SCHOOLS FORUM by 4pHbs4

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                              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.
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              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.
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     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.
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     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;
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         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
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             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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