Hounslow Council


Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Professional Development Centre, 78, St John's Road, Isleworth, TW7 6RU

Contact: Irene Bowles, 020 8583 2075, Email: irene.bowles@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

77.

Apologies for Absence, Declarations of Interest and Any Other Communications from Members

Decision:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Tom Bruce, Stephen Davis, Paul Enright, Marais Leenders, Tony Ryan, Mel Tatters, Sue Tysall, Phil Ward and Jackie Willis.

 

There were no declarations of interest or other communications from members.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed the following members to their first meeting of Schools’ Forum:

Ben Foley and Jo Lacey (Maintained Primary Schools)

Tracy Aust (16-19 Providers)

Roger Shortt (moved from Maintained Primary School representative to Education Improvement Partnership [EIP] representative).

 

Members were pleased to note that there were now no vacancies.

 

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Tom Bruce, Stephen Davis, Paul Enright, Marais Leenders, Tony Ryan, Mel Tatters, Sue Tysall, Phil Ward and Jackie Willis.

 

There were no declarations of interest or other communications from members.

78.

Minutes of the meeting held on 22 February 2016 pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 22 February 2016 were agreed as a true and accurate record, with the following amendment, and were signed by the Chair.

 

Item72(a) Early Years Block Funding

Delete heading “Early Years Pupil Premium” before second paragraph.

 

Matters arising from the minutes:

a)       Item 70 – Hub and Spoke Model Update

A report will be brought to the next meeting confirming timescales and date of commencement.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 22 February 2016 were agreed as a true and accurate record, with the following amendment, and were signed by the Chair.

 

Item72(a) Early Years Block Funding

Delete heading “Early Years Pupil Premium” before second paragraph.

 

Matters arising from the minutes:

a)         Item 70 – Hub and Spoke Model Update

A report will be brought to the next meeting confirming timescales and date of commencement.  Most therapists had now been appointed; there had been a good response to the recruitment campaign.

 

b)        Item 75 – School buy-back service upcoming changes

Some schools had already appointed alternative suppliers for the Bursary Service that was to be discontinued by the Local Authority (LA) on 31 August 2016, whilst other schools were unhappy to be losing this support.  In response to a question on SIMS licences, Shabana Kausar confirmed that schools could still purchase licences through the LA, and agreed to e-mail schools to provide information.

79.

Update on 2017/18 DfE consultation on DSG national funding formula pdf icon PDF 284 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

1.       Noted the key issues and implications of stage one of the national funding formula consultation and the academisation agenda.

 

2.       In light of the probable timeframe for stage two of the consultation, the Forum will meet to discuss this.  An additional meeting date will be agreed once the stage two consultation has commenced, and members notified accordingly.

Minutes:

 

The Chair, Michael Marks and Shabana Kausar had met and discussed contributions received in respect of the consultation, and then submitted a response for Hounslow schools.

 

Members were reminded of the key issues and implications of the consultation through a report and presentation by Shabana Kausar.  They noted that the LA might need to implement a local Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) of up to 3% in order to balance the Schools’ Block budget.

 

The LA have advised the DfE that the DSG national funding formula should be fair and fully funded, based on actual figures, not notional ones.

 

Members were concerned that the stage two consultation would take place in the Summer, the formula would be announced in December, with implementation from 1 April 2017 – a very short timeframe.  Dates for additional School Forum meetings to discuss the consultation during June/July 2016 would be identified and provisionally booked, as well as being placed on the Phase Partnerships.  Information could also be appended to the Governors’ Newsletter.

 

 

Resolved:

1.         Noted the key issues and implications of stage one of the national funding formula consultation and the academisation agenda.

 

2.         In light of the probable timeframe for stage two of the consultation, the Forum will meet to discuss this.  An additional meeting date will be agreed once the stage two consultation has commenced, and members notified accordingly.

80.

Section 251 Budget Statement pdf icon PDF 484 KB

Decision:

Resolved:

Noted the approved 2016/17 budget for education and children’s social care services.

Minutes:

Shabana Kausar led members through the Section 251 Budget statement for 2016/17.

 

 

Resolved:

Noted the approved 2016/17 budget for education and children’s social care services.

81.

SEN Task & Finish Group update

Minutes:

Members received a verbal update on the Task and Finish Group from Michael Marks.  Key points were:

 

a)    A workshop had been held to look at models for assessing and allocating High Needs funding; more work was required on this. Once the Task and Finish Group have made comments on this, it will be brought to Schools’ Forum.

b)    The points model of allocating funds does not work: a banding matrix model is being investigated, with a potential external adviser assisting.  It is hoped that sufficient progress will be made quickly on this, to enable it to be brought to the next Schools’ Forum meeting.

c)    Work is being focussed on Mainstream Schools in the first instance.  Special Schools and SEN Centres will follow; issues are too complex to attempt to encompass all provision at the same time.

d)    Meetings will take place between the LA and Heads of schools with Centres; there may be new recommendations on the allocation of funding.

e)    The current membership of the Task and Finish Group will end in July 2016.  A report will be brought to Schools’ Forum with recommendations on future work and new members.

