East Sussex Schools Forum


MINUTES of a meeting of the East Sussex Schools Forum held at Remote, via Microsoft Teams on 1 July 2022.



PRESENT                              James Freeston (ActingChair) (King Offa Primary Academy)

                                                Gavin Bailey (Swale Academy Trust)

                                                Richard Preece (Saxon Mount and Torfield)

                                                Kate Owbridge (Ashdown Primary)

                                                Sarah Pringle (Seahaven Academy)

                                                Phil Matthews (Hailsham Community College Academy Trust)

                                                Tom Scully (University of Brighton Academies Trust)

                                                Monica Whitehead (Claverham Community College)

                                                Cllr Wendy Maples  - Observer


Cllr Bob Standley (Lead Member for Education and Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability)

                                                Alison Jeffery (Director Children’s Services)

                                                Nathan Caine (Head of ISEND)

                                                Elizabeth Funge (Head of Education)

                                                Sarah Rice (Schools Finance Manager)

                                                Kirsten Coe (Schools’ Finance Team Lead)

                                                Rachel King (Clerk)




1.            Welcome and Apologies


1.1       In the absence of Hugh Hennebry (Chair), James Freeston agreed to be Acting Chair.  The Acting Chair welcomed all including Cllr Maples who joined as an observer. The Acting Chair thanked everyone for their attendance. It was confirmed the meeting was quorate, recognising the apologies below.


1.2       Apologies received from:


·         Richard Blakeley (Harlands Primary)

·         Katherine Rabson Stark (South Ashdown Schools Federation)

·         Phil Clarke (Trade Union Representative) Not present

·         Hugh Hennebry - Chair (Uckfield College)

·         Helen Key (Chailey School)

·         Jo Foulkes (Sabden Multi Academy Trust)

·         Joanna Sanchez (Diocese of Arundel and Brighton)

·         Jon Gilbert (Diocese of Chichester)

·         Mark Whiffin (Head of Finance)

·         Edward Beale (Schools Funding Manager)




2.            Minutes of the previous meeting: 13 May 2022


2.1       The minutes for the meeting held were approved as a true record and will be signed by the Chair and scanned to Lesley Leppard.








3.            Matters arising and Declaration of Interests


3.1       There was one matter arising from the previous meeting regarding the Schools’ Forum membership for a SEN representative. The Chair suggested this would be brought to the next meeting. There were no declarations of interest.




4.            Funding for Ukraine Pupils (Discussion)


4.1       Forum members were given an overview of the funding for Ukrainian pupils, setting out the proposals for allocating funding to schools for children arriving under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. Key points.

·         Funding rates to local authority will be per pupil, funding is to cover all educational services including SEND support. First Allocation confirmed for children who are confirmed as arrived between 01 March – 31 May

·         Uncertain of funding for those arriving after 31 May

·         Pupils arriving under any other scheme than ‘Homes for Ukraine’ will not qualify for this funding

·         To provide some certainty around funding ESCC confirm schools will receive a minimum allocation equal to the minimum per pupil funding rate Primary Phase £4,265, Secondary £5,525. (£3,000 for Early Years)

·         There will be some central costs that will require funds from this grant

·         Any remaining funding after these distributions, will be allocated directly to schools via an additional per pupil distribution.

·         This area will be under regular review and amounts confirmed and distributed to schools as soon as possible to aid planning

·         First payments will be received by the Local Authority in July with initial distribution to schools as soon as practically possible.




5.            Department of Education National Funding Formula Consultation (Information)


5.1       Forum members were given a verbal update on the latest NFF consultation. This follows on from an earlier consultation the results of which were fed back in March. A brief overview was given and key areas which the consultation proposals cover were.

·         High needs block – Inter block transfers will still be allowable but will require Secretary of State approval.

·         Notional SEN funding – identification will remain with a proposal to standardise the definition nationally

·         Schools block – some standardisation of calculations for growth fund, falling rolls fund, premises funding are proposed

·         Minimum funding guarantee proposed to continue

·         Annual funding cycle and data collection - amendments proposed to aid earlier planning balanced with most relevant data availability

·         Timeline for completion of the journey to Direct National Funding Formula– no definitive end date set but expectation is within 5 years – by 2027/28.




6.            Rethinking Exclusion (Discussion)


6.1       Following on from the ‘Reducing Exclusions’ in East Sussex projects, the Forum were presented with a PowerPoint to summarise proposals and next steps. A discussion took place. Presentation to be shared with Schools’ Forum members.







7.            Update on Promoting Mainstream Inclusion (information)


7.1       Members were given an update on the work being undertaken after Schools’ Forum agreed for some High Needs Funding to be used for mainstream inclusion projects. The working group has met and set out the following recommendations.

·         Enhanced family support for children with SEND but not social care needs by appointing key workers

·         Development of specialist nursery provision to support early intervention

·         Improving expertise and availability of SEN support across local school alliances.

·         Workforce development programme to support staff

·         Supporting transition from year 4 to year 7

·         Satellite classrooms in mainstream schools




8.            Any Other Business


8.1       The meeting concluded with the Chair thanking Sarah Pringle for her time and commitment to Schools Forum. This is Sarah’s last Schools’ Forum for East Sussex County Council.

Therefore, there is a vacancy that will be advertised for a representative in the near future.







Meeting concluded at 09:26 am

Next meeting – Friday 16 September 2022 08:30 am. Location TBC – Microsoft Teams or Wellshurst Golf and Country Club.