Agenda and minutes

Schools' Forum - Thursday, 5th July, 2018 4.00 pm

Venue: The King Centre, Main Road, Barleythorpe, Oakham, Rutland Le15 7WD

Contact: Business Support  01572 758311

No. Item


Minutes and Actions from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 581 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Schools’ Forum held on the 15 March 2018


The minutes of the meeting of the Schools’ Forum held on the 15th March 2018 were confirmed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.


Action 1

Alternative Use of High Needs Funding

Steve Cox to feedback to the group from the SEND Early Support Fund – Implementation Group.

Kevin stated that he would update the group in the Funding Update.



Action 2

Schools’ Forum Vacancies and Representation

Gill Curtis / Carl Smith to invite the two ‘deputies’ to the induction meeting on the 29th March 2018.

Carl reported that the induction meeting was held on the 28th March, both deputies attended and the induction process was very successful.



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.

(5 MINUTES for items 1, 2, 3)




No petitions, deputations or questions had been received.



Funding Update


Reports from Dawn Greaves were presented by Andrew Merry updating the Schools’ Forum on the latest forecast for the Schools’ Budget for 2017/18.  During discussion the following points were noted:



The DSG 2017/18 Outturn pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To receive a report from Dawn Greaves, Senior Accountant

Additional documents:


i.          Overall the budget has evened out. 

ii.         £150k has been removed from the DSG to repay the DfE.  This appears to give an overall underspend of £111k but the true picture is an actual overspend of £67k.

iii.        £175.6k deficit to be carried forward to the DSG.  The deficit had decreased since last year and plan was for this to keep dropping in future years.

iv.        Schools would not have to payback allocated funding in 2018/19.  However, budgets from 2019 onwards would be reduced. 

v.         Demand had significantly increased for Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans for high needs children.  40 assessment requests had been received this year to date.  The service currently had 200 active plans with 60 children in special needs schools.  Changes during the year were common with the plans.  The costs were a significant risk to budgets, leading to them becoming unsustainable.  Concern was now acute regarding budgets. 

vi.        Early Intervention Funding set aside of £50k.  Children in Years 5 or 6 who were at risk of exclusion were being identified by schools in order to select the most vulnerable, emotionally and behaviourally challenged children.  Looking at commissioning a service (therapeutic provision) in order to support children/schools.  We need to get better at reviewing the EHC plans and where appropriate either change or end the plan.  Capacity was needed within the service in order to do this and this capacity is currently not available.

vii.      Schools stated that they submitted assessment requests as a last resort whilst Sharon reported that the pastoral support system at the Brooke Hills Academy Trust worked very well.  

viii.     Steve noted that the High Needs Service was a good team, providing a good service and that there were lots of positives about the area including Kevin who was very passionate about the provision a high needs service.

ix.        It was agreed that Kevin would keep the forum updated on any changes.

x.         The Forum noted the draft outturn for 2017/18 Dedicated Schools Grant and the overall funding deficit of £175.6K



The DSG 2018/19 Budget Forecast pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To receive a report from Dawn Greaves, Accountant

Additional documents:


xi.   School allocations were showing an under-spend as we were forecasting that more schools would become academies.   

xii.      The main focus was on SEND and High Needs.  There were challenging circumstances, with potentially 13 cases at £8.5k per case though some would cost less but some could cost more. 

xiii.     Schools need to know very early on what the implications would be. 

xiv.     Dawn has looked at various options:


a.    1.5% repayment on total allocation 

Schools expressed grave concern over this option.  Acknowledgement was given that this was a very serious problem that required serious consideration.    Repayment could be done over 3 years, 5 years etc. – options available but that would not solve the problem.


b.    1.5% funding withheld in 1 years’ time

This could lead schools into serious financial difficulties and some into insolvency – a 1.5% decrease in funding would be a catastrophe.  


xv.      It was agreed that the issue needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency in order to stop the problem becoming very serious. 

xvi.     The East Midlands and Humber Headteachers’ Board would be looking at identifying what each child is costing to get the bargaining and negotiating power of schools. 

xvii.    The High Needs Service needs to be proactive rather than reactive but it currently does not have the capacity to do this.

xviii.  It was agreed that specific budget numbers for each school would be sent as soon as possible.

Action: Dawn / Andrew


Early Years

Verbal update regarding the Early Years Budget including feedback from Early Years Work Party



xix.Forecast to be overspent by £24k.  This was due to the numbers of 2 year olds being claimed for being higher than the numbers recorded on the January Census.  There was an issue regarding the submission of data but the message regarding the importance of this had gone out to schools and data submission was improving.



Both options detailed above would place all schools in a serious financial situation.   Schools do not have other savings to draw upon.  Either option would result in some schools becoming no longer financially viable and would lead to insolvency. 



