15 February 2019

This week's Noticeboard includes a message from Tim O'Neill, next month's Headteacher briefings, information in advance of the offer of secondary school places, details of the consultation on draft 0-25 transport policy and much more.

Included in this update:

From the Director

Dear colleagues

This week's Noticeboard is a day late but I wanted to include details of the consultation that launched this morning on a draft travel assistance policy for 0-25 year olds in education. You'll find more information below and we have also sent details to Headteachers' direct email addresses.

On Monday we had the annual conversation with Ofsted which was really positive. I'm very keen to work with Ofsted where we can to improve learning outcomes for all children and young people across the city.

Congratulations to Nelson Mandela School who achieved Gold in UNICEF's Rights Respecting Schools programme this week. Razia Butt has included below some headlines of the successes of this programme across schools in Birmingham.

As you know, Year 7 places will be offered after half-term and Alan Michell provides very helpful information below that will be sent to parents over the break.

I have managed to meet some of you during my first 30 days but hope to meet many more at the termly Headteacher briefings that will be taking place next month. The dates and times are below as well as the links to book places. At the sessions I am keen to talk to you about how we can best utilise those termly time commitments to best effect. If you have any thoughts on this before the briefings - please email us at education@birmingham.gov.uk

Hope you have a nice half-term break.



Dr Tim O'Neill
Director of Education and Skills


Headteacher briefings

As Tim mentions above, the Headteacher briefings are taking place next month and we hope to see as many of you as possible there. Please use the links below to book places.

Thursday 14 March 2019 10am - 11.30am mac Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park B12 9QH https://www.eventbrite.com/e/headteacher-briefing-south-tickets-56531427020
Thursday 21 March 2019 3pm - 4.30pm

The Pavilion, Moor Lane B6 7AA


CONTACT: education@birmingham.gov.uk

School Admissions: Arrangements for the offer of Year 7 Places on 1 March 2019

The attached information sheet will be emailed to Year 6 parents/carers who applied online for their child's secondary school place.  This will be emailed out during half-term and sets out the process for the offer of secondary school places on 1 March 2019.  The information sheet will also be available on the School Admissions website www.birmingham.gov.uk/schooladmissions after half-term and will also be promoted on the Council's social media accounts prior to offer day.

School Admissions will generate waiting lists on 22 March 2019.  These waiting lists will be sent to those schools which manage their own waiting lists on 25 March 2019.  Waiting list information will not be available before that date. (The information sheet clearly states this). 

This is to allow families time to accept or refuse the offers made by the deadline of 15 March 2019 and schools to write to those who have not responded to their offers, the outcome of which will be more robust waiting lists.  All waiting lists will be made available from the same date to ensure consistency for all families. 

I would be grateful if you could pass on the above advice to any families who ask about the process for secondary school offers.  Thank you in advance for your assistance with this matter.

CONTACT: Alan Michell (alan.michell@birmingham.gov.uk)

Travel Assist consultation

A consultation on a draft travel assistance policy for 0-25 year olds in education has launched today. The consultation will run from today until Tuesday 2 April 2019 and the survey can be accessed at https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/people-1/0-25-policy/

Details of the consultation have been sent to all Headteachers by email this morning and parents will be sent a letter next week. Thank you very much to the special schools who have agreed to host consultation events at their schools.

CONTACT: Sharon Scott (sharon.scott@birmingham.gov.uk)

UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Programme: Birmingham summary

249 schools are registered to become rights respecting in Birmingham.

Across the UK nearly 18%  of primary and secondary schools are registered as rights respecting. In Birmingham this figure is over 45%. This represents substantial growth since 2015.

The model that Birmingham local authority has developed to buy in training to support schools has also resulted in schools making very good progress. 96 schools have achieved Bronze, 75 have achieved Silver and 5 schools have achieved Gold. Even more impressive  is that the vast majority of these achievements have occurred since 2015.

As the model has been so successful we have replicated it in other authorities.

Analysis of feedback from 75 Birmingham schools who have achieved Silver of Gold since 2016 identifies that:

  • 98% of headteachers believe that the Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) has had a positive impact on relationships and behaviour
  • 96% of headteachers considered that the RRSA impacted on children and young people’s positive attitudes to diversity & overcoming prejudices
  • 95% of headteachers considered that working on the RRSA improved children’s and young people’s respect for themselves and others
  • 92% of headteachers considered that the Award contributed to children and young people being more engaged in their learning
  • 78% of headteachers stated that the RRSA has had a positive impact on reducing exclusions and bullying

Find out more by contacting Razia Butt (razia.butt@birmingham.gov.uk)

Birmingham Active Schools Pledge – sign up today!

