1 March 2019

This week's Noticeboard includes a message from Tim O'Neill, next month's Headteacher briefings, information about Sex and Relationship Education, details of the consultation on a draft 0-25 transport policy and much more.

Included in this update:

From the Director

Dear colleagues

Welcome back! I hope you had a relaxing half-term break.  

We launched a consultation on a draft travel assistance policy for 0-25 year olds in education just before half-term and this will run until Tuesday 2 April. Thank you to all the schools who have helped with sharing information about the consultation and agreed to host events for parents at their schools. The consultation questionnaire, the draft policy and a document that summarises the changes is available at https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/people-1/0-25-policy. Please encourage parents, staff and governors to take the time to complete the questionnaire and give us their views.

Thanks to those of you who have booked places at the upcoming Headteacher briefings. The link to book places is below and I look forward to meeting many of you there.

The Government has now published the much awaited guidance to Relationships and Sex Education and there is helpful information from Razia Butt below.

Finally yesterday saw many schools at the Council House for the Brum Breathes School Summit. Thank you to everyone who made such helpful contributions. Schools interested in being part of a Car Free School Streets pilot where roads outside schools are closed to traffic at the start and end of the school day can find out more below.



Dr Tim O'Neill
Director of Education and Skills


Headteacher briefings

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

Birmingham Education Resilience Team: Free Home Office resource on knife crime KS3 & KS4

There has been a recent spate of violence and knife crime across Birmingham. Knife crime among young people is on the rise in the UK. The reasons behind this are complex. Young people need to be able to build their resilience and we need to help them to stay safe.

As part of young people’s awareness raising; we have suggested some resources you can use to support your delivery on how to safeguard young people from knife crime:
The free-to-download lessons – one for key stage 3 and one for key stage 4 – will inform young people of the consequences of carrying a knife and inspire them to pursue positive alternatives, using real life stories of young people’s experiences as a basis. Accompanying teacher guidance will help you plan the lessons into your PSHE curriculum safely and effectively. Included PowerPoint slides for each key stage will help you to deliver engaging and effective lessons.

Well-planned and delivered PSHE education provides an ideal context for this learning, as the subject develops knowledge and understanding of key concepts such as risk, identity and power, and skills relating to decision making and managing peer influence. These lessons are therefore best suited for delivery alongside topics exploring personal safety or gang crime.

The lessons aim to help students to:

  • Recognise and evaluate the risks of carrying a knife
  • Challenge common misconceptions about knife crime
  • Develop strategies to manage peer influence to carry a knife
  • Explore how young people can choose to live knife free and achieve their potential

Here is the link to where the free resources can be found:

Other useful resources:

  1. https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-involved/teaching-resources/knife-crime
  2. http://www.letsgettalking.org
  3. https://thepythianclub.co.uk/double-edge/

Roundtable discussion:
Tuesday 19th March 2019 from 4.30pm-6.30pm (venue tbc)
There’s a lot of concern at the moment about violence among young people in Birmingham, and about gun and knife crime.
So what can be done to counteract this? Come along to hear from Raymond Douglas, a youth worker who uses education programmes to turn young people away from the culture of gangs and violence.

If you wish to attend, please book a place via the Birmingham Education Support Services website here.  

Please be sensitive to the personal experiences that some learners may have of this subject, and suggest that they do not take part in the discussion if this subject is too upsetting for them.

Concerns around Sex and Relationship Education

The Government has now published the much awaited guidance to Relationships and Sex Education, referred to in School Noticeboard on 17 January 2019.

The guiding principles  are that compulsory subjects should help keep children safe and prepare children for the world in which they are growing up, including its laws in relation to relationships, sex and health and to help foster respect for others and for difference.  It also offers schools flexibility in delivery to ensure that it is beneficial for their particular pupils and engages children whilst recognising that parents  are the primary teachers of their children.  It further differentiates between expectations at primary and secondary, age appropriateness, parental engagement and flexibility.

The guidance can be accessed here.

