Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow

Contact: Wendy Merry, 020 8583 2061, Email: wendy.merry@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of the Chair and Vice-Chair

Minutes:

Euan Ferguson was elected Chair and Joanne Lacey was elected Vice-Chair.

2.

Minutes of the meeting held on 3 July 2017 pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Minutes:

Minutes of the meeting held on 3 July 2017 (agenda item 3) were agreed.

 

Matters Arising

 

Roger Shortt advised that Ben Foley and Verity Coates would no longer be members of the Forum. Vicky Rodrigues would be filling one of the maintained school vacancies and the Forum welcomed her to the meeting (item 2, page 1 refers).

3.

Schools staffing responsibilities pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Minutes:

See report by Steve Williams, Head of Human Resources (agenda item 4)

 

Jayne Skelton, HR Manager, presented the report.

 

In response to questions, Ms Skelton felt that the future signing of contracts of employment would be done by an officer from Human Resources Administration, but undertook to find out for certain as a matter of urgency and to let the Forum know on the following day.

 

In response to concerns about the requirement for termly returns from schools taking the third-party HR option as being seen as an additional burden, Michael Marks acknowledged that there was a need for it to be better explained to schools, but advised that it had to be done because it was the only way the LEA had of knowing who was employed in these schools.

 

Resolved:

 

a)    That Ms Skelton would identify the future signatory for contracts of employment and let the Forum know as a matter of urgency.

b)    That Mr Marks would ask HR to provide a further explanation to schools in relation to the requirement for termly returns.

4.

2018/19 National Funding Formula update

Minutes:

Christine Holland, Head of Finance and Resource Planning, provided the Forum with a verbal update, which was noted.

 

Councillor Bruce advised that Ruth Cadbury MP had set up a meeting with the Minister for Schools, himself, Michael Marks and other schools representatives to discuss the national funding formula, which would take place on 18 October. The issue of 30-hour childcare would also be discussed and Councillor Bruce advised that he would be providing a verbal update to the Forum at the meeting on 30 October.

5.

Introduction to the SEND High Needs Review pdf icon PDF 456 KB

Minutes:

John Wood, Strategic SEND Adviser, made the presentation.

 

(The presentation is now published with the agenda on the web site).

 

Michael Marks advised that one or two school representatives were needed for the SEND Programme Board and asked the Forum to put the request out to their groups. Roger Shortt agreed to circulate on behalf of colleagues.He also advised that there would be an updated report in October and a detailed presentation in November.

6.

Schools Financial Regulations pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See report by Christine Holland, Head of Finance and Resource Planning (agenda item 7)

 

Christine Holland highlighted the main points.

 

In response to questions, it was agreed that she would clarify what the written quotation meant, referred to in 3.5 of the report and the dates in relation to budgetary control, referred to in 7.2 & 7.3 of the report.

 

Resolved:

 

a)    That arrangements for the updating of the Schools Financial Regulations, as set out in section 3 of the report, be noted.

b)    That clarification would be provided in relation to the written quotation referred to in 3.5 of the report and the dates in relation to budgetary control, referred to in 7.2 & 7.3 of the report.

7.

Implementation of the Balance Control Mechanism pdf icon PDF 287 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See report by Christine Holland, Head of Finance and Resource Planning (agenda item 8)

 

The Forum members made the following comments:

 

  • They noted that the figures in the appendices were not the same, but acknowledged that this did not change the general principle.
  • They felt that a strong message needed to be sent to schools about the claw back of balances.
  • It was suggested that a letter from the Director of Corporate Finance and the Chair of Schools Forum be sent to all schools alerting them to the decision of Schools Forum to clawback balances in excess of 8.3% for schools with high balances over a number of years will come into effect for the 2018/19 financial year.
  • The Forum noted that schools could appeal, either in person or in writing and the appeal would be put to Schools Forum.
  • It was suggested that schools, who would have had money clawed back had the process already been in place, be notified of that by letter from the Council’s finance department.

 

Resolved:

 

a)    That the recommendations in section 1 of the report be noted.

b)    That officers move ahead in implementing the claw back system, taking on board the suggestions made above.

8.

School Forum Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Minutes:

The report was noted.

9.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Schools forum will be held on 30 October 2017.

 

 

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was noted.

10.

Any other urgent business.

Minutes:

There was no such urgent business.