Agenda and minutes

East Sussex Schools Forum
Friday, 12th July, 2019 8.30 am

Venue: Wellhurst Golf and Country Club

Contact: Ed Beale, Schools Funding Manager,  Email:

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies pdf icon PDF 134 KB


1.1       Hugh welcomed all and thanked everyone for their attendance. He confirmed the meeting was quorate, recognising there had been a number of apologies.


1.2                  Apologies received from:

·         Kate Owbridge (Ashdown Primary)

·         Anna Robinson (Beacon Academy)

·         Victoria Stevens (Eastbourne Academy)

·         Helen Key (Chailey School)

·         Richard Preece (Saxon Mount and Torfield)

·         Stuart Gallimore (Director Children’s Services)

·         Frank Stanford (Sabden Multi Academy Trust) Did not attend

·         Mark Whiffin (Head of Finance)

·         Andrew Ferguson (Rye Academy)

·         Lizzie Field (Park Mead Primary)

·         Debbie Gilbert  (Burwash CEP School)

·         Richard Blakeley (Parkside Primary)

·         James Feeston (King Offa)

·         Mandy Watson (Diocese of Chichester)



Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 104 KB


2.1       The Minutes for 17 May were signed off by the Chair as a true record.


2.2       The maintained Primary and Secondary representatives of the School were requested to take the opportunity to discuss the de-delegation items in advance of this meeting. Advised that this has happened and will be raised again for the 20 September meeting.


2.3       Schools Forum membership as discussed at the previous meeting – agreed as accurate.


2.4       Rural schools action – Sarah to update as a matter arising.


2.5       Item 7.1 from 17 May minutes – Ed and Cllr Standley reiterated that they have updated and briefed Maria Caulfield MP with the correct figures, as she had used the incorrect figures in circulation to schools. It was also advised to Maria Caulfield MP that she should speak with ESCC first before raising point in the House of Commons.



Matters arising and declarations of interest


3.1       There were no declarations of interest.         


3.2       EALs update – 4 model options had gone out to a group of Headteachers. Nathan will give a further update in item 4.


3.3       Item 3.5 from 17 May minutes. Advised that voting would take place during 20 September meeting.


3.4       Sarah gave an update regarding the: ‘Running Schools Efficiently: Sharing Best Practice in East Sussex’ questionnaire. This will be distributed to Schools Forum and Headteachers next week. Will also be distributed again in September.


3.5       Running rural schools efficiently: Department for education report. Andrew Ferguson to provide this letter.           


Action: Amanda to chase Andrew for this letter and distribute to Schools’ Forum.




EALS update pdf icon PDF 876 KB


.1         Nathan thanked schools for giving their time for their input into consultation. The service has received 60 responses from schools, academies and trusts to the consultation by the deadline. Appendix 2, within the papers, outlines the full breakdown of responses to each of the models.


4.2       The model with the highest first preferences was model 3; on this basis, the LA will proceed to consult with schools and academies in September as to the level of buy-in that they will commit to from April 2020. An analysis of the implications of this model has been conducted and this shows that the service requires minimum buy-in from schools (either by de-delegation from maintained schools, or by individual school commitment) of £440K for it to be viable.


4.3       At the same time as consulting with schools, option/model 3 will be taken to Schools’ Forum in September for consideration to de-delegate funding from mainstream schools. This will be twin-tracked with a public consultation on the future of the service.


4.4       The vote during at September Schools’ Forum in September will be for delegation of 100% of the notional EAL budget from both primary and secondary maintained schools. If both primary and secondary vote ‘yes’ there would be sufficient funding for the service to continue; if only primary agree to de-delegate, then we will ask secondary schools and academies, and primary academies, to commit funding from 01 April 2020. Primary still make up the majority of the budget for EALs but it is not possible to state how many more schools would be required to commit as this depends on their individual notional EAL budget. The deadline for schools to make this commitment is 28 September


4.5       Should the service not secure the minimum level of buy-in (£440k) then the LA will have to begin a staff consultation with a view to closing the service on 31 March 2020. Schools and academies can only opt in for a minimum 2-year commitment and unable to buy-in afterwards. This is to ensure that the service can prioritise commitments to schools who provide funding up-front.



De-Delegation Overview pdf icon PDF 446 KB


5.1       Sarah gave an update on the paper. There was a reminder regarding the de-delegation items in advance of the September meeting at which decisions will be made by maintained schools whether to de-delegate specific items or not. It was noted that SF headteacher representatives should endeavour to engage with colleagues in advance of Schools’ Forum to determine their position.



Formula Funding Update pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Additional documents:


6.1       Ed talked through the Funding Formula Update. There have been three meetings with the following discussion topics: Lump sum (Primary Phase), Minimum per pupil and the Minimum Funding Guarantee. Ed went on to explain what was discussed and looking at during these meetings.


6.2       Ed asked the forum to consider Appendix E within the papers and Ed talked through and updated the forum on the figures within the tables.


6.3       A Forum member suggested that proposals in 6.2 indicated that Rural primary school funding  does not appear to be a top priority matter for the forum. It was asked that the funding formula working group look in to this matter. It was responded that the working group looked at all schools and academies. Particular concerns related to the reduction in the lump sum. Primary governors should write to their MPs explaining that funding should be fair for all primary schools and that this matter should be raised at central government level.


6.4       Fiona introduced the matter regarding conditions for term time only staff (TTOS) and the potential financial implications this could have for schools and academies. It was advised that a paper will be sent out to Headteachers which will fully outline this matter, the LA’s position and the potential impact for schools and academies.



Terms & Conditions - Services to Schools update pdf icon PDF 359 KB

Additional documents:


7.1       Roger Snell gave an update and talked the through the paper and report. Noted that business managers welcomed the clarity within this update.



School Balances 18/19 pdf icon PDF 188 KB


8.1       Ed Beale gave an update on the maintained school balances. Explained the context to the reasons why schools are carrying funds forward, this matter has been raised in the past.


8.2       Referred to tables and charts within the paper and further explained the breakdowns within these tables. It was asked if the total budget share could be added in to the table or further explained in the paper. Chart showing the funding that schools keep to carry forward for the next year. Also asked that surplus balances are presented to the elected members and for the members to be aware that the capital funding was reduced by 80% 8 years ago.






9.1       It was asked if the draft minutes could be published to schools forum within 3 days. Advised that they are published on website within 5 days.


9.2       Noted that there were a lack of Schools Forum members today. Advised that Lesley and Ed write to members if they have missed 3 meetings and it asked if they should be continuing on the Schools Forum membership. This is already in the Schools Forum constitution.