, Step One, the early help stage, can still be used but schools should refrain from using Step Two onwards. The new regulations mean that, unfortunately, cases cannot carry over from one academic year to the next and ELIT will need time to start to review the referrals before the end of term. This will be just for this academic year only. 

Any referrals received after the 1st July will be marked for no further action. The deadline for year 11 cases (including leave in term time referrals) has now passed, so please do not refer.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that all cases referred before the 1st July deadline will be actioned, as it will depend on the numbers referred. Schools will be notified if we will be unable to review and action the case before the legislation changes.

2024 Data Collections for EYFSP, Phonics, KS1 (optional) and KS2

The website https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/primarydata has now been updated with all the necessary documentation regarding the statutory and optional Key stage 1 collections, how to submit assessments and online confirmation forms.

Please see the link 'Deadlines Poster 2024' for the deadlines for each key stage assessment return.

Please note, ALL schools are required to submit final returns and confirmation forms by the stated deadlines, for EYFSP, Phonics and optional Key stage 1. Any files received after the deadlines may not be validated before being submitted to the DfE and schools may not receive reports in a timely manner and could mean your schools result's will not be included in the DfE statistical publications for EYFSP and Phonics.

All schools will submit their CTF containing the assessments to the LA using File Request (Perspective Lite) or Anycomms+

Please ensure that your school can log in to this before the collections begin during the second half of the 2024 Summer term.

Please note Key stage 2 assessment will need to be submitted to STA via Primary Assessment Gateway.

For any queries or further information please contact the Data and Intelligence Team at educationdata@birmingham.gov.uk

NEW Employee Assistance Programme from 3 June 2024

Occupational Health Safety & Wellbeing are extremely pleased to introduce a NEW Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) in partnership with Vivup.

Our new partner organisation offers the same invaluable EAP help and support – plus even more great support for staff. (If you are currently in treatment with our previous provider, they will continue to deliver treatment as per the agreed treatment programme until completion.)

Vivup provides confidential, impartial advice and support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you subscribe to the EAP Service, your employees will have access to:

  • 24/7 Telephone Helpline
  • Enhanced telephone counselling
  • Virtual counselling
  • Face to face counselling
  • Telephone information support
  • Support for practical issues such as legal information, consumer advice.
  • CBT Self -Help Workbooks
  • Domestic Abuse Resource and App
  • Debt advice
  • Your Care Wellbeing Platform
  • Podcasts and Blogs

For further information or to subscribe please visit the Wellbeing Page on BESS - Wellbeing | Birmingham Education Support Services

Subscribing Schools – please visit Communication | Birmingham Education Support Services for the EAP contact details and posters and leaflets. 

Any questions, please contact Occupational.Health@birmingham.gov.uk

Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England

Action for Smoking and Health (ASH) has provided guidance on developing school policies on vaping. The information has been developed with advice from teachers and educational expert on health and safeguarding.

If you have any questions regarding the guidance or concerns around vaping in your school please contact the Public Health Addictions Team at addictionsteam@birmingham.gov.uk.

Health and Safety and Wellbeing Subscription Renewals 2024-2025

2024/2025 Safety Services, Educational Visits, Employee Assistance Programme and CLEAPSS Subscription Renewals

As in previous years, subscriptions to the following packages have been auto-renewed for those schools who subscribed during 2023/2024. 

  • Education Safety Services
  • Educational Visits
  • Employee Assistance Programme 
  • CLEAPSS

If your school no longer wishes to subscribe to these services, please email schoolsafety@birmingham.gov.uk by Friday 28th June 2024 informing us which service(s) you want to cancel.  If we do not receive a notice of cancellation by the 28th June, we will assume you wish to continue procuring these services and invoice your school week commencing 1st July 2024. 

Please note, if you are a Local Authority school you cannot opt out of CLEAPSS as it is a requirement that all Local Authority schools are subscribed.  CLEAPSS is based on the number of 5–19-year-olds within each school. 

If you do not currently subscribe to the above packages, but are interested in doing so, you can read more about each subscription on the BESS website Birmingham Education Support Services or alternatively email schoolsafety@birmingham.gov.uk

Religious Education in Birmingham Survey

FAO: School Headteachers

Can we please ask schools to take a few minutes to complete a short survey regarding Religious Education. The information you provide will help us to refine our RE support for schools. To complete the survey simply follow this link, and please note the deadline for responses – Friday, 14 June 2024.

In case of queries please contact the team at religiouseducation@birmingham.gov.uk

HR Services for Schools: Online recruitment solution

HR Services for Schools online recruitment solution launched back in November, and currently over 300 schools are recruiting with them via the new system.

Schools have the option of using the online solution purely as an advertising platform, with adverts published on the Birmingham City Council website as well as WMJobs.co.uk and via established social media pages, or schools can take advantage of the full applicant tracking system* for no extra charge, where applicants can apply online and the system will request references and generate any interview invite letters along with any unsuccessful letters to applicants.

Great feedback has been received:

‘I have found the new HR recruitment system very easy to use once I had a look around the system and with your guidance. It is so much easier than having do it manually.

