Update for schools: 24 March 2021

This update includes information about the Local Offer website, RIDDOR reporting, pilot Ofsted Education Inspection Framework inspections and a survey for children and young people.

The Birmingham Local Offer website - Action required to update school websites

The Birmingham Local Offer website is now launched.  It includes information about the wide range of services that are available to support all areas of a child’s life (0-25 years) especially those with a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND).  This includes support with education, physical and mental health, social care, leisure activities and moving towards independence and adulthood. 

Every local authority in England has a duty to provide children and young people, (0-25 years) with support if they have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities - this is known as the Local Offer.  Every local authority has to publish what support is available on a website: this is called the Local Offer Website

This Local Offer website gives information about the support that the local authority expects to be available across education, health and social care. The information on the website is clear and easy to find. It says who a particular service is for, how to apply, and how decisions are made about who gets that service.

The information you should be able to find on a Local Offer Website includes:

  • Sources of support, advice and information for children, young people and families including support groups and forums.
  • Special educational, health and social care provision for children and young people with SEN or disabilities
  • Arrangements to identify and assess children and young people with SEN, including how an assessment can be requested.
  • Other educational provision, for example leisure activities, sports or arts provision,
  • Information about provision to assist in preparing children and young people for adulthood including post-16 education and training provision
  • Arrangements for travel to and from schools, post-16 institutions and early years providers
  • Childcare, including suitable provision for disabled children and those with SEND
  • Support available to young people in higher education, particularly the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) and the process and timescales for making an application for DSA
  • Arrangements for resolving disagreements and for mediation, and details about making complaints

In Birmingham, we have been updating our Local Offer website to make the information in it clearer and easier to find.

Every school and setting has a duty to link to the Local Offer website and so we are now asking that you update the link on your website, along with any other associated documentation, to our new site address www.localofferbirmingham.co.uk.  This should be done as soon as possible.

In addition, we really want to keep adding to the information on the Local Offer Website in order to make it the one stop shop for young people and their families.  To do this we need the views of children, young people, families, schools and settings.  We are therefore asking you to promote this new site to parents using the materials provided and also to share with staff within your school or setting and provide feedback using the feedback form on the site.

RIDDOR reporting

As confirmed in a recent update the Health and Safety Executive has recently issued new guidance clarifying that employers will investigate Covid-19 cases to establish whether there is reasonable evidence of an occupational exposure. Where there is reasonable evidence, the employer is required to report such cases under the RIDDOR legislation and this may include retrospective reporting. Please find below information from BCC’s Safety Services about what this means for schools:

  1. For schools/educational establishments where BCC is the employer
  • Schools should continue to report Covid related absence/attendance to Schools HR in the same way as they currently do.   
  • In some instances some schools may then be contacted by Safety Services by email and provided with a link to a form.  
  • Completion of the form is the simplest and least disruptive method to gather additional information specific to a RIDDOR submission .
  • When the form is completed by the school and submitted it is received by Safety Services who then review the information and if required make the RIDDOR submission to the HSE.

Safety Services make the RIDDOR submissions for the whole of BCC, including schools (where BCC is the employer) – this ensures consistency of reporting and that is captured centrally.

  1. For schools/educational establishments where BCC is not the employer
  • Schools should ensure they have a method for reporting

Safety Services officers are available to support any school in completing the form, or respond to any questions generally - email :  schoolsafety@birmingham.gov.uk.

Equally if any school where BCC is not the employer is unsure of what they need to do regards RIDDOR submissions, Safety Services would be happy to try to help them.

Survey of Children and Young People

Insight Now is working with Birmingham Public Health to assess the impact of coronavirus on children and young people (CYP), and to provide them with up-to-date information tailored to their needs.

Public Health Birmingham intends to create a targeted school/college age-group coronavirus awareness video, with a promotion campaign, and associated resources. To tailor this to the needs of CYP local to Birmingham a survey for CYP to voice their opinions has been set up. Participating schools and colleges will be provided with:

  • Analysis of survey data for your school/college
  • The opportunity to use the awareness video and associated resources.

The survey should only take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Thank you in anticipation of your help and contributions to our project - the outcome will help Birmingham Public Health be better informed and raise the health and well-being of our CYP.

Link to survey: https://viraltopic.co.uk/bcc/?t=staff  

Ofsted Education Inspection Framework (EIF) pilot inspections

Ofsted have been completing EIF pilot inspections. The pilot inspections will help to inform any necessary changes to the inspection handbooks.

Ofsted is now proposing to run a series of ‘practice inspections’ in the week beginning 19 April 2021 and have asked if any Birmingham primary schools would be interested in taking part in a voluntary ‘practice inspection’ of the Education Inspection Framework.

The practice inspections offer an opportunity for HMI to:

  • test out the adaptations made to the inspection handbook as a result of the pilots
  • visit different types of schools.

As with the pilot inspections, practice inspections will:

  • be optional for schools and not affect future inspection activity
  • be on site, though we may incorporate video conferencing if it is pragmatic to do so, for example to meet with governors
  • be tariffed at typical levels
  • last two days
  • have no inspection judgement grades or published reports, though Ofsted may give some verbal high-level feedback to school leaders
  • invite school leaders to feed back to Ofsted about the experience via a questionnaire and optional phone interview.

It is likely that the lead inspector will contact the school on Tuesday 20 April 2021, with the on-site inspection being on 21 and 22 April 2021.

These ‘practice inspections’ will allow Ofsted to make sure they have the right approach when they return to normal routine inspection activity.

Interested primary schools should contact BCC (education@birmingham.gov.uk) or Ofsted directly.

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