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Dudley Schools Forum Meeting 20th June 2017

Summary Outcomes

Matter- Arising - Secretary of State Disapplication Request

The Disapplication Request previously approved by Schools Forum at the meeting on 21st March 2017 for those pupils who moved from The Coseley School to other Dudley schools during 2016/17 was submitted following the meeting. The Secretary of State for Education has subsequently approved this request.

Matters Arising – Use of former Pensnett School Site Vacant Buildings

People Services Finance Manager (PSFM) confirmed that part the former Pensnett site is occupied by Pens Meadow Special School’s post 16 annexe. In respect of the vacant part of the former Pensnett site there has been security on-going since full closure in 2012. Despite this preventative measure, there has been a considerable issue of vandalism and arson to the buildings which has rendered the buildings too poor to re-use and demolition is therefore paramount as the building is a liability for the council. Demolition is imminent.

There are no final plans regarding the part of the site soon to be vacant after demolition, however, it has been a desire to completely relocate the existing Pens Meadow pre 16 School from Ridge Hill, particularly as a housing development project is due to start in two years time with demolition of surrounding former NHS property to commence this autumn.

A major rebuild of a school will require significant capital funding which has yet to be identified.
Centrally Retained Funding – Capital Expenditure Funded from Revenue

At the February meeting Forum approved £66,000 of centrally retained funding in respect of heavy duty capitalised kitchen equipment for 2017/18 subject to further investigation into how the funds are accessed and if they are available to all schools.

Discussions with Headteachers at Budget Working Group on 5 May culminated in a recommendation to allocate the total funding to all schools on a lump sum basis. This would be approximately £1,280 per school. Thereafter, no further budget requests for 2018/19 onwards would made to Forum in respect of this activity which is likely to cease as part of the DfE remodelling of the DSG centrally retained budgets.

Schools Forum approved this proposal and funding will now be allocated directly to all schools/ PRUs and academies.

Schools Forum Membership Update

Following the recent member election process the following membership changes are confirmed from 1 May 2017:

School Members – Primary School Governors – Mr. B Oakley and Mrs. J Belcher will continue in post as Primary School Governors until 30 April 2020.

Academy School Members – Mr. M Moody (Windsor Academy Trust) will continue as Academy School member until 30 April 2020, Mr. M Mynott (Leasowes High School) has been appointed until 30 April 2020. There remains one vacant post for an Academy School member.

Non School Members – Mrs. K Clatworthy has been appointed to represent the Early Years Provider reference Group until 30 April 2018.

Worcester Diocesan Board for Education– Mr. S Payne (Halesowen CE Primary) appointed until 30 April 2018.

Schools National Funding Formula: Proposed Changes to Mainstream Local Funding Formula 2018/19

An update was provided to Schools Forum regarding proposed changes to Dudley’s mainstream funding formula for 2018/19. Financial modelling was discussed at a Headteachers Consultative Forum –Budget Working Group on 5 May 2017 and details were shared at Headteachers Breakfast Briefing on 26 May 2017.Accountancy staff will also attend Primary and Secondary Headteacher Forums on 27 June 2017 and 6July 2017 respectively for further discussion.
Given the recent General Election it is highly probable that the outcomes of the Stage 2 consultation will be delayed beyond July 2017 or that the current proposals may even change.
Given this degree of uncertainty HTCF-BWG recommended that the proposed model would be used for the implementation in April 2018. However, any formal consultation should be deferred until after the start of the 2017 autumn term when further information should be available from the DfE with regard to proposals for implementation of the NFF.

Retention of Capital Funding (Conversion from Revenue to Capital - Time for Twos) 2017/18 Financial Year Request

Schools Forum approved submission to the Secretary of State for Education a request to disapply the School Finance Regulations in respect of £125,000 revenue funding which was converted to capital for 2016/17 however the relevant capital project has not yet been completed. Plans are in place to complete the project in 2017/18 so the request is to carry forward the funding to 2017/18.

Dedicated Schools Grant Outturn 2016/17

Schools Forum noted:

  1. 2016/17 Outturn in respect of the Schools Budget, which is funded by the Dedicated Schools Grant;
  2. Planned use of the centrally retained reserve ;
  3. School balances at 31 March 2017;
  4. Potential outcome of the Dedicated Schools Grant assurance testing undertaken by the DfE in respect of 2016/17 financial year.

Combined Services Budget Outturn 2016/17

Schools Forum noted the financial outturn for the previously approved combined budgets for 2016/17 financial year in addition to updates from service providers regarding activities undertaken throughout the year.

School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations 2017

The School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations 2017 were laid before parliament on 25 January 2017 and are effective from 16 February 2017.

Schools Forum noted a summary of the changes as detailed within the report.

Lead for Education Outcomes Update

The Lead Officer for Education Outcomes provided an update to Schools Forum as follows:
Progress regarding bids through the Sub Regional Improvement Board. A number of bids are currently in progress regarding funding for Early Years, SEN, KS1, KS2, KS3 and KS4; all are working towards closing the attainment gap for pupils and strengthening leadership in schools. Closing date for bids is 23 June 2017.

Academisation – no further updates at this stage.

School Ofsted Inspections – confirmation that 28 Dudley schools have been inspected since December 2016.

A consultation process is currently underway with regard to Fair Access Panels in order to develop a protocol which will also include short stay schools.

In response to a query raised by a member of Forum it was confirmed that the original request for academies to return £10 per pupil to the LA in order to support School Improvement was declined by Academies.

Schools Forum Meeting Dates for the 2017/18 Academic Year
  • 3 October 2017, 6pm Saltwells EDC
  • 31 October 2017, 6pm Saltwells EDC
  • 28 November 2017, 6pm King Edward VI College, Stourbridge
  • 30 January 2018, 6pm Saltwells EDC
  • 6 March 2018, 6pm King Edward VI College, Stourbridge
  • 27 March 2018, 6pm Saltwells EDC
  • 19 June 2018, 6pm Saltwells EDC