12 July 2019

This week's Noticeboard includes a message from Tim O'Neill, updated SEND documents and the latest SEND newsletter, information about the decommissioning of BGfL and much more.

Included in this update:

Message from Tim O'Neill

Dear colleagues

On Wednesday it was announced that Dawn Baxendale, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, will be leaving her post to take up a new position as Chief Executive of Christchurch City Council in New Zealand. You can read a statement from the Leader of the Council Councillor Ian Ward here. Dawn has done an excellent job in her time here and will be much missed. I wish her and her family all the best with the move. The council will now start the process for replacing the Chief Executive and I’ll ensure you are kept up to date on any developments with this.
Yesterday was the third annual UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools celebration event at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, definitely a highlight of my time in Birmingham so far. Huge thank you to all the children, young people and schools who took part and performed so confidently. Thanks too to everyone who was involved in the organisation of the event, particularly Razia Butt and Rachel Lockett.

Have a nice weekend.

Kind regards


Tim O'Neill

Updated SEND documents

A refresh of the SEND Strategy and a new SEND Commissioning Framework have been published and are available on the Council website at this link.

If you have any comments, please contact Paul Senior paul.senior@birmingham.gov.uk

Birmingham SEND Monthly Newsletter - Edition 2

The second of a series of monthly SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) newsletters is available at this link.

Contact: - Rob Willoughby, Interim lead for Children’s Improvement, Birmingham Children’s Partnership - rob.willoughby@nhs.net

Decommissioning of the Birmingham Grid for Learning (BGfL) Connectivity Service - April 2020

It has been decided that with effect from 1 April 2020, Birmingham City Council will decommission the Birmingham Grid for Learning Connectivity service as schools can now obtain price competitive and improved connectivity services other than that offered by the BGfL.

What happens now?

Link2ICT can offer and support new arrangements for your school’s connectivity that will save schools money, provide a more efficient service, and a variety of options for growth, which has been negotiated specifically for Birmingham schools.

Link2ICT will write to all affected schools in the autumn term to explain next steps but are more than happy to speak to concerned schools that would like to take immediate action throughout the summer.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: From the 31 March 2020, all schools will be disconnected from the Birmingham Grid for Learning network with no opportunities for renewal.

Please look out for further information from Link2ICT, as this will require some action from yourselves, and in the meantime if you have any questions, please contact your Link2ICT Account Manager for more details.

Link2ICT Account Managers:
Avtar Dhillon – 07766 924208
Opdush Singh – 07766 924270
Justin Winfield - 07825 117392

CONTACT: servicedesk@link2ict.org  

Autumn 2019 Open Sessions for Secondary Transfer/14-19 & Reception Class/Year 2-3 for September 2020 Admissions

All schools were emailed about this process on 17 June 2019.

For the 2020 intake we are pleased to announce that we are continuing to work in partnership with our colleagues at MyEd to support the publicising of school open sessions due to be held this Autumn. Linked Infant and Juniors do not need to hold open sessions for the Year 2-3 2020 intake but the option is there if you would like to.

MyEd is free and independent service that collates a range of information about education for the benefit of schools and parent/carers. This process has been extended to include other important data that parents find valuable when considering school places for their children.

You will also be able to view important information that is collected by the Department for Education and the local council through your MyEd School Dashboard.

You will be asked to complete a quick registration to have access to and edit your school’s information. 

The following steps outline the process to access and submit information that will be made available to parents looking for schools in Birmingham.
You can return to your account as often as you like and revise or update information for your school.

Step one:

  • Go to https://myed.com/register/
  • Fill in your details and ensure that you select yes to register as school admin and submit your registration request
  • MyEd will check the registration details submitted before giving you access so that we can make sure the account is in the right hands.

Step two:

  • Once you are verified you will be sent an email from MyEd confirming the success of your account set up.
  • Follow the link on the email to the login screen
  • Use the details you entered in step one to log in.

Step three:

  • Once you are logged into your account use the menu items on the left to navigate to the open day section.
  • As you go through your account ensure you use the save button at the bottom of each section before continuing.
  • Once you are ready to submit your data, press the submit revision button located on the right hand side of the screen.

Please ensure you liaise with your neighbouring schools to ensure your open session dates do not clash. School Admissions and Fair Access Service and MyEd cannot do this for you.

Parent/carers will be directed to the MyEd website on all the literature that is produced.

