Agenda and minutes

Schools Forum
Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 1.45 pm

Venue: Remote - To be held remotely via Zoom - View directions

Contact: James Lavender 

No. Item


Membership Change

To note that Emma Howard and Sandra Stapleton have been appointed as Secondary Academy Representatives for the Forum.


Emma Howard and Sandra Stapleton have been appointed as Secondary Academy Representatives for the Forum.


Caroline Sheard has been replaced by Adam Beazley as the 14-19 Education Representative.


Appointment of Vice Chair


Resolved to appoint David Tungate as Vice Chair for the academic year 2023/24.


Apologies for Absence


Laura Patel

Debbie Simon


Declarations of Interest




Minutes pdf icon PDF 236 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 27 June 2023


The minutes of the last meeting held on 27 June 2023 were confirmed as a correct record.


Schools and High Needs funding update for 2024/25

Verbal update and presentation


Julia Holmes, Senior Commercial Business Partner (Childrens and Education), presented the update into the Schools and High Needs funding for the 2024/25 academic year. The following information was highlighted:


(a)  on Friday 6 October, the Department of Education announced that they had miscalculated the Schools National Funding Formula (NFF) for the 2024/25 academic year. The number of pupils nationally had been underestimated, so the planned national increase of 2.7% in funding per pupil has been revised to 1.9%. This does not affect the Central Schools Services Block. The figures have been updated in the presentation to reflect this miscalculation;


(b)  the 2023/24 Mainstream Schools Additional Grant has been rolled into the schools NFF in 2024/25. The NFF factor values have been increased on top of the amounts that have already been added for the Mainstream Schools Additional Grant;


(c)  the Free School Meals (FSM) factor had been increased by 1.6%;


(d)  the basic entitlement, Low Prior Attainment (LPA), free school meals at any time in the last 6 years (FSM6), English as an additional language (EAL), income deprivation affecting children index (IDACI), mobility, and the lump sum factors have been increased by 1.4%;


(e)  Local Authorities (LAs) are expected to move their factor rates 10% closer to the NFF factor values. Nottingham City Council (NCC) mirrors the NFF but not all LAs do this;


(f)  the minimum funding guarantee (MFG) has been set at 0.5% per pupil;


(g)  the minimum per pupil levels (MPPL) have been increased by 1.4%.  Primary schools will receive at least £4,610 per pupil and secondary schools £5,995 per pupil;


(h)  there has been no increase on the funding of premises factors except for the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) which has increased by Retail Prices Index excluding mortgage interest payments (RPIX) which is 10.4% for the year to April 2023 and split sites which has been formularised based on a national criteria;


(i)  there are new requirements for pupil growth funding. Funding is going to be allocated to LAs for falling rolls and a new criteria for allocating funding falling rolls funding has been introduced;


(j)  the Teachers’ Pay Additional Grant introduced in September 2023 will continue in the financial year 2024/25.  The grant will then be added into the schools NFF in the financial year 2025/26;


(k)  based on the illustrative funding allocations released by the Department of Education for 2024/25 on 6 October 2023, 37.3% of Nottingham City primary schools and 31.6% of our secondary schools will only be receiving an increase of 0.5% per pupil. This is a concern given that the proposed pay awards are likely to be higher than 0.5%;


(l)  the number of primary schools in the City of Nottingham in receipt of the Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) has fallen by 13 from 2023/24 to 2024/25. The number of primary schools on the Schools NFF has increased by 13 from 2023/24 to 2024/25;


(m)the largest increases in funding per pupil from the Schools Block can be found in primary  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Proposed High Needs Place Changes 2024/25 Academic Year

Verbal update and presentation


Collins Elechi, Senior Commercial Business Partner (Finance), presented the update into the proposed High Needs Place Changes for the 2024/25 academic year. The following information was highlighted:


(a)  not all schools and academies have been consulted, so these figures are a rough estimate. The consultation with the Schools Forum will be followed by consultation with the institutions involved. Current published high needs places;


