5 December 2019

This week's Noticeboard includes important information from Birmingham Public Health regarding an increase in reports of suspected norovirus, the latest Early Help and Safeguarding newsletter, information about Birmingham SEND Youth Forum and more.

Included in this update:

Increase in reports of suspected norovirus outbreaks in schools

There has been an increase in reports of suspected norovirus outbreaks from schools in recent weeks.  In view of this, Birmingham Public Health is sharing the following information:

Early Help and Safeguarding Newsletter

A new edition of the Education Safeguarding Team's newsletter is now available.

Contact - EducationSafeguarding@birmingham.gov.uk

Birmingham SEND Youth Forum

Birmingham City Council is delighted to be holding our first SEND young people’s forum.  Listening to the voice of young people is at the heart of all the legislative changes that have taken place over many years. In our view, they are the most central part of how we should be shaping the developments and how we make the best use of our resources going forward.  

We are looking for 12 young people, from Birmingham secondary schools with special educational needs or a disability.  We recognise that they are the experts by experience and their contributions are important to us.  Please share with your students and encourage their participation.
 
Any questions can be raised at youthforum@birmingham.gov.uk.  More information is available via this link.

Outcome of IDL Numeracy Pilot

During the Summer term Pupil and School Support completed a 10 week pilot with the support of Birmingham primary and secondary schools around the intervention provided by International Dyslexia Learning Solutions for numeracy.  This online programme focused on basic mathematical concepts, including the four operations and place value, for pupils identified with Special Educational Needs.

The outcomes indicated accelerated progress for the majority of pupils using Birmingham’s Maths toolkit to track the pupils.  In particular the ‘Number and Place Value’ thread had significant levels of progress, demonstrating quick impact and a method to close the gap for our SEN pupils.

Drilling down into the data for significant groups, the outcome for pupils who are male or have a recorded ethnicity of other pakistani, black caribbean or any other asian background was particularly high.  The full report can be found on the A2E website.

We are beginning a new pilot next term with Lexia specifically aimed at secondary schools aimed at improving literacy skills. 

Further information can be obtained from PSS teachers in your schools or please contact Avril Bull at avril.bull@birmingham.gov.uk 

UNICEF Global Pledge

Ahead of the first ever Global Refugee Forum (GRF) in December, Unicef UK and Refugee Support Network are inviting schools and colleges to pledge their support for refugee and asylum-seeking children.  We want every child, no matter where they are from, to feel safe, welcome and supported in their education.  Please show your support and make sure everyone knows that, in the UK, #SchoolsSayWelcome.  By signing the pledge, you will receive a downloadable certificate, links to resources to support your pledge implementation, and acknowledgement of any tweets that use the hashtag #SchoolsSayWelcome.

Sign the pledge by Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Teachers’ pension employer contribution grant supplementary fund claim process for the 2019 to 2020 financial year

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched the first application window for the teachers’ pension employer contribution grant (TPECG) supplementary fund.  This opened on Monday 2 December 2019 in the DfE Sign-in Account.  To make a claim for supplementary funding, nursery, primary and secondary schools will first need to register with the DfE sign in service.

You can find more information about the supplementary fund online claim form guidance by this link

You can find more information about eligibility for the supplementary fund on the following DfE supplementary fund guidance page

Queries on the claim process should be referred back to the ESFA online enquiry form accessible in the guidance.

Contact - fairfunding@birmingham.gov.uk

G4S cash collections for 2020

For all subscribers of The Procurement Service who use the G4S cash collections contract, please download and complete a 2020 service planner to ensure collections are made in 2020.

For full instructions please click here 

Risk Assessment – Foreseeable misuse

We know as educational establishments and providers you are committed to the provision and maintenance of a working and learning environment that is safe and without risk; and the vast majority of you will have effective systems in place for co-ordinating and ensuring equipment/plant are maintained, risk assessments are undertake and the physical environment is routinely checked and safe. However, can we remind all schools when undertaking checks of their site and undertaking risk assessments to consider foreseeable misuse.

What is Foreseeable Misuse? – This is where something is used in a way in which it was not intended as a result of predictable behaviour by a person.

Examples:

  • If a waste bin or bench is positioned next to a school fence there is a good chance these will be stood on to reach or climb over the top of the fence.
  • A gap has appeared under a fence, created by some animal, it is easy to imagine this being used to get in or out of the school site.
  • High book cases, lockers, wall racking all offer the opportunity of being scaled up and used like ladders and again it is easy to imagine them being used in this way therefore they should be suitably secured.

There are nationally reported accidents of these types and others which have resulted in injuries, therefore it is important when considering hazards/risks at school sites that misuse is considered.

Near misses (something which could have resulted in an injury or damage to the environment and/or equipment but didn’t) can be indicators of misuse.

Example:

  • A member of staff stands on a swivel chair falls off but sustains no injury.
  • A large window with no restrictors has resulted in children getting onto a flat roof, again no injuries.

Further information and guidance about risk assessments along with examples of recent incidents can be found in the Safety Services resource’s pages on the Birmingham Education Support Services (BESS) website.

For any further queries please email: schoolsafety@birmingham.gov.uk


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