Noticeboard: 16 July 2021

This week's Noticeboard includes a letter regarding the Kickstart Scheme, an update from School Admissions, a newsletter for families who use home to school transport and more.

Included in this update:

Birmingham City Council Kickstart Governance

Please find at this link a letter from Craig Scriven, Assistant Director HR Organisational Development, and Ilgun Yusuf, Acting Assistant Director Skills and Employability, that responds to queries that have been received from maintained schools in relation to policy, resourcing and alignment with the council’s commitment to paying the Real Living Wage since 2012.

School Admissions update

  • Closure of transfer rounds – September 2021 intake

Parent/carers will no longer be able to submit applications for Reception Class, Year 2-3, Secondary transfer or Year 10 from 11.59 pm on 31 July 2021.  Any applications received after this date will be managed via the in-year admissions process. School Admissions will continue to process any applications over the summer that have been submitted prior to the end of July.  Schools should ensure to download an updated list of their offers at the end of August 2021 in preparation for the start of the new academic year.

  • Important – Transfer to secondary school September 2022

All Birmingham maintained Primary, Junior and All-Through Schools have been sent letters this week to distribute to their current Year 5 pupils that live in Birmingham and do not have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).  Parent/carers will be able to submit an online application from 1 September 2021 and are encouraged to apply for their child to transfer to Secondary School next year by the national closing date of 31 October 2021. There is key information included in the letter regarding deferred entry and children that are being taught outside of their current year group.  Therefore, it is important that this letter is shared with all children attending your school that are born between 01/09/2010 - 31/08/2011.  Further Information about the application process will be available on the council’s website www.birmingham.gov.uk/schooladmissions from 1 September 2021.

  • Open Sessions – Autumn Term 2021

Please ensure in your planning and preparation for open sessions this Autumn that you pay close attention to your related risk assessments and the current and any updated government policy and public health advice.  If you are intending to deliver physical open sessions you may also want to consider the parallel preparation of virtual opportunities.

Home To School transport newsletter for families

Please find at this link a newsletter to share with families who receive home to school transport.

Travel Assist – 0121 303 4955 (travelassist@birmingham.gov.uk)

Updated model safeguarding and child protection policy: September 2021

The Birmingham Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy has been updated to consider the new developments in legislation and statutory guidance documents (Working together to safeguard children as updated in December 2020 and the latest version of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021). 

The updated policy has also introduced a new Part 3 Quality Assurance, Learning from Cases and Continuous Improvement.

The updated model policy can be accessed via this link.

2021 Religious Festivals

Here is a useful resource for schools to access information on religious festivals across the year.  https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/religious-festivals 

SURVEY: Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment *Deadline 21st July 2021*

On Behalf of Hannah Redfern, Acting Head of Service 14-19 Participation and Skills: The Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership is currently undertaking a survey regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment between children and young people. Earlier this year, the government asked Ofsted to undertake an immediate review of safeguarding policies to look at whether appropriate processes are in place to allow pupils to report sexual abuse concerns freely. Following this review it is likely that there will be a renewed focus from Ofsted during inspections on schools’ and colleges’ recording and analysis of sexual harassment and sexual violence, as well as the measures that are in place to support pupils.

These experiences may or may not have taken place at school. Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership is seeking assurance that the schools listed have given due attention to these issues and have appropriate measures in place to support children. The Partnership will use the responses schools provide to its survey to develop on a multi-agency approach which better meets schools’ and colleges’ needs in relation to sexual violence.We are inviting all educational settings to complete the survey as soon as possible.

The deadline for completion is Wednesday 21st July 2021 - To access the survey please click the following link: https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/childrens-trust/37197d88

Triple Zero City Strategy

The Triple Zero City Strategy is out for consultation and there are less than three weeks left to make sure your voice is heard. The Triple Zero City Strategy is Birmingham City Council’s plan on how they think they should tackle drug and alcohol addiction across Birmingham. They want to aim for: Zero deaths due to drug or alcohol addiction - Zero overdoses due to drug or alcohol addiction- Zero people living with any addiction without the support needed to manage it. The strategy has been developed using data and information gathered from the areas of need in our City and in partnership with Birmingham City Council, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and other statutory partners and service providers. Now the Council would like to take on board the voices and experiences of citizens and stakeholders; this includes all those who live, work, study and/or socialise in Birmingham.

