Update for schools: 6 April 2020

This update contains information about Easter provision, safeguarding for collaborating schools and in-year admissions.

Dear colleagues

Easter provision

We are grateful, not only to the schools that have opened their doors during the Easter break, but in particular, to the schools that have made arrangements to open over the two bank holidays coming up this weekend. The work you are all doing is absolutely crucial to the success of managing Birmingham’s response to the current outbreak and supporting key workers to continue to provide essential services.

As we are all too aware, arrangements change with very little notice, so it is crucial that key workers can continue to access support from schools. Please ensure that you keep lines of communication open for key worker parents who may need support over the holiday period; this may include a dedicated answerphone or message on your website with contact details.  

If your school is unable to open and you need support to broker a place, please get in touch with us by emailing edsi.enquiries@birmingham.gov.uk and mark your email for the attention of Charlotte Behan.

Safeguarding

Today the Education Safeguarding team has published:

  • safeguarding guidance for schools that are entering into collaborative arrangements
  • an addendum to school safeguarding policies that covers the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please take the time to familiarise yourselves with this guidance and the other safeguarding advice for schools available at https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/downloads/download/3384/additional_resources_for_dsls_during_school_closure

In-year admissions

Schools will have continued to receive enquiries from families about making in-year applications for places over the past couple of weeks. To avoid a backlog of these applications when schools fully reopen and to enable families of critical workers and vulnerable children new to Birmingham to access provision it is important that the in-year admissions process continues as normal so far as is possible.

BCC will continue to advise families to approach their local schools to apply for places.  We would expect schools to process applications for places in-year in the usual way but also to advise families that schools are only open for vulnerable children and those of critical workers who cannot remain at home safely. Schools should provide families they offer places to with information/support about learning from home and should process applications for free school meals where appropriate to ensure that families can access supermarket vouchers while the child is not attending school.

If a school processes an in-year application for a place from a key worker family who needs provision or for a vulnerable child, the school should provide this provision if it is open. If the school is closed, they should inform the family of a school where they can access provision. This ‘host’ school should provide provision for the child(ren) as unregistered pupils.

If an open school is approached by a family who have been unable to secure an in-year place due to their local schools being full, and they need provision due to either being key workers or the child being vulnerable, the school should offer provision to the child. This would not mean that the child joins the open school’s roll, they would be attending school provision as an unregistered pupil only .

Any schools with queries as regards ‘school provision’ and access should contact School and Governor Support (school.support@birmingham.gov.uk). For in-year queries please use the existing School Admissions number 0121 216 3621.

Attendance returns

Please continue to complete the attendance returns each day.

Free school meals

The second week of vouchers from Birmingham City Council should be available for schools to download tomorrow afternoon.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kind regards

Tim

Dr Tim O’Neill
Director Education and Skills


Social Links