1 SCHOOLS’ FORUM MEETING HELD ON 13th DECEMBER 2011 PRESENT: Primary School Headteacher: Mrs S Jones Secondary School Headteacher: Mr J Morgan – Chair Academies Principal: Mr C Coady Primary School Governors: Mrs V Fletcher, Mr H Smith Secondary School Governors: Mr I Bartle, Mr L Wadey Diocesan Representative: Dr P Mackie 14 – 19 Representative: Mr M Clinton Trade Union Representative: Mr D Campbell Observer: Councillor Mrs A McCoy – Cabinet Member Children and Young People Officials: Ms J Humphreys – Corporate Director – Children, Education and Social Care Mrs L Brown – Head of Service Children, Schools and Complex Needs Mr D New – Senior Finance Manager Mrs N Fletcher – Secretary to the Forum Also in Attendance: Mr G Waller – Senior Finance Officer 1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE Apologies for absence had been received from Mrs J Conway, Mr T Gittins, Mr J Lyons, Mr J White, Mrs P Banks, Mr P Connaughton and Mrs L Hobson. The Chair welcomed Mr L Wadey and Mr D Campbell to their first meeting, he also advised members that this maybe Mr H Smith’s last meeting as his term of office would cease after the meeting. 2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 20th September 2011 were approved as a true record. 3. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES 3.1 Publication of Schools’ Forum Papers The Secretary reported that she had investigated having the Forum’s minutes published on the SBC website and had been informed that a review was currently being undertaken as to the types of information to be published on the SBC website. 2 Following discussion, RESOLVED that a) J Humphreys would pursue the publication of the Forum’s J minutes on SBC website; Humphreys b) for the interim period a note of the Forum’s action would be circulated to Headteachers and Principals. 3.2 Dual Registration D New was drafting a protocol for presentation to Primary Headteachers. 3.3 Targeted Mental Health J Humphreys advised members that she would be attending a meeting with the PCT where this matter was to be discussed. She would be highlighting that the LA wished to continue with and extend the programme, but understood that the PCT were in a difficult position financially. M Clinton considered that the support provided by this service was very valuable and had implications on both pupils behaviour and education. 3.4 Looked After Children (LAC) Members were informed that the first payment for the summer term had been sent out. 4. EARLY YEARS FUNDING FORMULA - CHILDMINDERS The purpose of the circulated report was to ask members to consider the following:- the inclusion of 14 Childminder Network members on the register of providers delivering 15 hours free nursery entitlement for three and four year olds; the implications of the current EYSFF on childminder funding. It was proposed that the existing EYSFF be adapted to fund childminders. For the reasons stated in the report this excluded the quality lump sum factor and the sustainability element. RESOLVED that the Forum support the proposed EYSFF funding arrangements for childminders from the spring term 2012 5. CONSTITUTION / OPERATING PROCEDURES D New advised members that it had been some time since the constitution and operating procedures had been reviewed. He reported that the procedures had been reviewed and amended in-line with current legislation but further changes are expected next year. 3 L Wadey stated that the regulations recommended that Forums discuss whether to allow substitution of members. The Chair reported that this matter had previously been discussed and the decision taken was that substitutions would not be allowed. RESOLVED a) to approve the constitution and operating procedures as presented; b) that a full list of members of the Forum would be circulated with the Secretary papers for the next meeting. 6. STANDARDS FUNDS UPDATE – DfE LETTER Members had been circulated with a letter from the DfE dated 3.10.11 regarding a permanent solution to the concerns raised by the integration of the Standards Fund in the Dedicated Schools Grant in the current financial year. The DfE’s intention was to pay an additional sum of £155m nationally across the current Spending Review Period – i.e. before the end of the 2014/15 financial year. D New informed members that Stockton’s allocation would be £678k which had already been budgeted for.. RESOLVED to note the information. 7. SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY P Mackie reminded members that schools pay £225k each year for additional Speech and Language (S&L) therapy (approx 55% of the S&L Departments budget). Schools had expressed concern as to the level of provision they received. For the past 10 months a working group had been monitoring the provision of services to schools, with no improvement identified. At the last meeting of the Forum members had agreed that a new contract/tender be produced for open tender in January 2012. Following the meeting P Mackie had been informed that there was insufficient time to produce a new tender document for January 2012, also 3 months notice would be required to end the current contract. Concerns were also raised regarding the application of TUPE regulations should a new contract be let. The view of Headteachers was that the current contract should be terminated as schools were not receiving value for money; the funding would then be delegated to schools. Members were informed that Pam Greton – Foundation Trust was proposing to offer bespoke Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to individual schools. S Jones reported that clusters had already been approached and the costings were based on the size of the school. P Mackie reported that schools were currently charged £4k for additional S&L therapy, which was in addition to the universal service C Coady agreed that the current provision was unacceptable and impacted on the educational outcomes for pupils. 