Agenda and minutes

Gateshead Schools Forum
Thursday, 7th February, 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: Dryden Centre

Contact: Rosalyn Patterson - email: 

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillor McHugh, Clive Wisby, Elaine Pickering and Ethel Mills.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 76 KB

The Forum is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the last meeting held on the 10 January 2019.


It was noted that Denise Kilner’s apologies were not recorded on the last meetings minutes. It was also clarified that as part of the discussion on the DSG Funding Settlement that pupil premium for nursery schools is not set at the same level as primary schools.



(i)            The minutes of the last meeting held on 10 January 2019 were agreed as a correct record subject to the above being recorded.


Mainstream School Funding pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Carole Smith, Corporate Resources


The Forum received a report to provide information on the proposed amended Authority Proforma Tool (APT) for Gateshead Schools funding factors and values for approval before submission to the DfE to enable to calculation of mainstream school’s individual budgets for 2019/20. It was highlighted that information had previously been sent via e-mail for comments.


It was highlighted that at the DfE APT workshop held on 14 January 2019 advice was sought to manage the funding aspect and pupil movements from Thomas Hepburn and the closure of the school.


It was noted that the advice was that funding for Thomas Hepburn Key Stage 3 pupils on October 2018 census should be held as part of the Growth Fund so that the APT could be completed to timescale and the Local Authority could provide funding for these pupils and manage the funding process locally when pupil movements are finalised. It was also noted that advice suggested that Thomas Hepburn should have a 5/12 budget as it will close 31 August 2019.


It was stated that Thomas Hepburn was then given a 5/12 budget which released £324,567 of funding for distribution to all schools. Additionally, it was noted that as all pupil related factors were at the agreed phased funding level the following amendments were made:


·         The lump sums were returned to their phased levels of £112,222 from £110,000 for primary and £123,333 from £120,000 for secondary schools.


·         The other element to be changed was the minimum funding guarantee (MFG). In the original model 5 this was a negative 0.89%. MFG was increased to a positive 0.21%. MFG increased from £260,968 to £453,135. All schools will have an increase in funding (excluding business rates).


It was further noted from the report that with the above changes all funding was redistributed apart from £287 which has been added to the Growth Fund. A full breakdown of figures was provided to the Forum in the report appendix.


A discussion took place on the allocation of additional funds to schools; a comment was made highlighting that moneys within the Growth fund are earmarked for pupils moving from Thomas Hepburn Academy in September.


A further comment was made noting that the DfE don’t appear to be acknowledging the financial impact that the closure of Thomas Hepburn Academy has had on other secondary schools in Gateshead. Frustration was noted that schools are having to increase their PAN which impacts on health and safety and behaviour.


The Forum requested that an additional report highlighting growth funding pressures be presented at a future meeting.



(i)            The Schools Forum approved the changes outlined within the report.




High Needs Commissioned Places pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Carole Smith, Corporate Resources


The Forum received a report to provide an update on the proposed commissioning arrangements for High Need Places for 2019/20.


From the report it was noted that the Schools and Early Years Finance Regulations (England) 2019 require Schools Forum to be consulted on the commissioning arrangements for high needs places. This includes all places for special education needs (SEN) and alternative provision places commissioned by the local authority (LA), and the arrangements for top up funfing.


It was highlighted that not all places are currently agreed and the numbers within the report could change.


The Forum were provided with an overview of the commissioning process for 2019/20 and a breakdown of the proposed commissioned places for 2019/20 within the local authority.


It was asked why the Pru is not comparative through special schools; it was noted that the Pru used to be part of the local authority then had to become a school. It was further noted that the budget is allocated based on the number of pupils.



(i)            The Schools forum noted the contents of the report.


Former Education Services Grant pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Carole Smith, Corporate Resources


The Forum received the report requesting approval to centrally retain the former retained duties element of the Education Services Grant (ESG) which was mainstreamed into the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) from April 2017.


The report provided a summary of duties covered by the retained duties funding related to the following areas:


·         Director of children’s services and personal staff for director

·         Planning for the education service as a whole

·         Revenue budget preparation, preparation of information on income and expenditure relating to education, and external audit relating to education

·         Authorisation and monitoring of expenditure not met from schools’ budget shares

·         Formulation and review of local authority schools funding formula

·         Internal audit and other tasks related to the authority’s chief finance officer’s responsibilities under Section 151 of LGA 1972 except duties specifically related to maintained schools

·         Consultation costs relating to non-staffing issues

·         Plans involving collaboration with other LA services or public or voluntary bodies

·         Standing Advisory Committees for Religious Education (SACREs)

·         Provision of information to or at the request of the Crown other than relating specifically to maintained schools

It was highlighted from the report that the DSG allocation received in December 2018 was based on 23,718 pupils and the retained duties element is calculated £15 * 23,718 = £355,770.



(i) The Schools Forum approved the central retention of the allocation for retained duties.  


Use of DSG Reserves

Carole Smith, Corporate Resources



(i)            This item was deferred.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

14 March 2019,  2pm, Dryden Centre



14 March 2019, 2pm, Dryden Centre.