Agenda and minutes

Kirklees Schools Forum - Friday 6th March 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Textile Centre of Excellence, 5 Red Doles Lane, Huddersfield, HD2 1YE

Contact: David Gearing  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies had been received from Darren Christian (Academy Heads), Karen Colligan (High School Heads), Andi Gilroy-Sinclair (Nursery School Heads), Carmen Gonzalez-Eslava (Post-16), Jenny Shore (Primary School Heads), Harkireet Sohel (Head of Service – Educational Outcomes), Martin Wilby (Senior Strategic Manager – Education Places & Access) and Diana Wilson (Primary School Heads). 


Minutes pdf icon PDF 196 KB

To approve the Minutes of the last meeting of the Forum, held on 29 November 2019


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


Matters Arising from the Schools Forum Public Meeting 29 November 2019

·         Outcome of outstanding disapplication requests to the DfE


3.1 Outcome of outstanding Disapplication requests 2020-21 (minute 3.1 of the 29th November meeting)


It was reported to Forum that the Education & Skills Funding Agency had given permission for a second adjustment in 2020-21 to the baseline funding of the primary school in question to continue the process of removal of the identified element of overfunding within their budget share allocation.


A very late disapplication request had also been submitted and approved giving permission to set a higher minimum funding guarantee percentage than the original maximum of plus 1.84% in order to balance off the 2020-21 schools funding block account. This was necessary to be able to allocate a remaining sum of around £650k in a way that would benefit most schools. Other options had been explored but all attempts to build the remaining amount into any of the available formula factors simply triggered a counter movement downwards in either or both of the minimum per pupil funding factor and the Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) support allocation. The MFG for 2020-21 has been set at plus 2.18%, effectively raising the funding floor for 131 out of 170 mainstream schools. The other 39 were already in receipt of higher increases in their funding per pupil rates for 2020-21.


Kirklees Education and Learning Partnership Board (Standing Item)

KELPB members


Michelle Wheatcroft, Head of Service - Early Support, had attended the Board to discuss the Community Hubs and Early Support Service reorganisation and the perceived benefits it will bring. There will be additional capacity from the appointment of two new service managers later this month – one for Youth Services and one for Community Hubs (to be renamed “Family Centre Hubs”). There will also be a new second lead officer within Family Support. A revised organisation structure chart will be issued. The aim is to build back up some universal support services that had disappeared as a result of the austerity programme. It was asked whether the structure chart could also include some brief summary notes about post responsibilities under each role. The Community Hub Co-ordinator roles have been extended through to September 2020 to provide some space to consider the approach going forward.


Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) attended to provide an update on how their management of local swimming services for schools is going. Generally it is seen to be going well. There has been lots of positive engagement and some extension of the service to families. The unavailability of Spen pool has been successfully worked around. KAL is working with a dozen or so schools to pilot longer swimming sessions (although it was commented at Forum that the sessions are not significantly longer). The swimming sessions provided are being quality assured by Sport England.


The extension of the DfE’s Risk Protection Arrangement to the maintained schools sector from April 2020 had also been discussed.


The Education Improvement Committee had examined a number of reading projects.


The Education Services Committee had considered Catering and Cleaning and Caretaking Services and some positive developments within those services. The Committee also considered whether the letters of assurance approach covering Kirklees staff visiting / doing work in Kirklees schools was compliant with safeguarding requirements – the approach was regarded as satisfying compliance at a minimum level so ways to enhance the arrangement were discussed.


A statement has been issued via HeadsUp on the topic of Relationship and Sex Education. School representatives are working with officers to draft a model policy for schools to adopt. It was also reported that the West Yorkshire Teaching Alliance had been successful in bidding for PHSCE training monies.


High Needs Budget (Standing Item)


(Ronnie Hartley, Head of Service, Education Safeguarding & Inclusion attended the meeting for this item)


Following on from the briefing provided to the last Forum meeting about the discussions at the Forum’s High Needs Task & Finish Group, Ronnie Hartley reported a slight delay to the timescale for progressing the work on the future shape of mainstream top-up funding. The task and finish group had helped to establish the governing principles of the review and officers will now meet to conduct an options appraisal on 16th March and reconvene the Task & Finish Group thereafter. The aim would be to set an implementation date for the new top-up funding method of September 2020.


Details of the 2020-21 DSG Settlement and the shape of school funding for 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 213 KB

David Gearing, Financial Delegation Manager.

Additional documents:


Details of the 2020-21 Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) settlement for Kirklees and how it compares to the previous year’s settlement were included with today’s agenda papers.


a)    Schools Block


The pure Schools Block has increased from £293.5m in 2019-20 to £302.18m for 2020-21, a rise of £8.68m. The minor part of the increase is attributable to having 115 more pupils on the October 2019 pupil census return but the majority of the rise is driven by the average 4% increase to the National Funding Formula (NFF) factor values for 2020-21, including the higher minimum per pupil check values of £3,750 for primary schools and £5,000 for secondary schools. The overall rise in the Schools Block for 2020-21 is worth 2.96%. Whilst all schools will see the benefit of the formula factor unit value increases, many schools will experience a consequential reduction in the amount of cash protection layered on top of their NFF outcome. The worst case net effect of the two opposing movements would see a school gaining by a minimum increase of 1.84% per pupil on last year’s baseline (but it has subsequently proved possible to deliver a minimum increase of 2.18% per pupils – see 3.1 above). 


b)   Growth provision within the Schools Block


The formula growth method brought in last year allocated £1.76m to Kirklees in 2019-20. The tail-off in growth pressure has seen this drop to £1.59m in 2020-21 although the fall would have been larger still if the DfE hadn’t removed the gains cap which applied last year. [£165k was knocked off Kirklees’ growth formula outcome in 2019-20 to produce the £1.76m result]. Any growth funds not needed to address within the funding allocations the addition of new year group intakes for those schools still adding a year group from the start of each academic year will be added to the Pupil Growth Fund for 2020-21 (see item 7 below).


c)    Central Schools Services Block


Kirklees’ CSSB allocation has again seen a reduction from the previous year’s level - £2.22m compared to £2.30m in 2019-20. A 2.5% reduction in the value allocated per pupil had been expected as the true NFF outcome is phased in, but on top of this a 20% cut (a further £34k loss) has been applied to the historic commitments element of the CSSB. This sort of cut has been threatened by the ESFA for some while based upon an assumption that historic commitments should be reasonably short-term and will “unwind” over time. That simply isn’t true when the costs relate to annual pension payments. The ESFA have begun to listen to arguments from local authorities where their commitments are in reality much longer term in nature. Officers wrote to the ESFA, as requested, to explain the situation with regard to the ongoing pension payments charged to the DSG and the £34k funding will now be restored. 


d)   High Needs Block


More funding nationally has been committed to High Needs from 2020-21. This has seen Kirklees’ High Needs allocation for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Budget Retention and De-delegation decisions for 2020-21 Cabinet Approval of funding arrangements pdf icon PDF 91 KB

David Gearing,  Financial Delegation Manager.

Additional documents:


Following a round of consultation with schools, discussions at Forum briefings and feedback gathered from constituent group meetings the tables below reflect the agreed retention budget decisions for financial year 2020-21.


Central School Services Block 2020-21


Budget provision

Proposed level


Servicing of the Schools Forum


Unchanged from 2019-20

Historic DSG pension commitments




Pupil Admissions Service



School Organisation & Planning



School Reorganisation Support



National Copyright Licence charge


Forum approval is not required. Budget level affected by volume change in pupil numbers and inflation.

Former Education Services Grant retained duties for all children


Statutory and regulatory duties upon the Council for all school-age children. Amount reduced from £943,300 due to lower CSSB allocation in 2020-21 and the increased Copyright Licence charge



[To match the total CSSB allocation 2020-21 with £34.1k cut restored]


‘Growth’ funding within the Schools Block 2020-21


Budget provision

Proposed level


Pupil Growth Fund


Unchanged from 2019-20

Future pupil growth


Retention of the unused element of formula-based growth monies within the PGF to continue to provide support for ongoing school reorganisations and restructures and to support necessary future changes. 





Funding retained within the Early Years Block 2020-21


Budget provision

Proposed level


Early Learning and Childcare


Free Early Education, Childcare Sufficiency and Early Years Outcomes Teams – funding to providers, free entitlement place sufficiency, supporting standards of delivery

Back office / management costs


Finance, Payroll, HR, Legal, IT etc

Inclusion Support


Contribution to the Inclusion Officer team



Contribution to admissions, maternity, union duties etc





De-delegation 2020-21 (maintained mainstream schools only)



Primary per pupil

Secondary per pupil


Schools Contingency



Rates unchanged

Free School Meals eligibility checks



Rates unchanged

Maternity, paternity and adoptive leave



Rates unchanged

Trade Union facilities time



Rates unchanged, Secondary sector to continue to not de-delegate.

Public Duties



Rates unchanged

International New Arrivals



Rates unchanged

School Improvement Commissioning



Rates unchanged






School Funding 2020-21 Cabinet Report


It was reported that the recommendations in the 2020-21 report to Cabinet on school funding had been approved at their meeting of 14th January 2020.


Any Other Business


It was asked whether the Forum needs to discuss the implications that Coronavirus may have for schools and their finances. Further information and guidance will be made available to schools as the situation develops.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Friday 26th June 2020 (10am) at the Tolson Museum.


Friday 26th June 2020         10:00am start                        Tolson Museum