Agenda and draft minutes

Schools Forum
Tuesday, 5th November, 2019 8.00 am

Venue: Main Hall - Bournemouth Learning Centre - BLC. View directions

Contact: Jacqui Phillips - 01202 456147  Email:

No. Item




The Chair opened the meeting and welcomed all present.  



Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.





Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests from Forum Members/Officers in matters appearing on the agenda.


There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 210 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 25 September 2019, as a correct record.


RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 September 2019, having been previously circulated, be taken as read, signed and confirmed by the Chairman as a correct record.

It was noted that all other matters arising are covered in the agenda.



Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) Funding Announcements for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To consider the information report.




Nicola Webb, Assistant Chief Finance Officer, BCP Council, presented the report.


Since the paper was written the early years announcements had been made and these gave an increase for 2, 3 and 4 yr. olds. The department have increased the rate by 8p per hour. It was noted that the pre-school Learning Alliance had challenged the Government funding rates and had been successful and the details will be published on 15 November 2019.


The National Funding Formula (NFF) for mainstream schools was close to what was expected and as reported at the September meeting.


There is an increase of 8.8% to High Needs which is slightly higher than expected. This was due to the higher demographic growth that the department uses for their calculations.


There will be a 2.5% reduction to the Central Services block for on-going LA duties. The reduction for historic commitments is 20% which looks like this will be phased out over 5 years (but nothing has yet been indicated by the DfE).


RESOLVED that the report was noted.




Mainstream Schools Formula 2020-21 Proposals for Consultation pdf icon PDF 263 KB

To consider the information report.

Additional documents:


Jack Cutler, Quality and Commissioning, BCP Council, presented the report.


At the last meeting the data was provisional but there is now more certainty on the figures as detailed information and clarifications have been received. 


There has been a significant change to the Minimum Per Pupil Funding Levels (MPPFL). The formula factors have received a significant increase of 4% excluding Free School Meals (FSM). Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) has been applied against the 19/20 NFF allocations rather than against the individual school’s budget distribution formula. The MFG in the local formula protects against last year’s actual funding rates.


As there was transfer between blocks last year this meant that school allocations were slightly below NFF. This and other vagaries in the formula methodology mean there is £100,000 surplus after all schools have been allocated NFF allocations for 2020/21. This could be transferred to high needs or for distribution to mainstream schools. The Growth Funding has not been announced yet.


It was explained that in 19/20 the NFF had been scaled back of for the transfer to the High Needs Block through various levers – MFG, cap, MPPFL and levels of the Basic Entitlements.


It was noted that the MPPFL is expected to be used as a mandatory factor in 20/21 and set at the level of the NFF.  To reduce these a disapplication request will be needed with this linked to affordability as Ministers want these levels to be achieved as a matter of policy. 


MFG can be set between +.5 and +1.84% which will see an increase against last years figures. There has been an increase of 4% in the formula rates for most factors. There is no cap in the NFF 20/21 but a cap can apply to the LFF. 


In 2019/20 the NFF was adjusted in 4 ways to achieve a funding level for transfer. The MFG could be varied and scaled back. Formula schools funding could be based on a decision to scale all formula factors  or only the basic entitlement, the maximum scaling would be when all formula schools can be put onto the MFG. It was noted another option was to set a gains cap all formula schools and this will target those who have the largest gains. The last option was to scale back the MFPPL from the NFF rates but note this requires the DfE to agree.


There have been changes in the formula factors for 2020/21. The data from 3 census details have been used to determine mobility in a new formulaic way. This has allocated more money to BCP. It will be £400,000 compared to £50,000. Mobility funding will be included in the MPPFL not on top.


It was questioned how many schools in BCP would be impacted by the changes to the mobility factor. It was estimated that 10 schools would be impacted. The threshold for mobility has been lowered with more schools now qualifying in the LFF.


Table 3 shows the indication of the NFF allocations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.


Permanent Exclusion Financial Adjustment: A Revised Proposal pdf icon PDF 377 KB

To consider the information report.



Jack Cutler, Quality and Commissioning, BCP Council, presented the report.


The report comprised a revised proposal for the permanent exclusion financial adjustment. It is based on the statutory minimum and a half way measure on the original proposal. The principle is that the funding follows the pupil. It was explained that if the funding followed the pupil this would contribute to funding Alternative Provision (AP) or for the pupil in the receiving school. The adjustment would follow either the LA financial year or the academy financial year, whichever was applicable.