(b)  under the current published high needs places for 2023/24, Nethergate Special Academy receives 10 extra places. Fernwood Primary receives 2 extra places and Denewood Academy receives 8. Nottingham College receives 20 extra places. Djangoly Strelley Academy receives 6 places as it is a new school. Bulwell Academy loses three places;


(c)  the total 2024/25 place change cost is £0.330mfor additional 43 places, excluding top-ups;


(d)  the place numbers are subject to change when finalised in November;


(e)  the funding increase for 2024/25 will be subject to the outcome of our Special School funding review, which is in progress and conducted on a 4-yearly cycle;


(f)  the SEND Sufficiency Strategy 2023/28 has been approved by the Council’s Executive Board on 19 September 2023. In due course, a paper will be brought to School’s Forum outlining the Phase 1 capital developments for high needs places;


(g)  it is unlikely that any new provision will be completed during the 24/25 financial year, but should this be the case, a paper outlining provision and costs will be taken to the Schools Forum for consultation.


(h)  looking at potentially developing some early intervention provision at hospital and home education and expanding Early years SEND team;


During the discussion and in response from questions from the Forum, the following points were raised:


(i)  a request was brought to the Schools Forum at the June meeting to provide additional funding to Denewood Academy for those 8 places for 2023/24 (see Minute 33 of the minutes of the Schools Forum meeting of 27 June 2023);


(j)  there is data available by ward of the primary school pupils who are awaiting a specialist school place or from specialist support. This data is used by the Council to get focused support for pupils, to understand the nature of that support, and to enhance the specialist provision in secondary schools and in specialist schools;


(k)  a clinical diagnosis is not needed to access this support.


Resolved to note the update.


Early Years Supplementary Grant and Extension of Entitlements pdf icon PDF 561 KB

Joint report of the Corporate Directors for People and Finance and Resources


Collins Elechi delivered the report into the Early Years Supplementary Grant and the extension of entitlements. The following information was highlighted:


(a)  the Government announced in the Spring Budget 2023 that an additional £204m will be made available through an Early Years Supplementary Grant (EYSG) and as part of the wider Dedicated Schools Grant;


(b)  the EYSG is to be used to increase the hourly rates paid to LAs so that they can increase the amount of funding which their early years childcare providers receive to deliver the existing entitlements from 1 September 2023 to 31 March 2024;


(c)  the funding is to be delivered to disadvantaged 2-year olds, universal entitlement for 3- and 4-year olds, additional entitlement to 3- and 4-year olds of working parents, Maintained Nursery Schools Supplementary Funding, the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) and the Disability Access Fund;


(d)  the EYSG will provide an additional £669,000 in funding to NCC schools and PVIs. The hourly rate will increase for the 15 hours entitlement for disadvantaged 2-year olds from £5.66 per hour to £7.46 per hour. For all providers in receipt of funding for the universal and additional entitlements for 3- and 4-year olds, the hourly rate will increase from £4.96 to £5.01. The EYPP will increase to 66p per hour;


(e)  the Early Years Entitlements phased rollout will begin in April 2024 and carry on through to September 2025; 


(f)  the supplementary grant was included in the autumn payment to NCC providers; 


(g)  the Government has committed another £12m nationally to support EY Teams across the country as they prepare for the expansion of early years entitlements from April 2024. LA allocation announcements are expected in October 2023.


Resolved to note the report.


Constitution/membership pdf icon PDF 654 KB

To review the Schools Forum’s Constitution and membership


James Lavender, Governance Officer, updated the Forum with changes to the Constitution of the Schools Forum, notably that the constitution should be reviewed annually in September with a view to implement any changes in the following October.


Resolved that the Schools Forum Constitution, as attached to the agenda, be approved.


Date of the next meeting

To note that the next meeting would be held via Zoom, livestreamed on YouTube, at 1:45pm on Tuesday 5 December 2023


It was noted that the next meeting will be held remotely via Zoon, and livestreamed on YouTube, at 1:45pm on Tuesday 5 December 2023.