Agenda, decisions and minutes

Schools Forum
Wednesday, 8th July, 2020 8.00 am

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

Contact: Asad Shah - 01274 432280 

Items
No. Item

479.

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:

Dominic Wall, Sue Haithwaite, Trevor Loft and Emma Hamer disclosed interests for agenda item 9 “SEND and Alternative Provision Review - Update”. Emma Hamer also disclosed an interest for agenda item 10 “Update on Matters Concerning the DSG”.

 

 

480.

MINUTES OF WEDNESDAY 11 MARCH 2020 & MATTERS ARISING pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 11 March 2020 be signed as a correct record.

 

 

Minutes:

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

 

·         Page 2 Falling Rolls Fund: A request was made to reconvene the Forum’s sub-group on place planning. This was paused due to COVID-19. We wish now to reconvene the group early in September and we will send an email around asking interested members to attend a remote meeting.

 

·         Pages 2 & 3 SEND and AP: An update on these matters is presented under agenda item 9.

 

·         Page 5 DSG Update: A further update on DSG matters is presented under agenda item 10.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)       That progress made on “Action” items and Matters Arising be noted.

 

(2)       That the minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2020 be signed as a correct record.

 

 

481.

MATTERS RAISED BY SCHOOLS

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

 

 

Minutes:

An Academies Member requested that the minutes of the confidential item from the 11 March agenda, relating to the funding of health services in schools, be circulated and that an update on this matter be added to the September agenda. This was agreed.

 

The Vice Chair asked for information to be presented on the number of EHCPs by mainstream school / academy as well as the numbers of requests for EHCPs. There was some discussion on this request (in the context of the Forum’s remit). The Strategic Manager, Integrated Assessment, suggested that it is most appropriate to present this information to the SEND Partnership, with this then published on the Council’s local offer website for wider access. The Strategic Manager said that he would arrange for this information to be discussed with the SEND Partnership in September.

 

Resolved –

 

That the confidential minutes relating to agenda item 14 from the 11 March 2020 meeting be shared with Schools Forum Members and that an update on this item be added to the 16 September 2020 meeting agenda.

 

ACTION:       Business Advisor (Schools)

 

 

482.

STANDING ITEM - DSG SCHOOLS BLOCK GROWTH FUND ALLOCATIONS

There are no allocations for consideration at this meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

No new allocations were presented.  

 

No resolutions were passed on this item.

 

 

483.

SCHOOLS FORUM MEMBERSHIP - CHAIR AND VICE CHAIR

Members will be asked to approve the proposed approach to the election of the Chair and Vice Chair of the Schools Forum for 2020.

 

(Andrew Redding – 01274 432678)

 

 

Minutes:

The Business Advisor (Schools) reported that, as per the Forum’s agreed management procedures, the terms of office of the Chair and Vice Chair are for 1 year and both positions are now up for renewal. Members were asked to approve the proposed approach (by email) for the collection of nominations and for the election of the Chair and Vice Chair of the Schools Forum for 2020.

 

Forum Members did not have any comments and did not ask any questions.

 

Resolved –

 

That the established approach (by email) be followed for the collection of nominations and for the election of the Chair and Vice Chair of the Schools Forum for 2020/21.

 

ACTION:       Business Advisor (Schools)

 

 

484.

SCHOOLS FORUM MEMBERSHIP pdf icon PDF 89 KB

The Business Advisor (Schools) will present a report, Document LO, which provides an update on the Forum’s membership composition. The Authority does not propose to adjust the composition of School and Academy members at this time.

 

Recommended –

 

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

 

(Andrew Redding – 01274 432678)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Business Advisor (Schools) presented a report, Document LO, which provided an update on the Forum’s membership composition.

 

An academies member asked why there aren’t any governor (trustee) memberships in the academies sector. The Business Advisor explained that, unlike for the maintained sector  under the Schools Forum Regulations, the Local Authority cannot prescribe the type of membership for the academies sector; this is for the academies to agree. This is something perhaps then that the academies members may wish to look at.

 

Resolved –

 

That the contents of Document LO be noted.

 

 

485.

CONSULTATION - SCHEME FOR FINANCING SCHOOLS pdf icon PDF 102 KB

The Business Advisor (Schools) will present a report, Document LP, which asks Schools Forum members representing maintained schools to agree to conduct a short consultation with maintained schools on proposed amendments to the Scheme for Financing Schools. These amendments have been triggered by the DfE’s refreshed guidance for local authorities, which was published on 1 April 2020.

 

Recommended –

 

Schools Forum members representing maintained schools are asked to agree to conduct a short consultation with maintained schools on amendments to the Scheme for Financing Schools as proposed in Document LP. The Schools Forum will be asked to take a final decision on these amendments in September.