The Birmingham Active Schools Alliance – are a group of likeminded Headteachers and School Leaders who are passionate to ensure all young people in the City are encouraged to live a healthy and active lifestyle….they have shaped some guidelines to help schools do this.

Sign up NOW! https://youthsporttrust.us19.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=ec5528080fd8b066555741794&id=cbf1ee5c30  to pledge your commitment and receive a copy of the guidance tool.

 Safeguarding Briefings - a review

It is nearly four years since the regular cycle of safeguarding operational and strategic briefings were established to build the links between the Education Team, Schools & Settings and between DSL practitioners themselves. I was extremely grateful to tootoot who allowed us to 'hijack' their new app, tootmood, that is usually used to gather data from within a school - typically on the pupil or parent satisfaction (but as you saw at the conference can be adapted to ask any question).
So on to the results of the survey, I asked you three main questions:

  • Are the Area and District meetings useful for your continuing professional development -    99.6% of you answered 'yes'
  • How often do you want the meetings to be held?, with the options of a District and Area meeting once a term, twice a year or an annual set of meetings. - 81.3% of you voted for the District Safeguarding Meetings to continue as they currently are, and 82.5% of you voted to keep the Area Safeguarding Conference Day every term. Many of you in addition mentioned on the course evaluation forms how much you appreciated the venue facilitates and catering arrangements.
  • What should be the start times for the events? 80% of you voted for an 08.00 start so that your working day wasn't interrupted too much, and for the Breakfast meetings to finish by 10.00hrs and the Area Conferences by 15.30hrs.

We will be looking to stream the Area Conferences from 2019 with a primary stream and secondary stream during the day. We are also going to look to work closely with the Early Years DSL network and see if we can also run an EYFS stream so that we meet the needs of all our DSL's across the city.
Thank again for your votes through the tootmood app - it certainly helped getting immediate feedback from you and has helped structure our support to schools for next year.
For those interested, tootoot are currently offering Birmingham schools a free trial of their pupil satisfaction app tootmood and pupil voice app tootoot! You can register your school for the free trial at tootoot.co.uk/sign-up.

CONTACT: Jon Needham (jon.j.needham@birmingham.gov.uk)

Domestic Violence survey

The Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) are currently, as part of their Safeguarding section 11 process, undertaking an audit on Domestic Abuse. 

As part of the process a questionnaire aimed at front line practitioners has been developed. The results of this survey will be analysed and a report provided to BSCB and the Violence Against Women Group.

The survey is on BeHeard and can be found by clicking this link – https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/people-1/domestic-abuse-and-children-living-in-violent-hous

Please would you take 5 minutes to add your voice to this survey and demonstrate how Education is engaged in the work against DV.

School Health Advisory Service (SHAS) - Update

As you will be aware there have been on-going discussions about the future of the SHAS.  In June 2018, Birmingham City Council (BCC) launched a procurement process which sought to procure a new reshaped School Health Support Service within a revised financial envelope.  This procurement process was terminated as bidders were unable to meet the requirements of the new contract and service specification within the available financial envelope.

A review of the procurement process has taken place and changes made to the service requirements, with a slightly enhanced financial envelope for the new service.

A new procurement exercise started on 21st January 2019 requesting bids from the open market. The deadline for bid submissions is 4th March. We intend to evaluate these bids during March for contract award that month. This will include a mobilisation period to build up the new service alongside the current SHAS.


BCC and Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have agreed an extension on the current service until 31st August 2019 to enable current services to continue during the procurement process.


Please email any queries to: 

2019/20 Section 251 School Budget Notification

Birmingham City Council plans to publish the individual 2019/20 primary and secondary school budget shares, relating to reception - year 11 provision, including detailed explanatory notes week commencing 25th February 2019.

Published alongside this notification is the 2019/20 School Budget Briefing document, which MUST be read in support of the notification and will provide schools with important budget information. The document also includes insurance arrangements and charges for 2019/20 and a copyright license factsheet.

Funding allocations for other delegated budgets (Early Years, Special, Resource Base, Post 16) will be published before 31st March 2019.

All notifications may be accessed on the Birmingham City Council website at this link when available.

