Agenda and draft minutes

Schools Forum - Friday, 17th January, 2020 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.


Apologies were received from Geoff Cherrill and Michael Reid.


Forum Members also noted that Jason Holbrook had now left Avonbourne Academy and therefore a replacement was needed for the Schools Forum.


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 273 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 5 November 2019, as a correct record.


RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting held on 5 November 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.



Introduction from DfE representative


Gemma Donnelly from the DfE advised that part of her role is to attend Schools Forums meetings, scrutinise minutes and ensure that voting is carried out according to regulations.  Attendees were invited to either ask questions or send them to her via email. GD added that she is not here because of any historic issues with the Forum. The issue of High Needs was raised and GD said it is a national issue and most LAs are struggling with their budgets.  GD was asked how many other LAs are using Early Years funding. Accurate details could not be provided but GD said that it is not unusual if budgets have money left over and further information will be available in Section 251 data. The issue of no additional funding being provided now age range has increased from 0-19 to 0-25 was mentioned and GD said all LAs have raised this.


Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) Budget Monitoring 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 172 KB

The report considers the projected end of year position for the DSG budget 2019-20 at a net deficit of £1.9m.


There is a predicted overspend of £2.7m resulting from pressures within the High Needs Block, but this is partially offset by funding adjustments relating to prior years (£0.6m) and saving in the Central School Services Block (£0.2m).


The resulting forecast deficit at 31 March 2020 is £5.5m.



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


The following points were noted:


·         There have been no changes to the forecast DSG income since September report.

·         Early Years funding is still estimated and will be finalised after the January 2020 census.

·         An overspend of £2.7m is expected in the High Needs Block despite action being taken.  Savings in other areas reduces the in-year deficit to £1.9m. The overall deficit is expected to increase from £3.6m to £5.5m by end March 2020.

·         In the EYs Block, the increasing cost of SEND is expected to use any surplus generated by lower deprivation allocations and this is reflected in budget estimates for 2020-21.


RESOLVED that the report was noted.



Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) Settlement and Budget 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 310 KB

1.     The initial DSG Settlement was received on 19 December 2019. It provided:


a.     Initial allocations for the Early Years Block based on the January 2019 census incorporating the announced £0.08 per hour increase in funding.    

b.     Final allocations for the Schools Block based on the October 2019 schools census.  The increase in funding through the Schools NFF for 2020-21 totals £11.9 million (6%). Higher funding values account for £9.3 million, as reported in November, with additional pupils at census providing a further £2.6 million.  Funding for in-year pupil growth at September 2020, has increased by £52k compared with last year. 

c.     Final allocations for the Central School Services Block based on the October 2019 census with the increase in pupil numbers providing an additional £18k of funding compared with the November report. This represents an annual reduction of £84k

d.     Indicative allocations for the High Needs Block have increased by £246k compared with the November report.  However, an element of funding remains dependent on the January 2020 census with allocations to be updated again in summer 2020.


2.     A draft DSG budget is provided in the Appendix to provide context for decisions on the meeting agenda.  The funding gap remains in the scale of £8m as included within the School Funding Consultation issued in December.   



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


The following points were noted:


·         The initial DSG Settlement was received on 19 December 2019.

·         There are no changes for Early Years.

·         Schools Block funding rates were announced in October 2019. Only the pupil numbers have changed. Numbers in primaries have mostly stabilised and increased in Secondaries.

·         High Needs Block – there is a slight increase in the December Settlement but it is difficult to forecast how this will be updated in the summer. It was confirmed that in the scale of the overall high needs DSG this adjustment should be small.

·         An annual funding gap of £8m is expected – this is without a transfer of funding from Early Years or Schools or further cuts to high needs services.

·         Increase %s in Table 1 (Page 20) is monetary value and not per pupil value.


RESOLVED that the report was noted.


Statement from Parent Carer Forum pdf icon PDF 118 KB

To consider the report.


Representatives from the Parent Carers Together Forum attended and read the statement that had been provided to the Schools Forum.


The following points were noted:


·         Concerns about lack of funding;

·         Accountability is needed for how funding is spent;

Need for early intervention and support.


High Needs Block Financial Strategy Group pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To receive a powerpoint presentation.


Julian Radcliffe, Service Director Inclusion and Family Services BCP Council, presented the report. The following points were noted:


·         BCP Health & Well Being Board reports on developments;

·         Board has initiated a review of SEND. A 4 day Peer Review of services etc across BCP is starting on 28 January;

·         Need to look at early intervention and support

·         Joint Commissioning (SEND) Strategy and arrangements with Health/CCG;

·         A SEND Transformation & Development Board has been formed and 2 meetings have now been held.

