15 March 2019

This week's Noticeboard includes a message from Tim O'Neill, details of the Schools and Preventing Violence event taking place on 28 March, an update for schools about Operation Encompass, School Organisation proposals and much more.

Included in this update:

From the Director

Dear colleagues

This morning we have all been shocked to hear about the horrific terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. Cllr John Cotton,  Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, has issued a statement on behalf of Birmingham City Council which you can access via this link. Razia Butt and the Resilience team will be sending a curriculum resource to schools later today.

As you know we cancelled the planned headteacher briefings earlier this week. Please accept our apologies for this and any inconvenience it may have caused you. I’m very keen to work with you as system leaders to plan how we get the best out of our time together, and perhaps look at different ways of further improving the communication flow between us. I’m particularly keen to ensure that when we meet we actively work on the key strategic issues we face as a system and partners. I’m looking forward to speaking to you about this.

On Monday this week I was privileged to welcome a delegation of teachers from Indonesia and representatives of the British Council to Birmingham. Our guests were hosted by the Lord Mayor and Cabinet Members Cllr John Cotton and Cllr Jayne Francis at the Council House, where the Indonesian flag was proudly flying. Many of you will know a delegation from Birmingham travelled to Jakarta last March and this visit is the next stage of a truly exciting partnership between the two cities. The delegation have visited many schools across the city and have really enjoyed their visit. Thank you very much to Somerville, Arthur Terry, Bishop Vesey, Ninestiles, Saltley, Bordesley Green Girls' and Robin Hood for making our visitors so welcome. Thanks also to Razia Butt who has been the driving force behind this work.

    indonesia school

Earlier this week I wrote to all Headteachers of maintained schools to ask about what changes they had made or were considering making to their school day. Thanks very much to everyone who has responded, it has been very useful to see a city-wide picture of this.

Finally the consultation on a draft travel assistance policy for 0-25 year olds in education is continuing and we have been really pleased with the engagement of all stakeholders so far. Please continue to encourage families, pupils and staff to complete the consultation questionnaire which is available at https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/people-1/0-25-policy.

Kind regards

Tim

Dr Tim O'Neill
Director Education and Skills

Schools and Preventing Violence event: 28 March 2019

The issue of youth violence is one that affects us all. It cuts across all communities and only strong partnerships and effective collaboration will help us tackle it. In answer to the ongoing violence in Birmingham, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is hosting a ‘Schools & Preventing Violence Event’ which will bring together senior leaders from schools and colleges across the city.
 
Date: 28th March
Time 9.00am – 1.00pm
Venue: St Andrews, Birmingham City FC
 
The event will be a key opportunity to share examples of schools working differently to tackle violence. Attendees will be able to learn about a range of innovative approaches and develop a number of practical ideas which will make a real difference in the short, medium and long term.
 
It is critical that school and colleges feel empowered and are aware of some of the great initiatives and work practices that are making a real difference in preventing and reducing violence. Key speakers will include West Midlands Police, the Children’s Trust, a number of representatives from schools in Birmingham, and key individuals from the voluntary sector, with more to be confirmed.
 
There will also be a ‘Marketplace’ where projects currently being funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner to tackle gangs and violence will be showcased. This will be a chance for schools to learn more about the services on offer in their local areas, and how they can work more closely with the community and voluntary sector to tackle violence.
 
Police & Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said “Violence in society, particularly amongst young people, must be confronted with positive action. We must work together to ensure that young people feel a part of society, and are able to go on to live successful and productive lives. Schools are vital to a young person’s success and we must ensure that teachers and staff feel empowered to deliver the best possible education in a safe and stable environment.”
 
Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities at Birmingham City Council, said: “Tackling and preventing youth violence is an absolute priority for the city. We work closely with our partners to deliver schemes across Birmingham aimed at keeping young people safe and giving them the support and confidence to stay away from knife crime and violence. Schools and colleges have a vital role to play in terms of reaching young people and working with them to ensure they feel safe while pursuing their studies, so this event will provide a wider insight of the resources and support available to them across the city.”
 
Please use this Eventbrite link to book a place.

