Update for schools: 6 July 2020

This update includes the September return sessions taking place this week, information regarding unclaimed Birmingham free school meal vouchers and more.

Updated risk assessment for schools

We are updating our risk assessment document following the guidance that was issued by the government on Thursday. We will share the revised document with you tomorrow (Tuesday 7th July). The session taking place on Wednesday afternoon on the school estate (booking details below) will include this updated risk assessment.

September return sessions this week

A reminder that we have arranged sessions to support schools with particular aspects of the planning process for September 2020. Please find information and booking links below:






Safeguarding session

Wednesday 8th July

11am – 12pm

Designated Safeguarding Leads



Alternative provision session

Wednesday 8th July

11am – 12pm

Alternative provision

Book by emailing Michael Innocenti (Michael.Innocenti@birmingham.gov.uk)

Making the most of the school estate (including risk assessments)

Wednesday 8th July

2pm – 3pm

School leaders, site managers and business managers


Governors’ engagement session

Thursday 9th July

1.30pm – 2.30pm

Chairs of Governors and Committees


Reclaiming exceptional costs associated with Covid19

You may be aware that the Department for Education has opened up the opportunity for schools to reclaim exceptional costs associated with Covid19. The link to the guidance and claim is below:


The initial deadline for claims is 21 July and we would encourage schools to make a claim for all applicable costs.

Unclaimed Birmingham free school meal vouchers

We are encouraging schools to contact families to use vouchers that have been issued but not yet used. Sodexo and Birmingham City Council have extended all eVoucher Cheques for parents to 30th August 2020 and these will be available on Perspective from noon on Tuesday 7th July. We will also be sending information to all schools from Sodexo to assist with this process

The DfE has indicated that there will be an additional claim window for exceptional costs in the autumn.  At this time, the Council will work with schools to reclaim, wherever possible, the free school meal voucher costs issued before Easter. You will be aware that the DfE will not allow the council to make claims for exceptional costs directly to them and has confirmed claims must come from schools themselves. DfE rules do allow the Birmingham Easter scheme voucher costs to be reclaimed because the scheme was in place prior to the national scheme being announced.

Given the pressure on the council’s emergency Covid budget and the fact that the DfE will not allow the council to make claims for costs directly to them we believe that schools submitting claims is the best way of maximising resources to the education sector in Birmingham as a whole.  Schools Forum has been made aware of this situation.  We recognise the additional bureaucracy this will entail but would value your support with this.

Webinar on supporting returning pupils and students

The Department for Education, Public Health England and NHS England are hosting a free webinar for school and college staff on 9 July to set out how to support returning pupils and students, and a recording will be available to access online afterwards - see DfE - Supporting pupil and student mental wellbeing for further details. This includes hearing from experts on the impacts of the pandemic on pupils’ mental wellbeing and recovery techniques, and from education leaders about the actions they have been taking.

West Midlands Police: Year 6 Primary Resource for Travelling to Secondary School

West Midlands Police have put together some resources to help your students feel confident to travel and also how to behave responsibly and safely while travelling to and from school.  The resources can be covered in class or as an independent activity for students to complete at home. The resources are:

  • Presentation on travelling safely and responsibly
  • Notes to accompany the presentation
  • Worksheets and plenary work to support the presentation

All are available via this link.

For reassurance/advice on using public transport and what it looks like to travel please find links below to three short YouTube films covering bus, tram and train journeys:-                                                                                     

Any schools with questions or who would like a visit or an assembly regarding Safer Travel can contact Paula Shortland from the WM Police Safer Travel Team (Paula.Shortland@tfwm.org.uk / p.shortland@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk)

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