Noticeboard: 10 June 2021

This week's Noticeboard includes a school accessibility survey, the Children's Partnership survey on peer to peer abuse, an update regarding the work of Birmingham Audit, training opportunities and much more.

Included in this update:

School Accessibility survey 2021 

Improving the accessibility of our schools is a key priority for Birmingham City Council. We are particularly interested in the accessibility plan and facilities within schools. We are surveying the mainstream school estate to understand what facilities are currently available and what support schools may need to improve accessibility (e.g. access to funding).In order to gather this information we are asking you to please complete this BeHeard survey regarding accessibility at your school. 

The survey will be available from Monday 14th June until 12th July at https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/people-1/2b879d5f  

This is a survey by Education Infrastructure in collaboration with Physical Disability Support Service.  If you have any queries please contact Kayleigh Hampshire (kayleigh.a.hampshire@birmingham.gov.uk)

REMINDER: Birmingham Children’s Partnership Peer to Peer Abuse survey for schools and colleges 

Schools will be aware that Ofsted is currently undertaking a review of safeguarding policies in schools and colleges in relation to sexual abuse which will look at whether schools and colleges have appropriate processes in place to allow pupils to report sexual abuse concerns freely, knowing these will be taken seriously and dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

In order to ensure that schools and colleges are adequately supported to put appropriate processes in place, Birmingham Children’s Partnership is asking for this survey to be completed by the deadline of 25 June 2021. This survey does not replace the s175/155.

Any schools with queries can contact Micho Moyo, Head of Education Safeguarding (Micho.H.Moyo@birminghamchildrenstrust.co.uk).

Post 16 settings can contact Hannah Redfern, Acting Head of Service, 14-19 Participation and Skills Team (hannah.redfern@birmingham.gov.uk).

The Work of Birmingham Audit

As a Local Authority we have responsibility for the oversight of funding allocated to maintained schools, and we must ensure that robust strategic, and operational, financial management is taking place. 

One of the ways the Local Authority gets assurance that effective financial management is in place is from the work undertaken by the Local Authorities Internal Auditors ‘Birmingham Audit’ and its Schools Visiting Team. The programme of audit reviews in schools provide assurance to the school’s senior management and their Governing Boards and also informs the Local Authority of the effectiveness of financial governance, financial management arrangements, aspects of safeguarding and attendance.

Whilst the work of Birmingham Audit is independent, officers from the Education and Skills Directorate work closely with senior audit staff to ensure their work focusses on key priorities and areas that support service delivery, particularly with regard to schools that may be in financial difficulty. As a result, it has come to my attention that there have been several recent follow up audits, including a city wide follow up review, where there has been insufficient progress in implementing agreed recommendations. This has resulted in the overall risk rating for many of the schools remaining the same as the original audit when we would be expecting them to reduce as controls are improved.

In some instances, this has been because of a difference of interpretation in what quantifies as a fully, partially and not implemented recommendation. Often the reason is because the school has not made the required changes within the mutually agreed timeframe.

I would like to highlight the importance of implementing the recommendations agreed with Birmingham Audit. The recommendations add value by helping schools improved practice and controls, reduce risk and manage finances more effectively. 

It is the Governing Board's responsibility to ensure that any audit recommendations detailed in the final report for their school are fully implemented within the agreed timescales. One way schools can support the Governing Board in achieving this aim is to have the audit report as a standing item on the agenda of Board and Senior Leadership Team meetings until all the recommendations have been implemented.  If you have any concerns regarding the implementation of recommendations made by Birmingham Audit please contact them at the earliest opportunity. 

Regards

Lisa Fraser
Assistant Director, Education and Early Years

Audit Contact Details are below;

September Guarantee 2021 - Deadline 2nd July 2021 

Thank you for returning your Stage 1: Confirmation of Cohort Data Returns. Stage Two: September Guarantee. Pre-populated spreadsheets will be sent out to all schools and training providers w/c 7th June 2021.  Under the September Guarantee, all young people in Years 11 and Year 12 have an entitlement to have received an offer in Post 16 education or training. We will be collecting information from all education and training providers about:

  • All offers made to young people (both internal and external candidates)
  • All offers received by young people currently on your roll.