 Operation Encompass - Update for Schools

Part of the Domestic Violence commitment by the Police is to notify schools of every DV incident that happens to a child within 24 hours of occurrence. This process known as Operation Encompass has been successfully implemented across the country and is coming to Birmingham in the summer term.

The volume of DV referrals each month means that a manual process of notification isn’t practical and we are looking at a semi-automated process that would allow email notification to your safeguarding team within school.

The Council, Police and BCT communications teams are working on some text to explain the purpose of Operation Encompass for you to include in your school newsletters so that parents are aware of the process. This will be ready for you to use in early April.

At the moment I am requesting that schools create a dedicated, restricted email account, limited to the SLT/DSL/Pastoral team, so that a limited number of people can access the operation encompass notification. To keep the system as simple as possible I am asking that the email address be:

SafeDSL@schooldomain.

Please could you confirm the account has been set up by emailing me at: educationsafeguarding@birmingham.gov.uk by the 12 April 2019.

Once the notifications for Op. Encompass begin to be passed out to schools your DSL team will need to work out a way of reviewing this in-box daily, during school terms so that you can see if a student in your setting has been witness to an DV incident. The notification the school receives will be for ‘information only’ as each case will have already been reviewed by the police and social care staff in the CASS/MASH.

CONTACT: Moira Gilligan educationsafeguarding@birmingham.gov.uk

2018/19 Final School Budget Notifications  

Birmingham City Council has today published the final 2018/19 Top Up budgets for:

  • Special Schools (including academies)
  • Resource Bases (including academies)

They can be accessed on the following link.

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

School Organisation Proposals

Turves Green Boys School

Birmingham City Council, as the Local Authority for Birmingham, is conducting a formal consultation for the following revocation (formally cancel) at Turves Green Boys School:

  • Revoke the implementation of sixth form provision. (Sixth form provision was due to be implemented September 2019)

The formal revocation consultation runs from 14th March to 11th April 2019.

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

 The Pines Special School

Birmingham City Council, as the Local Authority for Birmingham, is conducting a formal consultation to make the following changes to The Pines Special School:

  • Increase the number of pupils places from 190 up to 230 with effect from 1st September 2019 (increasing gradually over time).

The formal consultation runs from 14th March to 11th April 2019.

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

CONTACT: Education Infrastructure, edsi.enquiries@birmingham.gov.uk

Free School Meals Supplementary Grant Allocations 2018/19 Financial Year

The Department for Education has notified the Local Authority of an additional Supplementary grant in relation to free school meals for the 2018/19 financial year.

The notification of these allocations have been published on the Birmingham City Council website and may be accessed via the following link.

Please note the following guidance published by the Department for Education.

“Due to the roll-out of Universal Credit, we introduced an income-based threshold for free school meal eligibility. As a result of this change to the benefit system and free school meal eligibility, the number of pupils eligible for free school meals will increase. Part of this increase will be because of the transitional protections we have put in place, which mean that pupils who were eligible for free school meals1 on 1 April 2018, and those who become eligible during the Universal Credit rollout period, will retain eligibility until the end of this rollout period. For those still in education at this point, protections will continue until the end of their current phase of education; this covers until at least summer 2023. This means that schools should not remove free school meals eligibility for pupils over this period, unless the pupil’s parent requests that they do so. The school funding system already reflects the number of meals that schools need to provide. But we recognised that for some schools this increase in free school meal numbers may be difficult to manage in the short term, because school funding operates on a lagged basis. That means that changes in the characteristics of pupils in a school take time to have an impact on the funding the school receives. This grant will provide schools with extra funding to help them meet the higher costs of providing extra meals before the lagged funding system catches up”                             

N.B. There will be a link on the notification with the full guidance.

Teachers Pay Grant Allocations 2018/19 Financial Year

Following the Department for Education notification of the 2018/19 Teachers Pay Grant Allocations in December. The Local Authority wrote to all High Needs Special settings to consult on the methodology for calculating the allocation of Teacher Pay Grant in Birmingham.

The DfE have notified Birmingham City Council of a grant of £376,649 for the period September 2018 to 31 March 2019 based on DFE published place numbers for 2018 to 2019.

