The Schools Forum (an elected group of Head teachers, Principals, Governors and other associated members) is the key decision making and consultative group required by DfE regulation which oversees/governs all financial and administrative matters relating to the Schools Budget financed by the dedicated schools grant (DSG).

The roles and responsibilities of the Schools Forum can be found in the new short guide recently published by the DfE (November 2013)- found here -

The DfE has identified as part of their review of Schools Forum that effective best practice relating to Schools Forum and its operational duties includes communication to all the wider stakeholder audience of the business matters discussed and decisions made. (i.e. ensuring all decisions made at forum are duly recorded and shared).

To enhance communication with the wider school audience, the Local Authority will produce a brief overview newsletter of the discussions/views, decisions made and agreed actions in relation to all business matters after each meeting and distribute to stakeholders via the following means:


• Office on-line;
• Council's web-site (see below link);
• Govas web-site;
• Schools Finance monthly newsletter; and directly
• To all Schools Forum members

 

Welcome to the 2nd edition of the Schools Forum Newsletter........


In this issue, we are including key points from the Schools Forum meeting held on 21 January 2014 particularly;

Schools Forum Terms of Reference (including membership details), Financial Consultation 2013, the 2014/15 Education Financial Settlement and a 2014/15 DSG budget update. A full copy of the minutes will be made available via the Council web-site, see section 6 below.


Schools Forum Meeting 21 January 2014 – Key Points

  • Schools Forum – Terms of Reference Report presented as tabled
  • Discussions: Representatives happy to endorse and accept the updated ToR and membership details to be amended as per update. Updated membership details provided for all schools information at Appendix 1.
  • Decisions: Updated ToR document approved
  • Actions: Peter Hughes to arrange formal induction training session and invite all Schools Forum members, to be held after February half-term at Reddish Vale Academy.

2. Schools Financial Consultation 2013
Report presented as tabled

Discussions: representatives discussed the consultation options; primary head teachers expressed disappointment in the low level of primary sector responses. The issues pertinent to Stockport schools re polarisation, funding gap between highest and lowest funded schools were outlined and the shape of any future funding linked to the imminent consultation due from the DfE on the new national fairer funding formula (NFFF)

Decisions:
1. Schools Forum representatives agreed to support the LA proposals outlined in the report to be presented to the Executive.
i.e. Primary (increase BE factor to 70% and fund increase via an equal reduction in both the lump sum and deprivation funding factors – Consultation Model 1)
Secondary (SEN Prior Attainment overall funding level remain same and the lump sum factor reduced to £0.090m per school and £0.720m re-directed to the BE factor – Consultation Model 4)

Actions:
1. LA officers present formal report to the Council Executive on 11 February 2014 to seek approval of the updated Local Funding Formula to be implemented from April 2014

3. 2014/15 Education Funding Settlement
Report presented as tabled

Discussions: representatives queried how the LA would distribute the capital funding to schools relating to the universal school meals initiative from September 2014. The LA has commissioned NPS to provide data/information relating to all school kitchens / dining facilities. This information will be used to help determine the priority schools requiring capital investment to ensure schools are able to deliver the initiative from September 2014. Further details will be circulated to schools shortly.

Decisions: N/A

Actions:
1. Stephen Bell to attend future Schools Forum meeting to provide update on allocation and deployment of capital Basic Need funding.

4. 2014/15 Schools Budget Update
Report presented as tabled

Discussions: LA officer outlined amendment required to figures stated in table at section 3.4 of report to reflect full true cost of BSS, figures increase by £3.91 for both sectors. The option to continue the locally agreed 3% threshold level for any pupil growth funding relating to unplanned growth (i.e. appeals, pupil mobility, etc.) for all locally maintained primary and secondary schools only.

Decisions:
1. Schools Forum noted and agreed the revised BSS de-delegation figure
2. Criteria for allocating funding to secondary schools with falling numbers on roll approved
3. Criteria for allocating pupil growth relating to LA Basic Need and/or infant class size legislation approved
4. 2014/15 central fund level for items 2 & 3 agreed at £0.429m
5. Schools Forum members agreed to continue to de-delegate funding for a central unplanned pupil growth fund @ £0.271m in 2014/15. Funding allocated to schools based on the current 3% pupil growth mechanism.
6. Schools Forum agreed the funding levels assigned to individual statutory functions/areas as outlined in table at section 7.4 of report.

Actions:
1. LA officers provide further detail at next Schools Forum meeting of the final construction of the total schools budget financed by the DSG.