The PSHE Association has published a useful resource to support schools: https://www.pshe-association.org.uk/curriculum-and-resources/resources/mapping-pshe-association-programme-study-new

As a result of these changes, the Education Equalities Group will meet next month to update the Equalities Toolkit  and further updates will be sent out via School Noticeboard.

CONTACT: Razia Butt (razia.butt@birmingham.gov.uk)

MoMo Challenge & other Social Media 'games'

There has been considerable coverage in the national press over the last few days about a variety of 'games and challenges' on social media sites encouraging children to take extreme risks or exposing children to sickening/frightening images. Although none of the ones I have been contacted about this week are new, parents are understandably worried and have been asking schools for guidance.

The more we reference specific  challenges the more we risk raising the hysteria level, but I do think we should do something. I have discussed this with Link2ICT and would suggest the following steps to advise parents about on-line safety tips:

  • To start discussions about on-line safety with their children at an early age.
  • Filters, Blocks and Parental Locks don't replace the parental role  - don't just rely on these.
  • Monitor your child's usage and browser history.
  • Become 'friends' on your child's social media sites.
  • Encourage your child to tell you their worries, especially if someone on-line has told them not to.
  • Follow the published social media site age restrictions.

Consider the following Internet 'truths':

  • If you wouldn't do it face to face - don't do it on-line.
  • Beware of strangers bearing gifts that seem too good to be true
  • Once written and posted on-line you can't delete it.
  • Don't share personal information on-line

Within school you can:

  • Ensure your on-line monitoring software is blocking MoMo, Winx Fire Fairy, Fake Peppa Pig and any other concerns parents raise.
  • Run an after school on-line safety course for parents.
  • Put on-line safety guidance in your next few newsletters.
  • Encourage parents to see things in a wider context and 'keep calm and carry on'.
  • Brief your Safeguarding Governor and Chair of Governors as to parental concerns.

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

Integrated communities

I would like to draw your attention to the Government’s response to the Integrated Communities Strategy Green paper, published last week.  The Government response to the Green Paper has two parts. The first provides a summary of the consultation responses received and the Government’s responses to the points raised. The second is the Integrated Communities Action plan,which sets out commitments for delivering and driving forward our vision for stronger, integrated communities.

The Department for Education is a significant contributor to the Integrated Communities Strategy, with a package of over 20 wide-ranging commitments. You may specifically be interested in reviewing the sections in each paper on ‘Education and young people’, pages 13 & 14 which corresponds to Chapter 3 of the Green Paper, and contains the bulk of DfE policy. This includes supporting teachers to promote British values, strengthening expectations for new free schools on promoting integration, and funding an expanded national school linking programme. The DfE is also leading on the new national strategy for English language, found in the ‘Boosting English language’ section of each paper, and you may also be interested in reviewing our commitments in the ‘Increasing economic opportunity’ chapter.

You may have seen in the last noticeboard, the impact of the Unicef Rights Respecting Schools programme in Birmingham which is making a considerable contribution to the integration agenda.  If you are interested in signing up for the next round of training, which will be announced shortly, please contact razia.butt@birmingham.gov.uk

Consultation on draft travel assistance policy for 0-25 year olds in education

A reminder that a consultation on the draft travel assistance policy is running until Tuesday 2 April 2019. The consultation survey and details of sessions taking place at special schools across the city is at https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/people-1/0-25-policy

CONTACT: education@birmingham.gov.uk

Car Free School Streets

As part of our work to encourage safer, greener and healthier travel to school in Birmingham, we're introducing Car Free School Streets to transform roads outside schools, where they are closed to traffic at the start and end of the school day. From September 2019 we’ll be piloting the scheme with at least 5 schools.

This scheme aims to:

  • cut down on traffic and parking pressures outside schools
  • discourage car journeys to school and encourage walking and cycling
  • make the streets outside schools safer at the start and end of the day
  • improve air quality and create a more pleasant environment for everyone

This part time closure of streets to traffic will not be appropriate for all schools. A selection process will be used to assess the suitability of any schools who are interested in being part of this and to prioritise those to be included. Schools are initially asked to submit an expression of interest by Friday 29 March 2019.

