Agenda and minutes

Schools Forum - Tuesday, 11th October, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Online - Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: David Abbott  Email:

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions & Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 283 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 14 June 2022 were agreed as an accurate record.


Briefing on Schools Block National Funding Formula update 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 279 KB


The Chair noted the ongoing challenges for schools around funding which had been exacerbated by inflation, energy costs, the cost-of-living crisis, and pupil number pressures.


Peter Haylock (Director of Education and SEND) presented the report and noted the challenges around the primary roll projections and the High Needs Block (HNB) Safety Valve agreement. He noted the mitigation plan for the HNB agreement was now in phase 3 and was focused on early intervention and alternative provision.


Peter Haylock also highlighted Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) numbers, noting the number of EHCPs had increased from 1,007 in 2017/18 to 1,237 in 2021.


Tony Burton (Head of Finance for Children’s Services and Education) addressed the Forum and highlighted the following key issues for discussion with schools:

·       Minimum funding guarantee to be set between 0 and 0.5%.

·       Falling rolls provision budget

·       Application to the Secretary of State for the High Needs Block transfer to increase to 1% for 2023/23.



2023/24 Provisional Schools Block Budget Share Options pdf icon PDF 450 KB

Additional documents:


Tony Burton (Head of Finance for Children’s Services and Education) presented the briefing report on the decisions required for the 2023/24 budget setting process for the provisional Schools Block allocation of the Dedicated Schools Grant, following the receipt of provisional funding allocations in Summer 2022 and the Authority Proforma Tool in August 2022.


There were no questions on the report.


Proposals for 2023/24 high needs block place funding pdf icon PDF 300 KB


Tony Burton (Head of Finance for Children’s Services and Education) presented the report which summarised the commissioning approach for place funding for special educational needs provision in receipt of high needs funding for children and young people with special educational needs. He noted that officers would send out requests for consultation responses from schools around the recommendations on falling rolls, the High Needs Block, and the minimum funding guarantee. Officers were also due to be engaging with schools about workshops for budget setting.


Peter Haylock noted that the decisions highlighted in the papers would be voted on at the November meeting. Members suggested the November meeting should be in person.

ACTION: Peter Haylock / David Abbott


Members said, given the complexity of the proposals, it would be useful to have modelling that showed the impact on each school and comparisons with the previous year.

ACTION: Tony Burton



Q2 Update: High Needs Block 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 320 KB


Tony Burton (Head of Finance for Children’s Services and Education) presented the report which provided an update on the High Needs Block programmes of work and performance against the Safety Valve agreement at Q2.


Draft Work Programme (for Information) pdf icon PDF 190 KB


The draft work programme was noted.


Any Other Business


Tony Burton to circulate the budget monitoring report.


Jane Gleasure (Little People, Early Years PVI) highlighted the recruitment crisis in the sector and asked for schools to help with careers signposting to childcare work. She also offered to attend careers fairs. The Chair invited her to talk at the next Secondary Heads meeting. Peter Haylock said he would link her with Matthew Coulbeck to feed into the Council’s industrial strategy.


ACTION: Peter Haylock


The Chair noted that there were several vacancies on the Forum and asked officers to make arrangements to fill them.

ACTION: Peter Haylock