Agenda and minutes

Kirklees Schools Forum - Friday 29th June 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Woodhead Room - Tolson Museum. View directions

Contact: David Gearing  Email:

No. Item


DRAFT - Apologies for absence


Apologies had been received from Gillian Collins (NEU – ATL section), Ian Ellam (Secondary Heads) and Loz Wilson (Secondary Heads). Today would have marked the last Forum meeting for both Ian Ellam and Loz Wilson. The thanks of the Forum go to both for their sterling service to the Forum and best wishes to both for their next steps.



DRAFT - Minutes of the Forum meeting held on 23rd March 2018 pdf icon PDF 123 KB


The minutes were agreed to be a true record of the meeting.



DRAFT - Matters arising from the 23rd March 2018 pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Matters arising from the 23rd March 2018

           Forum membership update

           2018-19 Budget Share summary

           High Needs Review action plan


3.1 Forum membership update  [minute 3.1 of the 23rd March meeting]


The ballot process to elect a third mainstream academy representative to the Forum resulted in the selection of Kyrstie Joslin, head teacher of Boothroyd Primary Academy to the position. Mainstream academy representation does not have to be proportionate to the primary and secondary academy sectors. The three mainstream academy slots on Kirklees Schools Forum are now filled by the head teachers of three primary academies. The three representatives have a duty to represent the whole mainstream academy sector.


Overall Forum membership proportions will be reviewed again for the start of the new academic year using the latest available spread of pupil numbers amongst the constituent groups. There will be a need to secure new representation from the maintained secondary school sector because the two current reps are both moving on to other things at the end of this school term. One expression of interest has already been received.


3.2 Schools Budget Shares Summary 2018-19 [minute 5 of 23rd March]


An incomplete version of the 2018-19 Budget Shares summary was provided for the last meeting. This has now been finished off and a complete version had been made available amongst today’s agenda papers. The information missing from the version considered on 23rd March related to early years funding figures for a handful of primary academies and details of the budget allocations to the three pupil referral units.


3.3 High Needs Review: Draft Action Plan [minute 7 of 23rd March]


The final version of the action plan arising from the recent High Needs Strategic Review process is still being worked upon. The latest available draft of the action plan (version 8) had been included amongst today’s agenda papers for information. Forum has previously made a request that the plan should include, at appropriate points, a note of where the cost responsibilities lie for actions to be taken, eg with the Council, the High Needs funding block, Schools etc. This is not reflected in the action plan as yet.



DRAFT - Feedback from the Learning Summit/ Strategy Day pdf icon PDF 266 KB


It was reported that the Learning Strategy Day went very well with very positive feedback received. The session on High Needs issues had proven to be particularly useful and comments made will help officers refine a couple of aspects of the High Needs action plan. Firstly, transition protocols for when high needs children move schools. Work will begin on this over the Summer and further input from interested school staff will be sought next term. The other strand relates to the need for workforce development to be better able to deal with high needs issues. The need to include a focus upon how staff can better engage with parents came out of the session.



DRAFT - Kirklees Education & Learning Partnership Board (standing item) pdf icon PDF 65 KB

KELPB members


The Education Services Committee continues to work through a range of services trading with schools. The process is helping to increase understanding of each service and helping individual services too to focus on how to improve their offer to schools in future. Specific actions are in the process of being pulled together once mutually agreed.


Summary notes from the Partnership Board and its two sub-committees are now placed on the Heads Up site. It was agreed that these notes should be included with Schools Forum agenda papers in future as a better way of providing update information.



DRAFT - 2017-18 Dedicated Schools Grant Outturn

2017-18 Dedicated Schools Grant Outturn:

           Closedown Summary

           Contingency / Reorganisation pressures

           The Early Years account

           Other issues – absence insurance, maternity, trade union facilities time

           Roll-over decisions


David Gearing / Martin Wilby (Early Years)



  • Closedown Summary


The 2017-18 DSG outturn summary position was considered.


On the bottom-line of the 2017-18 DSG account is an overspend of £3,994,600. In terms of the component funding blocks of the DSG this break down as follows: -


High Needs funding block                                     £4,656,500    over

Early Years funding block                                  - (£  741,500)     under

Schools funding block                                            £    79,600      over

Total                                                                          £3,994,600


The main pressure within the DSG is clearly falling on the High Needs block. There has been an increasing amount of focus from the centre of the Council on the growing imbalance within the account. The High Needs Strategic Review work has helped to set out the context for how the pressures have built up and will continue to do so as well as drawing up an action plan with a view to return the system to a balanced position. That aim would not be helped by simply rolling forward £4.66m of deficit into the 2018-19 High Needs account. Although the Council’s own financial position continues to be extremely challenging, its own 2017-18 outturn position was ahead of the (considerably reduced) target budget figure. The Council is therefore in a position to step in and deal with the £4.66m deficit at the close of 2017-18. Although High Needs pressures continue to build, the 2018-19 High Needs account will at least open having no inherited debt to address. This outcome has only been possible thanks to some unexpected one-off ‘windfall’ savings during last year. It is unlikely that the Council, with further savings to achieve during 2018-19, will be able to step in and help again in a year’s time. It is imperative that the High Needs strategic action planning maps out the path to a more stable High Needs position over the coming years. The Forum wished to record its thanks to the Council for the action it has taken to deal with the 2017-18 High Needs deficit.


Given that the 2017-18 High Needs deficit has been dealt with, the focus of the meeting today needed to turn to the remaining (net) balance of £661,900 of unspent monies.


  • Contingency / Reorganisation pressures


Aside from the High Needs account pressures referenced above, it is anticipated that the need to support a number of schools and academies which are undergoing some form of reorganisation will cause further pressure during 2018-19. For some time now a reducing reorganisation reserve (within the Schools Contingency account) has been rolling forward within the DSG to absorb annual overspends against the recurrent School Reorganisation budget of £292,000. The opening 2017-18 balance of this reserve stood at £1.27m but £912,900 of this was committed during that year, leaving a closing balance of just £355,900.


Looking ahead to the reorganisation-related commitments that need to be honoured during 2018-19, it is certain that the recurrent Reorganisation budget of £292,000 will be exceeded. These commitments include the provision of diseconomy support funding to new primary schools growing year group by year group, support for schools asked to increase  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


DRAFT - Any other business


No other business was raised.



DRAFT - Date and time of next meeting

To be confirmed


Friday 19th October 2018                Venue: Tolson Museum     Start: 10:00am