Following consultation the proposal to allocate funding based on actual teacher FTE numbers as at 30th September 2018 (i.e. on payroll at that date) has been implemented.

The notification of these allocations have been published on the Birmingham City Council website and may be accessed via the following link.

Please note the teacher FTE numbers are those returned to the Local Authority by the special settings.

CONTACT: fairfunding@birmingham.gov.uk

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/

CONTACT: serena.caine@servicesforeducation.co.uk

Change to utility suppliers for subscribers to The Procurement Service

As you are aware, after careful consideration and evaluation of various utilities frameworks that are available BCC have taken the decision to award the framework for utilities supply to West Mercia Energy.

The suppliers under this framework are as follows:

Electricity – Total Gas and Power
Gas – Total Gas and Power

As part of this agreement your gas and electricity supplies that are a part of the existing framework will move to Total Gas and Power as of 1 April 2019. Please be assured that there will be no impact to your supply during this transfer.

ACTION REQUIRED:
In order to enable us to smoothly transition to the new supplier please can you ensure a current meter reading is taken and sent to CPS immediately (for schools who have not yet submitted readings) and then a final meter reading on either 29 March or 1 April 2019.

Meter reading form can be downloaded by visiting Birmingham Education Support Services :  www.birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk/Article/62370

Early Years Information

EYMIS Document database

The Early Years Team provides information and guidance relating to early years on EYMIS an on-line data base.  Presently there are over 100 early education documents for early years providers to access.   Providers can access the data base by following the instructions below; The log-on details are: https://www.ted-birmingham.org.uk

  • Log in details: PVI2 (Capital letters PVI (the letter i ) then the number 2)
  • Password: PVI2year (Capital letters PVI (the letter i ) then the number 2 and lowercase year)

Please note that EYMIS is a system used by all Early Years Providers including PVI, Schools and Academies with Nursery Classes and as it does not contain sensitive information the password is the same for all users, therefore you MUST NOT change the password or try and personalise the system when you log on.

If providers have questions which they are unable to answer using the documentation available on EYMIS, additional support is available through the NEF Duty team;

  • Telephone support is available 10am to 4pm daily on 0121 303 0267
  • Alternatively questions can be raised by email to NEF@Birmingham.gov.uk

Tax-Free Childcare

Parents may save up to £2000 per child, per year using Tax-Free Childcare - to go towards everything from childminders and nurseries to breakfast/after-school and holiday club charges. Parents using 30 hours can also use Tax-Free Childcare to save money on additional childcare costs.

We are aware that awareness amongst parents of this entitlement is very low therefore we’d be grateful for your help promoting the scheme to local parents, so that more parents can benefit from this support with childcare costs.

Parents can find more information at www.childcarechoices.gov.uk 

Please also continue to remind parents who already have a 30 hours code and/or Tax-Free Childcare to reconfirm their eligibility every 3 months.

Transparency of Admissions procedures

All Early Education Entitlement (EEE) providers including nursery schools, nursery classes, private, voluntary and independent providers are reminded that EEE funding is dependent on the provision meeting the EEE Provider Agreement conditions of funding. 

In September 2017 the EEE Provider Agreement was extended to include the below requirements;

2.29. The Provider should make information about their offer and admissions criteria available to parents before an admission is confirmed.

2.80. The Provider should publish their admissions criteria and ensure parents understand which hours/sessions can be taken as free provision. Not all providers will be able to offer fully flexible places, but providers should work with parents to ensure that as far as possible the patterns of hours are convenient for parents’ working hours.

Providers are reminded to ensure that the above requirements are met to avoid complaints from parents and to avoid financial clawback during EEE audits. For more information please refer to the Provider Agreement which is available via this link.

30 hours childcare funding for children in reception class

The Early Education Entitlement Statutory Guidance states; Children who have been admitted to primary school and are attending a state-funded or independent school reception class are not entitled to any additional free hours outside their school reception class place.  Therefore funding claims for extended hours even when a valid code has been submitted will not be paid for children who are attending a reception class.

