Agenda and minutes

Schools Forum
Thursday, 3rd October, 2019 4.30 pm

Venue: Aquinas College, Nangreave Road, Stockport, SK2 6TH

Contact: Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome and Introductions

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed members to this meeting of the Schools’ Forum.

 

The Chair advised the meeting that the Vice-Chair of the Schools’ Forum, Ian Roberts, has had to resign as both Vice Chair and as a School Governor due to ill health.  The Chair thanked Ian for all his hard work during his very long tenure on the Forum.

 

RESOLVED – That the Forum would send something to Ian as soon as possible.

2.

Apologies for Absence/Substitutions

To report any apologies for absence or substitutions.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Ian Irwin, Tony Martin, Councillor Tom Morrison, Frances Conway and Danny Pearson.

3.

Recording of Any Observers

To record any observers present.

Minutes:

It was reported that the following were in attendance:

 

Emma Morton – Schools Finance Team

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 July 2019.

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 11th July 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

5.

Matters Arising

To discuss any matters arising.

Minutes:

In relation to the Matters Arising in the minutes of the meeting held on 11 July 2019, Members of the Schools’ Forum were advised that the following training dates had been organised:

 

30 September 2019 – Annual Introduction to Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) (New Governors/School Staff).

 

16 October 2019 – 10am-12 noon 2 x 1 hour sessions) – SFVS update and introduction to the new dashboard (Head Teachers and Governors).

 

Members were reminded that the latter sessions had been extended to Head Teachers as per Schools’ Forum member requests.  Uptake levels at the present time are very low and sessions are in danger of being cancelled.

6.

Executive Summary pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

The report provides Schools’ Forum members with an executive summary report of the business matters included on the main agenda.

 

Schools’ Forum is recommended to note the executive summary and offer any views, comments and feedback to be considered for future executive summary reports.

 

Officer contact: Peter Hughes on 0161 474 3947 or email: peter.hughes@stockport.gov.uk

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) which provided the Forum with an executive summary of the business matters on the agenda.

 

7.

Schools LTS Insurance Scheme pdf icon PDF 140 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

The report provides a general update to Schools on the current and projected financial position of the LTS Scheme as at September 2019 considering the 2018-2019 deficit position.

 

Schools Forum members are requested to

 

a)    Note the above report;

b)   Provide agreement that this further analysis is acceptable.

c)    Provide agreement regarding the proposed review for the 2020-2021 operating period.

Officer contact: Sarah Cook Tel 0161 474 4030 Email: sarah.cook@stockport.gov.uk

 

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) which provided members with a general update on the current and projected financial position of the LTS Scheme as at September 2019 considering the 2018-2019 deficit position.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:

 

·         A discussion took place relating to communication/discussion with schools ahead of the 2020/21 scheme.  The Scheme is highly valued by schools and it is vital the scheme is maintained and viable.

·         Members of the Forum questioned how the scheme would impact schools who had staff off on long term sickness.

·         Members of the Forum asked if the cap was to be reviewed.  In response, the Forum was advised that a review would take place ahead of the 2020/21 period as it was felt that the implications of the cap needed to be made clear to schools.

·         The Forum considered that the scheme provided good value for money compared with commercial providers.

 

RESOLVED (a)        That the report be noted.

                        (b)       That the analysis provided be accepted.

                        (c)        That the arrangements regarding the proposed review for the 2020/2021 operating period be accepted.

                        (d)       That a short survey is undertaken with schools ahead of 2020/2021 to ascertain if the capping element is retained.

                        (e)       That officers arrange a survey and further communication to schools ahead of the 2020/2021 scheme implementation and report back to Schools’ Forum members in January 2020. 

 

 

8.

Schools Audit Update pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

The report provides Schools’ Forum members with details of the findings from the 16 schools audited in the 2018/19 financial year.

 

Schools Forum members are asked to:

 

a)    Note the report;

b)   Offer any comments; and

c)    Share with their wider school/sector colleagues

 

Officer contact: John Pearsall Tel 0161 474 3947 Email: john.pearsall@stockport.gov.uk

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) which provided Schools’ Forum members with details of the findings from the 16 schools audited in the 2018/19 financial year.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:

 

·         Schools’ Forum members thanked the representative of the Borough Treasurer for a detailed and informative report and requested that it be shared more widely with schools/governors via the ‘Governor Hub’ and also added to the Autumn 2019 mid-term update.

 

Resolved – (a)          that the report be noted and shared with wider sector colleagues.

                        (b)       Officers to arrange for the report to be shared with all governors.

 

 

 

9.

Terms of Reference Review/Membership Update pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

The report provides Schools’ Forum members with details of the Terms of Reference (ToR) document and proposed amendment(s);

The report also provide Schools Forum members with a membership update.

Schools’ Forum members are asked to:

           

a)    Note the above report; and

b)   Accept the ToR document as per Appendix 1;

c)    Note the latest membership listing and Terms of Office as per Appendix 2;

d)   Note the attendance data as per Appendix 3;

e)    Acknowledge the high attendance levels and non-requirement of the annual letter (Appendix 4) from the Chair; and

f)     Seek and agree a new Vice Chairperson

 

Officer contact: Peter Hughes Telephone 0161 474 3947 or email: peter.hughes@stockport.gov.uk

 




Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) which provided Schools’ Forum members with details of the Terms of Reference (ToR) document and proposed amendment(s).  The report further provided Members of the Forum with a membership update.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:

 

·         A discussion took place relating to the importance of recruiting a new Vice Chair following the current Vice Chair’s resignation due to ill health.

·         The requirements of the role were outlined to Members of the Forum.

