Greenwich Council

Agenda, decisions and draft minutes.

Venue: PDC Waterdale Road London SE2 0XT

Contact: Denise Kevern  Email: denise.kevern@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 5145

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Forum.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Meic Griffiths, Councillor Gary Dillon, Councillor Mick Hayes and Councillor David Gardner – Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools.

 

Councillor Linda Bird (6.25pm Item 5) and Gary Farrelly (6.40pm Item 5) gave apologies for lateness.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meeting held on 19 December 2018.

 

No motion or discussion may take place upon the Minutes except as to their accuracy, and any question on this point will be determined by a majority of the Members of the body attending who were present when the matter in question was decided.  Once confirmed, with or without amendment, the person presiding will sign the Minutes.

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Schools Forum held on 19 December 2018 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.

 

3.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

Item 11 – Human Resources Briefing

 

The action remained outstanding for David May to email the Assistant Director of Finance who would then provide a written explanation regarding maternity pay claims.

Action: David May

4.

Declarations of Interest

Members to declare any personal and financial interests in items on the agenda.  Attention is drawn to the Council’s Constitution; the Council’s Code of Conduct and associated advice.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

David May joined the meeting.

5.

Funding Formula for Schools 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 364 KB

To approve the application of a balanced Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) for 2019-20 as detailed in the report.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Schools Forum (All school members) considered the recommendations and agreed in principle the preferred Option E (Minimum Funding Guarantee at 0.2%. Includes growth and falling roll protection greater than 2.5% (protection for 2019-20 only)) for allocating the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) for 2019-20.

 

Schools Forum (all school members) agreed that the Minimum Funding Guarantee be set at 0.2%.

 

Schools Forum (Maintained schools only) agreed that de-delegation levels would remain at present levels, for 2019-20 this would be £1,263,138.

 

Schools Forum noted for the Schools Block:

 

·               The Schools Block Settlement of £220m (including PFI funding)

·               An increase in pupil numbers of 531. The new Borough pupil number total was 38,006 (October 2018 census).

·               Copyright licences of approximately £215,729 (2018-19 charge), to be paid back to the Department for Education, must be allowed for within this funding.

·               The funding pressure for services supported by the de-delegated budgets.

 

Minutes:

The Chair explained the process undertaken by Children’s Services, Finance and the Schools Forum Working Group. That the Working Group had met five times to review and discuss the models presented. He thanked the Working Group and Finance for their input.

 

He continued that the Working Group had discounted as per Appendix D Summary of Options, Original Option numbers 1 to 3. New Option number D was the baseline with no growth or falling rolls included. The key aims for consideration were affordability, factoring in for growth and limiting year on year turbulence where possible. He added that on running the budget models place reduction was a new factor that was starting to affect year on year budgets. One factor for this appeared to be that the take up of Reception places in some schools was not as high as in previous years. The Working Group wanted a safeguard for place reduction because they felt that this issue had not been widely shared with Head Teacher colleagues as there had been a focus on planning for growth. The formula and therefore, protection for falling rolls would only apply for 2019-20.

 

The Schools Forum requested that the Local Authority discuss and support individual schools, where place reduction was an issue that affected their 2019-20 budget, and ensure a budget plan was in place to assist them as the protection would not be available 2020-21.

Action: Children’s Services / Finance

 

Schools Forum adjourned from 6.15pm to 6.25pm to consider the information put before them in Appendix D.

 

Councillor Linda Bird joined the meeting (6.25pm).

 

The Schools Forum Working Group proposed that Model E be adopted. This would give protection to schools with falling roll and provide £383k headroom.

 

In response to a question regarding Option F and E, headroom and any unplanned growth, the Finance Advisor said that if there were a need for more funding, it would be taken from reserves. The reallocation of unused headroom was historically per pupil, but Schools Forum would agree the methodology if required. The position would be reviewed, when roll numbers were clearer in September 2019.

 

He continued that there was very little difference between Model E and F.

 

Gary Farrelly joined the meeting (6.40pm).

 

The Head of Admissions, Place Planning, Systems and Resilience advised that there had been a dip in numbers in Reception, this was expected to remain steady before slowly rising going forward. This was not borough wide and individual planning areas needed to be looked at separately, for example:  Areas 2 and 3 where the pressure on primary school places was growing. She thanked schools for supporting an increase in their roll numbers where necessary.

 

Resolved

 

That Schools Forum (All school members) considered the recommendations and agreed in principle the preferred Option E (Minimum Funding Guarantee at 0.2%. Included growth and falling roll protection greater than 2.5% - protection for 2019-20 only) for allocating the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) for 2019-20. -Unanimous

 

That Schools Forum (all school members) agreed that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Attendance Record pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To note and review representative’s attendance.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

That Schools Forum noted the Attendance Record.

 

Any Other Business

 

The Director of Children’s Services advised that; Children’s Services, in consultation with Legal Services, were reviewing the Terms of Reference and the membership of the Schools Forum. There would be consultation with Head teachers and governing bodies. Council would take the final decision on the changes.

 

The academy members were concerned regarding the mechanism for election of their membership. Including that one academy trust might oversee several schools. They were advised, that a mechanism for election would be included in the updated Terms of Reference.

Action: Children’s Services / Legal

 

David May raised the issue of GS Plus charging more for Universal Free School Meals than funding received. He was advised that the position was the same for all schools, but Children’s Services would review.

Action: Children’s Services

 

Luigi Leccacorvi thanked the Chair and the Schools Forum Working Group.