Update for schools: 7 August 2020

This update includes the updated risk assessment and Public Health flowchart as well as information from Birmingham Children's Partnership and Severn Trent.

Risk assessment for full reopening

An updated version of the risk assessment has been published on our website and you can access it via this link. The changes that have been made to this version are listed in the table on p8.

Public Health flowchart

An updated version of the Public Health flowchart for schools has been published on our website and you can access it via this link. This updated flowchart has amended the self-isolation period from 7 to 10 days as per recent change in government guidance.

Model safeguarding policy

The model safeguarding policy is currently being updated and will be shared with schools next week.

Birmingham Children’s Partnership: From Birmingham with Love

We’ve all been through a tough time with Covid-19 and lockdown. For many families it doesn’t get easier during the summer holidays, which is why we’re here to help. Here are some of our partners’ most used services and support, which might make life a little bit easier…

  1. Online parenting course. We’ve pre-paid for every parent in Birmingham to access a parenting course. Just enter the access code “COMMUNITY” at the top of the page to claim. There are courses for parents, carers and grandparents of children from bump to 19. Learn about how your child develops, and get tips to manage their behaviour.
  2. Mental health support. In these difficult times we have to look after our mental health. For young people aged 11-25 there are forums, guides and counselling available at Kooth. If your child 0-25 needs support, get in touch with Pause by calling 0207 841 4470 or email. Adults can get support from MIND by calling 0121 262 3555. Or for urgent help call Forward Thinking Birmingham on 0300 300 0099.
  3. Financial help. If you’ve lost your job, or are struggling for food or rent there are services that can help. Local welfare provision can make a big difference if you are in a crisis and need food, fuel or basic white goods. Discretionary Housing Payments may be able to help with rent. And there are food banks across Birmingham that are here to help.
  4. Domestic abuse. For women and children affected by domestic abuse please see guidance or confidentially contact Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid. For Men, please contact Respect.
  5. Problems with drugs or alcohol. A new, discrete app called Staying Free is available on Android or Apple. Use the code “birmingham11” for pre-paid access. To speak to someone call Change Grow Live.
  6. Bereavement support. It’s a terrible time to lose a loved one — you can get help by calling 0121 687 8010 or from Cruse.
  7. Early help for families. If anyone in your family needs more help, from public services or community groups, then please contact our voluntary sector local leads. We have ten areas which can connect you to support across the city.

If you are worried about a child, please call Birmingham’s Children's Advice and Support Service on 0121 303 1888. In an emergency, including child abuse, contact the Police on 999. You can also chat to the Police.

Message from Severn Trent for Head Teachers and Chairs of Governors re Severn Trent water sampling: Protecting our Schools from Lead

I wanted to confirm the work we’re doing in partnership with your local authority to protect our schools from lead.   We’re committed to continually improving the quality of water we provide. To achieve this, we are carrying out an extensive water quality sampling programme to help identify and replace old historical lead water pipes connected to our network.

Although the water we provide is virtually lead-free, lead can sometimes get into your water supply as it passes through internal plumbing systems or from a lead pipe that connects the property to our mains water distribution pipe (located in the public highway). Please note, none of our mains water pipes are made from lead.

There are very strict regulations concerning the amount of lead allowed in drinking water – the current drinking water standard states no more than 10 micrograms per litre (parts per billion) as set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). However, we understand that this is likely to reduce even further to 5 micrograms per litre in the near future.

Exposure to significant quantities of lead above the legal limit can be harmful to health, especially for unborn babies and young children. Although low levels of exposure maybe deemed safe, we want to do everything we can, in partnership with local authorities and schools, to identify and reduce lead levels even further.

What this means for you

Due to the nature of our work, we require access to the school premises to collect the necessary water quality samples, preferably first thing in the morning, between 7:00-7:30am.  This will ensure we can minimise contact with others and complete our work before the school opens.  Our Quality Technician will need to take water quality samples from a selection of internal mains fed taps used for food preparation and drinking purposes.  For example: water from a mains fed tap located in the kitchen, staffroom, classroom and/or designated drinking water fountain.           

During the visit our staff will adhere to all current Government social distancing practices (staying two metre apart) wear the correct PPE and follow good hygiene rules.

On average we take a total of five separate water quality samples and this process takes between 20-30mins to complete. Once the samples have been taken they are sent to our UKAS accredited Laboratories for analysis and the results will then be shared with you and the local authority.

What happens if we find lead pipes?

On the rare occasions that elevated lead levels are identified, we will work with you and the local authority to make sure the issue is resolved as quickly as possible.  If an internal plumbing inspection is deemed necessary, our Water Fitting Regulations team will provide you with a list of recommendations and all of the necessary support to ensure you’re able to reduce the amount of lead in the drinking water and to legally comply with current legislation.

Where can I get more information?

For more information and advice about lead in drinking water and how to identify and replace any lead pipes in your property, please visit our website at: www.stwater.co.uk/my-supply/tap-water/my-water-pipes/lead-replacement-scheme or get in touch with me directly (Lee Rawlings [EngTech] MCIPHE RHP, Telephone: 0345 266 7922, Email: lee.rawlings@severntrent.co.uk)

Thank you in advance for your support regarding this matter.


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