Agenda and minutes

Schools Forum
Monday, 18th March, 2019 8.00 am

Venue: Main Hall, Bournemouth Learning Centre, Ensbury Ave, Bournemouth BH10 4HG

Contact: Marilyn Scofield-Marlowe  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Sue Ross – Director, Adults and Children, Bournemouth

Councillor Mike White – Borough of Poole

Jan Thurgood – Strategic Director, People Theme, Poole

Jacqui Kitcher – Bournemouth & Poole College, 14-19 Representative


Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interest

To receive any declations of disclosable pecuniary interest.


There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2019


RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting held on 08 January 2019, having been previously circulated, be taken as read, signed and confirmed by the Chairman as a correct record.


It was confirmed that the budget was approved by the Shadow Authority.


The Chair of the BCP High Needs Block (HNB) Financial Strategy Group gave a verbal update to Forum.  The HNB Financial Strategy Group has met several times, with good representation from BCP schools.  It was acknowledged that the additional funding from the Local Authority had cushioned the impact to schools, but that this was not a long term resolution to the pressure on the budget.


The financial information has been looked at closely by the Group, although the details for Christchurch are still unknown.  Estimates were made on the assumption that this will be broadly similar to Bournemouth and Poole. 


Although out of borough placements are high, these are mostly historic.


The banding system being implemented will cause significant challenges for some schools.  There have been areas of underspend in Bournemouth and Poole within some budgets of a total of £60,000.  This funding is to be used to provide a protection element for schools with a high proportion of pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), of 3% or higher.


Permanent exclusions are continuing to rise.  Placements outside of mainstream school are putting pressure on the HNB budget.  Sub groups are meeting to look at this issue and resolutions; Exclusions Reduction Group, High Needs Spend Group and Special School Headteachers Group.


A BCP HNB Action Plan has been put in place, which includes financial targets to be achieved.


Conversations have been taking place between the Local Authority and independent schools, to look at reducing costs.  The Local Authority is also working with Health to consider where they might make a contribution to out-of-Borough placements.


Initiatives such as outreach, Mainstream Plus and satellite classes have been actioned.


Looking forward, the impact of the HNB spend will continue.  This is not solely a school or Local Authority issue; this requires joint working. Unless government policy is changed, it will likely continue.


It was noted that Dorset has had a successful bid for a free school.  It was not known if this was in addition to the school at Bovington.  There are 39 free schools nationally, but only 2 are for alternative provision. 



It was agreed that VW will contact Dorset for clarification with regards to the free school bid.


The Chair expressed thanks to the Local Authority and school representatives for the hard work carried out.


RESOLVED that a standing item to receive updates from the HNB Financial Strategy Group is included on future Forum agendas.



Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) Update

To receive a verbal update.


Vicky Wales and Neil Goddard provided a verbal update on LGR.  It was clarified that the intention is to have a safe landing for services on 1 April 2019. 


There are IT challenges; there is confidence that the Social Care system will be in place. 


Information on the LA Traded Services offer was distributed on 15 March 2019.


Staff TUPE has been confirmed.


Graham Farrant, Chief Executive for BCP, is in post, with Judith Ramsden, Corporate Director of Children’s Services for BCP, starting soon.


Local Elections will be held in May 2019.


A positive approach was noted for the 1 April 2019; there will not be a change in services on the day but this was acknowledged to give an opportunity for improvement in the future.


RESOLVED that the verbal report was noted.



Looked After Children (LAC) Pupil Premium pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To consider the Report.

Additional documents:


Jeffrey Mason, Headteacher for the Bournemouth and Poole Virtual School, presented the report for arrangements for Pupil Premium Plus for 2019-2020.


It was noted that there are currently 3 policies across the conurbation; these are to be aligned for BCP.


Pupil Premium will attract funding of £2300 per school-aged LAC.  Schools will receive a maximum £650 per term per LAC, which equates to £1950 per year. £350 is retained for strategic use by the Virtual School to support LAC with complex disadvantages.  Schools are also able to apply for additional funding from these retained funds.  It also supports the training of the designated teacher for LAC and other staff development for schools.


