Agenda and minutes

Venue: online meeting

Contact: Sarah Buffrey, Democratic Services 

Link: Watch the recording of this meeting on the Herefordshire Council Youtube Channel

No. Item



To elect a chairperson ensuing year.


Mrs Kathy Weston was proposed and unanimously supported by members of the forum.


Resolved:  that Mrs Kathy Weston be elected chairperson of the Forum.



To elect a vice-chairperson for the ensuing year.


Mrs Julie Cohn was proposed and unanimously supported by members of the forum.


Resolved: that Mrs Julie Cohn be elected Vice-Chairperson of the Forum.



To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies were noted from the following forum members: Georgie Griffin, Martin Henton, Sue Jenkins.



To receive any details of Members nominated to attend the meeting in place of a Member of the Forum.


There were no named substitues.



To receive any declarations of interest by Members in respect of items on the Agenda.


Mr Lewandowski and Mr Deneen declared an interest in item 7 on the agenda as representatives of trades unions.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 436 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 24 September 2021.


Resolved: that the minutes of the meeting held on 24 September 2021 be approved as a correct record.


Schools Budget 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 323 KB

To agree final budget proposals for recommendation to the cabinet member for children and families for school budgets, central school services and early years within the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) for 2022/23. The Budget Working Group (BWG) meets on 7 January 2022 and their proposals will be set out in a supplementary report.

Additional documents:


The strategic finance manager (SFM) presented the report and outlined the proposed schools budget based on the confirmed Dedicated Schools Grant allocation from the Department for Education (DfE). A copy of the slides used in the presentation are attached to the minutes of the meeting.


Forum members discussed the proposed budget and noted that the £10k per pupil base funding for special schools had not been increased since its inception. It was hoped that the government SEND review would address this in the longer term.  Additional funds had been allocated to the high needs block for 2022/23 in the supplementary schools grant and officers would be looking to increase the tariffs in special schools where possible. The details of the high needs budget would be agreed at the forum meeting in March.


The impact of inflation on schools budgets was discussed and factors such as rising energy costs and pay increases noted. These made it hard for schools to budget effectively. It was suggested that the forum should write to the minister to continue to press for further funding increases.


The chair of the Budget Working Group thanked the SFM for his work on the proposals. He highlighted the key points discussed during the working group meeting specifically the strong support for option A on the matter of the transfer to the high needs block and debate on the future of the behaviour support service. The service was valued by schools and it was felt that support should be provided to retain the service in 22/23 but with a review ahead of the decision for 23/24.


The forum heard that early year’s providers had been consulted on options to increase the amount of central support available by increasing the percentage of funding retained by the council. These options had been rejected, with 72% of providers supporting the option to increase early year’s budgets in line with inflation without any deductions for increased advisor support. The early year’s representative commented that she was not surprised at the outcome given the pressures put on settings by covid but it was a difficult choice to make.


It was resolved that:


The local implementation of the National Funding Formula (NFF) for 2022/23 as set out in the consultation document and recommendation 1. (a) – (n) as below, be approved for recommendation to the Cabinet member for children and families as follows;


1.     The final school funding values be agreed, subject to a minimum total funding per pupil of £4,265 for primary schools and £5,525 for secondary schools, including the Minimum Funding Guarantee at 2% as follows:

(a)    Basic entitlement per pupil Primary £3,217, basic entitlement per secondary pupil Key Stage 3 £4,536 and basic entitlement per secondary pupil Key Stage 4 £5,112


(b)    Deprivation per free school meal Primary £470 Deprivation per free school meal Secondary £470


(c)    Deprivation per ever-6 free school meal Primary £590, Deprivation per ever-6 free school meal Secondary £865


(d)    Socio-economic deprivation Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI)

(i)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.