·         SEND Sufficiency Strategy is being completed and this will inform us where needs are. All BCP schools are invited to a meeting on January 21;

·         SEND restructure has now been completed. There will be additional capacity to identify where issues are and posts will be created where needed;

·         High cost decisions will need to be made and better scrutiny is being introduced


Children in Care


·         Virtual School Strategic Board has been set up;

·         Virtual School Peer Review is taking place in February 2020.


Family and community facing


·         Early Help, Family Support & Young People’s Strategy (2020-2023) will lead to a full restructure of services;

·         Early Help Partnership & CE Partnership Boards to be established;


A list of projected and immediate savings was provided. These are estimated at £2.5m and are considered to be robust by the service with actions already underway.



Schools and Early Years Formula Consultation outcomes and Transfer to High Needs Block pdf icon PDF 1 MB

This report sets out the outcome of the Schools and Early Years Funding consultations, and proposals for the BCP funding formulae and growth fund. The report also provides a proposal for reducing the projected High Needs budget gap, and requires approval for the Central School Services Block (CSSB) budgets and services to maintained schools and central budgets supporting the early years free entitlements.

Additional documents:


Jack Cutler, Quality and Commissioning, BCP Council, presented the report followed by the outcomes of the 2 Consultations.


The following points were noted:


·         Projected funding gap on High Needs budget 2020-21 is £9.5m Any funding transfers in previous years were for one year only with the gap increasing over time.  

·         LA put £2.4m in last year but will not be able to do so this year; Schools transferred £2.2m and early years £0.2m with fresh decisions needed this year.

·         Primary and Secondary units of funding are based on last years’ school data. This amount is multiplied by new pupil numbers for October 2019 and will give us £1.8m surplus when applying October 2019 census data to the 2020-21 NFF funding rates and formula mechanisms. If we transfer the £1.8m to high needs we could still fund schools at full NFF formula rates.

·         The wording of questions in the Schools Consultation was very difficult and it was asked if language could be simplified in future. It was suggested that a group of headteachers should read them in advance next time.

·         The outcomes of the consultations were covered in considerable detail, with the level of support considered for each question asked in the consultation and a summary of responses provided. It was also indicated where responses to questions may be of benefit to Forum members when considering their position on the proposals to be voted on.

·         EY representatives expressed concern that due to Christmas holidays there was insufficient time to complete the EY consultation.

·         Requests for data on how much HN funding is going to EYs providers have been made but it was felt that no information had been received. NW advised that information was included in the paper she presented earlier and a breakdown had also been provided last year. Forum representatives were referred to Appendix 6 of the School Funding consultation and also the appendices of earlier meeting papers.

·         Sue Johnson and Linda Duly presented a paper on Early Years Funding proposing that there is no deduction from the EY block to help offset the HNB overspend.


Schools Forum members were asked to vote on the following proposals:


PROPOSAL:  Does Schools Forum agree to support the proposals recommended by Julian Radcliffe totalling £2.5m?


20 votes for and 0 against


PROPOSAL: Does Schools Forum support LA recommendation for £0.2m transfer from Early Years to High Needs Block?


18 voted against, 1 for and 1 abstention.



PROPOSAL: Does Forum support £1.8m transfer to High Needs Block from surplus NFF funding?


18 voted for and 2 against



PROPOSAL: Are Schools Forum in favour of an additional 0.5% transfer from Schools Block to High Needs Block?


14 votes against, 4 for and 2 abstentions



PROPOSAL: Does Schools Forum support an additional 1.1% transfer from National Funding Formula?


15 votes against.3 voted for, and 2 abstentions


PROPOSAL: Does Schools Forum support an enhanced £0.2m from PEX enhanced adjustment?


20 votes for.


PROPOSAL: Does Schools Forum support reduction to Outreach Services?


19 against and 1 abstention.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To consider and note the Forward Plan


To consider and note the Forward Plan.


Feedback is needed from the Schools Forum at the next meeting as the full transfer is not being supported and alternative action is required. Julian Radcliffe and Neil Goddard were invited to attend the Secondary Headteachers meeting on 3 February.


Dates of Future Meetings

·         Friday 19 June 2020

·         Additional dates are TBC



·         Tuesday 3 March 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.


No other business was raised.