19 September 2019

This week's Noticeboard includes a message from Tim O'Neill, the latest DfE guidance on Brexit, information from School and Governor Support regarding closing schools due to bad weather and much more.

Included in this update:

Message from Tim O'Neill

Dear colleagues

You'll find below a link to the latest published advice from the Department for Education regarding Brexit. Please take the time to read the full guidance. We will make sure you are kept up to date with any further advice that is issued for schools from the Department.

You'll also see that School and Governor Support will soon be sending out information about closing schools in bad weather. Hopefully we will not have cause to do that this year but please make sure you have received the email and contact school.support@birmingham.gov.uk if you have any queries about the process to follow.

Earlier this week I was pleased to attend the BEP Board meeting where we had very productive discussions about the future BCC/BEP strategy.

Congratulations once again to Cityserve, Birmingham City Council’s education catering division, who retained its position as Best Catering Service Team at the APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) Awards 2019. The awards, open to all local authorities and their public sector partners, are designed to recognise excellence in local government frontline services across the UK.

Finally thanks to those of you who have already booked places at the conference taking place at Edgbaston in November. The link to book places is below.

Best wishes



DfE guidance on EU exit preparations

Earlier this week we circulated to headteachers a letter from Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System, which included a link to the latest published advice from the Department. Please take the time to read the full guidance at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-exit-no-deal-preparations-for-schools-in-england/eu-exit-no-deal-preparations-for-schools-in-england

We have been advised by the DfE that individual schools should report any issues arising as a result of Brexit to Birmingham City Council for officers to then notify the Department. Please use education@birmingham.gov.uk for this purpose.

Making a decision to close a school in severe weather

On Friday 20th September, an email is being sent to all Birmingham Headteachers by School and Governor Support, confirming this year’s arrangements for closing the school in the event of severe weather. If you do not receive it, please contact School and Governor Support on school.support@birmingham.gov.uk.

In addition, it is important that Governors are aware of this and that HTs have GB authority to make that decision or a named person to discuss it with (usually the Chair).

Contact: school.support@birmingham.gov.uk or Fiona.chamberlain@birmingham.gov.uk

Headteachers' Conference: 25 November 2019

Edgbaston Cricket Club

25th November 2019 - Arrival 12.45pm

Conference starts 1pm and finishes approx 5pm - refreshments will be available. To book your place please go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/birmingham-city-council-8129391167

More information about the agenda will be shared in upcoming Noticeboards. If you have any queries, please contact education@birmingham.gov.uk

Education: Early Help and Safeguarding Newsletter

The first edition of a fortnightly newsletter from the Education Safeguarding team is available at this link. This will complement the information issued in the School Noticeboard.

Contact: EducationSafeguarding@birmingham.gov.uk

Birmingham Children's Partnership: Rix Wiki Champions wanted

As part of the citywide SEND offer, an 18-month pilot scheme commissioned by the Birmingham Children’s Partnership is about to start that uses the digital platform Rix Wiki to support children and young people (0-25 years) and their families to tell and share their story with education, health and care professionals.

Training sessions are available to support staff to become wiki champions. By becoming a Rix Wiki champion, you will be able to promote, enrol, demonstrate and encourage young people and/or their families to use this simple but effective communication tool. You will also be able to support your colleagues to become champions. We are running four training sessions which last for half a day:

More information about Rix Wiki and the training sessions is available via this link.

The Auditor Autumn Edition - Issue 54

The Autumn 2019 edition of the Auditor is available at this link. In this issue you will find important messages, updates, reminders along with advice and guidance.

Channel Desktop Exercise: 10 October 2019

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 at Eden Boys' School, B42 2SY.

This is a free session based on a first come, first served priority.  If you are interested please register with Paul Smith by 4th October 2019 - Paul@ssgcic.org

Provider Agreement – Early Education Entitlement Terms and Conditions of Funding

The revised 2019-202 Early Education Entitlement (EEE) Provider Agreement, and the 2019-2020 Funding Acceptance Form are now available on EYMIS. The EEE Provider Agreement includes the terms and conditions of funding which all early education entitlement providers including Nursery Schools and Schools with nursery classes are required to meet from the 1st September 2019.

The Provider Agreement applies to the:

  • 15 hour entitlement for the most disadvantaged two-year-olds
  • 15 hour entitlement for parents of three and four year olds (the universal entitlement)
  • 30 hours entitlement for working parents of three and four year olds (the extended entitlement).

The Provider Agreement has been developed in partnership with early years providers from the private, voluntary, independent and maintained sectors. The Provider Agreement is intended to bring greater consistency across all early education entitlement providers in Birmingham.  The Provider Agreement has also been developed in line with the Model Agreement Early years provision free of charge and free childcare (2017)

You are now required to read the revised Provider Agreement and confirm your agreement to the conditions by signing and returning the Funding Acceptance Form to NEF@Birmingham.gov.uk by the 27th September 2019.