The PEP has a central role to funding allocation.   It provides the core educational record for LAC, is integral to the care plan and is statutory.  The allocation of Pupil Premium is reliant on the information contained within the PEP, which is a shared working document showing educational targets and what needs to be in place in order for the LAC to meet these.


How a school intends to use the Pupil Premium Grant should be described on the PEP.  The amount allocated is based on what is described and costed on the PEP.  If the pupil is not to remain in education beyond Key Stage 4, the funding will be retained to support transition work into education, employment and training. 


For Early Years, the Virtual School provide support and PEPs are put in place.


It was queried how many LAC there will be across BCP.  It was confirmed that there will be approximately 270 LAC between the ages of 5 and Year 11; 350 including Early Years and post 16.


The regularity of PEPs and retained funding was queried; this was confirmed that the retention and regularity is set down in statutory guidance.


Retained funding is calculated on an annual basis, not termly basis.  It was queried how many schools had applied for additional funding; it was confirmed that approximately 12 had applied.


RESOLVED that the report was noted.



Final Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) Budget & Mainstream Schools Formula 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To consider the Report.


Nicola Webb confirmed that budgets have been sent out.  The report provided gives the final budget position for 2019/20.


The Chair thanked all for their work in producing this.


RESOLVED that the report was noted.


Maintained Schools Scheme of Delegation 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To consider the report.


Only 1 maintained school had responded to the consultation, largely seeking clarifications and these had been provided directly. No changes were proposed to the draft document circulated. 


RESOLVED that the Scheme for Financing Maintained Schools 2019-20 was agreed with the unanimous vote of 4 maintained school representatives.


Schools Forum for BCP 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 171 KB

To consider the Report.


It was confirmed that the meeting would be the final meeting of the Shadow Schools Forum; the final work of the Shadow Forum would be to look at the setting up of the BCP Schools Forum.


The Terms of Reference for the Schools Forum was circulated.  Setting up membership was the key issue to be looked at today.


The current Shadow Forum group has 7 primary representatives and 5 secondary representatives.


It was raised that the proposed representation balance going forward for primary and secondary had changed as 6th Form numbers had not been included as part of the mainstream representation; this would reduce secondary representation.  It was suggested that 6th Form funding was separate to the DSG. However, this age group is included in the high needs arrangements with growing demand having a significant impact on school budgets. Other Local Authority areas do include post 16 numbers and it was considered that this should continue for BCP.


Early Years representation was raised; there are currently 2 representatives, 1 from a voluntary setting and 1 private setting. The number of voluntary settings across BCP is small and it would be better to include all pre-schools as a category. A proposal was put forward that representation should be 1 nursery and 1 pre-school to better reflect the make up of providers.


RESOLVED the recommendation is to be made to BCP Council that the newly formed Schools Forum has the following proportion of academy representation of 7 primary and 5 secondary schools. Early years representation to be 1 day nursery and 1 pre school.


Representation was agreed to be sought by the following existing representatives by the end of April 2019:


Maintained Primary – Karen Boynton

Maintained Secondary – David Newman

Academy Primary – Kate Carter

Academy Secondary – Phil Keen

Maintained special – Geoff Cherrill will liaise with Julie Jeanes

All through schools – Jason Holbrook


The Early Years representatives to be selected by the sector.


It was clarified that, between the 4 maintained school representatives, at least 1 must be a governor.


Membership length was considered: it was considered that 1 year would be too short.  3 years was considered to be more appropriate but that primary and secondary representation would need to be re-visited during this time to ensure that it remained proportional. It was also considered that representatives may become ineligible, for instance in the event of academisation of a maintained school.


The Terms of Reference will need to be included on the Agenda for the first meeting of Schools Forum.



Any other Business

To consider any business which, in the opinion of the Chairman, is of sufficient urgency to warrant consideration.


Thanks were extended to the Chair and Shadow Forum by elected members, in recognition of the work that had been done.

Scheme for Financing Maintained Schools pdf icon PDF 225 KB