Agenda and minutes

Rotherham Schools' Forum - Friday 9 November 2018 8.30 a.m.

Venue: Rockingham Professional Development Centre

Contact: Debbie Pons Principal Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item


Appointment of Chair for the 2018/19 School Year


A new Chair was to be appointed for the 2018/19 school year, representatives were asked for nominations and Mrs D. Ball was nominated and appointed as Chair of Rotherham Schools’ Forum.


Appointment of Vice-Chair for the 2018/19 School Year


Mr P. Silvester was nominated and appointed as Vice-Chair for the 2018/19 school year.


Welcome and Introduction to new RMBC Officers


Mr. N. Hardwick, Mr. J. Stonehouse and Mrs. J. Lingrell were introduced and welcomed to the Schools’ Forum.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Mrs. S. Brook (NASUWT), Mr. S. Scott (Day Nurseries – Private, Voluntary, Independent) and Mr I. Henderson (H.R.)


Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 10th July, 2018 pdf icon PDF 92 KB


Agreed:– That the minutes of the previous meeting of the Rotherham Schools Forum, held on 10th July, 2018, be approved as a correct record. 


Matters Arising from Previous Minutes




Schools Forum Representation - Proposed Model pdf icon PDF 86 KB


Representation was previously based on a learning community model, a model which better reflected the status of schools in 2018 was tabled for consideration.


Members agreed in principle to the new model, Deborah Ball to disseminate the information into all schools prior to Schools Forum reconstituting in January 2019.


Forum agreed the following sub-groups:-


Early Years


High Needs – Next Meeting - 11th  December 2018, 9:30 at Treeton Primary School.


High Needs Block - Mid-Year Update and Recovery Plan pdf icon PDF 315 KB

Additional documents:


There has been a redirection in the high needs block since 2015. There was a deficit of £1 million in 2015-16, this has increased to £10 million at the start of this year. Contributing factors include an increase in the number of EHCP coming through, 41 permanent exclusions and increased numbers in the PRU from 146 to 191. A recovery plan will require implementing to reduce the deficit year on year to include specialist provision significantly increasing, reducing the number of out of area placements where possible, review top up arrangements, maintain EHC pupils in mainstream. The proposal is to transfer 1.5% from the school block to the high needs block, this has to go to the Secretary of State for approval.


Points considered/discussed:-


  • The contribution from Health to support children with EHCPs.
  • Joint working with health and providers on more transparency for complex care placements
  • Of the 2003 EHCP there are 80 complex care or continuing care cases which are funded on a child by child basis
  • Special school nurses are funding through a commissioning arrangement
  • EHCP with health/disability needs – schools are still having to fund through education
  • Opportunity to review/challenge how much work is being commissioned
  • Big collective responsibility to draw in those who don’t sit at the table to understand the direction of travel
  • An RESP group has been established with a remit on all matter educational. Presentation on RESP to come to a future meeting
  • Concerns with top up element for pupils with EHCP in mainstream, further discussion to take place in sub groups


Agreed: (1)  Sufficiency Strategy Report to be sent out more widely.


(2)  Clarity on funding to be presented at next meeting.


School Funding Formula Consultation (including outcome from the consultation)


a.     Rotherham School Funding Formula.

b.     Rotherham School Fund Formula Factors.

c.     High Needs – Funding Transfer from the Schools Block.

d.     Pupil Growth.

e.     Central School Services Block.


The school funding formula consultation and outcome was tabled for consideration. A 0% minimum funding guarantee has been proposed. Schools Forum are required to vote upon specific elements in accordance with the powers and responsibilities assigned by the ESFA, in order to agree this eligible Schools Forum members voted on a number of proposals set out in the report.


1.     Do you agree with the principle that Rotherham is adopting in terms of prioritising an increase to the MFG to safeguard schools and academies from significant per pupil changes?

8 Yes - 0 No


2.     Considering the district as a whole, and to ensure support for the most vulnerable children and young people in the district, do you support the transfer of the 1.5% from the schools block to the high needs block?

4 Yes – 4 No.


4.     Do you agree that the Local Authority should continue to provide for a growth fund? It is estimated fo r2019/20 a budget of £479,000 is required.

6 Yes  - 2 No


5.     Do you agree that funding from the central school services block can continue to be held centrally for the services outlined above

6.                                                                 8 Yes – 0 No


Request for transition from the school block to the high needs block is to be submitted to the Secretary of State by 30th November, 2018, if refused the Local Authority can vire across 0.5%.


Teachers' Pay Grant and Teachers' Pension Grant pdf icon PDF 112 KB


The pay award is over and above the 1% schools would have expected. Specialist provision is not funded, this comes through the high needs block.


The pension grant will cover the additional costs to schools following the contribution rates increase from September 2019.  Funding beyond 2019/20 has not been agreed.



2019/20 Contingency for Pupil Growth funding Allocations pdf icon PDF 75 KB


Funding is allocated to schools each year based upon numbers on roll on Census day in October of the preceding year. It is recommended that the 2019/20 allocation of £478,972 be approved by Schools’ Forum from the pupil growth element with the schools block to meet additional staffing costs due to demographic growth, if not agreed, schools would have to fund themselves.


Schools’ forum approved the funding.


Date of Next and Future Meetings


Proposed dates are:-


Friday, 18th January, 2019

Friday, 5th April, 2019

Friday, 21st June, 2019


All commencing at 8.30 a.m. at Rockingham Professional Development Centre.


Friday 18th January 2019

Friday 5th April 2019

Friday 21st June 2019