Agenda and minutes

Schools' Forum - Thursday, 18th January, 2018 4.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Catmose, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6HP. View directions

Contact: Corporate Support  01572 720903

No. Item


Minutes and Actions from the Previous Meeting

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Schools’ Forum held on 21 September 2017


The minutes of the meeting of the Schools’ Forum held on 21 September 2017, copies of which had been previously circulated, were confirmed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.


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.



Mrs M Darlington joined the meeting at 4.05pm

Dr T O’Neill joined the meeting at 4.14pm





To receive a paper from Ms Gill Curtis:  DECISION TO BE MADE


Ms Gill Curtis introduced the item and apologised to Mrs Sam Hearth as her name had accidentally been removed from the Schools’ Forum membership. There are currently two Schools’ Forum vacancies to be filled – one for a school member for primary maintained and one for academies. Ms Curtis reminded Schools’ Forum that it was important to recognise the educational profile of schools in Rutland which included faith schools.


i           Mr John Woodhead stated that in his role of representative for the Diocese, he represented both Church of England and Roman Catholic schools. This had been in place since a previous review of membership in 2015 when the diocesan representation had been reduced from two to one. In the event that he was unable to attend meetings, his designated representative was Mr Andreas Menzies who is currently a governor at English Martyrs Roman Catholic Primary School.


ii          Ms Curtis asked the membership whether they thought the current arrangement was proportional. Mr Woodhead asked whether there should be student representation at the forum.


iii         Mr Stuart Williams stated that it might be a good idea to have a non-voting post- 16 year old member but it was AGREED to leave things as they were at the present time but to review within the annual membership review.


iv         Mr Steve Cox raised the point about what would happen if a maintained primary school were to become an academy. Ms Curtis confirmed that the guidelines make it clear that the member representing maintained primaries would have to relinquish their membership if this became the case.


v          With regard to the vacancy for the academy member, it was recognised that to maintain proportionality of representation of primary and secondary pupils, the vacancy would be relevant to secondary academies. Mr Williams made the point that there were only three secondary academies in Rutland and as two of the heads were already on the schools’ forum, that in effect only left a representative from Uppingham Community College to fill the vacancy.


It was AGREED that the forum membership would move towards nominating and electing a representative.




          Notifications to be sent out to schools seeking representation for membership of the Schools’ Forum for the vacancies in maintained primary schools and secondary academies – GC/CS


With regard to length of office, Dr Tim O’Neill stated that the formalities needed to be correct in the event that the forum should ever be externally regulated. Mr Williams felt that the length of office issue also needed formalising. It was AGREED that this would be taken to the next Head Teachers’ Briefing for discussion.




          Mr Stuart Williams to draft a proposal to be sent round to the academy sector regarding length of office of the Schools’ Forum


The Chair requested that Item 6 be discussed ahead of item 5 to accommodate Mr Williams who needed to leave the meeting early.



To receive the following update:


Schools Budget 2017/18 Latest Forecast


(Document to follow)


Ms Greaves provided an update on the 2017/18 Schools’ Budget.  Spending on High Needs remains the focus and it was good news that the predicted overspend of £400K had been reduced to an overspend of £129K.


The forum noted the forecast position for the 2017/18 Designated Schools’ Grant (DSG) and the overall deficit of £82.2K for the year



To receive a paper from Ms Dawn Greaves:  DECISION TO BE MADE


Ms Greaves fed back on the Consultation on the funding formula for schools. Eight out of 20 schools had responded to the consultation document, seven were in favour of adopting the National Formula whilst one argued in favour of keeping the local formula. The Council does not propose to introduce a growth fund or falling roll fund at this stage.  It was AGREED that based on the agreement of the School’ Forum, Ms Greaves would be able to circulate the actual figures involved next week.  Members unanimously AGREED to follow the National Funding Formula giving each school a funding guarantee of a 0.5% increase per pupil and the transfer of  a maximum of 0.5% from the schools block to the high needs block.




