Agenda and draft minutes

Schools Forum - Tuesday, 7th July, 2020 9.00 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting

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.


Angela Malanczuk - Stanley Green Infant Academy

Patrick Earnshaw - Highcliffe School



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 154 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 17 January 2020, as a correct record.


RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting held on 17 January 2020, 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.


Public Issues

If you would like to raise anything for consideration at the upcoming schools forum meeting please contact the meeting clerk, no later than Thursday 2nd July. The Chair to the Forum will decide whether this should be considered at the meeting under Any Other Business, and you will be contacted in a timely manner to notify you of the outcome of this decision.




The Forum were advised that this is a new item and the addition is in line with other Democratic Services meeting procedures.


A notification had been received from Linwood School but this was dealt with separately as it was not a Schools Forum issue.



Dedicated Schools Grant Outturn 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 286 KB

The report considers the end of year position for the DSG budget 2019-20 at a net deficit of £1 million.


There is an overspend of £1.9 million from pressures within the High Needs Block, but this is partially offset by funding adjustments relating to prior years (£0.6m), and savings in other blocks (£0.3 million).


The resulting accumulated deficit at 31 March 2020 is £4.6 million with this required to be carried forward and recovered from future DSG allocations. 


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


The following points were noted:


·         The outturn for the last financial year was overspent but this was less than the figure projected.

·         The High Needs Block was overspent by £1.9m but this was slightly mitigated by prior year adjustments and small underspends in other blocks.

·         A funding gap of £6m has been identified for 2020/21, after the agreed £1m transfer of 0.5 percent from the Schools’ Block.

·         It was confirmed that the transfer from school’s block funding was noted in the minutes of the last meeting under Proposal 3. £1.8m had been agreed but the Secretary of State limited this to the 0.5% of £1m.


RESOLVED that the report was noted.



Looked After Children Pupil Premium Arrangements 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 448 KB

To take a decision whether to agree the arrangements for 2020-21


Jeff Mason, Virtual School Head Teacher, is leading on this item. The report was presented by Luana Girling, Policy and Governance Officer. It was due to be presented at the Schools Forum in March. The following points were noted:


·         The Policy has been changed to give more autonomy to schools,

·         Schools advised that the allocation of £650 per term was not sufficient and more funding is needed in the Summer Term. A decision was made to allocate £2000 per child instead and schools are happy with this. Funding is allocated in 3 separate payments but schools can choose to spend all at once;

·         The issue of schools with a higher number of LAC children having to provide more support was raised and it would be useful to be able to claim for this additional admin work. LG said that as there was surplus funding last year this may be possible and she would follow it up.

·         The process for disseminating payments was raised and LG advised that payments are totalled up in December.  It was suggested that schools should speak to the Virtual School Headteacher after Christmas about extra payments and all requests are considered.


RESOLVED that the report was noted.


COVID response and funding pdf icon PDF 126 KB

1.    The government have implemented a number of financial support packages for education providers.

2.    This report provides a summary of the most significant support available, and an overview of local financial policy that has been implemented.



COVID response and funding


Neil Goddard presented this item and the following points were noted:


·         Early Years providers have continued to receive full funding throughout the lockdown period up to 1 June 2020. In addition, providers that remained open and admitted additional children received additional funding. Early Years providers have been able to furlough staff in line with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and also apply to the local authority for a Discretionary Business Grant.

·         Schools have continued to receive full DSG funding throughout the lockdown period and from 1 June 2020. A financial support package was announced and all schools can claim against this for additional costs incurred as a direct result of the pandemic.

·         Increases to DSG announced for 2021-22 are expected to continue. A further support package of £650m for schools, equivalent to approximately £80 per pupil, has also been announced but the timeframe or allocation mechanism for this is not yet known.

·         A query regarding whether the amount per pupil is £80 or £91 was raised. JC to provide update once this is confirmed.



SEND Sufficiency Proposals - Update pdf icon PDF 169 KB

1.    As reported to the Schools Forum in January, the LA are implementing a programme of special school and resource base expansion to meet sufficiency needs for specialist placements in the area.

2.    This additional provision is intended to meet some of the additional needs being identified as well as reduce reliance on often expensive Non-Maintained and Independent provision, to support reducing pressure within the High Needs revenue budget.


Report was presented by Neil Goddard. The following points were noted:


·         This is a key item due to the overspend in the High Needs Block and the aim is to achieve a balanced budget next year. There is a High Needs Recovery Plan which Julian Radcliffe is leading on.

·         Further to consultation with all BCP schools, proposals for additional capacity have been identified at a number of sites. The availability of local provision will save money and help to achieve a balanced budget. Information on these proposals was provided including estimated number of places, costs and timeframes for delivery. There are also practical issues to consider such as obtaining the building materials needed and a second lockdown could also affect timeframes.

·         Basic Need Grant funding is being used to help fund these projects and only £0.9m remains unallocated. There will be no Basic Need funding next year.


·         We are currently waiting for a Special Free School bidding round.


·         It was confirmed that the location of the Secondary Satellite Provision will be in the Christchurch area at The Grange School but this is in the early stages. The issue of a lack of resources in the other side of the conurbation was raised but it is still cheaper for pupils to travel to Christchurch rather than go out of the area.


·         An additional column in the table presented within the report annex to provide details on the needs of pupils was requested as well as a consultation to get the right pupils into the right places.


·         There is an issue with Caseworkers not being aware of the spaces that are available. NG advised that a Sufficiency Strategy has been completed and this information will be shared in the Autumn. JR said he would look into the caseworker issue as he thought this had been resolved.


·         There will be an increased need for Post 16-19 places and discussions will be required. Julia Coleman is currently arranging these.



Election of Chair for the 2020/21 Academic Year

The Forum is asked to elect its Chair for the 2020/21 Academic Year.


·         A new Chair is needed as this will be the current Chair’s last meeting. The Forum were advised that if a new Chair cannot be found today, an LA Officer can chair in the meantime or alternatively, between now and September a new Chair could be elected via email.

·         Geoff Cherrill was proposed as the new Chair and this was seconded. The Forum were asked to vote on this proposal:

16 votes in favour and 0 votes against.

·         NG welcomed GC as the new Chair and thanked the departing Chair, on behalf of the Forum, for all his hard work.


Dates of Future Meetings

11 September 2020 8am

10 November 2020 8am



The following dates were noted:


·         September 30th 2020 at 9am

·         November 10th 2020 at 9am (changed from 8am)

·         December 8th 2020 at 9am

·         January 14th 2021 at 9am


All meetings will take place virtually via Teams until further notice.


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 and the meeting ended.