Agenda and minutes

INFORMAL MEETING, Schools Forum
Wednesday, 11th March, 2020 8.00 am

Venue: Committee Room 1 - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Contact: Asad Shah - 01274 432280 

Note: The meeting of the Schools Forum of Wednesday 11 March 2020 was inquorate. As all agenda items were planned to be presented for information only, without requiring decisions, Members that were present agreed for the meeting to go ahead. The Forum’s discussion on these items will be recorded in the minutes. As no decisions were taken, a decisions list from this meeting will not be published. 

Items
No. Item

465.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

The City Solicitor will report the names of alternate Members who are attending the meeting in place of appointed Members.

 

 

466.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

To receive disclosures of interests from Members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.

 

An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it only becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

Bryan Harrison disclosed an interest for agenda item 6 “Schools Block Falling Rolls Fund Allocations 2019/20”.

 

 

467.

MINUTES OF 8 JANUARY 2020 AND MATTERS ARISING pdf icon PDF 212 KB

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2020 be signed as a correct record (previously circulated).

 

 

Minutes:

The Business Advisor (Schools) reported on progress made on “Action” items:

·         Page 68 (item 449) Alternative Provision: An update will be provided under agenda item 7.

 

·         Page 69 (item 451) Growth Fund: The agreed values of Growth Fund have been allocated.

 

·         Page 69 (item 452) Funding High Needs: The consultation has been concluded and Council has agreed the implementation of the new EHCP Banded Model, and the other high needs funding changes including the PRU day rate, at its meeting held on 20 February 2020. Feedback from the consultation is summarised and presented under agenda item 8.

 

·         Page 71 onwards (item 458) DSG recommendations: The recommendations on the allocation of the 2020/21 DSG were approved without amendment by Council on 20 February 2020 and are now being implemented. A further update on DSG matters is provided under agenda item 8.

 

 

468.

MATTERS RAISED BY SCHOOLS

Members will be asked to consider any issues raised by schools.

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair reported that she had received a request from Carol Dewhirst (academies member) for an update to be provided to the Schools Forum on District PRU. The Chair suggested this this request be further considered as part of the discussion on agenda item 7 (SEND & Alternative Provision update).

 

 

469.

STANDING ITEM - DSG GROWTH FUND ALLOCATIONS 2019/20 (i)

There are no allocations for consideration at this meeting.  

 

 

Minutes:

No new allocations were presented.  

 

 

470.

SCHOOLS BLOCK FALLING ROLLS FUND ALLOCATIONS 2019/20 (i) pdf icon PDF 107 KB

The Business Advisor (Schools) will present a report, Document LL, which provides an update for the Schools Forum on the application in the 2019/20 financial year of the Schools Block Falling Rolls Fund for mainstream primary phase maintained schools and mainstream primary phase academies.

 

Recommended –

 

(1)       The Schools Forum is asked to note that, as set out in Document         LL, and following the agreed established criteria, there are no         allocations to be made from the Schools Block Falling Rolls Fund   in 2019/20.

 

(2)       The Forum is asked to note then that the sum of £250,000 is       unspent within the Schools Block and is carried forward into          2020/21 as a ring-fenced sum. This means that, added to the new    budget of £250,000 set within the 2020/21 DSG allocation,            £500,000 in total is now identified for the Falling Rolls Fund within     the Schools Block. The Forum will be asked to decide within the      2021/22 DSG budget round on the uses of the £250,000 carry     forward (whether it remains ring-fenced for Falling Rolls or          whether all or a proportion of it is released back to formula          funding for schools and academies in 2021/22).

 

(Andrew Redding – 01274 432678)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Business Advisor (Schools) presented a report, Document LL, which provided an update for the Schools Forum on the application in the 2019/20 financial year of the Schools Block Falling Rolls Fund for mainstream primary phase maintained schools and mainstream primary phase academies.

 

Members were reminded that we identified, whilst establishing this, that a Falling Rolls Fund is likely to have only very limited value because of the two main restrictions placed on its use by the DfE a) Ofsted category (must be good or outstanding) and b) it can’t be used to support longer term under subscription against PAN (surplus places must be needed within 3 years).

