WE3 Family of schools

Temporary exemption for school-procured vehicles used for home-to-school transport

As you may be aware, the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000 (PSVAR) require buses and coaches designed to carry over 22 passengers on local and scheduled routes to incorporate features to enable disabled people to travel on them comfortably and safely, including a wheelchair space and a ramp or lift. 

Unless they meet the requirements of a relevant statutory exemption, any home-to-school service on which some, or all, of the seats are sold (rather than provided free of charge) are covered by the provisions of PSVAR and need to have complied with the regulations by 1 January 2020. 

It is the responsibility of an operator, or organisations commissioning services, to ensure they are complying with the law.  This exemption is not available for services procured by a local authority to fulfil a statutory duty.

For schools and colleges that procure their own home-to-school transport, the government is offering a temporary ‘School Procured’ exemption for vehicles providing home-to-school transport services, irrespective of the number of passengers who pay a fare. The temporary exemption will run until 31 July 2020 and is intended to provide schools with sufficient time to procure services for the 2020/21 academic year which comply with PSVAR.

Please refer to the following letter and application form for more information regarding the ‘School Procured’ exemption.  Where a school would like to apply for an exemption, the completed form will need to be emailed to HomeToSchoolExemptions@dft.gov.uk by 31 January 2020.

Exemption Application Letter

Exemption Application Form

Encourage pupils to have a school meal on Census Day

Educaterers staff

Next Thursday (16 January) is Census Day, so you may wish to work with your school catering team to encourage pupils to order a school meal to boost your future school funding.

Schools across Warwickshire will take part in the January census, which collects information about schools’ pupils and workforce, such as attendance figures and the number of pupils enrolled. You can read more about ensuring you meet the deadline for census data here.

Census days take place during the autumn, spring and summer terms and the amount of funding a school receives increases in line with the number of eligible pupils taking a free school meal on Census Day.

Educaterers, Warwickshire County Council’s Local Authority Traded Company school caterers, will have a special ‘Launch into Lunch’ space-themed menu to help encourage pupils to have school lunch on Census Day.

It will include a choice of favourites: ‘Shooting Stars Shaped Fish in Breadcrumbs’ or ‘Nebula Noodles with Veggie Bolognese Sauce’ served with a choice of ‘Moonwalk Wedges’, ‘Cosmic Corn’, ‘Solar Salad’ and ‘Blast off Beans’!

This will be followed by a pudding of either ‘Black Hole Chocolate Brownie’ or ‘Meteor Storm Swirl Mousse’ to tempt more children to take a meal.

So please ask parents to support your school by encouraging their children to have a school meal on Thursday and help influence how much funding your school gets in the 2020-21 academic year.

For more information on Educaterers, visit www.educaterers.co.uk.

Apply now for an opportunity to access Severn Trent's £10 million community fund

Severn Trent has announced a new £10 million community fund to be awarded over the next five years to support local projects, charities and community groups in the Severn Trent region. Applications can be made by organisations including, but not exclusive to, publicly funded schools, charities, local authorities, parish councils and sports clubs.

The fund has been shaped by customers and as a result has been designed with a focus around improving community wellbeing, namely:

  • People: Projects that help people to lead a healthier life and gain new skills
  • Places: Projects that help to create better places to live in and use
  • Environment: Projects that will help look after our natural environment, give people greater access to that environment or help look after water

Applications opened on 6 January and, as it's a rolling programme, applications for support can be made at any time during the year and there are no closing dates.  Quarterly panels will be held in March, June, September and December, where applications will be considered and decisions made on which projects will receive funding.

To find out more visit: httpvs://www.stwater.co.uk/about-us/severn-trent-community-fund/ 

Council employees are supported to Foster for Warwickshire

**For school staff employed by the local authority**

FosteringWarwickshire County Council is working to become a fostering friendly workplace and we’re raising awareness of the new benefits that will come into effect in the new financial year.

From April 2020, employees of WCC who also foster for the authority, will be allowed additional annual leave. 

Under the agreed proposals, employees who are approved WCC foster carers will be entitled to request five days additional leave in their first year of fostering and three days in the years that follow approval. The purpose of this additional leave is to undertake training, development or preparation for the placement of a child.

The council will seek Foster Carer Friendly Employer Status from the National Fostering Network and will also be encouraging other businesses to do the same.

So don’t delay, now is a great time to start fostering for Warwickshire. Find out more at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fostering or call us on 01926 746956.

Important: Deadline 17 Jan - Statutory Spring School Census

***Important message to all Warwickshire schools***

The second statutory school census return of the 2019/20 academic year will take place on Thursday 16 January. Deadline for submission to the Local Authority (LA) is Friday 17 January.

As in previous years, the 2020 spring school census will be used to fund the early year’s block of the dedicated schools grant as well as pupil premium and universal infant school meals. The Department for Education (DfE) will also be sharing a provisional extract of year 6 data to the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) on 7 February (provisional) which will be used to populate the system for registering pupils for the Key Stage 2 national curriculum tests. Where census data has not been returned, the STA will be reliant on schools to manually enter these pupils into the pupil registration system to ensure they are correctly registered for the Key Stage 2 tests.

It is therefore vitally important that you are satisfied with the accuracy of your schools’ return before uploading it to the LA and that it is returned by the prescribed deadline.

Prior to each census, the ICT Development Service (MIDAS) upload census documentation to the Warwickshire Learning Platform (WeLearn365) which can be found at: http://bit.ly/midaspages and on the download site http://wsd.we-learn.com/downloads. These will assist you in preparing and running your census returns.

If you have any technical queries regarding the SIMS system and generating the return please contact the ICT Development Service Desk on 01926 414100.

If you have any other questions about this data collection, please contact Michelle Ali, Business Intelligence on 01926 742169 or by e-mail businessintelligence@warwickshire.gov.uk

Thank you for your continued support with these collections.

Business Intelligence
Commissioning Support Unit

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