Agenda and draft minutes

Schools Forum - Thursday 7th October 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting via MS Teams

Items
No. Item

941.

Apologies for absence

Presented By: Chair

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Mrs T Millard, Mr P Thompson, Mr A West, Mrs J Flintoff, Mrs R Maughan and Mrs R Stephenson.

942.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Personal or Personal and Prejudicial Interests (if any)

Presented By: Chair

Minutes:

There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and personal or personal and prejudicial interests.

 

943.

Minutes from the last meeting dated 10 June 2021/Actions arising

Minutes:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 10 June 2021, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded, and be signed by the Chair.

 

Minute 934 – The Chair confirmed that a letter had been sent to Mr Brister but no response had been received.

 

Mr D Chaplin advised that the issue around union facility time had been picked up by the JCC and discussions were taking place.

944.

Membership Update

Presented By: Alex Dawson

Minutes:

The Secretary informed members that Ms Z Bidmead had resigned her position as Secondary Academy representative, and there was now a vacancy for the role.  The resignation of Ms Bidmead also left the role of vice-chair of the forum vacant.

 

Attempts had been made to contact Mrs T Norriss, who was a member of the forum in the Primary Academy capacity, as her term of office had expired earlier in the year.  Mrs A Cvijetic suggested that it would be worth contacting Oasis Academy Parkwood to ensure that e-mails had been sent to the correct address. Mrs Cvijetic would be happy to follow up with colleagues if no response was received.

 

Resolved – (a) That Mrs A Cvijectic is hereby appointed vice-chair of the Schools Forum for three years, and (b) that the vacancy for a Secondary Academy representative be discussed at the next Secondary Heads group meeting.

 

 

945.

De-delegation of budgets 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Presented By: Tracy Elliott

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ms T Elliott presented the report.

 

Funding for de-delegated services must be allocated through the formula but could be passed back, or de-delegated, for maintained mainstream primary and second schools with Schools Forum approval.

 

De-delegation did not apply to special schools or pupil referral units.  However, those schools and academies would have the option to buyback the services at a cost based on the same amount per pupil for maintained primary and secondary schools.

 

Members for primary and secondary maintained schools must decide separately for each phase whether each service should be provided centrally; the decision would apply to all maintained mainstream schools in that phase.

 

Fixed contributions must be agreed for the services so that funding could then be removed through the formula before school budgets were issued.

 

The report gave information on services that could be de-delegated and those delegated in the council. The de-delegation of resources provided an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the maintained schools sector and the council.

 

Maintained school members were asked to consider the de-delegation of the following service budgets:

 

·       Behaviour Support (Social Emotional Mental Health SEMH)

·       Support to Ethnic Minorities and bilingual pupils

·       Free school meals eligibility

·       Staff costs

 

Mr R Biglands enquired as to whether the the staff costs element could be reviewed as currently the formula allowed recompense for staff at the supply rate, however it was costing him a significant amount to release a member of staff for union duties.

 

Mr Chaplin suggested that this could be considered at the JCC as part of the discussion with unions, however he was also happy to arrange a meeting with Mr Biglands, Ms Elliott and Human Resources. TE advised that reserves were available to allow for a higher buyback.

 

Mr B Lawrance queried what would happen to the underspend. Ms Elliott advised that the forum could make the decision on how it could be used. A discussion ensued on pressures faced by the various services and possible usage for the funds.

 

Resolved – (a) That the de-delegation of budgets for the maintained primary phase, as per appendix 1 to the report, be agreed by the members representing maintained primary schools, and (b) that the de-delegation of budgets for the maintained secondary phase, as per appendix 1 to the report, be agreed by members representing maintained secondary schools.

 

 

946.

School Funding Formula 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 259 KB

Presented By: Tracy Elliott

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ms T Elliott presented the report.

 

On 26 July 2021, the Department for Education published provisional National Funding Formula (NFF) allocations at council level for schools, high needs and central school services funding blocks for 2022/23.

 

The Government had confirmed its commitment to provide world-class education and acknowledged the disruption to education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The 2022-23 funding allocations were the final year of their three year funding commitment.

 

The key changes in 2022-23 were:

 

·       3% increase to basic entitlement, free school meals at any time in the last six years (FMS6), income deprivation affecting children index (IDACI), lower prior attainment (LPA), English as an additional language (EAL) and the lump sum.

 

·       Decreasing the funding lag for the FMS6 deprivation funding factor by moving from using the previous year’s January census to the October census for measuring eligibility.

 

·       Centralising the business rates payment system for schools so that ESFA will pay billing authorities directly.

 

·       An increase to the maximum sparsity factor value from £45,000 to £55,000 for primary schools and from £70,000 to £80,000 for secondary school. (2019-20 levels were £23,330 and £53,330).

 

·       Two changes were being made to the sparsity funding factor. NFF school sparsity distances were now based on road distances and a sparsity distance taper had been introduced in addition to the existing year group size taper.

 

·       The MPPL remains mandatory at the new NFF values.

 

·       Councils would have freedom to set the Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) in local formulae between +0.5% and +2.0% per pupil.

 

Discussion ensued on the possible options available for the local implementation of the school funding formula.

 

Resolved – (a) That the application of the MFG at the maximum level which could be afforded including the use of DSG earmarked reserves as appropriate, be endorsed; (b) that the sparsity option of a fixed lump sum to determine schools’ allocations be agreed; (c) that the application of an exceptional premises factor for listed buildings be agreed, and (d) that final proposals for schools funding be submitted to the Schools Forum meeting in January 2022, on receipt of final allocations in December 2021.

947.

FAIP, Darley Centre and Funding

Presented By: Wendy Holmes

Minutes:

Mrs W Holmes presented the report. 

 

The report gave an overview and update of the current figures in respect of suspensions, permanent exclusions and alternative provision. 

 

The 2021 academic year had noted a significant reduction in numbers of children and young people who had started the term in alternative provision.  The secondary and primary Fair Access and Inclusion Panel (FAIP) continued to be well supported by schools and challenge and support continued to be evidenced in both panels.  Schools were reporting less use of external alternative provision and seeking other means of support for individual children and young people.

 

The use of in-school study support hubs though SEND Capital Funding was proving crucial in the drive to continue to reduce suspensions and keep children in their mainstream setting.  There had been an increase in EHCP applications for young people who were receiving their education via alternative provision.

 

The Darley Centre had closed at the end of July 2021, the few remaining pupils were either transitioned back to their mainstream school setting, placed via their EHCP or transitioned to a Key Stage 4 setting where appropriate.

 

The report set out consideration for future priorities including a working group between the council and primary and secondary headteachers and principals.  Discussion took place on the future priorities.

 

Resolved – (a) That headteachers and principals continue to work with the council to implement and embed area-wide solutions with a working group to identify future priorities; (b) that Mr R Biglands be part of the working group; (c) that the primary and secondary FAIP continue to be developed to ensure that the most vulnerable children and young people be supported and that best representation from multi-disciplinary team be sought at the working group meetings; (d) that further local inclusion opportunities (SEND Capital Funding) be developed, and (e) that an update on high needs, including analysis of independent school provision, be submitted to the next meeting of the Forum.

948.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

Next meeting of the Schools Forum

 

The Secretary informed members that the next meeting of the Forum, scheduled for 20January 2022, will be held face-to-face, at Church Square House in Scunthorpe, further details would follow nearer the time.