Update for schools: 1 September 2020

Included in this update is a letter to schools from the Leader of the Council and Cabinet members, information about attendance, Public Health webinars and much more.

Letter from Leader of the Council to all school leaders

Please find attached with this update a letter to Birmingham school leaders from Cllr Ian Ward as well as Cabinet Members Cllr Jayne Francis and Cllr Kate Booth.

Public Health flowchart

A reminder that the Public Health flowchart is on the council website at this link. The latest version clarifies when isolation should end for contacts of a positive case who test negative themselves.

You’ll be aware of some misleading rumours that have circulated on social media recently that in no way reflect how cases will be dealt with at schools. We would encourage schools to publish the link to this flowchart on their websites to reassure families as to how cases will be handled when pupils return.

Pupil Attendance

Schools may be aware that the Education Legal Intervention Team has introduced an interim attendance support process which you can find on the council website at this link. The process aims to support schools where parents do not return their children to school in September.  It particularly focusses on cases where children have previously had good attendance, though there is also guidance on other situations where children are not attending school.

The Department for Education has also published new school attendance guidance, including a Covid addendum for the 2020/21 academic year outlining what actions schools should take, including which registration codes to use, when parents indicate children are self-isolating (or have been told to shield during a local lockdown). The guidance and addendum can be found here and via the BCC school attendance page for schools https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/school-attendance

For any attendance related queries, schools can contact the team via attendance@birmingham.gov.uk

BHealthy webinar series

The Birmingham Public Health team, supported by sector experts and local partners, will be running a series of  free COVID-19 related webinars for leaders and professionals who have a direct reach in to communities and have an established, trusted relationship with them, for example: community leaders, social prescribing link workers and faith leaders. The aim of the webinars is to help you improve your communities’ health and wellbeing and reduce their risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. 

Webinar topics, dates, times and booking links are detailed below:

Introduction to BHealthy

2nd September

12.30 – 1.30pm

Introduction to behaviour change

8th September

12.30 – 1.30pm

Keeping covid safe: handwashing

10th September

12.30 – 1.00pm

Keeping covid safe: visiting friends and family

15th September

12.30 – 1.00pm

Keeping covid safe: testing

17th September

12.30 – 1.00pm

Keeping covid safe: self-isolation

22nd September

12.30 – 1.00pm

Getting mind ready

24th September

12.30 – 1.30pm

Long Term Conditions: diabetes

29th September

12.30 – 1.30pm

Long Term Conditions: high blood pressure

1st October

12.30 – 1.30pm

Long Term Conditions: kidney disease

6th October

12.30 – 1.30pm

Unhealthy habits: smoking

8th October

12.30 – 1.30pm

Healthy eating

13th October

12.30 – 1.30pm

Unhealthy habits: substance misuse

15th October

12.30 – 1.30pm

Get Active

20th October

12.30 – 1.30pm

Unhealthy habits: gambling

22nd October

12.30 – 1.30pm


27th October

12.30 – 1.30pm

Birmingham Public Health has produced BHealthy booklets in a range of languages that are available on the council website at this link. The booklets contain practical tools and tips to help improve your health and wellbeing and reduce your risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19

Home testing kits: Guidance and webinars

Guidance for schools and further education providers on the initial supply of coronavirus test kits has been published. The DfE has confirmed it will be sending schools and further education institutions an initial supply of ten test kits. Deliveries will arrive via Royal Mail special delivery, between 26 August and 7 September. You will receive an email notifying you of your delivery date two days before delivery. If there is no one in your school to receive the delivery, it will be attempted again the following day and they will leave a calling card. After 7 September, if you have not received these test kits, you should phone the Test and Trace helpdesk on 119.

The DfE will be hosting a series of webinars to support schools in understanding how to use these test kits in education settings. These webinars are being run on the following dates and an email will be sent later this week with a sign-up link. We strongly encourage each school to sign up to one of the webinars:

  • Friday 4th September at 11:00-12:00
  • Monday 7th September at 08:00-09:00
  • Tuesday 8th September at 17:00-18:00
  • Wednesday 9th September at 15:30-16:30
  • Thursday 10th September at 16:00-17:00
  • Friday 11th September at 12:30-13:30

What maintained schools must publish online

The DfE has published guidance on the information that schools maintained by their local authorities must publish on their websites.

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