Please complete the consultation by 2nd August using this link and share it widely with your communities and networks.

Respiratory virus surge in children

During the pandemic young children have not been exposed as often to the usual viral illnesses that they would normally develop immunity to. We are therefore expecting more than the usual numbers of viruses in children particularly in the 0-5 age range in the coming months. we are taking this opportunity to circulate material to parents to give advice and confidence on managing a poorly child and to help highlight if your child needs more immediate medical attention.

We have attached four documents to assist you, but always trust your instincts and call for help if you are not sure:

  1. Covering letter to parents - https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/downloads/download/4288/respiratory_surge_-_covering_letter_to_parents
  2. Local guidance with contacts to help you know when to seek advice - https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/downloads/download/4289/parent_information_leaflet
  3. National guidance for under 1s - https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/downloads/download/4290/cough_for_under_1s
  4. National guidance for over 1s - https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/downloads/download/4291/cough_for_over_1s

Birmingham Public Health physical activity survey (for adults living in Birmingham aged over 18)

Birmingham Public Health has launched a new survey to help us learn more about physical activity and inactivity across the city and they would be grateful if you could give them your views here.

"Ahead of the Game" careers support for 2021 leavers

Need some extra help and support for your 2021 leavers to help them to access education, employment or training?

In addition to our RONI offer*, we are pleased to announce that over the summer, Birmingham Careers Service will be hosting a series of webinars for young people (and parents). These bite - size sessions will help young people understand more about their post-16 options. - The first session : "Apprenticeship or Traineeship? You Decide" will take place on 28th July from 2.00 – 2.30pm, and is aimed at 16-19 year-olds (up to 25 with LDD).

It will delve into the differences between Apprenticeships and Traineeships, and explore the benefits of both. We will also look at how to research, and apply for either opportunity. To order a ticket, follow the link: Further sessions covering help and support with choices and opportunities will be held on 13th August and 15th September - details and tickets can be accessed nearer the date on our website - www.birminghamcareersservice.co.uk - *RONI offer - we are still accepting referrals of students you anticipate will be NEET.Details and referral forms are on our website.

The Auditor Summer Edition 2021 Issue 59

The summer 2021 edition of the Auditor newsletter is now available at this link. 

Reception class – catch up support for oral language and early literacy skills

The Department of Education has made up to £8 million available for state-funded schools with reception pupils to access Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI)  in the academic year 2021/22. There has been an incredible sign up for this program by schools in Birmingham, we are hoping that 100% of Birmingham schools will take advantage of this DfE funded programme.  Schools new to NELI can register to receive online training, resources and delivery support at no cost. The programme is typically delivered by teaching assistants to small groups of pupils, and aims to develop children’s oral language and early literacy skills. 

About the research: NELI is a programme that has been found to improve children’s oral language skills.  A recent robust evaluation of the programme in 193 schools, carried out by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) found that reception-age children receiving the NELI programme made the equivalent of + three months additional progress in oral language skills and an additional two months of progress in early reading skills. This evaluation makes it the most well evidence early language programme available to schools in England.

About NELI: NELI is a 20-week programme for children in their reception year who would benefit from additional targeted support to develop their oral language skills.  The programme involves a member of school staff (usually a teaching assistant or early years educator), delivering small group sessions and individual sessions to a targeted group of around three-five pupils. NELI aims to develop children’s vocabulary, listening and narrative skills and in the last ten weeks it also involves activities to develop phonological awareness and early letter-sound knowledge as foundations for early literacy. 

About the DfE funded offer: Due to the popularity of the programme in 2020/21 and the ongoing impact of the pandemic on nursery children's access to education, care and enriching activities, the DfE is committed to providing NELI to more schools and pupils. As part of the DfE funded offer, schools new to NELI could register and receive the full three aspects of the programme: Online training and support for teaching assistants and Reception class teachers - Access to a tablet-based language assessment tool (called Language Screen) Engaging resources to deliver the small group and individual sessions (worth £395)
 
More information is available about NELI on https://www.teachneli.org/. Schools can use the online forms on the website to register themselves to receive the programme with registration closing on the 31st July or when all places have been allocated.

Additionally, there is more information in our recorded webinar briefings about the programme, which you can watch here.


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