 

(Andrew Redding – 01274 432678)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Business Advisor (Schools) presented a report, Document LP, which asked Schools Forum members representing maintained schools to agree to conduct a short consultation with maintained schools on proposed amendments to the Scheme for Financing Schools. These amendments have been triggered by the DfE’s refreshed guidance for local authorities, which was published on 1 April 2020.

 

The Vice Chair asked why consultation is necessary when the DfE is effectively directing the change. The Business Advisor explained that, although this is a required change, it is not a directed revision (in the sense that the exact wording must be placed within Schemes) and therefore, the Regulations require consultation albeit that this consultation should be very straightforward.

 

Resolved –

 

That a short consultation be undertaken with maintained schools on amendments to the Scheme for Financing Schools as proposed in Document LP. The Schools Forum be asked make a final decision on these amendments at the meeting to held on 16 September 2020.

                                                                  

ACTION:       Business Advisor (Schools)

 

 

486.

SEND AND ALTERNATIVE PROVISION - UPDATE pdf icon PDF 102 KB

A report on SEND and SEHM provision will be presented, Document LQ. This report includes response to the information requested at the last meeting, as recorded in the minutes.

 

Recommended –

 

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

 

(Marium Haque – 01274 431078)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Director, Education and Learning, together with the Strategic Manager, Integrated Assessment, the Strategic Manager, Admissions and Exclusions and the Strategic Manager, Sufficiency and Intelligence, presented Document LQ. This report included response to the SEND places development information requested at the last meeting (Appendix 1), as recorded in the minutes. An update was provided verbally on Alternative Provision.

SEND Places Creation (Appendix 1)

 

Following the presentation of Appendix 1, Forum members made the following comments and asked the following questions:

 

·         A point of clarification was made, that Beechcliffe Special School is not an SEMH provision.

 

·         Are the additional numbers at Co-op Academy Southfield to be completed January 2020 or April 2020? The Strategic Manager, Sufficiency and Intelligence, responded that phase 2 of development will be completed at January 2020 and phase 3 by April 2020. Interim arrangements will be in place for the autumn term, which includes Co-op Delius and Chellow Heights retaining some year 6 children in the autumn term.

 

An academies member, on behalf of Southfield and the Co-op Trust, made a statement in regards to the development of places at Southfield and these interim arrangements. He explained that there have been unavoidable delays due to COVID-19. 27 children will transition to Southfield in September. A further 21 children will transition in January 2020, rather than in September, subject to four new classrooms being completed. He expressed his gratitude to Delius and Chellow Heights for their management of these interim arrangements across the autumn term.

 

·         Whilst recognising the impact of COVID-19 on increasing the occupancy of newly created places in the summer term, the Chair expressed her disappointment that so many new places are still to filled. She asked what the barriers are to occupying these places. The Strategic Manager, Integrated Assessment, responded to explain that there is some delay in the data, where children and young people have been placed in these new settings but have not yet come on roll (due to COVID-19). He stated that the occupancy of these places at September will increase. This was reinforced by comments from the Strategic Manager, Sufficiency and Intelligence. He also stated that newly created places are filled incrementally in a managed way to ensure successful delivery.

 

The Chair thanked the Strategic Manager for his response. She added that, in speaking to schools, one of the barriers being suggested to her in relation to resourced provision is that there aren’t places available in the correct year groups. The Chair asked whether this is recognised as a barrier. The Forum engaged in a discussion about the restrictions within the 2014 code of practice, the importance of parental preference as a factor in placement and the extent to which the Authority can introduce an element of central strategic organisation. The Strategic Manager agreed that there does need to be an element of centrally planning and stated that the Authority is trying to improve this.

 

·         The Vice Chair, referencing the pressure that comes into mainstream provision from an increased number  ...  view the full minutes text for item 486.

487.

UPDATE ON MATTERS CONCERNING THE DEDICATED SCHOOLS GRANT pdf icon PDF 153 KB

The Business Advisor (Schools) will present a report, Document LR, which provides an update on a number of matters relating to the Dedicated Schools Grant. This include initial confirmation of the DSG balances brought forward from the 2019/20 financial year. It also includes some information about the position of the DSG in relation to COVID 19.

 

Recommended –

 

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

 

(Andrew Redding – 01274 432678)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Business Advisor (Schools) presented a report, Document LR, which provided an update on a number of matters relating to the Dedicated Schools Grant.

 

In his presentation, the Business Advisor highlighted three main points of interest:

 

·         The initial confirmation of DSG block balances brought forward from 2019/20.