The Provider Agreement and Funding Acceptance Form can be accessed on EYMIS, in the following folder:

EY Info & Guidance » Early Education Entitlement (EEE) » EEE Provider Agreement (Terms & Conditions & Forms)

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

Understanding two year old take up in schools

To support the narrowing the gap agenda Birmingham is working towards improving early education entitlement take up for two year olds. 

The school census data for 2018-2019 demonstrates that the numbers of two year olds accessing their early education entitlement in school nursery classes is still very low.  To better support outcomes for children we need to better understand the reasons for this low take up in schools. 

To establish a clearer picture of any barriers relating to two year old take up in schools we are requesting each school with a nursery class completes a 2 year old questionnaire.

The questionnaire can be accessed on EYMIS Birmingham:

  • 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 complete and return the questionnaire by email to NEF@Birmingham.gov.uk by 27th September 2019.

Ofsted Big Conversation for Early Years Providers: Friday 18 October 2019

The next West Midlands Ofsted Big Conversation for Early Years Providers is coming up on Friday 18th October 2019 at Birmingham City Football Club, St Andrew's B9 4RL. Tickets are available from Eventbrite via this link.

It is a great opportunity to hear directly from senior Ofsted Inspectors - and even to pose your question directly to them. In addition there will be two keynote speakers on current hot topics for the sector.

Statutory Assessment Support and Moderation

At Services For Education, we also support schools to get prepared for statutory assessment. We can support you to review and develop whole school assessment approaches in line with best practice in Assessment for Learning.

This includes developing the knowledge and awareness of staff members to ensure they are up to date and understand the implications of essential information, guidance, support and updates regarding statutory assessments. 

Our approach is to bring together curriculum design, assessment without levels and recording of pupil attainment.

For further information please visit - https://www.servicesforeducation.co.uk/assessment/

Contact: Denise.harris@servicesforeducation.co.uk

Reminder: Barclays Bank new mailbox

Barclays Bank has advised that schools need to use the email address Client.service3@barclays.com from August 2019 when contacting the bank for any queries/issues relating to school’s Barclays Bank account. The email address Client.service4@barclays.com will no longer be used by Barclays after the end of August 2019.

Please update your contact record and pass this message on to all relevant school staff to ensure that the correct email address is used.

Contact: xiao-ming.hu@birmingham.gov.uk, Schools Finance

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 unfortunately we can no longer subsidise.  It will take place at Hollyfields on Wednesday 15th October 2019. More information on the training course is available via this link.

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.j.langley@birmingham.gov.uk

VAT Training for Schools

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:

  • Wednesday 2 October 2019
  • Wednesday 16 October 2019
  • Wednesday 6 November 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 form attached here 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
Adam Kite – Tax Adviser - adam.kite@birmingham.gov.uk
Thomas A Rees – Tax Adviser - thomas.a.rees@birmingham.gov.uk

Philosophy for Children

New Hall Primary School achieved the Sapere Gold Award for Philosophy for Children in July 2019 - the first school in Birmingham to do so, joining only a handful of other schools in the country. P4C focuses on thinking skills and communal dialogue, aiming to build a community of enquiry, where participants develop the 4Cs - creative, critical, collaborative and caring thinking skills. The P4C approach has been a key driver in improving language and questioning skills, behaviour and relationships and confidence and independence in our pupils.

We are keen to work with any schools wishing to develop P4C, welcoming visits to the school, hosting training and events.

Please contact Samantha Jurczak - s.jurczak@newhall.bham.sch.uk

Medical Needs in Early Years – September 2019 Newsletter

The Medical Needs in Early Years Service delivered by Birmingham Community Health Care (BCHC) Plus 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 and meeting the health requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (EYFS) 2017.  It is important that professionals caring for children in the early years age range (0-5 years) ensure their provision is inclusive so that families with children who have medical needs are not disadvantaged from an under-trained or under-skilled workforce.  As well as the training service, BCHC Plus has produced a newsletter with the latest medical needs updates which you can access via this link. 

Contact: bchcplus@bhamcommunity.nhs.uk

Education Research that Matters: Finding and Reading Research for Teachers

Discover ‘Education Research that Matters’ – a new series of massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by the School of Education at the University of Birmingham in partnership with the Chartered College of Teaching.

From 16 September - 7 October, explore how engaging with research can transform your practice. The course is free and open to teachers working in early years, primary, secondary, further education settings as well as other education professionals working outside of school settings.

The areas of focus for the four weeks of the course will be:
Week 1. How might engaging with research transform your practice?
Week 2. How might you go about locating research to inform your practice?
Week 3. How might you go about selecting the most significant research to engage with?
Week 4. How might you most effectively judge the research you come into contact with and move to implement?
Keep an eye out for our future MOOCs including Ways of Researching (launching in November) and Completing Research in Learning Communities (launching in January)

Please register at this link.


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