82.

Update on insurance buy-back service pdf icon PDF 266 KB

Decision:

Resolved:

1.       To note the legal framework governing schools and the Council with regards to the provision of insurance;

2.       to note the mandatory insurance protection provided by the Council for all maintained schools, and the additional voluntary content insurance available to all schools in Hounslow;

3.       To note the phased increase in charges over the next two years to enable the Council to fully recover its costs;

4.       To receive a report on Service Level Agreements and the opt-out process at the July 2016 meeting.

Minutes:

Shabana Kausar led members through the report, reminding members that a schedule of costs would be sent to schools by 13 May 2016.  Schools would receive information on cover provided by the LA, as well as the level of cover required if schools opt out, before 1 September 2016.

 

 

Resolved:

1.         To note the legal framework governing schools and the Council with regards to the provision of insurance;

2.         to note the mandatory insurance protection provided by the Council for all maintained schools, and the additional voluntary content insurance available to all schools in Hounslow;

3.         To note the phased increase in charges over the next two years to enable the Council to fully recover its costs;

4.         To receive a report on Service Level Agreements and the opt-out process at the July 2016 meeting.

83.

Criteria and clawback options for balance control mechanism pdf icon PDF 416 KB

Report to follow

Decision:

Resolved:

1.         The current draft document to be issued for discussion at Partnership meetings;

2.         The final draft document to be brought to the Forum meeting in July 2016 for consultation approval;

3.         The Chair to write to Headteachers via the EIP Bulletin, giving clarification that there would be no retrospective clawback (if a clawback mechanism is agreed), but that 2015/16 balances would be used as a baseline in the future.

Minutes:

Members noted that Headteachers had voiced concern at the report under consideration, as there was an implication of retrospective clawback.  Members were assured that balances for 2015/16 were required to provide a baseline for the future.

 

It was agreed that the report should be reviewed for clarification and be discussed at the next round of School Partnerships meetings, before returning to Schools’ Forum in July 2016.

 

Members were reminded that it is up to Schools’ Forum to make decisions on balance control, not the LA.

 

Any clawbacks from Academies would have to be on a voluntary basis: Members noted that clawbacks from LA maintained schools would be distributed to LA maintained schools; clawbacks from Academies would go to Academies.

 

 

Resolved:

1.         The current draft document to be issued for discussion at Partnership meetings;

2.         The final draft document to be brought to the Forum meeting in July 2016 for consultation approval;

3.         The Chair to write to Headteachers via the EIP Bulletin, giving clarification that there would be no retrospective clawback (if a clawback mechanism is agreed), but that 2015/16 balances would be used as a baseline in the future.

84.

Approval of scheme for financing schools pdf icon PDF 216 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

To approve the revised Scheme for Financing of Schools.

Minutes:

Members noted that the current Scheme for Financing Schools had not been updated since 2012, and was not compliant with statutory guidance issued by the DfE in December 2016. 

 

The proposed revised scheme document had been sent to all maintained schools for consultation; this ended on 9 May 2016.  The document was intended to be more user friendly, and the names/titles of Council Officers had been amended.

 

Members were directed to “Section 4: The treatment of surplus and deficit balances arising in relation to budget shares”, and were asked to note that a policy on clawback mechanisms could be appended to this, if approved by Schools’ Forum.

 

 

Resolved:

To approve the revised Scheme for Financing of Schools.

85.

Forward Plan Update pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Decision:

Resolved:

Add the following to the list to be addressed on 11 July 2016:

Criteria and clawback options for balance control mechanism (Finance Team to lead).

 

Minutes:

Members reviewed the Forward Plan and:

 

Resolved:

Add the following to the list to be addressed on 11 July 2016:

Criteria and clawback options for balance control mechanism (Finance Team to lead).

 

86.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Schools forum will be held on 11 July 2016 at 6pm, in Committee Room 3 at the Civic Centre.

Decision:

The date of the next scheduled meeting is 11 July 2016.

 

One (or more) additional meetings will be scheduled during June and/or July 2016, for specific items of discussion.  Dates will be circulated as soon as they are confirmed.

 

Dates for the 2016/17 Early Years Schools Funding Formula Review working group will be circulated in the near future.

Minutes:

The date of the next scheduled meeting is 11 July 2016, and will take place in Committee Room 3, Civic Centre.

 

One (or more) additional meetings will be scheduled during June and/or July 2016, for specific items of discussion.  Dates will be circulated as soon as they are confirmed.

 

Dates for the 2016/17 Early Years Schools Funding Formula Review working group will be circulated in the near future.