Please ensure your completed returns are sent back using the encryption software/secure method used to insight@birmingham.gov.uk by Friday 2nd July 2021. If you have not received your data spreadsheet by Friday 11th June 2021, please can you email the 14-19 team urgently at insight@birmingham.gov.uk - ‘No Offer’ Lists and requests for more information:

We will identify and send out a list of your Year 11 and  Year 12 young people who have not received an offer of education or training week commencing 12th July 2021. Responses are required before Friday 16th July 2021. Failure to send in a return can result in the local authority having incorrect information on your cohort which could impact on what data is returned into the Department for Education (DfE) for your institution.        

For more information please see the attached letter. If you have any queries, please contact the 14-19 Participation & Skills Team (insight@birmingham.gov.uk)

Young Green Champions – Online Conversation – 30th June 2021

Naturally Birmingham Future Parks Accelerator. Last year we delivered ‘Education outside the Classroom’ webinars. This year we are continuing to have conversations with primary schools to talk about ‘Young Green Champions’ We are delivering an online conversation on Teams with Primary Schools on 30th June 2021, 4pm – 5pm to discuss our Young Green Champions programme this will include the topics: Grow together - Get moving - Connect with nature -  Learn more - Shout about it!

“this programme has evolved from our Park Stars self-guided activities which we trialled through our Children’s Pilot last year. The Young Green Champions programme pulls work from all our pilot areas together so we are looking not only at young children using parks more but also looking at mental and physical health, learning and skills and growing at home or in schools whether that is indoors or in gardens or school grounds and having a voice for Birmingham as a city of nature”. Schools will have an opportunity to talk about their experiences and ideas of outdoor learning to encourage schools to promote the use of green space and lift barriers and help other schools to overcome barriers of outside education and play.

If you would like to be part of this webinar or know someone who would like to join or have some comments or ideas please contact: Samantha.J.Hall@birminghamchildrenstrust.co.uk

Teen BookTalk at the Library of Birmingham

The Library of Birmingham is approaching you to invite you and your students to participate in a Teen BookTalk project.  The project has already had a successful pilot and fully complies with online safeguarding procedures. Teen BookTalk, will initially be held online, and comprises of the following structure. The first discussion centres round the eBook sample of the chosen book. It is hoped that this will encourage reluctant readers, who would normally be put off by having to read a whole book, to get involved. The second discussion, for those who went on to read the whole book, takes place 2 months later. Both discussions are recorded as a podcast and uploaded to Soundcloud please click on the link here for earlier recordings.

Any Teens who want to take part in future episodes should email the library at  enquiries@libraryofbirmingham.com and put Teen BookTalk in the subject line. Any teacher who would like a group of students to participate in a one-off podcast discussing a whole book they are currently studying, should email the library and put Teen BookTalk CLASS in the subject line - https://childrensmusiclibrary.wordpress.com/2021/05/25/teen-booktalk/       

Health and Safety Training Courses Online - For School Staff – June 2021

Level 3 First aid at Work (Requalification) –7th & 8th June 2021
Date:  7th & 8th June 2021 – Start Time:  9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Cost: £160.00 per delegate
Venue:  Stirchley Baths, Bournville Lane, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2JT
Schools must book online - Website :  https://www.birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk/Event/139440
General Enquiries please Email:   schoolsafety@birmingham.gov.uk
Note:  Due to Covid restrictions no lunch or refreshments will be provided 

Fire Marshall Training – 7th June 2021 (Delivered via Microsoft Teams)
Date: 7th June  2021 – Start Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Cost: £20 per delegate
Venue:  (Delivered via Microsoft Teams)
Schools must book online - Website :  https://www.birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk/Event/139063
General Enquiries please Email:   schoolsafety@birmingham.gov.uk

(MIDAS) Minibus Driving (Refresher course) –15th June  2021
Date:  15th June 2021 – Start Time:  9:30 a.m. to 13:00 p.m.
Cost: £171.00 per delegate
Venue:  Driver Training Centre, Redfern Depot, Kings Road, Tyseley B11 2AB
Schools must book online - Website :  https://www.birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk/Event/139453
General Enquiries please Email:   schoolsafety@birmingham.gov.uk
Note:  Due to Covid restrictions only Refreshments will be provided. No Lunch