All budget queries should be sent by email to: fairfunding@birmingham.gov.uk

Information about Financial End of Year Procedures 2018/2019

Housekeeping actions

At the end of each financial year, the Chief Finance Officer has the responsibility for preparing the annual accounts for the City Council. The link below is to the document that summarises the key housekeeping actions to be taken by schools to prepare for year end closedown process.

Schools should ensure that the document is brought to the attention of all staff and financial providers involved in the closedown process asap.

Link: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/20124/working_in_schools/788/budgets_for_schools_in_birmingham/4

Schools operating the full chequebook scheme

At the end of each financial year, the Chief Finance Officer has the responsibility for preparing the annual accounts for the City Council. The link below is to the document that summarises the key actions to be taken by schools and changes to the financial procedures for this financial year.


Schools on the Chequebook scheme are required to complete and submit a reconciled end of year Workbook by 4 April 2019 (all cheque book schools have already provided the LA with written assurance that this deadline will be met).

Schools on the scheme should ensure that the procedures are brought to the attention of all staff and financial providers involved in the closedown process ASAP.

Non-chequebook schools

At the end of each financial year, the Chief Finance Officer has the responsibility for preparing the annual accounts for the City Council. The link below is to the document that summarises the key actions to be taken by schools and changes to the financial procedures for this financial year.

Schools should ensure that the procedures are brought to the attention of all staff and financial providers involved in the closedown process asap.

Link: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/20124/working_in_schools/788/budgets_for_schools_in_birmingham/4

Year End Reconciliation of Petty Cash accounts 2018/2019

Schools are required to complete and submit a reconciled end of year Petty cash return as at 28th February 2019 by 15th March 2019.

The link below is to the document that gives details of how to complete the petty cash reconciliation.

Link: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/20124/working_in_schools/788/budgets_for_schools_in_birmingham/4

Additional Devolved Capital Funding 2018/19

In the Budget 2018, the government announced an extra £400 million capital funding for schools in England.  This funding is for schools and other eligible educational institutions to spend on capital projects to meet their own priorities. It is in addition to the devolved formula capital (DFC) already allocated to eligible institutions in 2018-19.
The normal terms of devolved formula capital will apply which provide some flexibility for schools to spend the funding over the following 2 financial years if necessary.  Any unspent funding will be notified within the 2018-19 DFC carry forward balance.

Please follow the link below for general guidance and information regarding this funding:

For information regarding the individual allocations, please open this document and view tab 2b (LA&VA Additional DFC School).

CONTACT: Jaspal.madahar@birmingham.gov.uk

Outcomes of IDL pilot

During the Summer term 2018, Pupil and School Support completed a 10 week pilot in Birmingham schools to evaluate an online intervention for reading and spelling difficulties provided by International Dyslexia Learning Solutions (IDL).

Birmingham Language and Literacy toolkit was used to track pupil progress on the pilot and outcomes indicated accelerated progress for the majority of pupils, particularly on the phonic thread of the toolkit. Drilling down into the data for different groups, the outcome for Pakistani, Mixed White Caribbean and Gypsy/Roma pupils indicated even better results.  Overall the pilot demonstrated  a rapid impact of the IDL programme over a short period of time, proving a useful method for closing the skills gap for our SEN pupils. The full report can be found on the A2E website.

Continuing this partnership we are looking for primary or secondary schools, who use the maths toolkit for next term to complete an online maths pilot with a focus on understanding of number and basic operations. Further information can be obtained from PSS teachers in your schools or please contact Avril Bull at avril.bull@birmingham.gov.uk

LINK: http://accesstoeducation.birmingham.gov.uk/index.php/pss/research.html

CONTACT: Avril.Bull@birmingham.gov.uk

City of Birmingham School Conference

Friday 22nd March 2019
Edgbaston Cricket Stadium, Edgbaston Rd, Birmingham B5 7QU

IncludEd – Working together to support pupils at risk

The City of Birmingham School invite you to attend our inaugural conference for school leaders on Friday 22nd March at Edgbaston Cricket Ground. This whole day conference offers innovation and insight from a range of leading independent, local authority and third sector agencies.  Workshops will provide a toolkit of practical, proven strategies to best support vulnerable pupils of all ages. With keynote speeches from renowned educationalist Jason Bangbala and businessman and champion of children in care John Timpson this promises to be both a memorable and hugely valuable day.   Conference entry, including lunch, refreshments, marketplace access (and the chance to win some stunning prizes!) is priced at just £75 per delegate. To book your place please complete the accompanying registration form and return to included@cobschool.com


Social Links