           Ms Greaves to circulate the figures on the school funding formula



To receive a paper from Mr Kevin Quinn:  INFORMATION ONLY


Mr Kevin Quinn presented his paper on the SEND Early Support. Mr Quinn proposed that £100K from the 2018/19 budget be ring fenced to support early effective transition from primary to secondary school for SEND children.  Mr Quinn provided the eligibility criteria for accessing the fund at Appendix A of his paper and said that this could go live in April 2018 if there was an appetite for it.  Mr Quinn stated that the data would suggest that this would be the most effective use of funds rather than waiting until children reached transition age when it might be too late.


i           Mr Williams commented that he supported the core principles but was worried about the cost.  Mr Williams did not feel that the money offered would have a big enough impact and would be happier if a package of support could be put together.


ii          Dr O’Neill stated that the proposal was a work in progress and that Forum could choose to earmark some funding for this proposal which could remain unspent pending further discussion.


iii         Mr Cox asked if the proposal was drifting towards transition only.  Mr Quinn said that this was initially the case but that the data gave more clarity and would suggest earlier intervention. Mr Cox supported this and suggested it might be better to trial and identify some specific children and that a costed trial might be the way forward.


It was AGREED that Mr Quinn would do some further work on his proposal and bring it back to the Schools’ Forum. In the meantime, funding would be earmarked whilst further work was undertaken. It was further AGREED that Mr Cox would share his thoughts with Mr Quinn regarding what a costed trial might look like.




           Mr Quinn to do further work on the proposal

           Mr Quinn to earmark £50K funds in 2018/19

          Mr Cox and Mr Quinn to discuss moving forward with a identifying potential case studies



Mr Williams left the meeting at 4.46







The first meeting of the EYFS Working Party took place on 29 September 2017.  Ms Greaves informed the Members that data on financial calculations resulting from the meeting had not yet been received as 18th January was  the EY Census Day and data was not yet available.  This would be available by the time of the next EYFS meeting on 29 January 2018.


i           Ms Greaves stated that working with the Census data would present a good opportunity to accurately shape Early Years Childcare and Education provision.


ii          Mrs Hearth stated she was very pleased to see that the profile of child minders raised and that this would present an opportunity to support young children transitioning to their primary school placements.


iii         Mr David Wilby commented that the 30-hour extended entitlement provision was high profile with current news and that it would be useful for the Scrutiny Panel to have an update on how the provision was progressing.  This is on the forward plan for February Scrutiny Panel and he looked forward to receiving feedback from the meeting to be held on 29 January 2018.


iv         Ms Greaves stated that the budget for EY provision was overspent last year and needed to be recouped. There was a National Funding Formula in place that needed to be followed.  At present Rutland was paying one of the highest rates. It was AGREED that Ms Greaves would check what other local authorities to see where we stood on this bearing in mind that all authorities are subject to the National Funding Formula.



To receive a paper from Ms Gill Curtis:  DECISION TO BE MADE


A draft copy of the Schools’ Forum Schedule and Forward Plan had been circulated prior to the meeting for Members to consider.  Ms Curtis asked for feedback from Members regarding the inclusion of the Forward Plan as a standing item for future meetings. The Forward Plan would inform Members of the schedule of topics for future Schools’ Forum meetings.  It was AGREED that the Forward Plan would become a Standing Agenda Item with effect from the next meeting on 15 March 2018.




          Schools Forum Schedule Forward Plan to be included in future Agendas as a standing item



Any Urgent Business


The newly appointed SEND Capital Programme Manager, Ms Louise Crockenden- Johnson, has now started in post and asked that the Schools Forum be made aware of her appointment and her remit. A short piece about the Programme has been published in the January Education Bulletin and is attached to the Minutes. Ms Crockenden-Johnson asked that any thoughts from Forum members be feed through to her.




          Mrs Snodin to attach a copy of the January Education Bulletin article with the outgoing Minutes


Date of Next Meeting

Thursday, 15 March 2018

4.00-5.00pm in the Council Chamber, RCC, Catmose


Proposed Agenda Items:




The next meeting will be held on Thursday 15 March 2018, at 4.00 pm at RCC, in the Council Chamber.


Proposed agenda items:




The Chair declared the meeting closed at 5.07pm.




RCC/Schools’ Forum website