Agenda and minutes

Bristol Schools Forum - Wednesday, 20th May, 2020 3.30 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Zoom Committee Meeting with Public Access via YouTube. View directions

Contact: Corrina Haskins 

Link: Watch Live Webcast

Note No. Item




Presented By: Chair


The Chair 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:

Two Primary Academy Heads;
Two Primary Maintained Heads;
Two Primary Academy Governors;
Two Secondary Academy Heads;

(e)  Declarations of Interest


Presented By: Clerk


  1. Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from:

Kris Hristakev (Special Schools Governor);


  1. Quorate

The Chair confirmed the meeting was quorate.


  1. Resignations

There were no resignations to report.


  1. Appointment of New Members

The Clerk reported that Simon Holmes had been reappointed as the Nursery Heads representative.


  1. Notification of Vacancies

The Clerk advised of the following Schools Forum Vacancies which would be advertised through the Heads/Governors Bulletins:

·         Two Primary Academy Heads

·         Two Primary Maintained Heads

·         Two Primary Academy Governors

·         Two Secondary Academy Heads


  1. Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.




Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 123 KB

(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

Minimum Funding Guarantee

The Chair confirmed that this would be discussed at the next meeting of the Finance Sub Group which was due to take place later in the year.


HR Systems ITrent

CP confirmed that he had received the guidance and that his school had now moved moved to a new external payroll provider.


Composition of the Schools Forum

The Chair confirmed that this would be on the agenda for the September meeting.


Trading with Schools TwS

CP asked that, in future, the TwS expenditure breakdown be presented with the annual report as the information raised questions about why certain areas made a profit and others were in deficit.  He undertook to raise this with outside of the meeting with the Chair and Vice Chairs.



Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and the High Needs Block Written Statement of Action


In introducing the report, AH reported that she had hoped to produce a written report with an update from Ofsted/Care Quality Commission (CQC), but this information was not yet available and therefore she gave a verbal update as follows:

·         Confirmation had been received that the Written Statement of Action (WSoA) was fit for purpose as an action plan;

·         Despite the Covid 19 crisis, the WSoA remained a key priority for the Council and resources had not been redeployed elsewhere, however, some of the actions timed for July would be a challenge to deliver in the context of the pandemic;

·         In terms of analysis, 50% had been achieved and those actions RAG rated “red” or “amber” could not be delivered in the current climate;

·         The closure of schools had meant that the attendance milestone was not deliverable;

·         The Local Offer had been refreshed and there had been a lot of collaborative work with Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) to ensure that schools had a voice in the process.



Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and the High Needs Block - Milestones and Impact of Covid 19 pdf icon PDF 125 KB


AH introduced the report which gave details of the milestones and a breakdown of finances requested by Schools Forum to enable members to understand the impact of transferring money to the High Needs block and the difference it would make to the service.


Improvement Priority 2: Children and young people with SEND receive the best possible, appropriate and effective support and provision at the right time


She confirmed that the additional funding would enable:


  • The local offer to be brought to life by having a team in place to support parents and carers.  This would shape the longer term offer for Bristol;
  • Training and skills to be provided for all schools and settings across Bristol so that every provider understood the fundamentals and the competency level was raised.  This was not just about investing in the SENCO but ensuring there were equitable skills across schools and that the core offer was of a higher standard across the city;


Forum Members raised the following questions:


Welcome the range of developments, especially in relation to communication with parents to help change the perceptions of the services, but how was the Council ensuring that the specialist sector was involved and also ensuring quality of provision and value for money in terms of commissioning training services?


AH responded that, in terms of quality, Bristol City Council (BCC) was looking at training that had the right impact and there had been a lot of discussions with specialist teams to identify these areas as well as feedback from the survey of young people and parents/carers.  BCC was looking to move to a model where it was the facilitator using the skills that were already in available in the city.


How will Schools Forum measure how successful this particular area has been, e.g. will we consider key performance indicators KPIs at future meetings? It would be useful to monitor how the additional money transferred to the High Needs Block has been attributed to this project so that Schools Forum can see that the funding is making a difference to the service.


AH confirmed that BCC had to provide detailed monitoring information for Department for Education (DfE) and CQC but this could be summarised into a manageable reporting format for future meetings of Schools Forum.


Was there a risk of sustainable funding not being secured and what would happen to the project if it was not? 


AH confirmed that there was a risk as a lot of the project was based on one off funding, however the money was being used to frontload investment in the service and there would be a reassessment of the impact of this funding and how the project could be sustained in the future.


Of the total investment of £3m, £1.3m is from the transfer to the High Needs block agreed by Schools Forum, however, even though a major commissioner of the work, Schools Forum is not mentioned in the Governance Structure? Are Health and Social Care contributing to the work  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) Outturn for 19/20 pdf icon PDF 169 KB


The Chair asked that any questions on the report be forwarded to the Clerk and a written response would be provided.



Place Planning and the Growth Fund pdf icon PDF 159 KB


The Chair asked that any questions on the report be forwarded to the Clerk and a written response would be provided.