Noticeboard: 9 September 2021

This week's Noticeboard includes Public Health posters to support schools, details of upcoming webinars on part-time timetables and ventilation, an update from School Admissions, training courses and more.

Included in this update:

Public Health back to school posters

At Dr Justin Varney’s webinar last week he referred to posters that Birmingham Public Health had produced to support schools this term. The posters are available on the council’s website at this link.

Advice from BCC Health Protection Team

To help support education settings and reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Birmingham City Council Health Protection Response Team (BCC HPRT) expects education settings to:

  • Report all cases via new checklist and case log, even when we notify them of the case.
  • Personal identifiable information should not be shared on checklist or case log.
  • Engage with BCC HPRT to implement additional measures when thresholds are met.

Ventilation webinar for schools: 15 September 2021 2pm-3pm

As mentioned during last week’s webinar with Dr Justin Varney, we have arranged a webinar to support schools with any queries they have about ventilation. Officers from Education Infrastructure, Health and Safety and Acivico will deliver a presentation and answer any questions schools may have.

The session will take place next Wednesday 15th September 2pm – 3pm. To book a place, please use this Eventbrite link and the Teams link will be sent to you ahead of the session. The slides presented and the recording will be shared with all schools after the webinar.

School Admissions Update

Year 7 and 14-19 Admissions - September 2022 - Online admissions opened on 1 September 2021 for Year 7 and 14-19 applications. Parents resident in Birmingham should apply through the Birmingham City Council website up until the deadline of 31 October 2021.  Further information as well as the admission arrangements to support parents with making their preferences can be found on our website.  Advice and support is also available from Children's Services on 0121 303 1888.

Deferred Entry - All Birmingham maintained Primary, Junior and All-Through Schools were sent a letter prior to the end of term in July 2021 to distribute to parents with children due to transfer to secondary school next year and who did not have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This letter contains key information, including important guidance for parents with a child born between 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011, and who had deferred entry agreed at the point they were due to start Reception. If you need a copy of this letter then please email

Further information on the deferred entry process and a form can be found by visting this link.

Part-time timetables webinar: Thursday 16th September 10am – 11am

Following feedback from schools during the pilot last term, the updated ‘Part-time/Reduced Timetable Guidance’ and web notification form are ready to use. Primary and secondary schools should now notify the local authority of all pupils on reduced and part-time timetables and special schools will be required notify the local authority from 20th September.  For schools where reduced and part-time timetables haven’t been used for at least half term, a ‘nil return’ will be required at the end of each half term using the same form.

To support schools with this task, an online webinar has been arranged for Thursday 16th September at 10am.  You can book your place via this link and a Teams link will be sent to you ahead of the session. The webinar will be recorded and the recording and slides will be shared with all schools.

Operation Encompass launch: Wednesday 15th September 2021

As you are aware, Birmingham City Council Education Safeguarding Team and West Midlands Police have been working in collaboration with Birmingham Children’s Trust to launch Operation Encompass across all schools in Birmingham. We are delighted to announce that the initiative has now come to fruition and will officially be launched on Wednesday, 15 September 2021, with two live sessions to which schools are invited to attend.

09:30-10:30 - Session 1:  Operation Encompass Official Launch
Hosted by Micho Moyo, Head of Education Safeguarding, and Emma-Louise Hodgson, Operation Encompass Education Lead, this is an opportunity to hear first-hand from partners who have played key roles in bringing the initiative to Birmingham – including the Operation Encompass founders David and Elisabeth Carney-Haworth, West Midlands Police and Birmingham Children’s Trust. We would appreciate representatives from all schools be part of the official Operation Encompass Launch by booking your place(s) at

12:30-13:30 – Session 2:  Key Adults in Schools and Q&A
This session will focus in more detail on the processes being adopted, including the role of the DA Screening Team, and what you should do in the event of any queries about Operation Encompass.  It will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have. The session will be highly informative, and we would encourage Key Adults to book place(s) at

We do hope you will find the time in your busy diaries to take part, and would like to take the opportunity to thank you for all that you are doing for your children and for those families that are entrusted in your care. If you have any queries in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at, marking your query Operation Encompass Launch in the subject heading.

