Venue: Civic Suite, Town Hall, Runcorn. View directions
Contact: Ann Jones - Tel: 0151 511 8276 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for Absence
Apologies had been received from Marjorie Constantine, Jane O’Connor, Richard Collings, Karl Landrum and Elaine Haver.
Membership Update - Ann McIntyre
The Forum was informed that Elaine Haver had joined the Forum as the representative for Special Academies. Mrs Haver was the Principal of Cavendish School which was the only Special Academy provider at present in the Borough.
It was noted that due to illness, Marjorie Constantine’s representation for Special Schools would be covered by her substitute Sara Ainsworth, from Brookfields Special School.
RESOLVED: That the update be noted.
The minutes from the meeting held on 22 June 2016, were agreed as a correct record.
SCF 7 – School Balances 2015-16 – the Forum’s query relating to the cost of the playground work at Our Lady Mother of the Saviour Primary School had been addressed, and the breakdown of expenses relating to this were viewed by the Forum.
The Forum received a report and accompanying presentation informing them of the Early Years National Funding Formula proposals for 2017-18.
It was reported that the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF) consultation was announced on 11 August 2016 with a deadline for responses of 22 September 2016. Briefing events were held on 7 September to inform providers of the consultation and of its understanding at that point in time. It was proposed that the new EYNFF be implemented from April 2017.
The report discussed the proposed funding to Local Authorities which would see an increase in funding to 75% of them; however it was noted that Halton was not within this cohort. Information was also provided regarding the proposal to limit the funding retained for central spend; funding to providers; funding for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND); and funding for two year olds.
Appended to the report was the consultation response submitted on 22 September, following the Schools Forum sub-group meeting the day before this. The Forum discussed and noted the response.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
The Forum received an update on the review of Special Educational Needs. It was noted that at the last meeting of the Forum in June, it was agreed that a review of provision and funding for educational needs and disability would be undertaken in Halton.
Since then two meetings of the review group had taken place where it was agreed that Halton should strive for a well planned range of provision from birth to adulthood that met the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) and their families, and improved their outcomes. The principle responsibilities of the review group were outlined in the report.
The Forum noted the update and progress made to date and welcomed a further progress report at the next meeting.
RESOLVED: That Schools Forum notes the report.
The Schools Forum received a report from the Financial Management Division advising them of the decisions required for the Schools Block funding formula for the financial year 2017-18.
Officers advised that the implementation of the new National Funding Formula was originally scheduled to commence in April 2017, had now been deferred. It was noted that guidance was issued by the DfE in July 2016 on the Funding Formula for 2017-18, and although there were a few minor changes, it was highly unlikely that there would be a requirement for Halton to change the funding formula that was currently used.
The Forum noted the funding factors and commentary as presented in the report and agreed the decisions stated below. Further to one member’s concerns regarding the allocation of EAL support; it was agreed that Financial Management would carry out some modelling on the use of the EAL Funding Factor. Ann McIntyre would ask the EAL service to provide details of how time was allocated to schools requesting assistance.
1) the report be noted;
2) one value for Primary, one value for KS3 and one value for KS4 pupils as per the 2016-17 formula, continues to be used;
3) a mix of FMS6 and IDACI with differing cash values between the primary and secondary phases continues;
4) the Prior Attainment factor for both primary and secondary phases with the old EYFSP framework for Years 3-6 at 73 points or less, continues to be used;
5) the Looked After Children factor continues to be used;
6) the cash value be determined in January 2017;
7) we continue not to use the EAL factor;
8) we continue not to use the Pupil Mobility factor;
9) we continue not to use the Sparsity factor;
10) the Lump Sum factor continues to be used as close to the level for 2016-17 as possible;
11) the Split Site factor continues not to be used and retaining the criteria for eligibility and funding as current;
12) funding the LA Rates on the latest estimate of the actual cost available be continued;
13) the PFI factor at the same cash value per pupil as previously agreed continues to be used;
14) the Exceptional Premises factor continues to be used (subject to approval by the EFA);
15) Notional SEN be set at 5% of each funding factor, continues to be used;
16) De-delegation of items as currently in use is agreed by primary representatives;
17) De-delegation of items as currently in use is agreed by secondary representatives;
18) a Pupil Growth Contingency budget not be set aside; and
19) a Falling Rolls Contingency budget not be set aside.
The High Needs Block Funding proposals for 2017-18 were presented to the Forum.
It was reported that the Department for Education issued a Stage One consultation on High Needs Funding in March 2016 with proposals on how allocations to local authorities (LA’s) would be calculated from April 2017. The basis of the allocation to each LA was presented in the report.
Members noted that at the time of writing the report it was unknown how this would impact on the funding Halton would receive; however the EFA had now confirmed that no LA would see a reduction on High Needs Funding. It was commented that although this may seem like good news, an increase in demand would reduce funding, if the funding was to remain the same as the previous year.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.