3 May 2019

This week's Noticeboard includes a message from Tim O'Neill, advice for schools about Ramadan, upcoming training and drop in sessions for the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools programme and much more.

Included in this update:

Message from Tim O'Neill

Dear colleagues

First, welcome back to you all. Hope you had a restful Easter break.

As you will be aware, towards the end of last term there were some protests about equalities teaching. The Council has been clear that its priority will always be to stand up for the rights of all children, whoever they are and whatever kind of family they are from. This city is built upon diversity and we value and celebrate difference as a strength. All protected characteristics must be respected in all Birmingham schools. Cabinet Members have issued several statements and have been offering support to schools along with senior Council officers. This support is ongoing.

As I mentioned in my message to you before the end of term, I'd love to see as many of you as possible at the conference we are holding on Monday 24th June at St Andrew's Stadium. At the conference I look forward to discussing the draft education and skills priorities that we want to work with you on. Full details will be sent out to you next week. In the meantime, please save the date (1pm - 5pm on Monday 24th June at St Andrew's Stadium).

As you will be aware, an Inclusion Strategy is currently being worked on. The newly-formed Birmingham Children's Partnership will be considering a very early draft of this Strategy later this month and will be engaging with colleagues across the sector in due course. This is also something we will be covering at next month's conference.

Birmingham Adult Education Service (now part of the Education and Skills Directorate) has been judged by Ofsted as providing a ‘good’ overall service – an improvement on the previous inspection. The inspection report is available here. Birmingham Children's Trust is also continuing the good progress it made in its first year of operation. Ofsted judged the Trust's Adoption Agency to be ‘good’ overall and leadership and management was judged to be ‘outstanding’. This inspection report is available here.

This week we held final interviews for the two Assistant Director posts that were advertised recently (Education & Early Years and SEND & Inclusion). Thank you very much to the colleagues who supported the stakeholder panel, I really appreciated your help. I will communicate the outcome of these interviews as soon as possible. This week Paul Senior joined us as interim Assistant Director for SEND so please make him welcome. Paul has a wealth of experience from a range of local authorities around change management in SEND and is looking forward to working with us.

Work is also underway to develop the education and skills aspect of the Commonwealth Games programme and I am working closely with Anne Ainsworth and Neil Carney (Project Director) on this. Colleagues from across the sector will be involved in due course.

Have a lovely long weekend.

Kind regards


Tim O'Neill
Director Education and Skills

Ramadan advice

The Association of School and College Leaders has provided very useful advice for schools on fasting during Ramadan 2019.

Any schools requiring advice should contact Razia Butt (razia.butt@birmingham.gov.uk).

Unicef Rights Respecting School Award

Drop in sessions

  • Are you new to the Rights Respecting School Award?
  • Do you want more information about the award?
  • Are you thinking about registering your school for the award?
  • Do you need support with any aspects of the accreditation visit?

30 minute appointments are available with Astrid Edwards for an informal chat about any specific support you need with regard to the Bronze, Silver or Gold award. The drop-in sessions are there to support schools with any questions, or help you may need with implementing the Rights Respecting School Award andare broadly focussed on the following areas:

  • Preparation for the Bronze award
  • Preparation for the Silver award
  • Preparation for the Gold award
  • Leadership and Management
  • Curriculum
  • Student Leadership
  • Preparation for assessment

Date: 7 May 2019 and 15 July 2019
Time: 9:30am – 4.30pm
Venue: Room 6a, Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB

Please book places by emailing ssi@birmingham.gov.uk specifying what you would like to discuss. This is available for Birmingham schools only.

Achieving Bronze training: 13 June 2019

If your school has recently registered or wants to find out more about RRSA then you will find this course is particularly well suited to your needs. The aim of this course is to arm you with strategies to involve and inform all members of your school community and work quickly and effectively towards the first stage of the Award, Bronze: Rights Committed.

Ideally a member of SLT should be one of the attendees.

DATE: 13 June 2019
TIME: 10am to 4pm
VENUE: BCC Offices, 1 Lancaster Circus, Birmingham B4 7DJ

Places can be booked through the Birmingham Education Support Services website http://www.birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk/Event/91357

Schools Dual Funding Initiative 2019

Education Infrastructure is pleased to launch the 2019 Dual Funding Initiative. Community, Foundation and Voluntary Controlled schools may apply. This is an opportunity for schools to apply to the Local Authority for funding to assist with key building priorities. Please find the attachment with full conditions of the initiative and an application form.

Full conditions of the initiative and an application are available on the BESS website http://www.birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk/Article/63872.

CONTACT: edsi.enquiries@birmingham.gov.uk

Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) funding for the 2019 to 2020 financial year

The Department for Education (DfE) has published the response to the public consultation on the impact of the increase in employer contribution rate of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) from 16.4% to 23.6%. This can be found at the following web link.

The DfE have confirmed that they will be funding maintained schools and academies for 2019 to 2020.

The methodology of the funding to maintained schools and academies will be using a per pupil formula. They are also accompanying the grant with a supplementary fund, to ensure there is additional support in place for schools facing unusually high pension costs.

Full details of the grant methodology can be found at this web link.

The Local Authority will notify its maintained settings of allocations when received from the DfE.