 

The Business Advisor reported that 27 of the 29 schools and academies that were lower than 90% of PAN at October 2018 (this is the initial trigger for eligibility for Falling Rolls Funding in 2019/20) are low not as a result of a ‘blip’ in pupil numbers but because of longer term changes. The remaining 2 out of the 29 are not good or outstanding. Therefore, we cannot allocate Falling Rolls Funding to support any of the 29 primary schools or primary academies in 2019/20. The Business Advisor confirmed that the £250,000 Fund would carry forward as a ring-fenced sum within the Schools Block.

 

Forum Members discussed what this means for the actions / options that are available for supporting primary schools and academies that are low and / or are reducing in pupil numbers. Members emphasised the need for the Local Authority to manage PANs and to propose PAN reductions, directly in the case of maintained schools and with the Regional Schools Commissioner in the case of academies. It was confirmed that the Authority is actively progressing discussions on PAN amendments with individual schools.

 

A member representing maintained primary schools requested that the Forum’s sub-group, which has previously met to consider place-planning and the financial issues associated with under-subscription, is re-convened to consider the Falling Rolls Fund outcome and calculations in more detail but also to further consider, with the aim of making recommendations back to the Forum, the use of the exceptional circumstances route for providing financial support to maintained primary schools (only) that are under-subscribed and that are not eligible for Falling Rolls Funding. Forum Members agreed this resolution.

 

 

471.

SEND & ALTERNATIVE PROVISION - UPDATE (i)

An update will be provided on the Authority’s strategic reviews of SEND and Alternative Provision. This update includes follow up to the matters discussed by the Forum and recorded in the minutes of the 8 January meeting.

           

Recommended –

 

The Schools Forum is asked to consider and to note the information provided.

 

(Marium Haque – 01274 431078)

 

 

472.

MATTERS CONCERNING THE DEDICATED SCHOOLS GRANT (i) pdf icon PDF 137 KB

The Business Advisor (Schools) will present a report, Document LM, which provides an update on matters relating to the Dedicated Schools Grant.

 

Recommended –

 

 

The Schools Forum is asked to consider and to note the information provided in the report.

 

 (Andrew Redding – 01274 432678)

 

 

Minutes:

The Business Advisor (Schools) presented a report, Document LM, which provided an update on a number matters relating to the 2020/21 Dedicated Schools Grant, including  a summary of the responses and feedback received to the consultation on the high needs funding changes (the new EHCP Banded Model).

 

The Business Advisor also highlighted for Members the adjustments to the national DSG conditions of grant relating to the management of deficit DSG accounts. He confirmed however, that these changes are not directly relevant to Bradford currently as Bradford’s DSG account is cumulatively in surplus.

 

Members did not ask any questions and did not comment on this item.

 

 

473.

MATTERS CONCERNING SCHOOL AND ACADEMY BUDGETS (i) pdf icon PDF 140 KB

The Business Advisor (Schools) will present a report, Document LN, which provides an update on matters concerning school and academy budgets. This includes an update on the position of the conversion of maintained schools to academy status and on the general position of school and academy budgets over the 2020-2023 period.

 

Recommended –

 

The Schools Forum is asked to consider and to note the information provided in the report.

 

(Andrew Redding – 01274 432678)

 

 

Minutes:

The Business Advisor (Schools) presented a report, Document LN, which provided an update on matters concerning school and academy budgets.

 

The Business Advisor explained that this is an annual report, which a) updates Members on the position of academy conversions and risks of deficits that come from the financial close of these and b) sets out the nature of the ‘financial climate’ in which schools and academies are forecasted to operate over the next 3 years. This information is presented, in particular, to aid Members in their conversations with colleagues. The Business Advisor explained that the themes of “budget challenge” and “uncertainty” are still present at school level across the 2020-2023 period, albeit that we are seeing and expect to continue to see growth in funding per capita.

 

Following the presentation of this report, there was some discussion about the position of the officer / support staff (NJC scale) pay award for 2020/21 and about how information on financial climate is given to school business managers. The Business Advisor confirmed that Schools Funding Team regularly attends the business manager forums.

