Agenda and minutes

Schools Forum
Tuesday, 16th January, 2024 1.45 pm

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

Contact: Mark Leavesley 

No. Item


Apologies for absence




Declarations of interests


Kerrie Fox declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in agenda item 5 (minute 30), ‘Additional capacity at Hospital Home Education’, as the Headteacher of the establishment, and left the meeting prior to consideration of the item.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 410 KB

Last meeting held on 05 December 2023 (for confirmation)


The minutes of the meeting held on 05 December 2023 were agreed as a true record and were signed by the Chair.


Schools Budget 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 775 KB

Joint report of Corporate Directors for People / Finance and Resources

Additional documents:


Julia Holmes and Collins Elechi, Senior Commercial Business Partners, presented the report, and stated the following:


a)  the report details the proposed school’s budget for the financial year 2024/25, prepared in line with parameters agreed previously by the Forum and with financial regulations issued by the Department for Education;


b)  as outlined in a report to the 05 December 2023 Forum meeting, for 2024/25 the Local Authority has continued to move away from the standard approach of setting a school’s budget that balances the budgets by block to the Dedicated Schools Grant income received, as was the approach in 2023/24;


c)  indicative individual school budgets, Early Years and High Needs funding allocations, along with guidance notes, will be issued by 28 February 2024;


d)  some figures in the report are currently draft and a final version will be included in an appendix to these minutes.




(1)  Dedicated Schools Grant


to note:


a)   the overall indicative 2024/25 Schools Budget to be spent incorporating the Schools, Central Schools Services, Early Year’s, and High Need’s blocks is £376.155m, funded by:


  i.  £374.246m provisional 2024/25 Dedicated Schools Grant allocation;


  ii.  reimbursement of £0.302m funding paid to academies for pupil growth for April to August 2024;


  iii.  £1.493m from Dedicated Schools Grant reserves to support the additional one-off distribution to mainstream schools, from the balance earmarked for distribution in the reserve for pupil growth (approved by Forum at the meeting held on 05 December 2023);


  iv.  £0.104m from the Dedicated Schools Grant reserve to fund the shortfall in funding in the Schools Block in 2024/25 as per resolution (2) below (and detailed in paragraph 2.6.1 of the report);


b)  that the budget will be updated in-year to reflect subsequent adjustments made by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to the authorities 2024/25 Dedicated Schools Grant allocation (as detailed in the report);


c)  that any balance remaining will be allocated to the Statutory School reserve, including a £2.669m balance of the provisional Dedicated Schools Grant allocation, which represents a proportion of the additional High Needs funding announced in the Autumn Statement, and that if any new High Needs budget requirements arise in year, over and above those planned from the budget outlined in the report, then separate in-year approval will be sought from Forum;


d)  the impact to schools’ budgets of the indicative allocation (as set out in Table 5, section 2.5 of the report);


(2)  to approve the allocation of £0.104m from the Dedicated Schools Grant reserve to fund the shortfall in funding in the Schools Block in 2024/25 (as detailed in paragraph 2.6.1 of the report);


(3)  Additional one-off Dedicated Schools Grant distribution to mainstream schools


to note that the budget detailed in the report includes the distribution of one-off additional funding to mainstream schools by leaving in for 2024/25 the additional £85 per pupil allocated in the financial year 2023/24 baselines, amounting to £1.748m;


(4)  Dedicated Schools Grant block transfers


to note that the 2024/25 budget incorporates the £0.508m High Needs to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.




As the Chair, Kerrie Fox, had previously declared an interest in the following item, and left the meeting at this point, David Tungate (Vice-Chair) chaired the remainder of the meeting.


Additional capacity at Hospital Home Education pdf icon PDF 381 KB

Joint report of Corporate Director for People / Director of Education Services


Jennifer Hardy, Interim Head of Access to Learning, presented the report, which detailed a series of proposals relating to the Hospital Home Education Learning Centre, including primary alternative provision places and an outreach programme to support vulnerable pupils deemed clinically unable to attend school, and stated the following:


a)  rates of permanent exclusion for primary school aged pupils have grown significantly in recent years, however, there is no Alternative Provision for Key Stage 1 children in Nottingham and only a handful for Key Stage 2 pupils;


b)  the proposed places at Hospital Home Education Learning Centre will offer therapeutic support for primary pupils to prevent a child from being permanently excluded and support their reintegration back to their mainstream school;


c)  when a primary aged pupil is permanently excluded from school, the full cost of their education will be funded by the High Needs Block until they are reintegrated back into mainstream education;


d)  preventing permanent exclusion wherever possible is often the best outcome for a young person and their family, and also reduces pressures on High Needs funding;


e)  pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties and medical needs already face significant barriers to access education when compared to their non-disabled peers and can face lengthy stays in hospital when picking up relatively minor infections and, on occasion, the complexity of their needs mean that picking up infections and bugs can also pose a risk to life;


f)  establishing a resource for outreach support for this vulnerable cohort will ensure they continue to receive an education during these extenuating situations.


Resolved to approve the allocation of High Needs funding of


(1)  £137,376 for 10 primary alternative provision places at Hospital Home Education Learning Centre for a period of two years;


(2)  £36,742 per year for the establishment of an outreach programme for children with profound needs who have not been attending school.