Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Hounslow Professional Development Centre, 78 St Johns Road, Isleworth, TW7 6RU

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

Items
No. Item

27.

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

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Verity Coates, Ben Foley, Chris Hill, Tony Ryan,Roger Shortt, Jackie  Willis, John Wright and Alan Adams (Executive Director, Children’s and Adult Services).

 

There were no declaration of interests, and no other communications.

28.

Update on Membership

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Paul Enright, Headteacher at St Marks Catholic School, to his first meeting as an Academy representative.

 

Michael Marks confirmed that he was in discussion with the RC Diocese to fill the vacancy for their representative.

29.

Minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2016 pdf icon PDF 295 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2016 were agreed as a true and accurate record, and signed by the Chair.

 

Matters Arising:

Item 23(b) – Changes to School Funding Arrangements in 2017-18

The Chair confirmed that he was in the process of drafting a letter to Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, expressing concerns on funding for London schools.

30.

Update on insurance buy-back service

Brought forward from the sept meeting (Item 3 matters arising (a)

Minutes:

Shabana Kausar had e-mailed schools in early September 2016, but was aware that some schools had not received this.  She agreed to re-send the information to schools.

31.

Managing Behaviour Options - Penny Stephen pdf icon PDF 252 KB

Minutes:

Penny Stephen led members through her report (attached to item 6 of the Agenda Pack), and reminded them that this report relates only to behaviour issues, not SEN.  Increasing numbers of Primary phase pupils required early intervention to prevent exclusion or managed transfer.  The report proposed to mirror, as appropriate, the successful provision in place for Secondary phase pupils.

 

A number of concerns were raised, including:

a)    Staff would not be covered by Teachers’ Pay and Conditions;

b)    Whether the staffing levels would be appropriate;

c)    How many schools would need to subscribe to the service to make it viable;

d)    Members had not had time to discuss the financial commitment required (3 year initial obligation) with their Headteacher colleagues.

 

Members Resolved to:

1.    Note the views of the LA on the key delivery risks and challenges of both delivery models outlined in Section 4 of the report;

 

2.    Agree in principle Option 2 in the report (attached to Item 6 of the Agenda pack), as there was flexibility in this option.  However, members did not wish to commit schools financially until more details were available.

 

3.    Consider commissioning a Primary Respite Centre (PRC) to be established from April 2017, which would require:

a.    Primary Schools to agree to a financial commitment for a minimum 3 year period;

b.    noting the long term future of the PRC delivery model, and the oversight of the operational and financial management of the centre as set out in Section 5 of the Report.

 

It was agreed that this would be further considered at the January 2017 Schools’ Forum meeting.  Michael Marks reminded members that, if schools decided not to proceed with the LA’s recommendation, they would have to commission behaviour support as individual schools.

 

 

32.

Free Special School Application to EFA - Sheena Poley pdf icon PDF 279 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sheena Poley led members through her report.  She advised that, even with the proposed expansions of Marjory Kinnon and Oaklands Schools, there was still a projected shortfall of SEN places in the coming years.  If places were not available in borough, these would have to be found out-of-borough, which would be much more expensive to fund.

 

Members Noted:

1.    The additional SEN places that are required from 2016 (Paragraphs 5.4, 5.5 and Appendix 1 of the report);

2.    That new guidance has been produced which sets out for Local Authorities (LAs) and new school proposers how the process will work for LAs to identify and advertise any new special free school they would like to commission;

3.    That expression of interest forms have been submitted to the Regional Schools Commissioner for two new secondary Social and Emotional Mental Health Needs (SEMH) special Free Schools.

33.

SEN Matrix Financial Model and Transition Protection Operational Guidance and Process - Sonal Sisodia pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sonal Sisodia led members through her report, attached to item 7 of the Agenda pack. The funding matrix had been discussed at the last Schools’ Forum meeting, following which it had been reviewed by SENCOs and amended.  An additional section had been added on “Preparing for Adulthood”.  SENCOs had generally been in favour of the model.

 

Members Resolved to:

1.    Note the responses received from the consultation with schools and other stakeholders on the Matriix template at Section 4.2 of the report;

2.    Agree to the implementation of the SEN Funding Matrix set out in Appendix 1 of the report  (unanimous vote in favour);

3.    Note the proposed Matrix funding models as set out in Appendix 2 (Confidential) of the Report;

4.    Agree to implement model 2 (Section 6.8 of the report) from 1 April 2017 (unanimous vote in favour);

5.    Agree to receive a further report to the January 2017 Forum meeting, outlining the operational process for operating the SEN funding matrix and transitional funding arrangements for Special Schools and SEN Centres (sections 7.1 and 8.1 of the report);

6.    Agree for the following changes to be implemented for 1 April 2017 with regards to the SEN top-up and funding (section 8.2 of the report) (unanimous vote in favour):

a.    The elimination of indicative adjustments of Centre places as a result of the introduction of the Transitional Protection arrangements;

b.    A change from the allocation of pro-rata top-up funding from school days to calendar days;

7.    Task the SEN Task and Finish Group to develop a communication strategy which informs Hounslow schools of changes to SEN top-up funding (Section 21.1) (unanimous vote in favour).