Early Education and Childcare- Moving provision during term time

  1. Children moving settings during term time – It is suggested that providers remind parents termly that if a child moves provision part way through a term, the parent may be required to pay fees at both providers
  2. Exceptional Agreements – The provider agreement states that;

2.90 In exceptional circumstances a child may need to start at a provider after the headcount/census date and claim their EEE funding entitlement within that term. Exceptional circumstances could include a child moving from another Local Authority or when the late start is in the child’s best interests and has multi agency support. Exceptional circumstances requests must be submitted via email to nef@birmingham.gov.uk and will be considered on a case by case basis.

Providers are reminded that an exceptional agreement must be agreed in writing.  A funded exceptional agreement can only be made between the provider and Birmingham City Council.  Therefore the provider should contact nef@Birmingham.gov.uk as directed above, if they wish to request an exceptional agreement.  If a parent contacts NEF we will need to refer the request back to the provider for their agreement before an exceptional agreement can be made.

CONTACT: NEF@Birmingham.gov.uk

Secure Emails - Egress

Schools should be aware that each person who needs to access EEE communications including replies to Children Missing in Early Years reports will need to sign up to an Egress account.  Staff will not be able to read emails including internally forwarded emails unless they have an Egress account.  For more information please refer to the ‘Egress Switch Recipient Guide’ http://download.egress.com/docs/Switch_Recipient_Guide.pdf

30 hours free childcare – applications for summer term

This term, the Department for Education and the HMRC Childcare Service are encouraging parents who want to take up a 30 hours place in the summer term to apply now.

The HMRC Childcare Service sometimes needs more information from the parent to check whether they’re eligible, so parents should allow time for this to ensure that a valid code is received well ahead of the termly deadline (31 March 2019).  Please share this information with your families.

Please continue to remind parents who already have a 30 hours code and/or Tax-Free Childcare to reconfirm their eligibility every 3 months.

Medical Needs in Early Years Service Newsletter

The Medical Needs in Early Years Service delivered by Birmingham Community Health Plus (BCHC+) provides essential training for staff working in Early Years settings.  The service supports the Early Years sector to meet the needs of children with chronic medical conditions.  The service also supports settings in meeting the health requirements of the 'Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (EYFS) 2017'.  BCHC+ have produced a newsletter which contains updates and details about the service which you can find attached here.

Childhood Obesity Trailblazer Strategic Stakeholder Event: 21st March 2019

Birmingham was recently selected as part of the Discovery Phase of the LGA Childhood Obesity Trailblazer Programme.

The Discovery Phase combines conducting community based research and engagement with strategic stakeholders to inform the development of a shared approach to tackling childhood obesity through partnerships across the City.

You are invited to the Strategic Stakeholder event on the 21st March 2019 at The Priory Rooms Meeting and Conference Centre, Quaker House, 40 Bull Street B4 6AF. We are specifically considering the organisational levers to drive and change to reshape and energise the approach to tackling childhood obesity in Birmingham.

To find out more and book places, please use this Eventbrite link.

SEBDA National Conference: 29th March 2019

  • Developing a practical response to the ‘Transforming Mental Health’ Green Paper
  • Helping to meet the needs of children and young people with SEMH difficulties

SEBDA in association with James Brindley School, Birmingham
Keynote speakers include: Dr Pooky Knightsmith.
With focused keynotes delivered by representatives from Education, Social Care and Health.

Thurs 28th March - Fri 29th March 2019 Park Regis Hotel, Birmingham
160 Broad St, Birmingham B15 1DT

Visit www.sebda.org for further info and to book online.

Free Teachers' Open Day at Black Country Living Museum

Saturday 30 March 2019 10am-4pm
FREE activity taster day for teachers/educators
Join us at Black Country Living Museum to find out how we can help you bring the curriculum to life and deliver high quality, inspiring learning experiences.

The day will include:

  • A one and a half hour morning session for teachers/educators only. This will provide an introduction to the Museum and a market place showcasing our range of educational activities
  • Opportunity to meet the Learning Team
  • FREE time in the afternoon to explore the Museum at your leisure
  • FREE admission for up to four family members to explore the Museum*

This opportunity is available to ALL teachers, educators and classroom assistants.
* Family members will be admitted to the Museum on registration.

Register by 4pm Thursday 28 March 2019 at www.bclm.com/openday

 


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