Agenda and draft minutes

Contact: Democratic Services  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence (FH)


 To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from E Benbow, B Patel, D Barton, E Pate, J Bailey and K Berdesha.



Declarations of Interest (AT)

Members to declare any interests in matters to be discussed at the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest made.


Minutes (AT) pdf icon PDF 426 KB


To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 27 September 2021 as a correct record.


Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 27 September 2021 be approved as a correct record.


Appointment of Chair & Vice Chair (AT)

School Forum members to appoint a Chair and Vice Chair.


The Forum was invited to nominate to the positions of Chair and Vice-Chair for the remainder of the agreed meetings during 2021 / 22.


N Toplass was nominated to, and duly accepted, the position of Chair.


Agreed that N Toplass be appointed as Chair of the Forum for the remainder of the agreed meetings during 2021/22.


N Toplass in the Chair.


J Barry was nominated to, and duly accepted, the position of Vice-Chair.


Resolved that J Barry be appointed as Vice-Chair of the Forum for the remainder of the agreed meetings during 2021 /22.


To hold a one-minute silence in respect of Jane Grey (Chair)


The Forum held a one-minute silence in respect of Jayne Gray and the service she had provided to the Forum / Education in the Borough.


To agree that G Linford remain in his current Membership category for the remainder of the Forum meetings agreed for 2021 / 22 (AT)


A Timmins advised the Forum that G Linford now represented a school which had been converted to an Academy, and sought approval that he remain in his current category of Membership (Head Teachers Advisory Forum – Maintained Primary Schools) for the remainder of the meetings agreed meeting during 2021.  A Timmins further advised that he would seek to recruit a replacement for G Linford for 2022 onwards.


Resolved that approval be granted for G Linford to remain as a Forum Member in his current category for the remainder of the agreed meetings during 2021.


To agree that Christina Handley-Rivett formally replace Jane Grey on the Forum Membership for the remainder of the Forum meetings agreed for 2021 / 22 (AT)


The Chair sought approval from the Forum in respect of Christina Handley-Rivett replacing Jayne Gray on the Forum Membership.


Resolved that approval be granted for Christina Handley-Rivett to replace Jayne Gray on the Forum Membership, commencing a 4-year term of office.


School Revenue Funding 2022/23 Consultation Document (RK) pdf icon PDF 539 KB

School Forum members to receive and approve the Schools Revenue Funding 2022/23 Consultation document issued to schools and academies.



Additional documents:


Schools Forum received a report which sought approval of the Schools Revenue Funding 2022/23 Consultation document, to be issued to schools and academies.


Sandwell had an ambition to ensure that all schools and academies in the borough were rated as Good or Better by Ofsted. To achieve this during times of austerity would require astute and prudent usage of finite, and reducing, resources.


There remained significant financial challenges in the education sector at present. It was clear that, despite recent funding announcements, proposed schools funding arrangements would not fully offset the effects over the last 10 years of inflation, the national pay wards, the apprenticeship levy and changes to employers pay contributions. Equally, schools would also have to source many services once provided free by the council.


Given that these factors had impacted, over time, detrimentally on local budgets, the decisions which had been taken by the current Schools Forum would need to consider how the factors contained within the schools budget formula delivered an equitable spread of resources to all schools, which targeted areas of need whilst protecting those that were most financially vulnerable.


Schools Forum would need to consider the impact of a “hard” National Funding Formula, if and when implemented, and the continued steps the borough should be required to take to move towards this, taking in to account minimum funding guarantees to allow schools time to prepare for, and manage, future changes in funding.


At the end of August 2019, the government had announced that funding for schools and high needs would increase by £2.6 billion for 2020/21, £4.8 billion for 2021/22, and £7.1 billion for 2022/23, compared to 2019/20.


The government had published provisional schools and high need funding allocations for 2022/23, which was the third year of the three-year funding increase (as illustrated in the table below).





Schools Block

High Needs

Central Schools Services Block





2022/23 – Provisional NFF Allocations




2021/22 – Initial Allocations December 2020












Note: The funding for both years are based on Pupil numbers in the October 2020 census of 55,511 pupils.