34.

Update on 2017/18 DfE consultation on DSG national funding formula

Minutes:

Shabana Kausar reported that she had attended a DfE meeting recently, at which no comment had been made. There would be a further consultation exercise – probably early in 2017.

35.

2017/18 Provisional Funding, Saving Options and Budget - Shabana Kausar pdf icon PDF 443 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Shabana Kausar led members through her report, which had been circulated as a late report.

 

Members noted that:

·         The Apprenticeship Levy on schools appeared to be an unintended consequence of legislation.  Headteachers and the LA had written to the Secretary of State and the HMRC for clarification.

·         Data identifying families eligible for 30 hours provision for 3 and 4 year olds did not appear to be sound.  The Government were not listening to the fact that everyone believes this initiative to be unworkable.

·         EAL funding was vastly different between Primary and Secondary phases.  However, to amend this would trigger MFG in a great many schools, and was therefore not feasible.

·         Due to the late circulation of the report, Headteachers had not been able to seek the views of their colleagues on the proposed budget savings.

·         If members did not make recommendations in January 2017 in order to make savings, the Council would have to override Schools’ Forum, as the Council were not able to set a deficit budget.

 

Members Resolved to:

 

1.    Note that:

a.       The 2016/17 projected DSG funding pressure of £2.2m, partly funded from unfilled vacant SEN places (£0.25m) and one-off DSG reserves (section 3.1 of the report);

b.      The 2017/18 projected DSG funding pressure of £5.1m partly funded from savings approved in year of £1.5m (Section 4.2.1 of the report);

c.       The five year contract with Siemens for Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) Data Retrieval Service will come to an end in 2017 (Section 4.4.1 of the report).  Shabana Kausar agreed to investigate the implications of this for schools;

d.      There will be an expected increase in business rates charges from April 2017 (Section 4.5 of the report). This will be confirmed early in 2017;

e.       There will be a new Apprentice Levy from April 2017 (Section 4.6 of the report), which will have an impact on all maintained schools.  Members were convinced that this was an unintended consequence of legislation, and Shabana Kausar would continue to lobby for exemption for schools.

 

2.      Agree, and recommend to the Lead Member to approve:

a.       The Education Services Grant (ESG) funding transferring into the DSG to be retained centrally by the Council and to be used to contribute towards costs currently incurred for statutory services (section 4.3.2 of the report) (voted unanimously);

b.      The Council retain central funds for the National Copyright Licences (section 4.4.2 of the report) (voted unanimously);

c.       Implementation of new funding formula for PRU and recommendations set out in Appendix 3 (section 5.4 of the report) (voted unanimously);

d.      Application to be submitted to the EFA to disapply the Minimum  Funding Guarantee as a result of changes to the PRU funding formula (section 5.4.6 of the report) (voted unanimously);

e.       To retain the £50 AWPU cut from the current year for a further period of one year (voted unanimously).

 

3.      Agree, in principle, the need to consult in Early Years Funding Formula changes before the January 2017 Schools’ Forum meeting (section 4.9 of the report) (voted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

School Balances Update and Financial Regulations - Donald Fraser pdf icon PDF 242 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Donald Fraser led members through his report (attached at item 10 of the Agenda pack).

 

It was agreed that the Chair would write to Headteachers (copied to Chairs of Governors) at those schools who had not responded to Donald Fraser, requesting them to do so as a matter of urgency.

 

Members noted:

The updates regarding submission of:

a)    School balances returns to 31 March 2016;

b)    School budget pro-formas for 2016-17.

 

Members considered the proposed changes to the Schools’ Financial Regulations (as detailed at item 5.1 in the report, attached to item 10 of the Agenda pack), but requested that Officers clarify the criteria to be applied, in respect of surplus balances, if additional funding is requested. 

 

This item will be reconsidered at the February 2017 meeting.

37.

Forward Plan Update

Minutes:

This item was deferred to the January 2017 meeting.

38.

Date of Next Meeting

Dates and  venues of future meetings are:

Wednesday 18 January 2017 at the Professional Development Centre, 78 St John’s Road, Isleworth, TW7 6RU

Monday 27 February 2017 in Committee Rooms 1 & 2, Civic Centre

 

Minutes:

The next meetings are scheduled to take place on:

1.    Wednesday 18 January 2017 at 6pm at the CPD Centre, 78 St Johns Road;

2.    Monday 27 February 2017 at 6pm in Committee Rooms 1 and 2, Civic Centre