4 J Humphreys reported that Hartlepool were also reviewing their S&L provision, she suggested that the current contract run for a further 3 months, whilst a new tender was produced and that for economy of scale ascertain whether Hartlepool would be interested in join with Stockton for the provision S&L. P Mackie highlighted that over the past 10 months there had been no improvement in provision, he was of the impression that there were no proposed changes in service. L Brown considered that there were three options under consideration; continue to try to improve the current contract terminate the current contract; continue with the current contract for 3 months, during this time go out to tender for a new contract. J Humphreys advised that if the proposal was to go out to tender caution was needed regarding TUPE regulations, to ensure no additional liabilities were incurred. H Smith suggested that the current contract run until 31st March, that a letter of termination be sent to the Foundation Trust to end the contract on 31st March 2012 and that a new tender be produced to let a new contract from 1st September 2012. S Jones expressed concern that pupils already receiving support would lose out when the contract was terminated. Following discussion, members, RESOLVED a) that the current contract be terminated with effect from 31st March 2012 and that a detailed tender be produced, as soon as possible, for a new contract to start 1st September 2012; b) that L Brown contact Legal Services (J Douglas) to ascertain the wording to be used in the letter of termination to the Foundation Trust; c) that confirmation be sought regarding the application of TUPE L Brown regulations. 8. 16 -19 FUNDING FORMULA REVIEW A report had been circulated to update members on the YPLA / DfE consultation paper, which focused on implementing a simpler funding system for the education and training of 16-19 year olds in England. Members were informed that the 14-19 Partnership were happy to submit a response to the consultation on behalf of the Partnership and Schools’ Forum. RESOLVED a) that the 14-19 partnership respond to the consultation on behalf of Schools’ Forum; 5 b) that members submit any comments for inclusion in the consultation response to J Morgan or M Clinton. 9. LA BENCHMARKING INFORMATION 2011/12 The purpose of the circulated report was to provide members with financial benchmarking information, to enable them to compare Stockton with other authorities. D New advised that the main streaming of grants and academies had impacted on like for like comparisons between authorities. A number of errors were identified and it was felt that the changing education funding climate created inconsistencies which devalued meaningful comparisons. He highlighted that Stockton was a high delegating authority at 91%, with the national and unitary averages both being 89%. RESOLVED to note the report and officers to consider the merits of bringing the report in future and if so, which information is provided. . 10. BUDGET MONITORING - SCHOOLS BUDGET 2011/12 Members had been circulated with a paper which provided the projected outturn position on the Schools Budget, based on information at the end of October 2011. The forecast was that overall there would be an £108k overspend, with the main areas of overspend identified as; SEN Support Services; Fees for pupils at Independent Special Schools and Abroad; School Meals – nursery, primary and special schools. L Wadey questioned how many pupils were educated out of area for £2m. J Humphreys reported that approximately 20 pupils were educated out of area, with the numbers increasing. The LA was investigating methods of providing services more cost effectively within the Borough. RESOLVED to note the report. 11. COUNCILS MEDIUM TERM FINANCE PLAN UPDATE Members had been circulated with the Medium Term Finance Plan (MTFP) Update and Strategy which had been presented of the SBC Cabinet. The Plan provided an update on the Councils MTFP position for 2012/13 – 2015/16 and made members aware of the financial pressures facing the Council. RESOLVED to note the plan. 12. SCHOOLS BUDGET AND DSG SETTLEMENT 2012/13 Members received a verbal report from D New, during which he reported that no information on the DSG settlement from DfE had been received to date, although some aspects of school related funding was known; PRUs should receive delegated budgets from 2013/14; Where an excluded pupil attracts the pupil premium, this funding should move with the pupil as well as the age-weighted funding; The introduction of a new national funding formula for music would lead to a £0.8m per annum drop in funding by 2014/15 for the music 6 service across the Tees Valley; A new statutory entitlement for disadvantaged two year olds from September 2013, for 15 hours early years provision, with a two phased approach to implementation. This would affect approximately 700 pupils in Stockton in the first phase. The DfE are currently out to consultation on the proposals.; The Pupil Premium in 2012/13 will be extended to pupils who had been eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) at any point in the last 6 years. To ensure transparency and accountability, schools would be required from September 2012 to publish on-line information about how they use this funding and new measures will be included in performance tables that will capture the attainment of pupils covered by the premium. RESOLVED to note the verbal report. 13. ANY OTHER URGENT BUSINESS 13.1 Campus Stockton Prospectus of Services Members were informed that at the end of the autumn term schools had been issued with the Campus Stockton Prospectus of Services, to support schools in deciding the contracts they require for the 2012/13 financial year. 13.2 School Effectiveness Service L Brown reported that the Childrens, Schools and Complex Needs Service was under going an EIT review, which would be concluded in March. 14. DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING RESOLVED that the next meeting would be held on Tuesday 28th February 2012 at 2:00pm at the Education Centre, Junction Road, Norton.
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