5. Other Schools Forum / School Matters:
Schools Forum will be presented with a further report at the meeting scheduled for 20 March 2014 in relation to proposed amendments to the Scheme for Financing Schools document which will take effect from 1 April 2014.

No information is available to date in relation to:
2014/15 DFC allocations; and
2014/15 revenue funding for the universal free school meals initiative to be implemented from September 2014.
Further reports and/or communication to schools and stakeholders will be presented as further information is received.

6. Where do I find Schools Forum Information?

The Schools Forum meetings are held, administered and clerked in accordance with any other council meetings and the minutes are recorded and presented on the councils web-site alongside all Schools Forum business matters (i.e. reports), please find link below:

http://democracy.stockport.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeId=159

7. Schools Forum Contacts:

Schools Forum Clerk: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Schools Forum Chair:
Ian Roberts – Governor at Kingsway School This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Schools Forum Service Director:
Donna Sager, Services to People Directorate This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Schools Forum Finance Officer:
Peter Hughes, Group Accountant, Schools This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Appendix 1
SCHOOLS FORUM MEMBERSHIP LIST – January 2014
REPRESENTATIVES REPRESENTING TERMS OF OFFICE
HEAD TEACHERS From To
NURSERY
Cath Larkin Nursery School
Offerton Hall May 2013 April 2017
PRIMARY
Bernadette Singleton (VA) Primary School
St Philip's Catholic September 2009 August 2017
Helen Hilton Primary School
St Ambrose Catholic September 2011 August 2015
David Marshall Primary School
Cale Green Primary September 2012 August 2016
Sue Challinor Primary School
Queensgate School September 2012 August 2016
Alison Naismith
Primary School
Abingdon Primary September 2013 August 2017
SECONDARY
Ian Irwin Secondary School
Stockport School September 2013 August 2017
Pam Campbell Secondary School
Werneth December 2013 November 2017
Joanne Meredith Secondary School
St Anne's Catholic High January 2014 December 2017
SPECIAL
Lesley Abercromby Special School
Windlehurst December 2012 November 2016
PRU's
Janice Cahill Pendlebury Centre September 2012 August 2016
School Members (Head teachers) = 11
REPRESENTATIVES REPRESENTING TERMS OF OFFICE
GOVERNORS From To
PRIMARY
Anne Thompson Primary Governors
Prospect Vale January 2014 December 2017
Peter Maloney Primary Governors
Great Moor Infants June 2011 May 2015
Jenny Gow Primary Governors
Moss Hey October 2012 September 2016
Stu Foster Primary Governors
Gatley May 2013 April 2017
Stephen Powell Primary Governors
Norris Bank January 2014 December 2017
SECONDARY
Ian Roberts (Chair) Secondary Governors
Kingsway September 2006 August 2014
Paul Carter Secondary VA Rep
St James September 2010 August 2014
School Members (Governors) = 7

REPRESENTATIVES REPRESENTING TERMS OF OFFICE
ACADEMY From To
Linda McGrath Academy
Cheadle Hulme High September 2013 August 2017
Colin Short Academy
Reddish Vale Technology September 2013 August 2017
Academy Members = 2
GRAND TOTAL SCHOOL MEMBERS = 20

REPRESENTATIVES REPRESENTING TERMS OF OFFICE
NON-SCHOOLS From To
Renee Dickens PVI Early Years Sector October 2007 September 2015
Patricia Goodstadt Diocese September 2006 August 2014
Dawn Strachan School Panel September 2006 August 2014
Stephanie Longson Vulnerable Children November 2012 October 2016
Cllr Paul Porgess LA Member September 2012 August 2016
Rota basis
Danny Pearson
Jenny Singleton
Stephen Carlise Post 16 sector
Aquinas
Cheadle & Marple 6th Form
Stockport June 2013

May 2017

Non-School Members = 6
Membership Summary:
Maintained Schools 18
Academies 2
Non-Schools 6
Grand Total 26

All of the above members have been recruited; selected and appointed in accordance with the Election Process as outlined in the Schools Forum, Terms of Reference document (please refer to Appendix A)
LA OFFICERS and MEMBERS – NON VOTING RIGHTS:
Andrew Webb Corporate Director, Services to People
Donna Sager Service Director (Transforming & Commissioning)
Richard Bates Service Director (Education)
Cllr Shan Alexander Executive Councillor
Simon Finch Strategic Accountant
Peter Hughes Group Accountant
Gavin Monument EFA

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