It was explained that the original proposal was that if a pupil was excluded after October the full additional funding including Pupil Premium (PP) relating to the next financial year would form part of the exclusion charge. The revised proposal states that if a child was excluded after the October census date the funding would be adjusted through the additional factor and the PP funding only (ie not the basic entitlement) for the next financial year. The element funding would be unique to that pupil (and may not apply to any replacement)


It was confirmed that this proposal only applied to additional factors and PP. The basic entitlement would be adjusted from the relevant date in the current financial year only 


It was questioned what would happen if a pupil was excluded from an academy and went to a maintainedschool. It was confirmed that the financial year end of the receiving school would be considered, and the amount would be pro-rata to the end of the financial year. It was suggested that this would be a disadvantage for the HNB where the pupil is moving from a LA school to an Academy but would be an advantage if the pupil moved from an Academy to a mainstream school.


It was noted that the principle of the money following the pupil was not the basis of any other financial application. It was confirmed that there was a lot of mobility in the authority.


RESOLVED:  Schools Forum voted on the revised proposal.  This was passed with 10 votes for, 1 against and 4 abstentions.  This would now require a consultation with schools.



High Needs Report pdf icon PDF 614 KB

To consider the information report.


Julian Radcliffe, Service Director Inclusion and Family Services BCP Council, presented the report.


Julian Radcliffe introduced himself and clarified his role within BCP. He noted that there were challenges within his area of responsibility in relation to the HNB. It was confirmed that he wanted to secure strong partnership working between the  LA and schools.


It was noted that there remains challenge around vulnerability both within BCP, regionally and nationally and the system as a whole will need   to work together to address this.


It was suggested that the report details a complex situation and that some, but not all of the current challenges are external  to LA control. The demographic challenge was noted and the fact that the age range for High Needs (HN) had been extended through legislation.


It was clarified that there had been significant pupil growth and there were more children with complex needs due to medical advances. There are also increasing numbers of pupils with autism and SEMH which presents a challenge for schools. It was noted that teachers must be supported to include pupils presenting with challenging behaviour and it was suggested that this was greatest in KS3/KS4.


A large number of pupils are being placed in high cost settings. This is placing a significant demand on the HNB and needs to be addressed as a priority  


Concerns were raised about the number of exclusions increasing each year at KS 3 and 4. The number of pupils excluded in BCP is twice the national average. This needs to be understood and also addressed as a priority.


It was noted that there remains a lack of sufficiency in mainstream schools in respect of additionally resourced places. A discussion was held on this issue and it was agreed that sufficiency had to be a priority. Concerns were raised that the costs would continue to increase if this issue was not addressed.


It was suggested that alongside sufficiency the workforce needed to be supported and with the right support (including a strong WFD offer), so they felt confident and enabled to include vulnerable pupils in schools. 


It was confirmed that an increase in specialist services for schools, would also promote the confidence and capability of staff to support pupils with more complex needs .



Issues with the 14+ curriculum were raised. It was felt that a more traditional curriculum was not always a good fit for pupils and this can impact on their overall engagement. Some pupils need a different approach and options need to be explored.


The issue of joint commissioning was raised – in relation to Health engagement and contribution. At this time, these arrangements appear under developed and costs associated with more complex pupils (in particular) sit with Education.


The view was expressed that children do not exist in isolation; rather they exist in a series of systems (i.e. home; school; community) and each of  these needs to be stable if children are able to thrive. Future service design will need to ensure a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 29 KB

To consider and note the Forward Plan





Forward Plan


December 2019


·       Early Years Formula Consultation Outcome

·       Mainstream Schools Formula Consultation Outcome

·       High Needs Block Financial Strategy Group

·       Central School Services Budget 2020-21

·       DSG Budget Monitoring 2019-20


January 2020


·       DSG Settlement and Budget 2020-21

·       Growth Fund 2020-21

·       Funding Transfer from Schools Block 2020-21

·       Maintained Schools Central Retention 2020-21

·       Looked After Children Pupil Premium Arrangements 2020-21

·       Early Years Formula Consultation Outcome

·       Visit from ESFA representative


June 2020


·       DSG Outturn 2019-20

·       High Needs Block Financial Strategy Group

·       Scheme of Financing Maintained Schools (if update is required)



Dates of Future Meetings

·         11 December 2019

·         17 January 2020

·         19 June 2020


-   Wednesday 11 December 2019

-   Friday 17 January 2020

-   Friday 19 June 2020



Any Other Business

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


Felicity Rise informed the forum about a planet and climate change programme that was being partnered with Bournemouth University. Details would be sent out in due course.


It was noted that there is a meeting on 25 November to discuss SEND and that all Headteachers will be invited.


The Chair thanked all the members for their valued contribution to the discussion.