7 November 2019

This week's Noticeboard includes a message from Tim O'Neill, important pre-election guidance that was issued earlier this week, a reminder about the upcoming headteachers' briefing, information from finance and much more.

Included in this update:

Message from Tim O'Neill

Dear colleagues

Welcome back! Hope you all had a relaxing half-term break.

The pre-election guidance that was sent to headteachers earlier this week is reproduced below. It's really important that all schools consider the implications of the restrictions that apply during the pre-election period that started today. There are contact details for schools to use if there are any queries so please get in touch if there's anything you're unclear about.

We also shared the agenda for the headteachers' briefing taking place in a few weeks. We're really looking forward to seeing lots of you there and it should be a very productive afternoon.

Finally I was pleased to visit Aston University Engineering Academy yesterday. Huge thanks to principal Daniel Locke-Wheaton and the team for their hospitality.

Best wishes



Important Guidance: Pre-election period: (effective from 6 November)

Earlier this week an email was sent to Headteachers' email addresses regarding purdah which has been reproduced below. It's really important that you carefully read the information below and consider the implications on your school.

Purdah is the term used to describe the pre-election period. That is to say, the time between an election being announced and the date the election is held. There are legal restrictions that apply to maintained schools including Council employed school staff and teachers as well as to councillors and officers.

It is very important that you consider any implications for your setting as the consequences can be high if breached.

Although Birmingham City Council’s rules do not apply specifically to academies and free schools, these documents are offered as guidance due the public funding these schools receive and the subsequent responsibilities that come with this.

In Birmingham, purdah started today, Thursday 7th November and will continue through to the close of poll (10pm) on Thursday 12th  December.

The basic principle is that any activity which could call into question political impartiality or give rise to the criticism that public resources are being used for political purposes could lead to challenge during this period. Therefore extra care should be taken that no political or controversial material, such as banners or posters, is displayed on school premises.

The attached guidance provides a more detailed overview but some areas to note include:

  1. School visits by candidates
  2. Use of council resources 
  3. Social media and comments/endorsements by staff
  4. Publicity or support for particular political views

Please can you make sure this is shared with your staff as appropriate. Further guidance on this can be found at https://www.local.gov.uk/our-support/purdah or you can contact Suzanne Dodd Assistant Director & Solicitor - Legal Services Suzanne.Dodd@birmingham.gov.uk or Robert Connelly, (Acting) Returning Officer Robert.Connelly@birmingham.gov.uk.

Subscribing schools can also contact School and Governor Support (school.support@birmingham.gov.uk).

Headteacher briefing: 25th November 2019

The agenda for the upcoming briefing was shared with Headteachers earlier this week. Places can be booked at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/birmingham-city-council-8129391167

Transforming our city – a child-friendly Birmingham
Exploring themes of equality, inclusion and raising attainment for children and young people in Birmingham


  • Driving standards in an inclusive school: Edison David, Headteacher Granton Primary School, South East London
  • Discrimination in schools: the law and common issues: Tom Cross, Barrister and specialist in education law
  • Rights Respecting Schools and the move towards Child Friendly City status: Tim O’Neill and representatives from UNICEF UK
  • Birmingham 2022: Building an education legacy programme for the Commonwealth Games: Representatives from Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee and Birmingham City Council

Edgbaston Cricket Ground

25th November 2019 - Arrival 12.45pm

The briefing will start 1pm and finish at 5pm - refreshments will be available on arrival.

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

Early Help and Safeguarding Newsletter

The Education Safeguarding team's fortnightly newsletter is available at this link https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/downloads/download/2883/education_early_help_and_safeguarding_newsletters

School Funding Briefing/Consultation 2020/21

Looking forward to 2020/21 the school funding briefing /consultation document:

  1. Summarises the key national changes in 2020/21.
  2. Models the impact of the changes for individual primary and secondary schools.
  3. Invites feedback from schools by 29th November 2019.

The consultation document may be accessed via this link.  

All responses should be sent by email to: fairfunding@birmingham.gov.uk

PE & Sports Premium Grant Updated Allocations 2019/20

The Department for Education has determined the PE & Sports Premium Grant allocations for the 2019/20 academic year (AY); this has allowed the LA to update the 2019/20 financial year allocations for maintained schools delivering primary provision. The academic year 2019 to 2020 is split into two payments. Schools will receive 7/12th of their allocation in the financial year 2019-20 (as notified in the attached) and the remaining 5/12th in the financial year 2020-21. The second payment to local authorities will be made in April 2020.

