Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Bromley College of Further and Higher Education, Rookery Lane, Bromley, BR2 8HE

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

25.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Sam Parrett, Councillor Peter Fortune, and Paul Murphy.  Sunil Chotai attended as alternate for Paul Murphy.

26.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no additional declarations of interest.

 

The Chairman noted that new Members would need to complete the relevant declaration of interest form.

 

27.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 23 NOVEMBER 2017 pdf icon PDF 193 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2017 were approved, and signed as a correct record.

 

28.

2018/19 DEDICATED SCHOOLS GRANT pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report ED18041

 

The Schools’ Forum considered a report outlining the proposed Dedicated Schools’ Grant budget for 2018/19 and the options for funding formula allocations.  The Department for Education had confirmed the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) Allocation for 2018/19 as follows:

 

High Needs Block

Early Years Block

Schools Block

Central School Services Block

Total

 

 

 

 

 

£39,021,736

£21,149,813

£205,351,587

£1,964,910

£267,488,046

*NB: figures do not reflect the disapplication request to move £1million from the Schools’ Block to the High Needs Block

 

The Local Authority (LA) had reviewed each of the four blocks individually to identify any financial pressures.  The Early Years block was shown to be self-funding, although there were some areas deemed to be overspent but were being supported by underspends within the same block.  The High Needs Block was projecting an overspend of £2million.  Following the decision of the Schools’ Forum at its last meeting, the LA submitted an application to the Secretary of State to formally request a disapplication of the regulations which would allow £1million funding to be moved from the Schools’ Block to the High Needs Block without the support of the Forum.  The Head of Schools’ Finance Support reported that the Local Authority had very recently been notified (via a telephone call) that that the Secretary of State had approved the application.  It was therefore proposed that the remaining £1million overspend would be funded by a contribution of £1million from the Revenue Support Grant, subject to the final approval of Members.  SEND4change would continue to carry out a full review of current SEND spend and any savings identified would be invested in the transition period as the LA moved towards a more cost effective and more sustainable High Needs Block position.

 

As a result of the decision from the Secretary of State £202.4million would be allocated to schools.  The LA had the option to either move to the National Funding Formula (NFF) for 2018/19 (and 2019/20) prior to the planned introduction of the NFF in 2020/21, or to remain with the Bromley Funding Formula (BFF). 

 

In the Central School Services Block there was a projected overspend of £173,000.  Expenditure in this Block had been reviewed and no immediate short-term savings had been identified.  It was therefore proposed that the projected overspend in this Block would be met from any commensurate underspend of DSG in 2017/18.

 

In response to a question from the Vice-Chairman concerning whether the application to the Secretary of State made by the Local Authority had included an indication of how the remaining £1million would be met, the Head of ECHS Finance reported that the application itself had not.  However, at its meeting on 10th January 2018, the Council’s Executive had agreed £1million to be taken from the RSG to help relieve cost pressures in the High Needs Block, this was in addition to the £1million disapplication.  The Chairman reported that he was aware that across London a number of authorities had been considering moving funds from the Schools’ Block to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

SCHOOLS FORUM CONSTITUTION pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report ED18040

 

The Schools’ Forum considered a report which provided an overview of the representation of the Forum.  Representation on the Schools element of the Forum was derived in the main from pupil numbers.  There were thirteen members made up of Heads and Governors.  Whilst current pupil numbers had not changed significantly there had been further movement towards Academy conversion in the Special and PRU areas resulting in small amounts of pupils in these areas being in both Academy and Maintained settings.  Advice from the DfE was that there needed to be a representative for Maintained and Academy in Special and PRU settings if there were settings within the Borough.  This meant that there needed to be an increase in the schools element membership of the Schools’ Forum by two members from thirteen to fifteen, a Special Academy representative and a PRU Academy representative.  All other representation would remain the same.  The overall membership of the Schools’ Forum would increase from eighteen to twenty:

 

 

Members of the Schools’ Forum asked the Head of ECHS Finance to further review the Head Teacher/Governor split in terms of representation as it was felt that Head Teachers were more likely to volunteer to sit on the Schools’ Forum. 

 

The Head of ECHS Finance was also asked to undertake a more comprehensive review of the Schools’ Forum constitution in order to enable a better understanding of the implications of Multi Academy Trusts on the membership of the Schools’ Forum.  The Head of ECHS Finance highlighted that the intention had always been to ensure cross representation across different types of schools. 

 

The Head of ECHS Finance confirmed that any vacancies would be advertised via the Schools’ Circular.

 

The Schools’ Forum agreed that, subject to some further minor amendments to address the comments that had been made concerning the Head Teacher/Governor split, the amendments would be put to the Education, Children and Families Budget and Performance Sub-Committee meeting on 17th January 2018 with a full review of the Constitution to be undertaken within the year.

 

RESOLVED: That the Education, Children and Families Portfolio Holder be recommended to approve the revised Schools’ Forum Constitution, subject to the amendment outlined above.

 

30.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

It was noted that new Members of the Schools’ Forum would have to receive some training and the Head of ECHS Finance confirmed that this could be done either individually or in small groups.

31.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

All meetings are at Bromley College unless otherwise stated.

 

29 June 2017

21 September 2017

23 November 2017

11 January 2018

 

Minutes:

Dates for the next municipal year had not yet been confirmed and these would be circulated to Members as soon as they were available.

 

Original Text: