Agenda and minutes

Leicestershire Schools' Forum - Monday, 15 November 2021 1.00 pm

Contact: Karen Brown (Tel. 0116 305 6340)  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for absence/Substitutions.



Minutes of the Meeting held on 27 September 2021 and matters arising. pdf icon PDF 247 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 27 September 2021 were agreed subject to the following amendment to the paragraph 3 of agenda item ‘Fair School Funding’.


Karen Allen commented that when a high needs transfer was previously discussed it was the MFG that hindered making it fair and whilst it does protect schools there are situations where it affects that mechanism in different ways.  Jenny agreed and said that the minimum per pupil funding level that affects the transfer will be discussed later on the agenda.



2022/23 Schools Budget Transfer and De-Delegation for Union Facilities Time pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Additional documents:


Jane Moore presented the outcome of the school funding consultation which sets out the background to the need for a Schools to High Needs Block funding transfer for 2023/24 and seeks Schools Forum approval for a transfer.


The report also presents the consultation response on the principle of de-delegation of funding for maintained schools the purposes of establishing a scheme to fund Union Facilities Time. 


Jane stated that a number of reports had been presented to Schools Forum setting out the financial position of the High Needs Block and the reasons for seeking approval for a transfer were outlined in the presentation made to the meeting on 27 September 2021.  Jane added that the consultation period ran from 20 September to 18 October 2021 for the transfer and de-delegation of funding for union facilities time.  A range of comprehensive documents were issued with the consultation which set out the background to the high needs position and a workbook illustrating the impact of the transfer on individual schools and background information to the de-delegation for union facilities time.


Jane stated that 13 consultation responses were received, one of which did not answer any questions and 5 were submitted from the same school.  It was noted the consultation responses are attached as Appendix 1 to the report.  Jane stated that the low response rate did not give a statistically representative view of Leicestershire schools on either issue - the Schools Block Transfer and de-delegation for union facilities time.


Jane gave more detail on the responses received in terms of numbers as outlined in the report and stated that in terms of next steps the response rate does not allow a representative view for all Leicestershire schools on the proposed transfer identity nor did it give any tangible options to manage the ever increasing and challenging high needs position from schools which was also asked within the consultation.  Jane said therefore the consultation outcomes does not outweigh the strength of the need to the transfer.


Jane referred to the models proposed in paragraph 21 and said Model 2 was the preferred option for the local authority to achieve the transfer and gives a lesser impact on an individual school level as well.  This model would require Secretary of State approval within the DfE deadline of 21 November 2021.  Jane added that a further request would be made to the Secretary of State in respect of Model 1 should Schools Forum not approve the transfer.  In terms of implementation this would be dependent on decisions made by the Secretary of State following a review of the supporting documentation submitted and given the complexity of the approval requests the approach to 2022/23 schools budgets would be subject to one of the scenarios outlined in paragraph 24.


Jane highlighted the recommendation which was for Schools Forum to approve Model 1 to affect the transfer of 0.5% of funding and would therefore need to consider further actions to manage the increasing demands for EHCPs and rising costs.


Jane referred to the next steps and explained that the High Needs Financial plan covers a four-year period which is currently under review for the four financial years commencing with 2022/23.  Early indications suggest that the number of EHCPs receiving financial support and the costs of that support increasing is a significant challenge to financial sustainability.  The local authority was currently having an external review of the High Needs Block Development Plan to ensure the response is effective and efficient and was considering all potential options and individual factors within the SEND system that are driving the increase in demand  ...  view the full minutes text for item 149.


Any other business.


There was no further business.



Date of next meeting.

19 January 2022, 2.00 pm

23 February 2022, 2.00 pm


19 January 2022, 2.00 pm - cancelled

23 February 2022, 2.00 pm