Update for schools: 16 April 2020

This update contains guidance about reopening school buildings after a period of closure and the attendance surveys schools have been completing in recent weeks.

UPDATE: Further to the information below about the start of the summer term next week, no school should be opening as normal for all pupils as the national lockdown will still be in place for a number of weeks yet. In accordance with the national guidance, the only pupils attending schools should be vulnerable children and those of critical key workers. It will, however, be helpful for schools to open next week where possible so that numbers of children presenting at schools can be reassessed as many organisations have reassigned staff into critical key worker roles over recent weeks.

Any schools with queries should contact Lisa Fraser, Assistant Director Education and Early Years (lisa.fraser@birmingham.gov.uk).


Dear colleagues

Summer term reopening

As per our previous guidance, we are expecting all schools to open next week so that pupil numbers can be reassessed. Please find attached here guidance from Education Infrastructure for schools to consider when using school buildings and grounds following a period of school closure.

Free school meal vouchers

We are aware that some schools have been experiencing difficulties in accessing vouchers through the DfE’s national scheme. We have been in touch with the DfE who are working hard to address the issues that schools have encountered.

Attendance return

Over the past four weeks, schools have been asked to complete both the DfE and Birmingham City Council attendance survey each day. We are very grateful to all those of you who have filled these out.  It has been incredibly useful and has helped both the council and the DfE to have an overview of numbers and provision in schools. It has also enabled us to plan for potential hubs and to signpost schools to others with which they may wish to collaborate. From Monday 20th April, you will be pleased to hear that you will only need to complete the DfE return, and that the DfE has said this only needs to be done when schools are open to key worker / vulnerable children. The council survey will no longer be required.  Guidance on the DfE attendance return can be found here.  In the future, it is possible that we may need to request further information by survey but we will communicate this with the relevant schools should this become necessary.

Kind regards


Dr Tim O’Neill
Director Education and Skills

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