The Dedicated Schools Grant consisted of 4 blocks; schools, high needs, early years and the new central schools services block.   Each of the blocks of the (DSG) had been determined by a separate national funding formula (NFF).  The Early Years Block allocations would also be released at a later date.


Schools block funding was based on notional allocations for each school, which would be aggregated to arrive at the schools block funding for each local authority.


Local authorities would continue to have the responsibility to set a local formula to distribute the funding allocated to them, to schools in their area in 2022/23.


The government had stated in their consultation “Fair school funding for all: completing our reforms to the National Funding Formula” which has been issued on the 8th July 2021, with a closing date of 30th September 2021; that their intention since  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18/21


SEND Review - To be tabled (MT) pdf icon PDF 145 KB

Additional documents:


Schools Forum received a report which provided the Forum with the outcome of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Provision and High Needs Block (HNB) Review consultation with schools and parents.  In addition, the report presented the Forum with recommendations for future the allocation of financial resources through the High Needs Block and Highs Needs Capital Allocation Grant.


Sandwell had seen a significant rise of children/young people (C/YP) with SEND requiring additional support in recent years.  The number of C/YP requiring an Education, Health and Care Plan had doubled since the introduction of the SEND Reforms in 2014. Professionals reported that there had been an increase in the complexity of needs of pupils and current capacity of Special schools within the local area was limited.


A sufficiency analysis had been undertaken using historic and current data to predict anticipated need in the future.  Data included population growth of pupils with SEND, trends in specific areas of SEND needs, capacity within specialist provision and financial implications.


Proposals had been constructed through steering group meetings with: Special, Focus Provision schools and Pupil Referral Units (through Extended Special Heads meetings), mainstream primary and secondary schools.  These had then been further developed by a sub-group of schools forum which had representation from Special School, PRU, Focus Provision Schools, mainstream primary and mainstream secondary school.


The consultation had been sent electronically to Head Teachers, included in the school’s bulletin and posted on the Local Offer.  It had also been advertised through Sandwell Parent Voice United social media platforms and a parents meeting organised.


The Consultation period had run from 27th September 2021 to the 15th October 2021.  The proposals were set out in the Appendix 1 to this report.  Appendix 2 to the report set out the outcomes of the consultation and specific feedback from the review.


There were 41 respondents in total to the consultation proposals including 25 Head Teachers, 3 members of SLT, 10 SENCos and 3 Parent / carers.

Proposal 1: Time allocation of Inclusion Support Services to   Secondary Schools


In total 95% of participants in the consultation had voted to change time allocation of Inclusion Support Services within Secondary schools to a formula model.


Option 1.1:  55% had felt the new formula should be aligned to the primary school model.


Option 1.2:  41% had felt the formula needed further discussion and agreement through a secondary school steering group.


Option 1.3:  4.8% had voted to maintain current flat rate model 62% of secondary schools who had taken part in the consultation voted for Option 1.2, only 14.0% voted for Option 1.3 (to maintain current flat rate) and 24% had voted for the primary formula.


The cost of this proposal on the HNB was Nil.


The Recommendation presented to the Forum was: To change time allocation of Inclusion Support Services in Secondary Schools to a formula model.  To ensure that the model was viewed as a fair and consistent approach across Secondary schools, it was recommended that Secondary colleagues were consulted on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19/21


To agree the venues of future meetings (Chair)

·      13th December 21

·      17th January 22

·      14th March 22

·      20th June 22



Schools Forum agreed that it would be presumed that all future meetings of the Forum would take place ‘in person’ at the Council House, Oldbury, unless anything relating to COVID-19 would prevent meeting in person.  In such cases, the meeting would revert to an ‘on-line virtual’ meeting via Microsoft Teams.




The dates of future Forum meetings were noted, as set out below:-


13 December 2021

17 January 2022

14 March 2022

20 June 2022



The Next Meeting of Schools Forum: 13th December 2021 @ 2.30pm.


                  Location: Virtual Online Meeting.