Agenda and minutes

Schools Forum - Tuesday, 15th March, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Online - Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: David Abbott  Email:

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Minutes pdf icon PDF 306 KB



Apologies were received from Karen Cunningham, Daniel Upfield, and Joe Brown.



The minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2022 were agreed as an accurate record.



Schools Budget 2022/23 Update pdf icon PDF 549 KB


Tony Burton (Head of Finance for Children’s Services and Education) presented the report that confirmed the funding allocations proposed and agreed by Schools Forum in January 2022. The report also proposed the allocation of £200k falling rolls funding and the proposed deployment of the Central Services Schools Block of the Dedicated Schools Grant for 2022/23.


Tony Burton noted that the falling rolls support worked out to just under £1,000 per place lost. The support was intended for schools with significant year-on-year roll reductions.


He also noted that officers continued to make efficiencies in central services planned expenditure and that would be used to support the High Needs Block. That approach supported the safety value agreement with the Department for Education.



1.    Schools Forum agreed the proposed Falling Rolls allocations and agreed payment of the allocations proposed in April 2022.


2.    Schools Forum approved the recommended Central Services Schools Block budget for 2022/23 totalling £2.817m.



Early Years Budget 2022/23 Final pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Additional documents:


Tony Burton (Head of Finance for Children’s Services and Education) presented the report which provided the results of the consultation on the 3 and 4 year olds Draft proposals for 2022/23 and presented the 2022/23 Final Budget model for approval.


Members requested a breakdown of the use of the Central Services budget (early identification etc.) Tony Burton agreed.

ACTION: Tony Burton



1.    Schools Forum agreed the final 2022/23 Early Year budget including an increase to the base rate from £6.26 to £6.39 and proposed hourly rates for deprivation detailed above in Table 1 and Table 2 of the report.


2.    Schools Forum agreed the final Early Years Central Services Budget for 2022/23 as detailed above in Table 4 of the report, totalling £0.743m.




Schools Budget 2021/22 Q3 Monitoring pdf icon PDF 260 KB


Tony Burton (Head of Finance for Children’s Services and Education) presented the report which provided an update on the 2021/22 quarter 3 budget monitoring position for the Dedicated Schools Grant covering the High Needs Block, the Schools Block including de-delegated budgets, the Central Services Schools Block, and the Early Years Block.


Tony Burton highlighted that there was a £0.75m Schools Block surplus and the proposed uses of that balance included contingency support for maintained primary schools, asbestos management and surveys, and returning money to contributing schools. The Chair asked if it had been reported through the Primary Heads group. Tony Burton said officers had been working with a group of Primary Heads on falling rolls and would report back to the main Primary Heads group for peer review of the proposals. Members supported a clear and transparent process.


The Chair noted that there were additional funding pressures on schools, most significantly the large increases in energy costs and the Government’s instruction that schools should be saving money for teaching staff pay uplifts. Confirmation of pay increases won’t be made available until July but schools were anticipating around 3 to 5 percent.


Tony Burton said the financial situation for schools would be very challenging without additional funding given the scale of inflation and pay increases.


A member asked if the pensions contributions rate was also being increased. Tony Burton said he would find out and communicate that to schools.


ACTION: Tony Burton


Members asked if the borough was taking on refugee children from Ukraine. Jan Parnell and Jacqui McShannon said discussions were taking place at the moment. The Government were offering funding per person for education and related needs. Once it was confirmed officers would communicate it to schools.

ACTION: Jan Parnell



Schools Forum noted the report.



Draft Work Programme (For Information) pdf icon PDF 103 KB


The draft work programme was noted.


Any Other Business