I love the way the system sends letters out and reference requests with a couple of clicks, it's amazing! I fumbled around at first trying to get used to the way the cases are laid out i.e. just having a list of numbers with no names can be a bit confusing but overall, it's going to be such a time saver for us.’

If you’ve not yet registered for an account, please email the team at schoolsadverts@hrforschools.org.uk

*Please note, the full applicant tracking system utilises the standard BCC application form and cannot currently accommodate other versions of application forms. If you cannot accept the standard BCC application, then please proceed as using us as an advertising platform only.

HR Services for Schools: Training and events

We pride ourselves on providing training that is focused on you, the customer. Our courses are designed for those working in education, whether you are new to HR administration in education, or an experienced school leader, manager or employee looking to develop your skills.

We offer a varied programme of free and paid training and conferences each term covering a range of topics.

View all upcoming training and events: https://www.hrforschools.org.uk/training-events

School Aged Immunisation Service Protecting Individuals and Communities Against Infectious Disease

The Birmingham Community Trust is currently visiting schools to offer the following immunisations:

  • Year 8 pupils HPV immunisation offers protection against a virus that can cause cancer.
  • Year 9 pupils One immunisation against tetanus, diphtheria, and polio (a booster following those given pre-school).  And one against meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning).
  • We are also offering measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) immunisation to any pupil who has missed one or both recommended doses.

These vaccines do not contain pork gelatine.

Parental consent is required for these immunisations. The offer will be sent through school, either on paper consent forms or electronically. Since Covid 19 there has been an increase in vaccine hesitancy, the impact of this can be seen in the recent measles outbreak.

Thank you to schools for your support towards the success of the immunisation programme and for your continued support in reminding pupils and families to return their consent forms promptly.

For more information please telephone 0121 466 3410 or email bchnt.birminghamimms@nhs.net

https://www.bhamcommunity.nhs.uk/immunisation-services/

Attachment, Trauma, and Resilience: Building and Maintaining Healthy Brains

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 10th-16th June, providing an opportunity to discuss the importance of supporting babies’ mental health and wellbeing. This year the theme is ‘Speak up for Babies’, as too often babies are overlooked.

Throughout life, the single biggest factor contributing to the brain’s development is connection with another person. Babies are born vulnerable and depend on adults for survival and regulation. Unregulated stress can harm their brains, but connecting with a mature brain helps them self-regulate - connection is key.

A webinar has been scheduled on Monday 10th June 9:30-11:00, for Birmingham workers and volunteers supporting babies, young children, and families. The session will cover:

  • Learning how key moments of adult connection can support healthy brain development in babies and young children
  • Learning how to recognise the sequence of activities that support brain regulation
  • Understanding how trauma affects behaviour
  • Learning how strengths-based practice can help promote recovery from trauma
  • Learning about a model for promoting trauma recovery ‘Mending Hurts’

If you sign up and can’t attend, you will have the opportunity to ‘watch again’ afterwards. Any questions can be directed to bwc.sfltraining@nhs.net

Young Women into Leadership (You WIL) Summit 2024 (Online)

Dates: 22nd – 29th July 2024

Participants: This online summit is aimed at 14-16 year old girls in Birmingham schools who must be within this age range during the summit.

Programme format:

Students will hear from inspirational women in Politics and Public Service, Business, Sport, STEM and Culture and Media. They will have the opportunity to ask questions and find out how they can launch a career in these fields. Students will also work in multi-cultural groups with girls of the same age from schools around the globe and will create a presentation that they will present to the US Embassy London on the final day.

A certificate will be presented once they complete the summit.

This year we have attracted some fantastic speakers including Prof Helen Pankhurst (Care International and granddaughter of Silvia Pankhurst), Captain Preet Chandi (British Army Officer who was the first woman of colour to complete a solo expedition to the South Pole), and Caroline Miller, CEO of Birmingham Royal Ballet to name but a few. 

For more information on the summit and application process, please email Tasniya.Syed@birmingham.gov.uk or call 0121 303 0981

New Provider for Educational Visits and Learning Outside of the Classroom

We are pleased to announce, that following the retirement of Richard Batty and Tom Lilley from Shapestone Consultancy Ltd, we have a new provider for the provision of Educational Visits and Learning Outside of the Classroom Advice and Guidance.  

The new provider is Educational Visits and Guidance Limited who can be contacted at: info@edvisguidance.co.uk  

There are two named Educational Visits Advisers who will be available to you for advice, guidance and training, Sarah Ramsay and Laura Wilson. 

For advice and guidance relating to Educational Visits and Learning Outside of the classroom, you can contact Sarah and Laura:

Sarah Ramsey                                            Laura Wilson
E: info@edvisguidance.co.uk                 E:  info@edvisguidance.co.uk
M: 07833300510                                         M: 07816060020  

There may be occasions where Sarah and Laura are unable to answer your call e.g. whilst delivering a training course, however, they will get back to you as soon as they are able to.  

Sarah and Laura are familiar and experienced in the use of eVisit so please continue to use eVisit for the planning of your educational visits and learning outside of the classroom. 

Training is now available to book through BESS - Training & Events | Birmingham Education Support Services 

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