The notification of this updated allocation has been published on the Birmingham City Council website and may be accessed via this link.

Contact: fairfunding@birmingham.gov.uk

Schools Financial Value Standard

The Department for Education has made some changes to the Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) for 2019/20 which schools need to be aware of when completing their SFVS Self-Assessment Report.

 The main changes are as follows:-

  • There are now 29 questions contained within the SFVS Checklist which Governing  Boards must formally discuss with the Head Teacher and finance staff.
  • The Checklist now includes a Dashboard (Question 29) which aims to show how a schools data compares to thresholds on a range of statistics identified by the Department of Education as indicators of good  resource management and the outcomes.
  • The SFVS Self-Assessment Report is now an electronic document that provides schools with links to more detailed guidance for understanding each of the 29 questions as well as what is deemed to  be good practice and the actions to take if things are not right in your school. 
  • The electronic SFVS Self-Assessment Report includes a specific tab for the Dashboard which also provides links to more detailed guidance on how to complete each section of the Dashboard.  Schools are advised to use the most up to date data available to them for this exercise.

The SFVS Self-Assessment Form, together with the suggested evidence for each question within the SFVS, can be accessed on the Birmingham Education Support Services website here.

A range of templates for the documents that need to be completed as part of the SFVS are also available for schools to use on the Birmingham Education Support Services website here.

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 Monday 25th November 2019: Places can be booked through the Birmingham Education Support Services website 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: www.thepactgroup.co.uk

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: Attendance@birmingham.gov.uk

Procurement Autumn Term News & updates

You can view a copy of the latest newsletter by visiting : https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/downloads/download/3083/procurement_service_newsletter

Autumn Term 2019 Training for schools

Educational Visits Co-ordinator Training : Mon, 11 Nov 2019 09:15 - 16:15
Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid : Mon, 11 Nov 2019 09:30 - 16:30
Food Safety Online- Level 2 : Mon, 11 Nov 2019 13:00 - 17:00
Allergen Awareness Training : Tue, 12 Nov 2019 14:00 - 16:30
Safeguarding Role of the Governing Board : Tue, 12 Nov 2019 18:15 - 20:15
Road Stars - FREE training sessions on Road Safety and What We Can Do to Make Our Roads Safer
Sustainable Travel and Road Safety : Wed, 13 Nov 2019 13:30 - 15:30
Safeguarding Conference -AM or PM : Thu, 14 Nov 2019 08:00 - 12:00 or 13:00 – 17:00
Budget Management Training (2 day course) : Thu, 14 Nov 2019 09:15 - 15:30
Level 3 - Paediatric First Aid Course - 14th & 15th November  (2 day course)
Induction Training for New School Governors : Sat, 16 Nov 2019 09:00 - 16:00
OFSTED - Creating a Culture of Safeguarding - Prevent in Education + QA : Mon, 18 Nov 2019 16:00 - 18:00
(MIDAS) Minibus Driving (Refresher) : Tue, 19 Nov 2019 09:30 - 13:00
School Aged Violence Education : Tue, 19 Nov 2019 13:00 - 15:00
HR Portal Form Raiser Training : Wed, 20 Nov 2019 08:45 - 15:30
Introduction to School Finance : Wed, 20 Nov 2019 18:15 - 20:15
Introduction to Chairing a Governing Board : Thu, 21 Nov 2019 18:15 - 20:15
Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work - 26th,27th,28th November 2019 (3 day course)
Dangers of the Affects of Drugs and Substance Abuse in Young People : Tue, 26 Nov 2019 13:00 - 15:00
Role of the SEND School Governor: Tue, 26 Nov 2019 18:15 - 20:15
Cognitive Behavioural Approaches: Supporting emotional wellbeing: Wed, 27 Nov 2019 09:30 - 12:30
Providing Effective Challenge : Thu, 28 Nov 2019 18:15 - 20:15

(MIDAS) Minibus Driving (Full) :Tue, 03 Dec 2019 09:30 - 15:30
Ambitious Curriculum and Cultural Capital for all : Tue, 03 Dec 2019 18:15 - 20:15
Food Safety Online- Level 2 : Mon, 09 Dec 2019 13:00 - 17:00
Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP) : Tue, 10 Dec 2019 09:30 - 12:00
(MIDAS) Minibus Driving (Refresher) :Wed, 11 Dec 2019 09:30 - 13:00
Dangers of XFR Extremism : Thu, 12 Dec 2019 10:00 - 13:00
Understanding Your Role in Safeguarding Girls, Engaging Parents and Teaching About FGM : Mon, 16 Dec 2019 10:00 - 13:00

View our full calendar of training & events here : http://www.birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk/Training

Birmingham Smithfield Market Design School Competition

Please see the attached information about our exciting Market Design Competition for Birmingham Smithfield. We are looking for entries from Year 5 & Year 8 students.