Pupil Attendance updates

Emotionally based school refusal: Referrals to Forward Thinking Birmingham and Mental Health Conference

Emotionally based school refusal - Forward Thinking Birmingham have asked that if pupils are showing signs of refusing to attend school because of feelings of anxiety etc., schools should email bwc.stickftb@nhs.net to request a consultation with a STICK worker for advice and support.  This would be for non-urgent cases.

Mental Health Conference - Forward Thinking Birmingham are also involved in a Child and Adolescent mental health and emotional wellbeing conference 'Sometimes It Hurts' organised by the Phase Trust to take place on Saturday 26 October 2019.  To book your place please use this Eventbrite link.


There is a typographic error in the current guidance. The final paragraph on page 10 should read:

‘IMPORTANT INFORMATION. The school should now monitor the child’s attendance.  DO NOT move to Step Four unless, following the Formal Warning Notice, there are at least further 10 sessions of unauthorised absence (see criteria for Step Four for details)’

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

Pupil Premium and Universal Infant Free school Meals Grant allocations for 19/20 made from the EFSA

The Department for Education has confirmed the 2019/20 Pupil Premium Allocations for maintained schools. In addition the DFE have also confirmed final 2018/19 Universal Infant Free School Meal Grant and the provisional 2019/20 grant.

The notification of these allocations have been published on the Birmingham City Council website and can be accessed at this link.

CONTACT: fairfunding@birmingham.gov.uk

VAT Training for Schools: New dates

VAT training sessions for BCC schools to enable you to manage VAT accounting and reporting more effectively within your school will be held on the following dates:

  • Thursday 19 September 2019
  • Wednesday 2 October 2019
  • Wednesday 16 October 2019

The sessions will be held at BCC’s offices at 10 Woodcock Street, Aston, Birmingham, B7 4BL from 9:30am to 1:00pm.  The training will cover the VAT treatment of school meals, school visits, school lettings and sales to pupils, etc.  There will be opportunities to ask questions during the sessions.  Further sessions will be held later in 2019.

This training is compulsory for ALL BCC schools and at least one employee of your school must attend.  There are two places available on the training for each school.  You may choose to nominate an employee of your school, a BCC schools’ finance representative, e.g. from Schools Financial Services, or an external finance adviser as your optional second attendee at the training.

To register your place at the training, please complete the attached form and email it to ALL of the contacts below:

Janet Morritt – Tax Adviser – janet.morritt@birmingham.gov.uk
Leigh Nash - (Business Analyst VAT) – leigh.nash@birmingham.gov.uk
Thomas A Rees – Tax Adviser - thomas.a.rees@birmingham.gov.uk

Channel Desktop Exercise

Safe Space Group – an independent Home Office funded Intervention Provider – in partnership with Birmingham Education Resilience Team, Prevent and Channel, invite you to a desktop exercise simulation based around the Vulnerability Risk for Birmingham Schools.

The half-day event will be based around a simulated multi agency Channel Panel exercise – as frontline statutory providers you will be asked to adopt the role of Channel Panel members, and provided with a real life case study of a young person at risk of radicalisation. You will then be guided to make an assessment of risk based on the Vulnerability Assessment Matrix – which is the same process that is undertaken in a live situation. You will then be asked to rate the risk and to work through the exact process that is undertaken regularly by Birmingham local authority when undertaking vulnerability assessments.

We believe this process will enable schools to better understand how vulnerability is assessed at a local level, and provide participants with the knowledge and awareness to make informed referrals into Prevent and Channel.

Thursday 10th October 2019
1pm - 4pm
Eden Boys School  150 Wellhead Lane Birmingham B42 2SY

This is a free session based on a first come first served priority.

If you are interested please register with Paul Smith (Paul@ssgcic.org) by 4 October 2019.

Procurement Service paper supplier

Since 21 January 2019 Birmingham City Council has been using a recycled photocopier paper called Steinbeis Classic White. There are significant environmental benefits to using this paper, in terms of a 100% saving in wood, as all paper is produced from 100% waste paper and 83% less water and 72% less energy is used in the manufacture of this paper compared to the current Banner branded paper that we previously purchased.  Plus CO2 emissions are 53% less.

In addition to the environmental benefits the Council will save £6.5k per annum by switching to this paper, as the price per box is cheaper and the switch avoids a price increase of 26% on the current Banner branded paper.   

The Steinbeis Paper can be used for virtually all printing and copying needs in daily office life, and is suitable for use on all MFDs and printers.

If you would like to request a free sample of Steinbeis Classic White A4 paper from our contracted suppliers Banner - please email: tina.k.nandra@birmingham.gov.uk


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