10 May 2019

This week's Noticeboard includes a message from Tim O'Neill, details of the conference taking place next month, information about children missing from education, this year's UK Youth Parliament Make Your Mark campaign and much more.

Included in this update:

Message from Tim O'Neill

Dear colleagues

I was pleased to be able to share with you the details of the upcoming conference we are hosting for education leaders across the city. The invitation is for headteachers and Chairs of Governors and it should be a very productive afternoon. There's some more information and the booking link below and we'll share a more detailed agenda nearer the time.

Earlier this week the Knife Angel (pictured below) arrived at Victoria Square outside the Council House. Produced by the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, 100,000 weapons removed from UK streets have been constructed into a 27ft tall Angel that is in Birmingham as part of a UK tour. It will be here until 5 June as a representation of the city’s unified determination to address knife crime and to cement Birmingham’s reputation as a city of peace and reconciliation. The Knife Angel is really impressive and its presence in Birmingham provides an opportunity for schools, youth groups and community organisations to talk about issues linked to violence and aggression, and how to address those. If you are looking to bring a group to visit or stage any activity around the Knife Angel, please contact the City Centre Management Team at citycentre@birmingham.gov.uk

Knife Angel

Have a lovely weekend


Dr Tim O'Neill
Director Education and Skills

Conference: Monday 24 June

Earlier this week Dr Tim O'Neill sent details of a conference taking place on Monday 24 June. This event will look at the draft set of priorities which will shape the Education and Skills Directorate plan, address current issues faced across the city and look at how in partnership we can improve outcomes for children and young people.

The afternoon will contain a mix of presentations and discussion with inputs from the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills Cllr Jayne Francis, Director Education and Skills Dr Tim O'Neill and others.

Places can be booked at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/moving-towards-a-self-improving-system-tickets-61589605167

If you have any queries about the event, please contact education@birmingham.gov.uk

Happy Healthy Holidays

Happy Healthy Holidays is a city-wide initiative to support, coordinate and fund the delivery of much needed free holiday food and fun activities for children this summer across all of Birmingham's ten districts.

Funded by the Department for Education, Happy Healthy Holidays aims to increase and improve the quality of holiday provision with food where it is most needed. Its purpose is to help those families that find the summer particularly challenging in terms of being able to access affordable healthy food and fun physical activities. This includes the city's 49,714 children that are eligible for free school meals.

As part of the programme we are launching a new city-wide funding and support package scheme for projects that promote Happy Healthy Holiday activities with a food component for school-aged children and young people.

If your organisation can provide holiday places for children this summer, then we want to hear from you!

We are looking to work with a range of providers including; schools, nurseries, children centres, youth organisations, community centres and many other settings.

We are also campaigning for a 'call to action' from local residents and businesses to volunteer and support the programme in whatever capacity they can. This might mean simply helping to spread the word and raise awareness of the programme, through to active involvement and lending a hand at community settings to support delivery.

If you are interested in learning more about the programme and discover how you can apply for funding and support scheme please call 0121 296 5190 or email us at grants@sportbirmingham.org

Further information can be found at https://www.sportbirmingham.org/hhh

Children Missing from Education

The Modern Day Slavery Act 2015 places a duty on all local authorities, including services that are commissioned by them, to support people who are drawn into modern slavery in which people are exploited for gain. Unfortunately, increasing numbers of children, young people and vulnerable adults are being exploited in this way by organised crime groups who groom and  recruit  people for the purpose of them selling drugs, firearms or sex on their behalf.

The most effective way of preventing children becoming involved in criminal exploitation and gangs is early identification and intervention. Here are some of the indicators that could alert someone in school that a child is being criminally exploited:-

  • Unexplained absences from, or not engaged in school, college or training
  • Increasingly hostile, physically destructive and aggressive at school or home.
  • Returns from absences with injuries or dishevelled.
  • Unexplained amounts of money, clothing, jewellery, and mobile phones.
  • Use of sexualised language and language in relation to drug dealing and or violence
  • Tiredness/drowsiness in class.