All schools in Birmingham are able to benefit through the existing Modeshift STARS scheme, which offers support and rewards to schools for taking steps to promote safer, greener and healthier travel.

For further information please email: connected@birmingham.gov.uk   

School Organisation Proposals

Skilts School

Birmingham City Council, as the Local Authority for Birmingham is conducting a formal consultation to make the following changes to Skilts School (a community special school):

  • Remove the boarding provision with effect from  31st July 2019

The formal consultation runs from 28th February 2019 until 27th March 2019 (midnight).

Full details of the proposal and how to comment are available online: https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/people-1/skilts

St Mary's Church of England  Primary School

The Governing Body of St.Mary’s Church of England Primary School, Lodge Hill Road,Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 is conducting a formal consultation to make the following changes:

  • Change the status of the school from Voluntary Controlled to Voluntary Aided. 

The formal consultation runs from 28th February 2019 to 27th March 2019.

Full details of the proposal and how to comment are available online https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/people-1/stmarysceb29final

CONTACT: edsi.enquiries@birmingham.gov.uk

Birmingham NQT Pool – Now Open


HR Services for Schools hold a register of NQTs actively seeking their first teaching appointment in Birmingham for September 2019. Schools using the pool will save precious time and money by avoiding advertising, responding to enquiries, and chasing references. NQTs will be selected by area and phase, with their details provided via a secure email containing application forms and references.

The team communicate regularly with teachers to ensure the information available is as up to date as possible, and can also assist with calls to shortlisted candidates. The charge for this service is £240 for schools who purchase our HR services and £292 for those that do not.

To request details or to find out more, please complete the Newly Qualified Teachers Search Form.

If you require further information please email nqt@birmingham.gov.uk or contact Kevin Tetley on 0121 303 2369.


We do also receive applications from Secondary NQT’s – if you are looking to recruit for September please contact the team on 0121 303 2369 for further information/costs.

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Moderation: Academic Year 2018 – 2019

Services for Education work on behalf of Birmingham Local Authority to organise and manage statutory assessment duty for the EYFS Profile teacher assessments. Our Service is funded by the Local Authority to make school moderation visits to a minimum of 25% of schools each year.  Our moderation team will carry out the visits in the first half of the summer term, and those schools selected will be notified by letter towards the end of the Spring term.

On behalf of the Local Authority we provide high quality moderation training events led by STA accredited moderators in the second half of the spring term. All schools recognise the value and importance of these moderation training events in order to develop practitioners’ understanding of the Early Learning Goals and ensure consistency in the assessments being made. 

Due to funding arrangements to the Local Authorities for EYFS Profile moderation activities we are no longer able to provide funded places. As part of our statutory duty on behalf of the Local Authority we must continue to provide advice on all aspects of assessment in the EYFS, training, including on ‘agreement trialling’.

The focus areas for the training this academic year are, ‘Mathematics’, ‘Personal, Social and Emotional Development’ and ‘Understanding the World’. The half day  training which is led by STA accredited moderators and will provide key updates regarding the revised documentation, assessment data, standardisation activities (agreement trialling) utilising the exemplification materials produced by the Standards and Testing Agency and moderation of practitioners own assessment for the three areas of learning.

LINK: https://www.servicesforeducation.co.uk/our-offer/eyfs-profile-standardisation-and-moderation-training-2019/

West Midlands Ofsted Big Conversation: Early Years

Sent on behalf of Sarah Presswood  - George Perkins Day Nursery

Details for West Midlands Ofsted Big Conversation (OBC):-

DATE: Friday 22nd March 2019.
TIME: 10am to 1.00pm
VENUE:-  Birmingham City Football Club, St Andrews Stadium, Cattell Road, Birmingham B9 4RL
TARGET GROUP: All Early Years and Childcare Providers

Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite here.

There will be a mix of Early Years Experts and Ofsted Representatives and include the interactive SliDo both before, during and after the event. We hope to be able to bring you the latest news and events from within the industry.

Some selected partners have also been invited as before, usually in exchange for their presentations!
The OBC is organised and run by volunteers from across the West Midlands Region and is a completely non-profit making event. The ticket price just covers the cost of running the event.