 

 

474.

SCHOOLS FORUM STANDING ITEMS (i)

Updates on the following Forum standing items will be provided verbally where these have not been covered within other agenda items:

 

·         Schools Forum membership

·         Update from the High Needs Block Steering Group

·         Update from the Schools Financial Performance Group (SFPG)

·         Update on School / Academy Budgets

·         Update from the Early Years Working Group (EYWG)

·         Update from the Formula Funding Working Group (FFWG)

·         Update on Primary School Places

·         Update on Academies & Free Schools

 

The Forum is asked to note the information provided.

 

(Andrew Redding – 01274 432678)

 

 

Minutes:

No further information was presented under this agenda item.

 

 

475.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS / FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS

Members will be asked for any additional items of business, for consideration at a future meeting.

 

Minutes:

No AOB items were put forward.

 

 

 

476.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING AND PLANNED 2020/21 ACADEMIC YEAR MEETING SCHEDULE

Please see the published schedule of meetings – the next Forum meeting is planned for Wednesday 20 May 2020.

 

Please note that the provisional dates of meetings for the 2020/21 academic year have been scheduled for 0800 at the City Hall, Bradford, as follows:

 

·         Wednesday 16 September 2020

·         Wednesday 14 October 2020

·         Wednesday 9 December 2020

·         Wednesday 13 January 2021

·         Wednesday 20 January 2021, PROVISIONAL MEETING

·         Wednesday 10 March 2021

·         Wednesday 19 May 2021

·         Wednesday 7 July 2021

 

PLEASE MAKE A NOTE OF THE ABOVE DATES IN YOUR DIARY

 

 

Minutes:

Please see the published schedule of meetings. The meeting scheduled for 20 May 2020 was cancelled (due to COVID-19). The next scheduled meeting is 8 July 2020.

 

Please also note that the provisional dates of meetings for the 2020/21 academic year are as follows:

 

·         Wednesday 16 September 2020, 8am

·         Wednesday 14 October 2020, 8am

·         Wednesday 9 December 2020, 8am

·         Wednesday 13 January 2021, 8am

·         Wednesday 20 January 2021, 8am  PROVISIONAL MEETING

·         Wednesday 10 March 2021, 8am

·         Wednesday 19 May 2021, 8am

·         Wednesday 7 July 2021, 8am

 

 

477.

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

The Schools Forum will be asked to consider if the agenda item relating to the funding of health services in schools should be considered in the absence of the public and, if so, to approve the following recommendation:

 

Recommended –

 

That the public be excluded from the meeting during the discussion of the following item (item *14) on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if they were present exempt information within Paragraph 5 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) would be disclosed and it is considered that, in all the circumstances, the public interest in allowing the public to remain is outweighed by the public interest in excluding public access to the relevant  part of the proceedings for the following reason: legal privilege." 

 

(Andrew Redding – 01274 432678)

 

 

Minutes:

The Schools Forum was asked to consider if the agenda item relating to the funding of health services in schools should be considered in the absence of the public and, if so, to approve the following recommendation:

 

Resolved –

 

That the public be excluded from the meeting during the discussion of the following item (item *14) on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if they were present exempt information within Paragraph 5 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) would be disclosed and it is considered that, in all the circumstances, the public interest in allowing the public to remain is outweighed by the public interest in excluding public access to the relevant  part of the proceedings for the following reason: legal privilege."

 

 

478.

FUNDING HEALTH SERVICES IN SCHOOLS

The Schools Forum will be asked to consider further the matters raised at the Forum’s meetings held on 10 July 2019 and 18 September 2019 related to the funding of health services in schools.

 

*Note: The Schools Forum will have previously considered excluding the public from consideration of this matter under item 13 above.

           

(Andrew Redding – 01274 432678)

 

 

 

 

 

(a) Denotes an item for action

(i)  Denotes an item for information

 

Minutes:

The Schools Forum was asked to consider further the matters raised at the Forum’s meetings held on 10 July 2019 and 18 September 2019 related to the funding of health services in schools.