If you suspect or believe that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm or any form of mistreatment or abuse, you should report your concerns immediately to the Police and the Children's Advice & Support Service (CASS). Tel: 0121 303 1888

The Childrens Society can offer support to schools with these matters through one to one engagement with individual pupils and in terms of supporting the development of a whole school approach.

Contact: Nichola.Mosey@childrenssociety.org.uk  &  zara.mcdonald@childrenssociety.org.uk or  sara@peacemakers.org.uk for a whole school approach.

Cash Advance letter & Instalment Schedule 2019-20 to Full Cheque Book schools

For Action - At the beginning of each financial year, all cheque book schools are notified of the Instalment cash advances for the school and schedule of monthly advances. This link is to the document with the summary of the cash advances, schedule of payments and financial return requirements.

Schools must ensure all arrangements are in place to meet the requirements outlined in the letter which is part of the linked documents.

Contact: Xiao-Ming, Senior Business Analyst (0121 675 7776)

UK Youth Parliament Make Your Mark

Further to the e-mail sent out to all school last week, Thomas Muirhead and Darnish Amraz from Birmingham Youth Service are inviting all schools in Birmingham to take part in the Make your Mark Campaign. The Campaign involves getting young people aged 11-18 to participate in a UK wide democratic process.

 More information is available on the UK Youth Parliament website at http://www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk/makeyourmark/

Make Your Mark gives a unique opportunity to reach out to young people who go on to be opinion formers and leaders of the future. This year, through School, Colleges, Youth Centre, and through our grassroots we’ll be reaching out to young people to ensure they have a voice that will be heard. We would like all schools in Birmingham to be involved in the Make your Mark process so young people have an opportunity to participate in this democratic process.

Last year a total of 1.1 Million young people from every corner of the country took part in the annual Make Your Mark ballot. The ballot will decide what Members of the UK Youth Parliament will debate on for 2019. The debate will take place in November 2019 within the House of Commons. We would really appreciate your support on this campaign and look forward to hearing from you.

Contact:  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Darnish or Tom on 07885 235 935 or 0121 675 3129 or darnish.amraz@birmingham.gov.uk or Thomas.t.muirhead@birmingham.gov.uk

School Organisation Proposal: Colebourne Primary School

Birmingham City Council, as the Local Authority for Birmingham, is conducting a formal consultation to make the following changes to Colebourne Primary School (a community school).

  • Alter the lower age limit from age 4 to become age 3 with effect from 1st September 2019.

This proposal would result in an age range of 3 - 11 years, which would add nursery provision to Colebourne Primary School. The formal consultation on the addition of nursery provision will run from 9th May to 5th June 2019.

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

Contact : Mary Lowe, School Organisation Officer (0121 303 8847 edsi.enquiries@birmingham.gov.uk)

Post 16 Parental Engagement Survey

The Post 16 Parental Engagement Survey is now live at https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/people-1/post-16-parental-engagement-survey-2

Please encourage as many parents as possible to participate. We want to target KS4 and KS5 parents in particular.

Contact : 14-19 Full Participation and Skills Service (0121 675 0157)

Amalgamation of Wilkes Green Infant and Wilkes Green Junior: William Murdoch Primary School

The amalgamation of Wilkes Green Infant School and Wilkes Green Junior School took effect from 1 May 2019.  The amalgamation involves the closure of the Infant School and the expansion of the Junior School.  The single school will cover the age range 3-11 years.  With the support of the Handsworth Historical Society, research into the origins of the existing school name identified Wilkes Green Farm but this was on the site of Rookery Road School.  Hence alternative names were researched before setting on William Murdoch Primary School.

William Murdoch, alongside James Watt and Matthew Boulton, pioneered the industrial revolution in the late 18th century.  To this clever Scotsman belongs the honour of constructing the first steam engine that ever moved on wheels in England and inventing coal-gas lighting.  He also carried out a number of experiments with compressed air and developed the first pneumatic message system.  All three men are buried in St Mary's Church, Handsworth.

This change represents a brilliant opportunity for both schools to celebrate their past but at the same time benefit from a new beginning.  We look forward to working with you as the newly formed William Murdoch Primary School.

Contact: Mangal Singh, Executive Head Teacher (0121 554 0999 m.singh@wilkgrnj.bham.sch.uk)

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