The role of Schools Forum
Schools Forum is made up of representatives from schools and academies, but with some representations from other non-school organisations, such as nursery and 14-19 education providers.
The forum acts as a consultative body on issues such as:
Changes to the local funding formula. (The local authority is responsible for the final decision, although in some cases it may delegate the decision-making power to the Schools Forum)
Proposed changes to the operation of the minimum funding guarantee
Changes to or new contracts affecting schools (e.g. school meals)
Arrangements for pupils with special educational needs, in pupil referral units and in early years provisions
The forum is responsible for decisions on:
How much funding may be centrally retained within the Dedicated Schools Grant (e.g. for the Admissions Service or additional funding available for growing schools)
Any proposed carry forward or deficits on central spend from one year to the next
Proposals to de-delegate funding for maintained primary and secondary schools (e.g. for behaviour support, trade-union facilities and contingency funding)
Changes to the financial management of schools
Responsibilities of schools and their representatives
Schools can expect to have their views canvassed and to receive feedback from their representatives, who have a responsibility to represent the interests of their peer group rather than the interests of their own individual school.
Where electing an individual to represent the interests of their respective group, schools should satisfy themselves that their chosen representative(s) is competent to act as their advocate.
Schools staff and governors should ensure that they are aware of business under discussions at Schools Forum and should provide feedback to their elected representative to ensure that their views are considered when decisions affecting schools' finances are been made.
Responsibilities of Local Authorities
Local authorities are required to publish all papers on a publicy-available website well in advance of the meeting. Papers should contain clear recommendations and the responsible offivers should attend the meeting to provide further information and advise. Local authority officers should not dominate the meeting.
All meetings of the Schools Forum must be open to the public. Observers do not have an automatic right to speak at the meetings, although the Chair may allow contributions if it seems appropriate.