12 April 2019

This week's Noticeboard includes a message from Tim O'Neill, attendance training, a reminder from the Safeguarding team about Weapons in School Audits and more.

Included in this update:

Message from Tim O'Neill

Tim's message is available at this link.

In his message, Tim refers to the report of the Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel. You can access this via the Birmingham City Council website. Planning work is also underway for a conference that will take place during the afternoon of Monday 24 June 2019 at St Andrew's Stadium. Booking details and information about what the conference will cover will be shared with you at the start of the summer term.

We hope you have a relaxing Easter break.  

Reminder: Weapons Audit

On 8 March 2019 we issued some guidance in Noticeboard on responses to knife crime along with a request to all settings to complete a Weapons in School Audit for every incident where a pupil is:

  • Found to be in possession of a weapon
  • The alleged perpetrator of a weapons related attack
  • The victim of a weapons attack

The audit form can be found at www.birmingham.gov.uk/schoolsafeguarding in the policies and procedures tile at the bottom of the page and should be completed & returned on the same day as the incident. Within education we want to get a complete picture of the problem across Birmingham so please take part in this audit.

It is important to remember that all incidents of weapons possession should be reported to the police using 999 in emergency situations and the 101 line for other cases.

Linked to this is the Police’s Force Intelligence Bureau form that must be completed to allow the police to collate intelligence around the topic.

CONTACT: Moira Gilligan (moira.gilligan@birmingham.gov.uk)

Warning against using Breck’s Last Game

We have been advised by the PSHE association of the following;

'A film has been launched for use in schools and the PSHE curriculum called ‘Breck’s Last Game’. The film focuses on the murder of Breck Bednar, a teenager who was groomed online, and aims to be an educational resource to reduce young people’s vulnerability to online grooming. We have significant concerns about the educational effectiveness of this film and its likely impact on young people, and warn schools against using it. The film’s aim of reducing young people’s vulnerability to online grooming is laudable, and providing young people with the knowledge and skills they need to recognise risk online and seek help is a crucial part of PSHE. However, though this film has been produced with the best of intentions, it is not in line with best practice principles in PSHE education and as a result we do not believe it will support learning around reducing young people’s vulnerability.'

For more information on the concerns of the PSHE and background to their advice please see the latest news section at; https://www.pshe-association.org.uk/

Reminder: Arrangements for the offer of Reception Class places on 16 April 2019

The attached information sheet has been emailed to parents/carers who applied online for their child's reception class place. The information sheet sets out the process for the offer of reception class places next Tuesday 16 April 2019. 

The information sheet will also be available on the School Admissions website https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/primaryplaces2019 and is being promoted on the Council's social media accounts prior to offer day.

School admissions will generate waiting lists on 10 May 2019.  These waiting lists will be sent to those schools which manage their own waiting lists on 13 May 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 30 April 2019 and give schools time 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 reception class offers for September 2019.  Thank you in advance for your assistance with this matter.

CONTACT: Alan Michell (alan.michell@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 Hollyfields on Wednesday 19th June at 10.00am

Schools are also advised to consider booking onto the general attendance courses offered by Pupil Attendance Consultancy and Training (PAC&T), 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)

Governor Training Programme: Summer, Autumn terms 2019 & Spring term 2020

School and Governor Support has published its programme of governor training courses that are taking place during the Summer and Autumn term 2019 and the Spring term 2020. The programme is available at www.birmingham.gov.uk/governor-training

This programme of high quality training develops the skills and knowledge needed for effective governance, whether you are in a maintained school, stand-alone academy or part of a multi-academy trust (MAT). The programme has courses on topics ranging from the core functions of a governing board (GB), to courses on statutory and specific duties that require certain knowledge and skills.

Look out for new courses on Training Needs Analysis, a facilitated 1 1/2 hour session to help governing boards identify their training needs. This session is included as a benefit of subscription at no additional cost.

We have also included our "Complaints Management" and "Effective Challenge" courses as whole governing board sessions as a benefit of subscription for our subscribing schools.

Don’t forget that School and Governor Support also provides bespoke training to GB's and groups of schools/academies on request (see page 6 of the programme).

We look forward to seeing you at our courses and events. Thanks for all that you do.

LINK: www.birmingham.gov.uk/governor-training
CONTACT: School and Governor Support
EMAIL: governors@birmingham.gov.uk


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