Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

8.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Richard Edmunds (Primary Academy Head Teacher), David Wilcox (Secondary Academy Governor), Neil Miller (PRU Headteacher), and Paul Murphy (Secondary Academy Head Teacher).  Sunil Chotai attended as alternate for Paul Murphy.

 

The Chairman reported that after 15 years of fulfilling the role of Chairman to the Schools’ Forum this would be his last meeting as he would no longer be eligible to sit on the Schools’ Forum.  It was noted that consideration would need to be given to electing a Chairman at the next meeting.

9.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

In respect of  Minute 12 (Falling Rolls Fund), David Dilling declared that his grandchildren attended one of the schools that could potentially benefit from the fund.

 

10.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 12 JULY 2018 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 12th July 2018 were approved, and signed as a correct record.

 

11.

PROVISIONAL OUTTURN REPORT 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report CSD18144

 

The Schools’ Forum considered an information report outlining the financial information reported to the Education, Children and Families Budget and Performance Monitoring Sub-Committee on 18th July 2018.  The provisional outturn for the “controllable” element of the Education, Children and Families budget in 2017/18 was an overspend of £925k compared to the latest reported figure of an overspend of £874k which was based on activity at the end of December 2017.  The DSG Schools’ Budget had underspent by £32k in 2017/18, this would be added to the £1.6m carried forward from 2016/17.  The carry forward position had been adjusted by an Early Years funding adjustment made by DfE which had reduced the amount available by £475k.  After a further adjustment of £190k for central funding the amount carried forward into 2018/19 would be around £800k.

 

In response to a question from the Vice-Chairman regarding the Early Years adjustment, the Head of ECHS Finance explained that the DfE assumed a level of funding and a level of take up for Early Years.  Any adjustments arising from the difference between the reality and the assumptions were taken retrospectively.

 

The Forum noted that as a result of funding pressures the financial position was currently volatile. There were continuing pressures in the High Needs Block and work to mitigate against these pressures was ongoing.  Further information would be presented to the Schools’ Forum as part of the budget setting process.  In the meantime, the Head of ECHS reported that further Budget Monitoring was due at the end of September 2018 and a further update could be provided to the Schools’ Forum at its next meeting.

 

RESOLVED: that the report be noted.

 

 

12.

FALLING ROLLS FUND pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report CSD18143

 

The Schools’ Forum considered a report outlining the requirements for establishing a falling rolls fund to support schools that were facing financial difficulties due to a temporary reduction in pupil numbers.  At the last Schools Forum meeting the Primary Head Teacher representatives raised an  issue concerning the number of unfilled reception places across all primary schools in the Borough, and the financial impact that this was having on these schools.  It was agreed that the LA would carry out  a full review of this, to include the possibility of introducing a “falling rolls fund” to support schools experiencing the financial impact of this.

 

In accordance with DfE guidelines, local authorities were able to top slice the DSG in order to create a small fund to support good schools with falling rolls where local planning data demonstrated that the surplus places would be needed in the near future. Criteria for allocating falling rolls funding should contain clear objective trigger points for qualification and a clear formula for calculating allocations.

 

The October 2017 census data showed that there were 220 vacant reception places across the Borough – this varied from one or two vacancies across a large number of schools to vacancies of over 20 places in some individual schools. This data would have been used to calculate 2018/19 funding from April 2018 for maintained schools and September 2018 for academies. The final numbers for 2018 would not be known until after October, however early data indicated that the figures may be higher although it was anticipated that these numbers would change by October.  Although the issue had not been highlighted by secondary schools, the year 7 admission data had also been included which showed there was only one school with a significant number of vacant places.

 

Current data indicated that whilst primary reception numbers had fallen slightly since their peak in 2015/16, need remained strong with further growth forecast in planning areas 3 (Hayes and West Wickham) and 4 (Central Bromley). The current vacancy rate across the Borough (7%) was slightly higher than the Council’s target of 5% with vacancies generally spread across a small number of schools borough-wide. Future projections for secondary places very closely match the future provision of places with 2 additional Free Schools proposed due to open provided by the ESFA in future years.  Currently there were some surplus places in the east of the Borough. 

 

Based on the information provided, the Local Authority had looked at the possibility of introducing a falling rolls fund and what this may cost. It was noted that this cost would be top sliced from the Schools Block, as was done with the Growth fund, and would therefore impact on the amount of funding available to be distributed to all schools.

 

The suggested terms of the fund would be as follows:

 

  • Support available only for schools judged Good or Outstanding at their last Ofsted inspection (this was a mandatory requirement)
  • Surplus capacity exceeds 20% of the published admission number  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

Teachers Pay Grant Methodology for Special Schools

 

In response to a question from the Special Schools Representative, the Head of ECHS Finance confirmed that the Local Authority would follow guidance from the DfE.

 

New Schools’ Forum Operation Practice Guide

 

The Head of ECHS Finance reported that this would be circulated to the Schools’ Forum and an overview presented to the next meeting.

 

Schools’ Forum Chairman

 

On behalf of the Local Authority, the Head of ECHS Finance thanked Andrew Downes for his many years of excellent Chairmanship.  Members of the Schools’ Forum also expressed their thanks and best wishes to Andrew Downes.

 

In response the Chairman thanked the Members and Officers noting that his time as Chairman had been enjoyable and stimulating.

14.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

All meetings are at Bromley College unless otherwise stated.

 

20th September 2018

29th November 2018

17th January 2019

 

Minutes:

The next meeting would take place at 4.30pm on Thursday 29th November 2018.

 

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