Agenda and minutes

East Sussex Schools Forum - Friday, 18th November, 2022 8.30 am

Venue: Remote, via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Ed Beale  Schools Funding Manager

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


17.1 The chair welcomed all and thanked everyone for their attendance. A warm welcome was given to new member, Kelly Johnson from the University of Brighton Academies Trust.


17.2       It was confirmed the meeting was quorate, recognising the apologies below:


-       Phil Matthews – Hailsham Community College Academy Trust



Minutes of the previous meeting: 16th September 2022 pdf icon PDF 123 KB


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



Matters arising and de-delegated items


19.1 Matters arising – A letter had been written to Gillian Keegan, Secretary of State for Education from Forum members regarding the impact of rising costs on school budgets. To be distributed after the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.


Growth Fund / Falling Roots Fund pdf icon PDF 690 KB


20.1 Forum members were given an outline of proposals and then asked for approval for funding for the 2023/2024 financial year.

          Recommendation: Schools’ Forum were asked to approve an allocation of        £985,000 for the Growth fund. A short discussion took place.


20.2    A vote took place as follows.








DSG - Central School Services Block 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 596 KB


21.1  Forum members were given an update on the CSSB allocations for 2023/24.

Recommendation: Schools’ Forum were asked to note and approve the proposals in relation to the funding of on-going responsibilities and historic commitments.

It was asked that it was recorded that forum members offer huge thanks to East Sussex County Council for the transfer of those funds. Key points:


·         With regards to the part of the budget that is going to attendance services, there was recognition of the new attendance duties and questions were asked regarding whether there is enough money going to this service. It was noted that with the new and additional responsibilities, there is a need to review attendance support. It was also noted that the funding for the on-going responsibilities are contributions to the budget areas, with Council budgets also part funding them.

·         A question regarding children with SEN was raised and would part of the funds be available, from the historic commitments, for special schools. It was noted that these funds related to mainstream schools and academies only.

·         A request was made for forum to have more detail to help give context – particularly for newer forum members. This was agreed for 2024/25 and it was also noted that previous Schools’ Forum papers are also available on the website.



21.2    A vote took place as follows.








School Funding Formula – ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ Funding Factor Update


22.1  Forum members were given an update on the current funding formula factor that East Sussex County Council uses for ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ which was in relation to ‘listed buildings’ and ‘rents & lettings’. It was explained that this factor was being reviewed, by the DfE, and LAs have to reapply to use this. It was confirmed that the funding comes to just over £70k and because, on an individual school basis, they are material amounts and would see a reduction in their budgets if not received, the LA is reapplying to continue to use these factors for 23/24.



Any other business


23. 1  Schools Forum were updated that a discussion has begun with Secondary and Primary Boards on how we are delivering school improvement - is the current model fit for purpose and delivering the right kind of support?

It was noted that the LA currently receives school improvement funding from the DfE, and that it is going to cease completely from 2023/24, having already been halved for the current year. The DfE is allowing LAs to fund school improvement via de-delegation as a replacement for the grant funding. It was noted that those conversations are happening and a paper will be brought to Schools’ Forum in January.