Update for schools: 24 April 2020

Today's update contains information about vulnerable children, an extension of the s175 deadline, more contacts in the Children's Trust and resilience funding that is available for families.

Dear colleagues

Vulnerable children

The Department for Education guidance sets out how vulnerable children, including those with EHCPs and children of critical workers, should be supported and what consideration should be given to offering a school place. We know from contact with head teachers, how challenging this has been for many schools and we fully appreciate all the thought, preparation and sheer hard work that has gone into making these arrangements, not only to keep our most vulnerable children safe, but to ensure that the country is still functioning through its critical workers.

As we enter week six of the lockdown, you have been reassessing need as circumstances change for families and we need to keep a central record of the numbers and details of children attending, including those that you consider at risk who are not attending school for whatever reason. We have been asked to collate and report on this data by Ofsted and the Children's Trust, but it is also useful social policy evidence for DfE when we are highlighting issues faced by schools.

The attached form will enable schools to provide details of children, not only in a vulnerable category, but also those that schools consider to be vulnerable that are not in one of those groups.
Whilst it may be time consuming to complete the first return, you will have already assessed your pupils and the form can be updated weekly.

  • Please complete the form retrospectively, from week commencing 20th April and weekly thereafter. 
  • Please complete the first return by 5pm on Tuesday 28th April and subsequent returns by Monday of each week
  • Please securely return your form by EGRESS to education@birmingham.gov.uk
  • The same email address can be used for any queries you have with the form

s175 audit

We would like to make schools aware that the submission date for the section 175 audit has been extended from 30th April 2020 to 29th May 2020. Thank you to all those schools who have submitted completed audits so far.

Children’s Trust Heads of Service / Team Managers

Further to the information shared yesterday with contact details for Birmingham Children’s Trust, contacts for North, West and Central are now also available via the same link.

Resilience funding for families

£1m of new money is now available to directly support individual families through the Covid-19 emergency period.  Resilience funding will be available from Birmingham City Council for families in hardship, for example to buy food, medicines, nappies and other supplies. Or in emergencies to pay for fuel, white goods or internet access.  This is an important part of a coordinated partnership approach which rapidly shifts early help to be delivered in localities, connecting services and communities together.

  • Professionals are asked to check www.birmingham.gov.uk/Covid19CYPF for a referral form, list of locality leads and a mind map of early help available for families.  Referral forms should be submitted to cfhf@bvsc.org
  • Families are asked to contact support workers or schools as a first step to access resilience funding.

This is part of the Birmingham Children’s Partnership response to Covid-19 for our families. Birmingham Children’s Partnership includes Birmingham City Council, Birmingham Children’s Trust, Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and West Midlands Police.

West Midlands Police Partnership Information Form

Police colleagues would like to share the attached form with schools, to monitor any issues that might arise within wider school communities.  If you are concerned about any of the following, please complete and return the form to fib@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk 

  1. Anti-police sentiment across Birmingham
  2. Incidents or sentiment towards anti-lockdown reaction

Thanks for your commitment this week. I hope you have a relaxing weekend.

Kind regards

Tim

Dr Tim O’Neill
Director Education and Skills


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