Venue: Committee Room 6, Civic Offices, Swindon
Contact: Helen Harris Telephone: 01793 463604 Email: Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgItems No. Item
Appointment of Chair
Resolved - That Lauren Connor be Chair of the Schools Forum.
(Lauren Connor in the Chair).
Minutes PDF 20 KB
To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2009
Resolved - That the minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2009 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.
With regard to minute 14, Peter Wells advised that he had been asked by SASH to continue as a representative on the Forum whilst the ongoing issue of equal pay still had to be resolved. He was currently engaged as Executive Head at St Joseph's Catholic College.
Exempt Items - Exclusion of Press and Public
Certain items are expected to include the consideration of exempt information and the Standards Committee is, therefore, recommended to resolve "That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded during the discussion of the matters referred to in the items listed below, on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information, as defined in the respective paragraph of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, and the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information".
Resolved - That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded during the discussion of the matters referred in Agenda Item 9 on the grounds that it would involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 4 of Schedule 12A to the Act, and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information concerned (Minute 22 refers.)
Feedback from Meeting on 14 July 2009 PDF 20 KB
- Appendix 1 PDF 53 KB
Paddy Bradley (Director Schools and Learning) presented a report by the Group Director Children to provide feedback on the recommendations made at the previous meeting.
Budget Monitoring 2009/10 PDF 18 KB
- Appendix A and B PDF 21 KB
Karen Murray (Group Finance Manager, Children Services) introduced a report with the budget monitoring information to the end of July 2009 in respect of the Dedicated Schools Grant for 2009/10.
Members liked the graph format for presenting information and asked if other information could be presented in this way in future reports.
Resolved - (1) That the 2009/10 financial projections in respect of the Dedicated Schools Grant for the current financial year be noted.
(2) That the Group Director, Children continue rigorous and robust monitoring of the Dedicated Schools Grant and bring budget monitoring reports to future meetings of the Schools Forum.
Paddy Bradley (Director Schools and Learning) provided an update on the allocation of capital funding for school kitchens and dining rooms.
By the closing date of 25 September 2009, seven schools had submitted revised bids for funding. The total of the bids meant there was now a shortfall of £90,000 to the total monies available and guidance was sought on how the surplus should be distributed. This was ring-fenced money that had to be spent within a specific timeframe.
Resolved - That the balance of £90,000 be divided proportionally to the seven schools that had submitted a revised bid by 25 September 2009.
Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of Schools Forum is scheduled for Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 4.00 p.m.
The Forum noted that the next scheduled meeting would be held on Tuesday, 12 January 2010.
In view of the need to make a decision on the Equal Pay issue, it was noted that an additional meeting would be required earlier than January. It was decided to await the outcome of the Sub Group meeting on 2 November before arranging the extra meeting.
Equal Pay Update
- Appendix 1
- appendix 1a
- Chair's statement
The Chair, Lauren Connor, opened by reading a statement that had been prepared following the Equal Pay/Single Status Sub Group meeting of 25 September 2009. The statement expressed the Forum's wish to understand the implications of the proposed funding methods before recommending options on which to consult with all schools and governing bodies and highlighted specific areas on which clarity was still sought.
Head teachers were greatly concerned at the proposed reduction in contingency funds to a seriously low level. They had been advised to set aside 2.5% of their budget for single status, but there had been no mention of additional funding for equal pay or compensation. With contingency funds reducing over the last three years and additional stringencies anticipated in the future, it would soon become impossible to properly run a school. Reference was also made to the impact of any cuts on special needs provision, as this was often subsidised from mainstream funding. It was remarked that a failing business would be expected to sell some of its capital assets and there was an enquiry as to whether the Council had considered this option. To impose a heavy financial burden on schools would lead to a form of bankruptcy, impact harshly on the children and demoralise the staff.
The Forum recognised that the Council as a whole was facing a similar situation and that a collaborative solution was needed. It stressed that it wished to work with the Council to find the best solution to the issues involved.
Councillors were invited to attend the next Equal Pay/Single Status Sub Group meeting on 2 November 2009 at 9.00 a.m. It was agreed that all Councillors should be invited and that they were sent a copy of the statement read out at the start of the meeting. It would also be helpful if as much information as possible could be circulated to Councillors before the meeting. The Forum noted that a decision would need to be made very soon after 2 November as time was running out for budget decisions.