 

RESOLVED – (a)     That the report be noted.

                        (b)       That an outline of the role of Vice Chair be circulated to all Members of the Forum via email and that the matter be re-addressed at the December 2019 meeting of the Forum.

10.

Schools Funding Forumula - National Comparative Data pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

The report provides Schools’ Forum members with the details of the latest information released by the Department for Education (DfE) regarding all local authorities 2019/20 schools local formula funding models implemented.

 

Schools Forum members are asked to:

 

a)    Note the above report; and

b)   Offer any further comments.

 

Officer contact: Peter Hughes Telephone 0161 474 3947 or email: peter.hughes@stockport.gov.uk

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) which provided Schools’ Forum members with details of the latest information released by the Department for Education (DfE) regarding all local authorities 2019/2020 school’s local formula funding models.

 

Resolved – That the report be noted.

11.

Schools Funding Announcement - September 2019 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

The report provides Schools’ Forum members with details of the recent Schools Funding announcement for 2020/21 to 2022/23.

 

Schools’ Forum members are asked to:

 

a)    Note the report; and

b)   Offer any comments

 

Officer contact: Peter Hughes Telephone 0161 474 3947 or email: peter.hughes@stockport.gov.uk

 

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) which provided Schools’ Forum members with details of the recent Schools’ Funding announcement for 2020/21 to 2022/23.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:

 

·         A short discussion took place relating to the impact on schools and the latest information relating to further expected updates.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 

 

12.

DSG Review Update

To consider a verbal report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

Officer contact: Bev Milway Telephone 0161 218 1785 Email: bev.milway@stockport.gov.uk

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer presented a verbal report.  The update provided Members with an outline on the latest developments, meetings to date and further works planned.  Thanks were expressed to all Schools’ Forum members and wider sector colleagues who had been actively involved in the review to date.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:

 

·         Members who had taken part in the review commented that it had been very interesting looking at different settings from varying perspectives.

·         Officers outlined the next steps planned and the timeline of activity (i.e. the final report to Cabinet in February 2020) and further updates/reports to Schools’ Forum members at the December 2019/January 2020 meeting.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

13.

2020/21 Budget Planning/Options pdf icon PDF 172 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

The report provides Schools’ Forum members with details of the 2020/21 budget setting requirements, plans and indicative timeline.

The report discusses the local options and overall construction of the 2020/21 total Schools Budget financed by deployment of the dedicated schools grant (DSG).

Schools Forum members are asked to:

 

a)    Note the report;

b)   Offer any comments; and

c)    Give a view/approve a further 0.5% transfer from schools’ block to high needs

Officer contact: Peter Hughes Telephone 0161 474 3947 or email: peter.hughes@stockport.gov.uk

 

 

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) which provided Schools’ Forum members with details of the 2020/21 budget setting requirements, plans and indicative timeline.  The report also discussed the local options and overall construction of the 2020/21 total Schools Budget financed by deployment of the dedicated schools grant (DSG).

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:

 

·         A representative of the Borough Treasurer outlined the key elements of the budget planning cycle/process relating to the construction of the four blocks within the DSG and the uncertainty faced at present due to awaiting the further detail of funding announcements for 2020/21 and the impact this will have locally.

·         De-delegation matters will be finalised via school representatives and a final formal decision to be reported back at the December meeting of the Schools’ Forum.

·         If the Local Authority are to seek any transfer from the schools’ block in 2020/21 a formal consultation will be launched (estimate mid-late October) and a final decision made via an additional Schools Forum meeting to be held on Tuesday 26 November 2019.

 

RESOLVED (a)        That the report be noted.

                        (b)       That de-delegation matters be discussed with wider colleagues ahead of the December meeting of the Schools’ Forum and

                        (c)        That Schools Forum members earmark Tuesday 26 November 2019 in their diaries in case a meeting is required.

14.

DFE Schools Financial Transparency Consultation pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

The report provides Schools’ Forum members with details of the Department for Education (DfE) consultation on the financial transparency of Local Authority (LA) maintained schools and academy trusts.

 

Schools Forum members are asked to:

 

a)    Note the report; and

b)   Offer any comments.

 

Officer contact: Peter Hughes Telephone 0161 474 3947 or email: peter.hughes@stockport.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) which provided Schools’ Forum members with details of the Department for Education (DfE) consultation on the financial transparency of Local Authority (LA) maintained schools and academy trusts.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

15.

Schedule of Meetings & Training pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

The report provides Schools’ Forum members with details of the calendar dates of meetings agreed for the 2019/20 academic year.

 

The report also provides Schools’ Forum members with the opportunity to request reports for future meetings and/or make amendments to the forward planner (Appendix 1). The report provides Schools’ Forum members with the opportunity to request any items for training/development sessions.

 

Schools Forum members are asked to:

I. Note the above report;

II. Request any reports for future meetings;

III. Note the academic year meeting dates provided.

IV. Discuss and propose any amendments to the forward planner; and

V. Request any items for training/development sessions.

 

Officer contact: Peter Hughes Tel 474 3947 Email: peter.hughes@stockport.gov.uk

 

 

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) which provided Schools’ Forum Members with details of the calendar dates of the meetings agreed for the 2019/20 academic year.  The report also provided Schools’ Forum Members with the opportunity to request reports for future meetings and/or make amendments to the forward planner (Appendix 1).  The report further provided Schools’ Forum Members with the opportunity to request any items for training/development sessions.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:

 

·         Schools Forum Members were requested to keep 29 November 2019 free in diaries in case an additional Schools’ Forum meeting was required.

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 

16.

Any Other Business

To discuss any other business.

Minutes:

No further business was discussed.