Notification of Section 77 Consultation: Former Skilts and Oscott Manor sites

Formal consultations will commence on 9th September 2021 to dispose of playing field land at the following former school sites;

  • Former Skilts School site: Gorcott Hill Redditch Worcestershire B98 9ET (vacant from 1st September 2021)
  • Former Oscott Manor School site: Old Oscott Hill, Birmingham, B44 9SP (vacant from 6th January 2022)

If you wish to make comments on either proposal, you may do so through the following websites,

Comments to be received by Thursday 21st October 2021.

Update from Birmingham Virtual School

Support for schools and families from your Education Officer and Support Advisor

As per our schools’ briefings summer 2021 we have changed the way we are delivering our service in order to ensure we achieve the best outcomes we can for our children and young people.  We have  increased staffing - creating four new roles and re-aligned existing posts. These changes are set out in the two letters attached here.

Both your officer and support advisor will be making contact with your designated teacher in the coming weeks. Further details are included in our Autumn Term Designated Teacher Newsletter and we will update further as this work develops through the EPEP notice board and email broadcasts.

Virtual School Headteacher new extended duties as from September 2021

The DFE has announced that from September 2021, Virtual School Heads will be strategic leaders who promote the educational outcomes of children with a social worker. This means there will be a local champion for children with a social worker in every local authority in England. This will ensure that more focus is placed on children with a social worker, targeting support earlier on in these young people’s lives and helping improve how they engage with education. 

This will build on the existing role of a Virtual School Head (VSH), who helps champion improvements to the educational outcomes for children in or on the edge of care, enhancing relationships between schools, colleges and local authorities so that pupils receive support from professionals that will help them develop and progress throughout their time in education. Extending the role of Virtual School Heads delivers on a key recommendation of the Government’s Children in Need review in 2019, which looked at what further support children in need of help and protection may require. The enhanced role will also be central to ensuring that the Government’s education recovery package reaches and benefits children with a social worker, with Virtual School Heads able to advise on the best use of the Recovery Premium to meet their needs and how access to the National Tutoring Programme can improve their outcomes.

VSH’s newly extended role will include additional responsibilities, such as increasing awareness among schools, colleges and social workers, of how education plays a crucial part in the care of these children, improving the visibility of support services for children with a social worker and ensuring Virtual School Heads champion this group in local authority planning.
The guidance on promoting the education of children with a social worker:

  • defines the cohort of children in scope
  • explains what the extended role involves
  • provides direction on how to partner with education settings to improve children’s outcomes

The additional role of the Virtual School Head does not require them to provide direct intervention, help and support for individual children with a social worker or their families. This guidance does not change existing duties for looked-after and previously looked-after children, and should be read in conjunction with statutory guidance 'Promoting the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children'.

Further details are included in our Autumn Term Designated Teacher Newsletter and we will update further as this work develops through the EPEP notice board and email broadcasts.

Careers support for 2021 NEETs

Do you have some 2021 leavers who have not secured a place to continue with their post 16 learning?  Do you have leavers who are not sure what their options are or who could still benefit from some additional careers advice?

Birmingham Careers Service will be hosting the third of its "Future Fest " webinars on Wednesday 15th September from 2pm - 2.30 pm, packed with information on the choices available to young people and advice on how to make to make contact with Birmingham Careers Service and to access free and impartial career guidance.

For bookings please visit -

Birmingham Pride 2021: Walk For Pride 

Birmingham Pride is taking place this September on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th and the LGBT+ & Allies Network want you to join us as we walk in Pride, showcasing how we are all ‘Stronger Together’.

We had an amazing year in 2019, with BCC colleagues from across the council and at all levels celebrating Pride together, and we want this year to be even bigger! The Pride Parade will take place on Saturday 25th September, starting at Victoria Square and then we will walk together making our way to Hurst Street. It is a fantastic day of celebration, colour, and love – and you are invited. The day is fully inclusive, family friendly, and all are welcome - so if you would like to bring a partner, friend, family member, or child to walk with us at Pride make sure to include them when you register below.