Given Birmingham’s rich history in relation to the Markets, this competition is based around the opportunity to help us deliver a Market which is fit for the future and appealing to children and young people.
We would like you to use the information attached, along with your own research to produce a design for the new Market area. We want the designs to be ambitious to create something new, exciting and unique which will showcase the new Birmingham Markets as world class.

The winning entry will receive a financial contribution for technology of their choice for their school.  This will be agreed with Lendlease. The team from the winning school will also be invited to be part of a ‘Young Market Design Group’ which will help Lendlease to ensure that the new Market remains an inviting place for children and young people in the city and to see how some of the winning ideas could be incorporated into the final design of the Market. 

The deadline has been extended to Friday 8th November at 5pm. Best of luck!

The Birmingham Smithfield Project Team

Christmas Trees for Schools

It is never to early to talk about Christmas and there`s nothing like a real tree to get pupils and staff into the spirit! Our award winning Floral Decorating Team are already busy preparing this year's Christmas trees for schools.

Fully decorated trees supplied by Birmingham City Council's award winning team. Delivery & Removal included.  1 - 4M sizes available. Order your tree by 22nd November 2019. 

Find out more on the Birmingham Education Support Services website here.  

For a quote please contact us on 0121 464 0422 or email floraldecorations@birmingham.gov.uk

University of Birmingham Research Project

The University of Birmingham is inviting secondary schools to take part in an important research project looking at the experiences of young people, aged 11-16, with separated parents. It will specifically explore their experiences of travelling and transitioning between their parents’ houses.

Pupils who want to be involved will be invited to take part in two interviews, including mapping and picture-taking activities. These interviews would take place within the school. I would therefore need support in delivering and collecting information sheets and consent forms and organising interviews.

The research will inform practical advice and resources for separated families, schools and family-support charities. The research therefore has the potential to help schools best support their students with separated parents, contributing to pupil well-being and helping to manage barriers to learning - all through drawing on child-led research. Findings and resources would be shared with the school at the end of the research.

This research is being conducted by PhD researcher Amy Walker and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Please contact the researcher for more information (A.L.WALKER.1@pgr.bham.ac.uk or 07419 776 727). This research has received full ethical approval from the University of Birmingham.

The PIPA Trial – exploring the effectiveness of an online parenting resource

The PIPA Trial is exploring the effectiveness of an online resource for parents/carers to help reduce depression and anxiety in young people. The trial is being coordinated by the University of Warwick and we will be recruiting families of young people aged 11-15 years from Birmingham, Coventry and surrounding areas.

We are looking at collaborating with schools in order to promote the trial and engage with families. We will have a key contact with schools and this could be the mental health/safeguarding lead or similar. We will provide all necessary information materials for schools to provide to families.

The trial is conducted completely online. Eligible parents/carers & young people will be asked to complete some questionnaires and will receive access to online parenting resources.

This is a great opportunity for schools to get involved in the drive to improve youth mental health and support their students and families. If your school is interested in getting involved and would like more information, please contact the PIPA Trial Team at PIPA@warwick.ac.uk or 02476 574 316 / 02476 575 078.

Osteology live: Free archaeology KS3 workshops

MOLA Headland Infrastructure is pleased to offer FREE KS3 workshops to Birmingham schools regarding the archaeology excavations at Park Street on behalf of High Speed Two (HS2).  Delivered live through a Skype link, this workshop will be delivered by specialists from our team who will also be able to answer questions.  All schools will need are a good internet connection, classroom space and good speakers.  The workshop has been designed in line with the National Curriculum for KS3 science but also has links to local history.
Osteology live: Through this one-hour long workshop, students will be led by osteologists (bone specialists) to carefully examine a teaching skeleton to understand how we can learn about people hundreds of years ago, in terms of their age, height and biological sex.  Working with our specialists, students will go through the process of examining and recording skeletal remains.  There will be time at the end for questions.
Workshops are limited and will be available during the following weeks during autumn 2019.  They will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis to KS3 science or history classes:

  • Tuesday 12th – Thursday 14th November
  • Tuesday 19th – Thursday 21st November

This is to allow us sufficient time to send materials out to your schools and receive them back.

For further details or to book, please email aalmeida@molaheadland.com


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