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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting via Zoom

Contact: Claudette Campbell 

Note No. Item




The Chair to lead introductions and welcome those present.

Presented By: Chair


In attendance:



Aileen Morrison

St Matthias Park

Alastair Brown

Redcliffe Nursery

Albert Gardiner

Ashton Park Secondary



Cameron Shaw

Bristol Metropolitan Academy

Chris Pring

Whitehall Primary School

David Otlet

NEU – Teaching Union



Esther Messinger

Victoria Park Primary

Jeff Sutton

GMB – Non Teaching Union

Jo Kingston

Diocese of Clifton Dept for Schools & Colleges – Holy Cross Primary School

Lee Hannan

Brentry Primary

Mandy Cheshire

St Bedes Catholic College

Melanie Bunce

Willow Primary

Merche Clarke

St John Primary

Sarah Lovell

Brunel Academy

Simon Eakins (Vice Chair)

Cathedral Primary

Steve Davies


Simon Holmes

St Phillips Marsh Nursery

Steve Hornsby (Chair)

North Star Academy

 Tonya Hill

New Fosseway School

 Trisha Dodds

Fishponds Academy





Reena Bhogal-Welsh

Director Education & Skills

Sarah Chodkiewicz

Deputy Section 151 Officer

Travis Young

Finance Business Partner: Children & Education

Steven Goodwin

Finance Business Partner: Children & Education

Claudette Campbell

Democratic Services Clerk to School Forum


The Chair, Steve Hornsby, welcomed all to the meeting.


He took time to acknowledge recent tragic events concerning the loss of a number of children and young teenagers under tragic circumstances.  Thanked all partner agencies and the Local Authority colleagues for their work in supporting the families involved and working across multiply partners.




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 noted from

a.       Cllr Asher Craig | Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Equalities

b.       Del Planter | Head of St Mary Redcliffe Secondary

c.       Louise Nevers | St Bernadette Secondary Catholic

d.       Denis Murray | Director of Finance

e.       Cameron Shaw | Bristol Brunel Academy

f.        Thomas Bolton | Union Rep

g.       Steve Mills | Union Rep

b)      Confirmation meeting is quorate

a.       The Quorum is 40% of 25 active Forum Membership in attendance

b.       Meeting met the threshold | see attendance list above

c)       Appointment of new members/resignation

a.       No change

d)      Notifications of vacancies remain the same

a.       Primary Head Academy

b.       Primary Governor Academy

c.       Special Academy

e)      Declaration of Interest

a.       Forum Members were reminded that the procedural rules set out in the council constitution directs all to declare where an item under discussion or to be put to the vote could make a material difference to that school or where they may have a personal or prejudicial interest.




Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 110 KB

(a)  To confirm as a correct record

(b)  Matters arising not covered on agenda

Presented By: Chair


a)       The minutes of the meeting held on the 16th January 2024 was resolved as a correct record save for a few typos.

b)      Matters Arising/Actions

                                 I.            The Chair reviewed the list and officers confirmed that the report covered the actions identified in the minutes.

                               II.            That the Directors presentation had been shared by the Clerk on the 17th January via email.

                             III.            An email was sent on 14th March to members with fuller explanation on the Early Years Hourly rates in respect to the passthrough and retention determination provided by Steven Godwin.

                            IV.            The explanation on the breakdown of the 5% breakdown was welcomed.




DSG Budget Monitor Report pdf icon PDF 192 KB


Steven Goodwin, Finance Manager, addressed the report that had been shared with members prior to the meeting. 


The report updated forum on the 2023/24 DSG forecast as at Period 10 to end of January 2024.  It confirmed that the 2024/25 schools funding formula had been approved by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) of the Department of Education (DfE).


The following discussion arose after the presentation:

a.       A question arose on the grant provided by the DfE to School settings to meet pension contributions to both Academies and Maintained school settings.  Several settings have highlighted a potential shortfall of up to 20% that must be met from school budgets.  Officers, confirmed awareness of this issue that is impacting many settings across the country; feedback will be given to the DfE; in the hope that the grant would be revised to meet actual requirements.

b.       Grant to Schools in Financial Difficulty:  Clarification was sought on the distribution of the grant to eligible settings.  Finance Officers are working on allocation to individual schools who are eligible for this award for 23/24; the ask is for schools to set budgets based on the allocation details given 24/25; the grant is not one that settings can apply for but it is for the  LA to determine where to apply the support that will facilitate change and it may not necessarily come in the form of a cash payment; Action: Finance Officers to update Forum when grant  negotiations are concluded; to include details of the methodology applied; to demonstrate the allocation was fair and appropriate.

The Chair thanked Officers for the report.



Director of Education & Skills Update pdf icon PDF 316 KB

Reena Bhogal-Welsh  to provide a verbal update and presentation.


Reena Bhogal-Welsh, Director of Education and skills.

The presentation will be uploaded on to the committee meeting page and shared with Forum Members by email.


a.       The Director extended thanks and acknowledged the contribution and support from Cllr Asher Craig during her term in office.

b.       The Inclusion Hub: Incoming Head of Service is Emma Lloyd |   RBW addressed matters arising, on this issue confirming that briefings took place between May 2023 and February 2024, resulting in feedback from 14 secondary schools and 23 primary schools.  Actual dates and briefing details can be provided on request if required.

c.       Members were directed to Mark Kennedy and Natasha Spence as key contacts, who can receive any questions and/or contributions from all settings.

d.       Actual dates when and how Special Heads views was sought during the consultation period.  Action: RBW to seek out this information.

e.       RBW presentation provided an overview of the sustainable and inclusive SEND system in Bristol, Safety Valve(SV) grant from DfE.

f.        Explaining that the SV grant is to support a 5-year agreement between the DfE and Local Authority; to hold the LA to account on SEND reforms and its intention to become financially sustainable.  Confirmed that the LA conducted negotiations liaising directly with the DfE; that the ‘terms of reference’ and engagement stated that when engaging with the DfE the LA were not permitted, to share publicly any aspects of the ongoing negotiations or to consult with stakeholders on the agreement being formulated. 

g.       Clarified that the programme’s Strategic Focus covered 4 Themes; Sufficiency; Demand; Efficiency; Partnerships; with related workstreams to support delivery; a positive bonus to the programme is the establishment of a ‘Bristol Special Free School’ led by the Enabled Trust.

h.       The Future Funding Model was outlined: drawing attention to the following significant changes to ‘Top Up’ Funding, confirming that; those awards issued during the February and June Panels allocation process, will be honoured for one year; that existing non-statutory funding commitments will continue in line with agreements for up to 3 years. 

i.         Members were asked to note that the co-design of the new ‘non-statutory’ offer, would be developed from April – July of this year, to enable implementation from September 2024. ACTION: All invited to contact Emma Lloyd if they wish to be in the development sessions. 

j.        Members were advised that the delivery partner selected is Social Finance, and the reason for this was to support consistency across all pieces of work.   

k.       Members explored the viability of delivering the SEND strategy, how effective the SV programme would be and the issue of delivering SEND in a mainstream setting, where for example settings have real limitations for example to building structure & space.

l.         RBW explained that the grant comes with it a high-level of scrutiny to which the LA will be held to account; that there is no evidence, that can be shared on the general effectiveness of the SV programme; the key focus is a revision of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.



Chair's Closing Remarks

Close at 6pm


The Chair thanked all those present for their attendances and closed the meeting.