School Capacity (SCAP) Returns

To receive a verbal update on pupil place planning assessment returns



A verbal update was received from Gill Curtis.  During discussion the following points were noted:


i.          Local authorities have a duty to ensure that there are sufficient school places in their area.  The school capacity survey (SCAP) is a statutory data collection that all local authorities must complete every year. LAs must complete statutory collections by law unless they have a very good reason not to.

ii.         Local authorities must submit data about:

·                  school capacity (the number of places and pupils in a school)

·                  pupil forecasts (an estimation of how many pupils there will be in future)

·                  capital spend (the money schools and local authorities spend on their buildings and facilities)


iii.        The survey collects information about:


·                  primary and secondary schools maintained by their local authority

·                  academies

·                  free schools (including university technical colleges (UTCs) and studio schools)

·                  city technology colleges


iv.        This year’s survey will be submitted by Friday 27th July and will contribute to the Education and Skills Funding Agency Annual School Capacity report – usually released late spring the following year. 

v.         Each local authority uses their local knowledge to generate pupil forecasts, which reflect the number of pupils they expect to provide a place for in each academic year. Local authorities provide forecasts 5 years ahead for primary pupils (from reception to year group 6) and 7 years ahead for secondary pupils (from year group 7 through to sixth form).

vi.        There is a degree of inherent uncertainty in forecasting three years ahead: pupil growth can materialise more quickly or more slowly than expected.  School Places Scorecard identifies that for 2017 Rutland over-forecast by +3.4% for secondary places which sits within a range of -9.3% to +4.8% nationally and +2.4% for primary places which sits within a national range of -6.2% to +8.5%.  This will be taken into account within 2018 SCAP forecasting.

vii.      Basic Need capital allocations are made to local authorities (LAs) to support the capital requirement for providing new pupil places by expanding existing maintained schools, free schools or academies, and by establishing new schools.

viii.     Basic need funding is allocated on the basis of a comparison of school capacity (not pupil admission numbers) against forecast mainstream pupil numbers from reception year to year 11, uplifted to provide a 2 per cent operating margin.

ix.        Basic need allocations are paid to local authorities (LAs) to support the capital requirement for providing new pupil places by expanding existing maintained schools, free schools or academies, and by establishing new schools. This is un-ring-fenced capital funding that is not time-bound, so that local authorities can make the best decisions for their local area.

x.         Between 2009/10 and 2016/ 17 393 new secondary and 197 new primary places were created, with an estimated 19.1% spare places in secondary schools for 2019/20 and 16.2% in primary.

xi.        Carl reported that a big housing development was proposed at Stamford North.  However all the S106 funding would go to Stamford i.e. Lincolnshire schools  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Consideration of Terms of Office - Decision pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To receive a report from Gill Curtis to discuss options for reviewing Terms of Office and programme for re-election of members of Schools Forum:


         Voluntary option to stand down

         Options for future elections early in autumn term



A report was presented by Gill Curtis.  During discussion the following points were noted:


i.          9 out of the 12 members of the Schools’ Forum will have their current period of office up for renewal in November 2018.

ii.         This would mean that the election process for these members would need to begin in early September.

iii.        There are 3 options available:


a.         Follow current Constitution and undertake elections for all 9 vacancies in autumn term 2018 as per agreed process

b.         Extend Terms of Office to four years with elections for 9 vacancies in summer term 2019 in preparation for autumn term 2019

c.         Develop a rolling programme for current Terms of Office with potential for elections for 5 members autumn 2018 and 4 in summer 2019 with revised agreed Terms of Office set up from date of election


iv.        Gill and Carl confirmed that the number of representatives for each phase was proportionate to the ratio of pupils in each phase.

v.         Carl informed the group that personally he would not want to go with option a.

vi.        It was agreed the group would wait until September to see what staff changes have happened in schools but must then make a decision as to what option to go for.

vii.      It was agreed that Jane would contact the 9 members due for renewal to identify which ones wished to stand for re-membership to the Schools’ Forum. 



Kevin Quinn left the meeting at 5.09 p.m.




Any Urgent Business




Funding Crisis

Carl highlighted the current funding crisis regarding teachers’ pay.  What would schools do if the Government stated an unfunded 2 or 3% pay increase for teachers?  This would lead to serious financial problems for schools and for some insolvency.  If schools don’t pay, it could lead to major industrial action within schools by teaching unions.  This situation would put Headteachers in an impossible position – either break the school or break the education system.  An announcement from the Government is expected imminently.



Review of Forward Plan and Dates of Next Meeting pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Thursday, 20 September 2018

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


An updated copy of the School’s Forum Forward Plan is attached.


The next meeting will be held on Thursday, 20th September 2018, at 4.00 pm at RCC, in the Council Chamber (TBC).


RCC/Schools’ Forum website








DSG 2018/19 Budget Forecast

It was agreed that specific budget numbers for each school would be sent as soon as possible.


Dawn Greaves / Andrew Merry



Consideration Of Terms Of Office

It was agreed that Jane would contact the 9 members due for renewal to identify which ones wished to stand for re-membership to the Schools’ Forum. 


Jane Narey