It was explained this was an annual review of criteria and that two additional items were being proposed.
Tony Madden reported that more secondary schools were now part of Growth Fund as pressure on places worked through. Bulge classes had been budgeted for but it was noted that some might be deferred.
Over the past year there had been consideration of funding of bulge classes for the second year, noting that academies were funded differently. This applied where children joined after the October census and therefore there was a further funding lag. Schools Forum acknowledged it was not setting a precedent but it was agreed to fund for those children joining a school between the two censuses.
The criteria for numbers in excess of PAN was agreed.
Schools Forum noted the forecast out turn for 2017/18.
The DSG top-slice for 2018/19 was confirmed at £900,000 (with a carry forward of £175,000) with more secondary schools included and fewer primaries as expansions rolled through. There was a forecasted expenditure of approximately £920,000 with contingency for unexpected growth and projects.
Overall, the Growth Fund was in a healthy position and the criteria as set out in section 2.1 of the report were agreed.
It was explained that SBC had agreed to underwrite a number of places at Grove Academy in order to enable the school to open. This was a requirement of opening the school and there had not been sufficient time to consult with Schools Forum. A request for £180,000 had been made to fund ‘ghost places’ and Schools Forum was asked to consider funding 50% from the underspend on Growth Fund. Schools Forum agreed an element of underspend (approximately £90,000) should be used to part-fund (50%) of ‘ghost places’ at Grove Academy for 2017-18 only. This would result in a carry forward of £85,000.
Schools Forum agreed the Growth Fund criteria as above, with primary and secondary AWPU rates agreed based on 2018/19 formula.
9.40pm: Tony Madden left the meeting
George Grant thanked John Voytal for all the work he had done, as this would be his last Schools Forum meeting. Members endorsed George Grant’s sentiments.
The meeting returned to the running order of the agenda: