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Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence had been received from Julia Arechiga (Non-School Member), Karen Colligan (High School Heads), Kath Duffy (Early Years Alliance), Laura Flynn (Special Academy Heads), Helen Pearson (Primary School Heads) and Rebecca Smith (Pupil Referral Units)
Minutes of the Schools Forum meeting held on 5th March 2021 PDF 169 KB
Minutes of the Forum held on 5th March 2021
It was agreed that the minutes were a true record of the meeting.
Matters arising from 5th March 2021 meeting
School Trade Union Facilities Time Arrangements (minute 3.1 of 5 March 2021)
That this item be placed on the next agenda.
Education Learning Partnership Board (standing item)
Natalie McSheffrey (NMcS) reported that the Education and Learning Partnership Board had met on 9 June 2021. Items discussed at the meeting included:
4.1 Admissions Code/Fair Access Protocol Changes 2021
Members were informed that the new School Admission Code would come into force 1 September 2021. They noted that admission authorities must comply with the Code and NMcS explained that the main purpose of the changes was to improve support for the in-year admission of vulnerable children. NMcS summarised the changes, which included:
o introducing more detail on the process for managing in-year admissions;
o changes to improve the effectiveness of Fair Access Protocols;
o giving children adopted from state care outside of England equal admissions priority as children who were previously looked after in England; and
o clarification of which address to use for the admission of service or crown servant children.
4.2 Workforce Planning Group
NMcS stated that the first meeting of the Workforce Planning Group took place mid-May. Whilst there had been good representation at the meeting, there were still several gaps to fill and this was being addressed. Members noted that several priorities had been agreed, which were:
o Well-Being of/for all education staff;
o CPD for Senior Leaders;
o Recruitment and Retention (including the Early Careers Framework)
4.3 It was reported to the group that sickness absence figures had reduced during the last quarter, which was a positive.
4.4 Members were informed that a strong partnership was forming between the Early Career Teachers and Teaching Hub. Meetings were taking place on a regular basis and HR were confident of a full launch in September 2021.
4.5 Transition Arrangements
NMcS informed the meeting that discussions had been held around Covid related transition arrangements as the end of the school year approached, along with options being considered for 2021-22. General discussions had taken place around more creative uses of existing space, along with other options that were currently available and easily accessible.
4.6 Education Recovery
NMcS reported that the focus of discussions around education recovery had focused on the quality of teaching and learning pupils were receiving and how this would be carried into the next academic year. There was still a need to focus on the well-being of staff, so that they could continue to support children and young people and deliver a broad and balanced, less prescriptive curriculum, in order to ensure that young people leave school with the knowledge, skills and ambition to succeed.
4.7 The Kirklees Futures Strategy Commission and Expert Strategy group continued to meet and work on the on the 3 key areas within the 3-year plan – which was likely to be in situ until to 2030. Members noted that the first year of Strategy would include recovery and reading.
4.8 Education Improvement Committee (EIC) – 19 May 2021
Discussions took place around the EEF Project and Helen Metcalfe (Senior KLP) gave an update on this. All EEF evidence showed that the strategies which had the greatest impact occurred in ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Dedicated Schools Grant Outturn PDF 135 KB
a) Dedicated Schools Grant Outturn
- The DSG account
- Maintained school balances
- Schools with excess balances
- Schools with deficit balances
b) School contingency
c) High need (standing item) – Verbal Update
d) School reorganisation
Dedicated Scools Grant Outrun
5.1The DSG Account (Projected DSG reserve account deficit at 31.03.21)
David Baxter (DB) reported on the projected DSG reserve account deficit at 31.03.21
5.3 Members noted that the Net DSG reserve account deficit stood at £25.1 million and that the High Needs block contributed £23.4 million towards this total. This figure was the highest in the Yorkshire and Humberside region and was therefore a high priority to address. The Council was working with the ESFA on this.
5.4 The Chair stated that this was a national issue, not just a Kirklees one. The government was aware of the situation, which had been caused by underfunding over several years.
5.5 Jo-Anne Sanders (JAS) reiterated the Chair’s comments. She stated that this was a cumulative position created over several years. Historically the Council had not gained financially when changes in incremental funding had occurred, meaning that more and more pressures had been put on its finances. The Council was working hard to address this by utilising funding from other budget headings to support high needs funding. However, this did not detract from what was a very serious budgetary situation and the outcomes of the work with the ESFA would be reported to the Schools Forum at a later date.
5.6 Maintained School Balances
DB reported on current maintained school balances and Members noted the following carry forward figures:
5.7 Schools with Excess Balances
DB reported on current maintained school balances and Members noted the following numbers of schools with excess balances (i.e. more than 8% c/f):
The Council was working with schools which had excess balances in order to establish why this was (e.g., a future capital project). This would then be reported to the Schools Forum.
5.8 Schools with Deficit Balances
DB reported on current maintained school balances and Members noted the following numbers of schools with deficit balances:
5.9 JAS informed the meeting that the LA worked in partnership with schools in deficit. Decisions made to get the school back on track were not rushed or made because of a ‘panic’ situation. Consideration was given to identifying where the budget issues were within the school and what could be done to address them. As DB had explained, a forward plan would then be put together and agreed, along with timescales for getting the school out of its deficit position.
5.10 School Contingency
DB presented the ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Any other business
Any other business
6.1 Plans for Next Academic Year
6.2 NMcS reported that discussions had been held about holding face-to-face meetings during the next academic year. It was felt that a hybrid approach, with some face-to-face and some virtual meetings, was a sensible way forward for the immediate future. Members were receptive to this suggestion and proposed the following way forward for future meetings of the Schools Forum and other Working Groups:
o Procedural meetings – to be held remotely.
o Business Meetings – to take place face-to-face where possible.
ACTION: That Future procedural meetings be held remotely and that future business-related meetings take place face-to-face where possible.
ACTION: That the next meeting of the Schools Forum take place as a face-to-face meeting, should this be possible.
· Schools Forum Membership
Members noted that the LA would be looking at the Schools Forum membership and constitution over the summer.
ACTION: That Members receive an update on this at the next meeting.
· Future Agenda Items
The Chair proposed that the item “Covid-19” be removed from future meeting agendas.
ACTION: That the item “Covid-19” be removed from future meeting agendas.
Dates and times of next meetings
The Kirklees Schools Forum
Academic Year 2020/21
Venues: To be confirmed
2020/21 Meeting Schedule
Friday, 10 September 2021 at 9:00 am – Briefing (Teams Meeting).