Venue: Virtual Meeting via Zoom. View directions
Contact: Sam Wilcock - Please note that this meeting will now be held as a remote meeting and not in person as previously advertised
Link: Watch Live Webcast
Presented By: Chair
SL welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Forum Standing Business
(a) Apologies for Absence
(b) Confirmation meeting is quorate
(c) Appointment of new members/Resignations:
(d) Notification of Vacancies:
(e) Declarations of Interest
Presented By: Clerk
a. Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from:
Karen Brown – Secondary Governor, St Mary Redcliffe & Temple
Melanie Bunce – Primary Head, St Barnabas
Chris Pring – Primary Head, Whitehall Primary School
Stephanie Williams – Bannerman Road Community Academy
Mick O’Neill-Duff – Primary Governor, Wansdyke Primary
Emma Richards – Head Special Maintained, Claremont School
Liz Townsend – Diocese of Bristol Board of Education
The Clerk confirmed the meeting was quorate.
There were no new resignations since the previous meeting.
d. Appointment of New Members
There were no new appointments since the previous meeting.
e. Notification of Vacancies
The following vacancies were noted:
2 Secondary Academy Governor Representatives for which an advert had been circulated with a closing date of the 20 October 2022.
1 Clifton Diocese Representative
f. Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
(a) To confirm as a correct record
(b) Matters arising not covered on agenda
Presented By: Chair
RESOLVED – that the minutes be confirmed as a correct record.
Matters Arising (within the minutes)
A breakdown of costs within the Risk Protections Arrangement (RPA) had been provided and circulated as requested.
Task and Finish Groups
The Early Years Task and Finish Group had met in early September. Anyone interested in becoming involved with those groups should contact the Clerk. ALL
School Places Update
RH reported that IB was expected to present the latest position to the Forum in November. IB, SW
A brief update would be provided during the verbal update from the Director of Education and Skills later in the meeting. The subject will return to a future meeting. RH, SW
Update from Director of Education and Skills
1. A panel of representatives with a broad range of roles and experience had been brought together within the ‘Belonging with SEND’ programme for 2022-2023. The Panel, focused on inclusion within mainstream schools and settings, had met initially to discuss the allocation of funding in line with a strong evidence base and in conjunction with sustainability, scalability, value for money as well as alignment with other strategies. The Forum were asked to support the incorporation of already identified (“oven ready”) projects into the programme. It was recognised that some programmes may need to send feedback after the end of the 2022-2023 timeframe.
2. Maintained Nursery Schools and Early Years SEND funding agreed by the Forum meeting had been allocated to pieces of work within the sector. Updates would be provided to the Forum via the Early Years Working Group.
3. The application for funding for Family Hubs had progressed well. Funding would be released in two waves and updates would be provided to subsequent meetings as requested.
4. The two proposed new secondary schools had been agreed with planning permission sought for September 2022. Admission arrangements were being developed. Initial catchment areas had been cast wide to lessen impact on surrounding schools with conversations initiated regarding the longer term.
5. 142 specialist school places had been created within phase one, with 82 delivered and the remaining 60 to be online between September 2022 and March 2023. Phase two would deliver the Mayor’s pledged 450 new places.
The following comments were raised in response:
1. The Forum were supportive of the use of the “oven ready” tried and tested programmes.
2. Where it would take longer than the academic year to see the long term impacts, requirements could be put in place to report back to the LA officers and the Forum.
TY presented to the Forum and outlined emerging DSG funding levels for 2023-2024. It was highlighted that:
Following questions in response to the presentation, the forum was advised:
i. If the LA chose to use flexibility if it would be supported
ii. The funding formula impacting all schools
iii. Elements of de-delegation (for maintained primary and secondary schools).
It was AGREED that the Schools Forum:
a) Noted the indicative 2023/24 funding levels
b) Noted the transition to a hard NFF will begin in 2023-24 and the proposed restrictions relating to the DSG School Block
c) Noted that the LA will consult with schools on items in the local formula, particularly MFG, transfers between blocks, and formula factors.
d) Agreed to the introduction of a new de-delegated service area, for school improvement activities, following the cessation of the school improvement monitoring and brokering grant.
e) Noted that the LA will consult with schools on their views on de-delegation, and then report the results of the consultation to Forum for their decision at the meeting in November.
f) Agreed to the re-establishment of a Finance Sub-Group to consider funding formula proposals for 2023-24.
CM introduced the report and highlighted to the following:
DM confirmed that as BCC had been prepared and ready to progress, they had been accelerated into wave/tranche 1 of the Delivering Best Value (DBV) programme. Officers were determined to keep moving forward and work collaboratively in order to reach sustainability.
Cllr Craig expressed her disappointment that BCC had not been allocated to be part of the ‘Safety Valve’ programme given the size of Bristol, the pockets of deprivation and the need for and request for financial assistance.
Officers confirmed that all proposed mitigations were in varying stages of development and required further consideration including quality control, equality impact assessments and consultation with key stakeholders. A communication plan would involve all elements of the Forum membership.
RH introduced the mitigation methods outlined within the second report and requested Schools Forum approval to engage and consult the sector on the mitigations for a six week engagement process to November 2022.
Some mitigations outlined within the report were existing pieces of work with fully established EQUI. Others were in development with EQUIs to be progressed as part of the process. RH outlined the seven key themes (A-G) and in response the following points were raised:
Theme B : Non-statutory Top and Early Intervention
- Schools applied for top up funding and where awarded could be for up to three years after which a review ascertained whether the child could be moved to ordinary provision or required a needs assessment.
- Officers planned to ascertain whether the process of Top Up funding has moved away from the original intention as it was not intended to supplement any backlog in the EHCP assessment and provision.
- Mitigations were specifically linked to the DSG. The Schools Forum funding previously agreed would provide support for the Early Years sector capacity for early intervention.
Theme E : Specialist Place Funding
- It was agreed that modelling information to provide of the number of children who could be potentially impacted would be important in terms of providing context within engagement information.
The Schools Forum confirmed they supported the themes as outlined, with the importance of the consultation highlighting potential impacts. The Schools Forum asked to be kept aware of the timeframe and methods of communication.
The Schools Forum:
a) Noted ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
AH presented slides published within the agenda pack and highlighted the following key points:
There were no questions raised and AH was thanked for her presentation. Updates would be provided to future meetings.
AL presented the report which outlined year to date expenditure as of the end of August 2022.
The following points were highlighted:
In response to comments raised, the following information was provided;
The Schools Forum noted the in-year 2022/23 position for the overall DSG.
Any Other Business
The Chair of the High Needs Funding Working Group reported that the group had met in early September. They had agreed that it was important for the mitigations work to be regularly reviewed using an appropriate format.
The Chair of the Early Needs Working Group reported that the group had met in early September. They welcomed the Forum agreed funding for development work within Early Years. The Working Group had heard about options for improvements to the geographical groupings and systems within Early Years.
SP highlighted the pressures of recruitment and retention within the high needs sector. SP reported that she and two colleagues would be visited by the DfE as an opportunity to deliver views and concerns from within the settings. Any additional comments/suggestions were welcome.
The Chair reminded the Forum that the next meeting in November 2022 would be in-person at City Hall, College Green.