 

·         Some further work carried out by the Authority looking at the approach to the calculation of formula funding adjustments for permanent exclusions in the academy sector. The Authority has an initial proposal to consider, on which we will now consult directly with academy trusts. The Authority will come back to the Forum in September or October for a final view.

 

·         Initial consideration of the impact of COVID-19 on the DSG and on schools, academies and other providers. This report seeks to introduce key themes and to identify points to continue to monitor. Further updates on these will be presented from September.

 

The Business Advisor explained the main areas of financial impact and that the area of most concern, in terms of immediate budget impact over the summer term, has been the loss of income streams. Loss of income may continue as a significant issue from September.

 

The Business Advisor, supported by the Strategic Manager, Sufficiency and Intelligence, also in particular highlighted concern around the sufficiency of the DfE’s national financial support mechanisms in place for early years providers - nursery schools and the PVI sector. Two immediate issues are that the DfE’s exceptional costs fund does not extend to nursery schools nor PVI providers (supporting additional costs associated with cleaning and social distancing) and the CJRS is set to reduce and then cease in October. The CJRS is the main mechanism currently supporting loss of income. We will need to further consider these issues as we move into autumn following full re-opening. The Forum may be asked for a view on local support measures for early years. The Forum may also find that it is approached more widely by schools, academies and other providers for financial support and so may need to agree its general position in relation to such requests.

 

The Forum’s discussion that followed the presentation of this report focused on the impact of COVID-19. Members made the following comments:

 

·         That the DfE’s national school exceptional and additional costs fund is very limited. For example, it does not provide for reimbursement of additional cleaning costs unless there has been a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case at the school. The Deputy Director, Education and Learning, stated that this does not help schools when the government’s own advice is that the best prevention is increased cleaning and hygiene. She added that the Authority has regular conversations with the DfE and is trying to get across the message (unsuccessfully so far) that schools, academies and other providers, will incur significant additional costs in preparation for opening in September and then on an on-going basis. The Strategic Manager, Sufficiency and Intelligence, also highlighted that the Authority continues to lobby the DfE regarding the exclusion of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 487.

488.

NATIONAL FUNDING FORMULA AND DEDICATED SCHOOLS GRANT 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

The Business Advisor (Schools) will present a report, Document LS, which provides an update on matters relating to the future development of National Funding Formula and the 2021/22 Dedicated Schools Grant as well as an update on local formula funding review work.

 

Recommended –

 

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

 

(2)       Forum Members are invited to attend a ‘Formula Funding Working        Group’ session, on Tuesday 29 September October (8am) or       Wednesday 30 September (8am) or Tuesday 6 October (8am). As last year, these sessions will enable Forum Members to consider          in more detail the impact of formula funding decisions and to         explore and guide the proposals for 2021/22 that are anticipated        will be set out for consultation in October.

 

(Andrew Redding – 01274 432678)

 

 

Minutes:

The Business Advisor (Schools) presented a report, Document LS, which provides an update on matters relating to the future development of National Funding Formula and the 2021/22 Dedicated Schools Grant as well as an update on local formula funding review work.

 

In his presentation, the Business Advisor highlighted the possible delay, due to COVID-19, in the DfE’s national EHCP / SEND / AP system review and what this might mean for our local formula funding review, in particular review of our SEND Funding Floor mechanism for 2021/22. This is something that the Forum will be asked to consider further in the autumn.

 

Regarding the FFWG meetings, Forum members indicated that they are comfortable with these meetings being held in small groups in large rooms rather than trying to progress these meetings remotely.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)       That the contents of Document LS be noted.

 

(2)       That Forum Members be invited to attend a ‘Formula Funding Working Group’ session, on Tuesday 29 September (8am), Wednesday 30 September (8am) or Tuesday 6 October (8am).

 

ACTION:       Business Advisor (Schools)

 

 

489.

SCHOOLS FORUM STANDING ITEMS

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.

 

No resolutions were passed on this item.

 

 

490.

AOB / 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.

 

No resolutions were passed on this item.

 

 

491.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

Please see the published schedule of meetings – the next Forum meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 16 September 2020.

 

The DfE has amended the Schools Forum Regulations to permit meetings to be held ‘virtually’ for the rest of the 2020/21 financial year (up to 31 March 2021). The Authority will continue the position and will provide further guidance for Members at the beginning of September.

 

The schedule of planned meetings for the 2020/21 academic year is 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

 

 

 

(a) Denotes an item for action

(i)  Denotes an item for information

 

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Schools Forum is Wednesday 16 September 2020.

 

Resolved – That the planned meetings for the 2020/21 academic year be approved 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

 

 

FROM:                        Parveen Akhtar

City Solicitor

                        City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

 

Committee Secretariat

Contact Asad Shah:  01274 432280

i:\decsheets2021\schoolsforum\8July20