(MIDAS) Minibus Driving (Refresher course) – 23rd June 2021
Date:  23rd June 2021 – Start Time:  9:30 a.m. to 13:00 p.m.
Cost: £171.00 per delegate
Venue:  Driver Training Centre, Redfern Depot, Kings Road, Tyseley B11 2AB
Schools must book online - Website :  https://www.birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk/Event/139453
General Enquiries please Email:   schoolsafety@birmingham.gov.uk
Note:  Due to Covid restrictions only Refreshments will be provided. No Lunch

Fire Marshall Training – 28th June  2021 (Delivered via Microsoft Teams)
Date: 28th June 2021 – Start Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Cost: £20 per delegate
Venue:  (Delivered via Microsoft Teams)
Schools must book online - Website :  https://www.birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk/Event/139063
General Enquiries please Email:   schoolsafety@birmingham.gov.uk

Subsidised THRIVE Approach Training – Limited Spaces

James Brindley Academy are delighted to announce that they have been commissioned by Birmingham City Council to deliver THRIVE Approach training to Birmingham schools. The THRIVE Licensed training is experiential and transformational training that provides a deep, practical knowledge of the THRIVE Approach and the underpinning theory and skills required to meet the reparative needs of children and young people with interrupted social and emotional development.
 
What difference does Thrive make?

The impact Thrive has on children and young people and the communities around them has been evidenced in a number of studies. These include: Thrive helps to develop resilience in young people. (Hart and Heaver 2015).  Thrive closes the gap for vulnerable children across a range of measures including attainment, behaviour, relationships, self-confidence and attendance. (McGuire-Snieckus et al 2015). Supplementary evaluations were carried out in 2018 and 2019 that further support these findings. Staff using the Thrive Approach feel more equipped to manage behaviour and better able to support more vulnerable children. (Office for Public Management 2013). Schools that have adopted the Thrive Approach have reported many benefits. These include fewer disruptions in class, reduced exclusions and improved academic results. The knock-on effect of this can be better parent-school relationships and improved staff morale. The impact of Thrive has been picked up by Ofsted and Estyn during school inspections. Inspectors have commented on the use of Thrive to help manage behaviour more effectively, in particular when used for early intervention, helping students to become more open to learning. James Brindley Academy’s Licensed Trainers will be delivering 3 x Licensed Childhood Practitioner Courses (suitable for Primary colleagues) and 3 x Adolescent Thrive Practitioner Courses (suitable for Secondary colleagues) over the next 12 months, with the first Childhood Course commencing on 7th July 2021.
 
Course costs will be heavily subsidised by Birmingham Council. Places will be limited to 12 delegates per course therefore, as we are expecting high demand for these places, we advise that colleagues secure their bookings as soon as possible. Specific information on course costs, course dates and how to book can be found here: THRIVE Training at JBA - Delegates can book directly here - If you have any further queries, please email training@jamesbrindley.org.uk  

Wellbeing Through Sport Primary School Programme

Developed by experts in PE, health and wellbeing, our programme offers a range of courses to help children develop positive physical AND mental health in a way that’s fun. At Wellbeing Through Sport, we’re a team of doctors, psychiatrists, and PE teachers who believe looking after the mind is as important as looking after the body. We’re passionate about health and want to provide children with valuable life skills they’ll need for later life. How it All Works, We’ll provide you with the online training and resources you’ll need to deliver the programmes. All our training is CPD accredited and can be completed at your convenience. From individual programmes, to fun for the whole school, we'll help you run, jump, play think and feel your way to better physical AND mental health! WHOLE SCHOOL PACKAGE SPECIAL OFFER – Only £599 -We’re offering a discount on our Whole School Programme for purchases made before September 2021, so get planning and buy your Whole School Package today!