CONTACT: fairfunding@birmingham.gov.uk

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

Request to Add/Remove Nursery Provision

Any school proposing to close their existing Nursery Class provision are required to follow a formal process to ensure compliance with statutory frameworks. To ensure compliance officers from the Early Years and Childcare and Education Infrastructure teams have co-developed a process which can be found on EYMIS. Information on how to use EYMIS is above. You will need to look for the documents in the following folder:

Home » EY Info & Guidance » Developing Early Years Services in Schools » Request to Add / Remove Nursery Provision

The folder includes a process guidance document and a form to be completed by the school.

Please note that there are differences between the process maintained schools are required to follow compared to academies.

If you require any further advice please contact Kevin Caulfield Childcare Sufficiency and Early Education Entitlement Strategy Manager (kevin.caulfield@birmingham.gov.uk).

2019 Y11 leavers at risk of NEET

On 1 May 2019, Birmingham Careers Service has begun to take year 11 referrals of young people who are identified on their school’s Risk of NEET register (RONI) or on the school’s equivalent indicator.

This includes students who have no education, employment or training offer (EET), or where the school has identified the students are at risk of not taking up their EET offer.

For full details of the offer and how to refer, please visit: http://www.birminghamcareersservice.co.uk/our-work/

Please note – a referral form will be needed for each young person. Work will begin with the students at the end of their exams. This offer is free of charge and can help you with your “KS4 destination measures” responsibilities.

Please ensure that the young people you are referring are aware that we will be contacting them.

CONTACT: Sue Cromwell – south and west Birmingham (Sue.cromwell@birmingham.gov.uk) Sandra Bebb – north and east BirminghamSandra.bebb@birmingham.gov.uk

FAST-track to Attendance update

The FAST-track guidance has been updated to reflect a change in the number of weeks monitoring can take place after the Formal Warning Notice has been issued. Previously, schools could refer once 10 sessions of unauthorised absence had been reached even if it took 12 weeks for that to occur. ;Due to difficulties with legal time limits we have been forced to reduce that to 10 weeks.

The guidance can be found here:

For example, under the new guidance, a pupil who accumulates 10 sessions of unauthorised absence over a 9 week period following a Formal Warning Notice being sent can be referred, but a pupil who has 10 sessions of unauthorised absence over an 11 week period cannot.

There will be a transition period and cases close to completion where the 12 week limit has been used will be accepted until September 2019.However, from that date, only cases where the 10 sessions of unauthorised absence have been reached within a 10 week period will be accepted.

Due to legal time limits, colleagues are reminded that once a child has accumulated 10 sessions of unauthorised absence after a Formal Warning Notice has been sent (allowed for a couple of days postage time), a referral to ELIT must be made without delay.

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

KS1 and KS2 Centre-based, Peer Moderation of English Writing

May 8th and 17th 2019 are the last opportunities to attend the following moderation courses this year.

  • KS1 Centre-based, Peer Moderation of English Writing
  • KS2 Centre-based, Peer Moderation of English Writing

This sessions are an opportunity for cross-city peer moderation of evidence based teacher assessment judgements at KS1 and KS2, offering a greater understanding of national standards and expectations.

To book please, visit the Services for Education website using this link.

CONTACT: Denise Harris (denise.harris@servicesforeducation.co.uk)

National Children's Day: 12 May 2019

Saturday 12 May 2019 is National Children's Day with events taking place across the country, including in Birmingham city centre.

More information is available at http://www.nationalchildrensdayuk.com/ and http://www.allbirminghamschildren.com/

Anne Frank Trust UK school workshops in Birmingham

The Anne Frank Trust UK is an education charity that empowers young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to challenge all forms of prejudice and discrimination. We have been established since 1991. Our education programmes use Anne Frank’s powerful life story and diary as their starting point. We are the only organisation in the UK licensed to use Anne Frank’s name and writing to make links with issues in contemporary society.

We partner with schools, local authorities, the criminal justice sector and others to deliver educational programmes to young people in a variety of settings. We impart knowledge about the damage prejudice and hateful attitudes cause and empower everyone to take a stand against it, to embrace positive attitudes, personal responsibility and respect for others.

Since its publication in 1947, Anne’s diary has been read by millions of people worldwide. By learning about her life and times, we can relate what happened then to what is happening now in our own lives and communities. Our work educates about the dangers caused by prejudice and hatred. Everyone has a part to play in taking a stand against it.

We now work in more schools than ever before, and the young people we work with take an ever-increasing active role. We want to show the lasting impact our programme has; transforming attitudes and creating socially active citizens who are equipped with the knowledge and confidence to challenge all forms of prejudice and discrimination.

The Anne Frank Trust’s work in the West Midlands started in 2015, making it quite a new region to explore with our inspiring education programmes and exhibitions. Since then we have engaged with a selection of primary and secondary schools however as we find our programmes growing we are always looking for more schools to take up these worthwhile programmes. We currently have the following programmes available in the West Midlands and are looking for schools to participate: Switch Off Prejudice with a key focus on online digital resilience, Free to Be looking at specific areas of discrimination such as Islamophobia, homophobia and gender identity, and Building A Stronger Britain Together.

For more information and bookings contact Stuart Wilcox directly : stuart@annefrank.org.uk (West Midlands Regional Education Manager, Anne Frank Trust)

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