Update for schools: 28 June 2021

This update includes information about free school meal vouchers for the summer holidays, upcoming education safeguarding training courses and a reminder about a webinar on the proposed new School Admissions Code.

Free school meal vouchers for summer holidays

We are pleased to be able to confirm that we have secured provision of four weeks of supermarket vouchers for children eligible for free school meals over the summer holidays. We are using Sodexo as the provider and will be distributing vouchers to schools and early years settings in the same way as we have been done previously. This voucher scheme will be funded through the government’s COVID Local Support Grant. For Reception to Year 14 each voucher code is worth £60 and for early years children the value is £25.

In order to make the process as streamlined as possible and to ensure that eligible children receive a voucher, we will:

  • Ask schools to complete an online form stating the number of children eligible.  A link to this form will be sent out on Wednesday 30th June and will be available from 30th June to 7th July for schools to complete. The form will ask schools for separate numbers of vouchers required for
    • children eligible under the usual criteria
    • children eligible under the temporary COVID eligibility for families with no recourse to public funds
    • eligible children in nursery provision
  • Match the requests from the online form against the May half term allocations for schools. We may follow up with schools where there is a significant discrepancy in numbers.
  • Allocate voucher codes on the basis of the number requested via the online form.  If no online form has been submitted by a school, we will be contacting schools.
  • Upload voucher codes to Perspective for schools to download by 12th July at the latest.
  • Provide additional vouchers for children who become eligible up to the end of term on 21st July, if requests are received by that date. A form will be provided to request additional vouchers.

We will provide a further communication and a link to the online form on Wednesday 30th June.  We advise schools to collect the information on the numbers of eligible children in readiness for completing the online form on 30th June.

Upcoming education safeguarding training courses

Date

Time

Course title

Description

Wednesday 30th June 2021

3pm-4.30pm

Raising awareness of peer-on-peer abuse

This session will cover:

  • safeguarding children affected by harmful sexual behaviour
  • off and online safety.
  • regional procedures
  • local and national multi-agency protocols and support services
  • Birmingham’s Early Help offer

 

Please follow the link to book your course: https://www.birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk/Event/143890

Tuesday 6th July 2021

11:45am-1:15pm

Complaints management

This session will cover:

  • receiving and responding to allegations, complaints and concerns
  • the key considerations to enable effective management of complaints
  • the important distinction between concerns, allegations and complaints.
  • the policy and legal framework with an emphasis on roles and responsibilities when managing complaints;

 

Please follow the link to book your course:

https://www.birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk/Event/143953

Thursday 15th July 2021

3pm–4pm

Child bereavement

This course aims to help teachers and other education support staff understand childhood loss. It explains different models of bereavement, how bereaved children may act, and what you should do to support them as well as yourself.

 

Please follow the link to book your course:

https://www.birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk/Event/144006

Reminder: School Admissions Code webinar

A proposed new School Admissions Code was laid before parliament in May 2021 and is due to come into force on 1 September 2021. The proposed Code is available at this link.

The proposed Code focusses on in-year school admissions and is in part a result of the findings of the children in need review and recognition of the support required for vulnerable children in the school admissions process. 

The proposed Code requires internationally adopted previously looked after children (IAPLAC), that is children who appear to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in care as a result of being adopted to be given equal first priority in admission arrangements, alongside looked after children (LAC) and children who were previously looked after by English local authorities (PLAC).

There is an urgent action for schools which are their own admission authority who are required to determine a variation to their admission arrangements for 2021/22 and 2022/23 before 31 August 2021 in line with the guidance provided by the DfE’s Admissions Unit. Variations must be conditional on the Code passing through Parliament.

The guidance also explains that schools are required to publish details of how the In-Year admissions process will operate on their website by 31 October 2021.

Other key changes relating to In-Year admissions include:

  • Schools must provide details of places available to the Local Authority within two school days of a request for the information;
  • Schools should aim to notify parents of the outcome of their in-year application within 10 school days, and must notify them in writing within 15 school days;
  • Schools must notify the local authority of the application and its outcome as soon as reasonably practicable, but should aim to do so within two school days;
  • Children referred for placement via the Fair Access Protocol must be allocated a school place within 20 school days.

A webinar for schools to outline the main implications for them of the new School Admissions Code is scheduled for Wednesday 30 June at 2pm. To book a place at the webinar, please use this Eventbrite link and a Teams link will be sent to you ahead of the session.

The presentation and recording from the webinar will be shared with all schools.


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