Ofsted come along by invitation and do not receive any fees or make a charge for their attendance.

Our tickets sell out fast, so make sure you book yours in plenty of time.

CONTACT: tracey.linton@birmingham.gov.uk

Mathematics and SEND

The Education and Endowment Foundation Report ‘Improving Mathematics in Key Stages 2 and 3 made eight recommendations to support the effectiveness of teaching mathematics.  Schools can choose to implement these recommendations in line with their schools policies,  procedures and teaching programs, however SENCOs often share concerns that published schemes do not included enough support for teachers in meeting the needs of pupils working significantly below age related expectations. 

In response Pupil and School Support provide a FREE resource to all Birmingham Schools.

The Birmingham Mathematics Toolkit, along with the Language and literacy Toolkit, holds a Leading Aspect Award.  It supports the Maths for Mastery emphasis on the inter-relatedness of different aspects of mathematical learning. It promotes pupils understanding, rather than rote learning or simply following steps.  It supports schools to assess pupils with gaps, plan and implement provision and track progress over time.  It consists of two frameworks, the core and supplementary.   The toolkit also includes a comprehensive set of teaching and learning ideas which support identification of appropriate provision at the universal, targeted and specialist levels.  In addition it also provides ideas for assessment, resources, vocabulary and parental support. 

SENCos can download this from the A2E website http://accesstoeducation.birmingham.gov.uk/

CONTACT: Terri Cawser (terri.cawser@birmingham.gov.uk)

FAST-track to Attendance training

Training is available for school staff on ‘FAST-track to Attendance’, an Early Help approach to improving school attendance with a prosecution element.  The ‘Leave in Term Time (Penalty Notice) Process’ is also covered in the training.  The course runs for a full day and lunch is provided.  There is a charge for the training which will take place at the Factory in Longbridge on 21st March 2019.

Schools are also advised to consider booking onto the general attendance courses offered by Pupil Attendance Consultancy and Training, which can be booked via their website:

PAC&T provide training on Pupil Registration and Accurate Coding (a major issue in legal cases); Ofsted and Attendance; Reducing Persistent Absence (which is worse than national average in Birmingham); and Deletion From Roll.

Colleagues are advised to make use of these courses or they may not run.

CONTACT: Edwina Langley, Lead Attendance Officer (Edwina.j.langley@birmingham.gov.uk)

Birmingham Local Heritage Competition

To get young people excited about their local heritage, BEP, BCC & Peters have partnered in the promotion of a local heritage competition. All Birmingham Primary or All-through (KS1&2) schools are invited to participate in the Men & Women of Birmingham Competition by coming up with an innovative way to tell the story of the “3 Gold Men” or the “Three famous Marys of Birmingham” . More information is available in the flyer attached here.

Competition winners will win either a £500 or £250 voucher to use at Peters on books. Submit your project by Monday 8th April 2019 by emailing to danietha.hayden@bep.education  or deliver to the BEP office. Prizes will be awarded by Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture - Cllr Jayne Francis and winning work will be displayed in the Birmingham City Council House!

Free bee education workshop 

ecobirmingham are delighted to offer KS1/2 pupils the opportunity to take part in a FREE workshop at our local community garden to explore the importance of honey bees and other pollinators, and our role to protect them.

Our Bee Mindful workshop will bring the work of honey bees to life and highlight, in an interactive and fun way, the crucial role they play in our environment. Children will be able to observe the bees at work from our observation shed, learn about life in the hive, explore the garden in search of their favourite food and take back ideas to encourage more pollinators in the school's garden or their own garden.

Please note that the Bee Mindful workshops will only run from April to September 2019 on Friday mornings at our Allens Cross Community Garden in Northfield and bookings will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so make sure your pupils don't miss out on this unique learning experience in Birmingham!

Contact us at learning@ecobirmingham.com to book your school today.

Visit www.ecobirmingham.com to find out about other workshops ecobirmingham can deliver in your school to learn about environmental issues and help pupils connect to the natural world.


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