Benefits of our Programmes: Improved physical and mental health - Develop emotional intelligence and resilience - Fun and empowering - Evidence based accredited CPD - Supports recovery after COVID-19 www.wellbeingthroughsport.co.uk - Dr Libby Artingstall / Dr Sile McDaid - enquiries@wellbeingthroughsport.co.uk

Voluntary, Funded KS2 TA writing moderation session

This funded opportunity for the moderation of writing will provide time and space for supportive professional dialogue between teachers from across the city and offers the potential to support transition conversations. In addition to the funded place, schools may choose to provide an informal opportunity to have a colleague present during the session e.g., Y1, Y3 or Y7 class teachers, who will be able to observe the process of moderation in support of transition. Afternoon surgeries can be booked with lead moderators for follow-up discussions on the day, where necessary. In preparation for online sharing, teachers will need to scan a collection of independent writing (3-4 pieces) for a pupil/s of their choice. Teachers should be prepared to state the current TA judgement based on the evidence provided. IMPORTANT – Funded places are limited to one place per school, for one key stage only. https://www.servicesforeducation.co.uk/our-offer/voluntary-funded-ks2-ta-writing-moderation-session/

Voluntary, Funded KS1 TA writing moderation session

This funded opportunity for the moderation of writing will provide time and space for supportive professional dialogue between teachers from across the city and offers the potential to support transition conversations. In addition to the funded place, schools may choose to provide an informal opportunity to have a colleague present during the session e.g., Y1, Y3 or Y7 class teachers, who will be able to observe the process of moderation in support of transition. Afternoon surgeries can be booked with lead moderators for follow-up discussions on the day, where necessary. In preparation for online sharing, teachers will need to scan a collection of independent writing (3-4 pieces) for a pupil/s of their choice. Teachers should be prepared to state the current TA judgement based on the evidence provided. IMPORTANT – Funded places are limited to one place per school, for one key stage only. https://www.servicesforeducation.co.uk/our-offer/voluntary-funded-ks1-ta-writing-moderation/

EYFS Profile moderation and transition sessions (non-early adopters) – Voluntary, Funded

This funded opportunity will provide time and space for supportive professional moderation dialogue between teachers from across the city and will support Year One transition conversations. The focus of the moderation sessions are the Early Learning Goals for Communication and Language and Literacy. In addition to the funded place, schools may choose to provide an informal opportunity to have a Year One class teacher present who will be able to observe the process of moderation in support of transition.
Afternoon surgeries will provide follow-up discussions where necessary. For the session please have to hand a child’s learning journals (paper or electronic) for ‘Communication and Language’ and ‘Literacy’, these will be used to prompt discussions. Please feel reassured that a lot of your assessments of your child’s learning and development will be from the ‘knowledge you have in your head’. In preparation for online sharing of children’s writing, teachers will need to scan a collection of independent writing (3-4 pieces) for a pupil/s of their choice. (Further guidance will be provided nearer to the session taking place.) IMPORTANT – Funded places are limited to one place per school, for one key stage only. https://www.servicesforeducation.co.uk/our-offer/eyfs-profile-moderation-and-transition-sessions-non-early-adopters-voluntary-funded/

The PIPA Trial – exploring the effectiveness of an online parenting resource

The PIPA Trial is exploring the effectiveness of an online resource for parents/carers to help prevent depression and anxiety in young people. The trial is coordinated by the University of Warwick. We will be recruiting families of young people aged 11-15 years from Birmingham, Coventry and surrounding areas and are collaborating with secondary schools to promote the trial and engage with families. Involvement for schools is very easy and minimal – we will work with a key contact in your school (mental health/safeguarding lead or similar) to sign a letter agreement and send out invitations to families (we will provide all necessary documents).

The PIPA Trial is free of cost to families and schools and is conducted completely online. Parents/carers and young people who are eligible to take part will be asked to complete some questionnaires and will receive access to a range of online parenting resources. This is a great opportunity for schools to get involved in the drive to improve youth mental health and support students and families, particularly during these unprecedented times. If your school is interested in getting involved and would like more information, please contact the trial team:  Email: PIPA@warwick.ac.uk - Phone: 02476574316 or 02476575078 - Website: www.warwick.ac.uk/pipa


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