To take part, all you need to do is register at the link and we will be in touch with more information closer to Pride Weekend -

Also, make sure to take part in the Stonewall Staff Feedback Questionnaire, which is completely confidential, anonymous, and hosted by Stonewall – Your Voice Matters:  Please follow this unique link for Birmingham City Council employees to complete the survey! -  The intranet link is here

UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award Drop-in Session: 29 September 4pm-5.30pm

This session is a general/informal Q and A session for any schools who achieved Bronze pre 2018 and want to discuss ways forward with RRSA.

Achieving Gold - 23.09.21

with the following details/link

Achieving Gold – 21.10.21
Birmingham UNICEF RRSA, Achieving Gold | Birmingham Education Support Services

Places can be booked at this link.

Citywide Training for Lead Practitioners – Autism and Girls

This course is suitable for practitioners who have undertaken AET Schools/Early Years Good Autism Practice/ Leading Good Autism Practice and who work directly with pupils with Autism including:

SENCOs - Teachers - Other practitioners who work with Autistic pupils. The focus of the session will be: To explore how girls with autism present differently to boys, To consider the current diagnostic process for girls with autism, To look at some of the prevalent needs of girls with autism and how settings can adapt provision to meet needs. Autism and Girls Flyer

Tuesday, 21st October 2021 - 9.00am – 12.30pm

This session will be run via Microsoft Teams/remote training. To secure your place, please booking online via:

Makaton – Level 1 Training

The focus of the session will be: You will learn the signs and symbols from Stages 1, 2 and some of the additional stages of the Core Vocabulary - Discuss commonly asked questions, hints and tips for effective signing and symbol use - How to use Makaton in everyday situations to support effective communication with suggested next steps. 

Day 1: Tuesday 19th October 2021 - Day 2: Wednesday 20th October 2021 -  9.00am – 12.30pm

This session will be run via Microsoft Teams/remote training. To secure your place, please book at this link.


Early Years Citywide Training for Lead Practitioners – Increasing joint attention, play and communication skills

This course is suitable for practitioners who work directly with Early years pupils with Autism and have undertaken School/ Early Years AET Good Autism Practice or Leading Good Autism practice: SENCOs - Nursery Assistants - Teachers - Other practitioners who work with Autistic children. The focus of the session will be: Understand how the areas of difference may affect the development of joint attention, play and language skills, and how to support children with autism to develop shared attention.

Tuesday, 6th October 2021 - 9.00am – 12.30pm

This session will be run via Microsoft Teams/remote training. To secure your place, please book via this link.  

AET Governors' Seminar: Schools Programme for Developing Provision  

The session will consider how educational settings can use the AET programme to:  Raise autism knowledge and awareness within the setting - Support governors and senior leaders to meet and evidence statutory duties under the SEND Code of Practice, Teacher’s Standards, Ofsted Inspection framework, Equality Act - Provide a framework for school improvement and staff professional development.

Thursday, 7th October 2021 - 9.00am – 12.30pm

This session will be run via Microsoft Teams/remote training. To secure your place, please book via this link.  

Services for Education training courses

Text-based Approaches to Writing: Audience and Purpose at the Heart! - Tuesday 21st Sep 2021

The successful teaching of writing is an intricate process that requires careful thought and in-depth subject knowledge. This course will support staff to improve their subject knowledge, develop their approaches to teaching writing and promote reflection. Using engaging high-quality texts, the sessions will dive deep into evidence-based best practice. -

Greater Depth Writing for Year 2 Teachers – Thursday 23rd September 2021: 09.00 – 12.00

A half-day course for teachers in Year 2 which explores the characteristics and needs of the able writer in KS1, looking specifically at working at greater depth within the age-related standard. 


Greater Depth Writing for Year 6 Teachers – Thursday 23rd September 2021: 13.00 – 16.00

A half-day course for teachers in Year 6 which explores the characteristics and needs of the able writer in KS2, looking specifically at working at greater depth within the age-related standard


Year 2 Phonics Check – Autumn Term

A half-day course for teachers in Year 6 which explores the characteristics and needs of the able writer in KS2, looking specifically at working at greater depth within the age-related standard.


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