Agenda and minutes

Schools' Forum - Thursday, 29th June, 2017 4.00 pm

Venue: Oakham Enterprise Park

Contact: Hazel Fardell 

No. Item


Minutes and Actions from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Schools’ Forum held on 30 March 2017.


The minutes of the meeting of the Schools’ Forum held on 30 March 2017, copies of which had been previously circulated, were confirmed as a true and accurate record of the meeting, subject to the following amendment:


Item 4, correction of typographical error, final point should be numbered 4.3 and not 4.2.


Matters arising:


4.2       Mrs Greaves confirmed that an update of the current forecasted overspend had been sent to schools to give an indication of the amount that might be recouped from 2017/18 budgets.


4.3       The paper ‘High Needs Forecasting Update’ was to be considered at the meeting.


8.         Further to the query regarding payment of bank balances to schools at conversion to academy status, members were referred to the paper ‘School Balances & Interest Earned’ in the agenda pack. RCC Finance have undertaken a review and confirmed that all schools received their full entitlement to interest earned on their balances up to the point of conversion to academy.  An issue has been identified relating to additional funds received by 4 schools, and the Council is working with the schools affected.



Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Regulations, Members are invited to declare any personal or prejudicial interests they may have and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this Agenda and/or indicate if Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.



No declarations of interest were made. 



Petitions, Deputations and Questions

To receive any petitions, deputations and questions received from Members of the Public in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 217.


The total time allowed for this item shall be 30 minutes.  Petitions, declarations and questions shall be dealt with in the order in which they are received.  Questions may also be submitted at short notice by giving a written copy to the Committee Administrator 15 minutes before the start of the meeting.


The total time allowed for questions at short notice is 15 minutes out of the total time of 30 minutes.  Any petitions, deputations and questions that have been submitted with prior formal notice will take precedence over questions submitted at short notice.  Any questions that are not considered within the time limit shall receive a written response after the meeting and be the subject of a report to the next meeting.



No petitions, deputations or questions were received from members of the public.



Mr R Gooding joined the meeting at 4.05pm

Dr T O’Neill joined the meeting at 4.08pm





To consider if a review of the current Constitution is required to reflect Good Practice Guidelines

Additional documents:


4.1       Mr C Smith, having taken up the position of Chair of Schools’ Forum, proposed that it was an opportune time to review the constitution and rules of conduct, and how the Forum is working. The following documents had been circulated to members prior to the meeting for their consideration and to prompt discussion:


EFA Schools forum – operational and good practice guide

Rutland Schools’ Forum and Rules of Conduct

EFA Schools forum powers and responsibilities

EFA Schools forum self-assessment toolkit


4.2      Members were asked to complete the self assessment toolkit and return to the Clerk as hard copy, or via


4.3      Ms Curtis advised that she and Mr Smith had undertaken a review of agendas and minutes of other Schools’ Forums and identified the following areas of good practice. It was suggested that these be incorporated into the working practices of the Rutland Schools’ Forum:


·         Clarity on types of membership and which sector members are representing

·         Members’ terms of office specified, to aid preparation for future elections

·         Agenda items to have allocated amount of time

·         Expected outcome of agenda items, whether it is for consideration, noting only, or for a decision to be made.

·         Each report to have a simple front sheet that states the key points within the report, and the expectations of the report; for consideration, noting, and decision. Where a decision is required, clarification of which members are entitled to vote is helpful.

·         An induction pack for new members, and a buddy system where new forum members can refer to more experienced members for advice if required.

·         Setting up an annual calendar of events of what will happen over the course of the year. This could include reporting dates for Working Parties of the forum.

·         Introduction of name cards at meetings


4.4       Schools’ Forum discussed the proposals made and the following was noted:

·         Mr Woodhead pointed out that the current constitution under non-school members allowed for a Youth Council representative, but that Schools’ Forum had previously agreed to include a non-school based teacher representative instead. Also, under non-school members’ voting rights in Appendix 3 of the constitution, the Diocese representative is not included.

·         It was felt the Local Authority would be best placed to produce an induction pack. Ms Curtis asked newer members to consider and suggest what they might have found helpful, and to email any comments or suggestions to her within the next week ( 

·         It was suggested that given the changing nature of education within the county, the constitution and operational working of the forum should be reviewed and discussed at the end of each academic year, with a view to making changes as required to membership etc, in time for the start of the next academic year.


4.5       Schools’ Forum AGREED that the proposals suggested be implemented. 




To receive:


·                     The DSG 2016/2017 Outturn

·                     School Balances and Interest earned

·                     High Needs paper

Additional documents:


5.1       Schools’ Form NOTED the contents of the Schools Budget 2016/17 Outturn paper. During the discussion the following comments were made:


  • It is no longer possible to cover any overspend on the Early Years  block by transferring funds from the other two blocks.
  • Ms Curtis advised that the Early Years team undertake a childcare sufficiency assessment each year. This will provide information about the basic capacity within the county, but it is not known how many spaces providers will make available for the 30 hours ‘free’ childcare for 3&4 year olds to be introduced by the Government in the autumn.
  • Ms Curtis also advised the Early Years team review the number of applications being received from parents on a weekly basis, and the number has been steadily increasing. With the recent General Election, the Government withheld releasing promotional material about this free child care, and once published it may create a further rush of interest from parents.


5.2       Schools’ Forum AGREED to establish a Working Group to consider and assess how best to resolve the issues being experienced. After seeking expressions of interest Carl Smith, Sharon Milner and Gill Curtis will form part of the Working Party. It was proposed that Mary Darlington as EY PVI representative, be invited to take part, and to also seek representation from outside the Forum. It was further AGREED that Ms Curtis would write to childcare providers and schools looking for two further members. The Working Party will meet in the autumn.


5.3       Ms Curtis and Mr Quinn introduced the paper ‘High Needs Forecasting Update’. The paper set out the pressures on the High Needs budget locally and nationally, a review of how forecasting has been done in the past and the reasons why it has been difficult to achieve a high level of accuracy in forecasting budgets. The paper also detailed new proposals for future forecasting , options available for dealing with pressures, work currently underway or planned by the Council and how overspends might be dealt with in future.


5.4       Following discussion, Schools’ Forum NOTED the contents of the paper, and remarked that the paper was well written and informative. It is hoped that the ongoing work and developments now required, will proceed without further delays.



Any Urgent Business


Mrs Turner will be leaving Uppingham Community College in August, and Councillor Wilby, on behalf of Schools’ Forum, presented cards and gifts to her and thanked her for all she has done at UCC, and as Chair of the Schools’ Forum, a post she held for a number of years, together with best wishes for the future.



Date of Next Meeting

Thursday, 21 September 2017, 4.00pm-5.00pm in the Council Chamber


Proposed Agenda Items:




The next meeting will be held on Thursday, 21 September 2017, at 4.00 pm at RCC,       in the Council Chamber.


Proposed agenda items:


  • Outcomes of review of constitution and working practices.