Chair: Ashley Harrold (AH) Blatchington Mill School
Emma Lake (EL) Hangleton and Benfield Federation
Sarah Wilks (SAW) Hangleton Primary School 
Damien Jordan (DJ) Fairlight Primary School
Rachel Kershaw (RK) St Margaret’s CE Primary School

Local authority

Steve Williams (SW) Accountant, Health, Adults, Families, Children and Learning Finance 
Louise Hoten (LH) Head of Finance (Children and Adults)
Richard Barker (RB) Head of School Organisation
Sally-Ann Russell (SR) – Reward and Policy
Ken Simpson (KS) HR Business Partner/Schools HR Relationship Manager


Andy Moore (AM) Principal Accountant, Health, Adults, Families, Children and Learning Finance 
Jimmy Hollingworth (JH) Longhill High School    
Kate Williams (KW) Longhill High School

Items 1 to 3

Item 1: Welcome and apologies

The Chair welcomed the group, apologies listed above.

Actions: AH

Item 2: Minutes of previous Meeting Monday 13 January

Actions: AH

Item 3: Information/feedback from headteachers

Discussed later as any other business.

Actions: All

Item 4

Overview of 2021/22 Government Funding Announcements (Schools Forum Agenda Paper 6)

  • SW circulated papers.
  • Paper focuses on the whole of DSG for 2021/22. This is an overview paper, the first part focusses on level of funding settlement expected / announced by government. Second part of paper relates to the agreement needed from the Forum for LA central retention of funding 
  • 2021/22 is the second year of the 3-yearpreviously government announced settlement. There are likely to be significant increases in both the schools and high needs funding blocks. The schools block will increase due to uplifts provided by government (c. 4%) and the integration of the current teachers’ pay and pension grants within the funding block. It is anticipated that there will be a c.  £2.9 million increase in high needs block. In line with previous announcements there is a small reduction in the Central services school block which includes funding for the LA to carry out central functions on behalf of all schools. At this stage there has been no announcement relating to the early years funding block. Second part of paper section 4: Where primary phase and secondary phase are required to agree de-delegation for the next financial year. Contingency level is the same amount of money even though there was an underspend. If the local authority has an underspend it is anticipated this will be redistributed back to schools on a pupil by pupil basis. Total committed amount so far this year is at £80,000 now and is an ongoing matter. Having to deal with on a day to day basis. Finance and local authority will update during the financial year.
  • School reps raised the issue of how the contingency was used and concerned that it may be used to support schools that do not contribute or for reasons not covered by its terms of use. RB provided examples of how it was being used and assured the group that it is used in line with its terms. 
  • EMAS have occurred additional costs, £28,000 increase in the request for de-delegation.
  • Free schools’ meals checking service requested additional £5,000 because of cost of living increases on salary levels and a rise in FSM applications due to COVID 19. 
  • In covering the Insurance element SW made the group aware that all schools can now buy into the government’s own insurance scheme for academies and free schools, Risk Protection Arrangement. More information will be presented to the Schools Forum meeting to assist schools in making a decision which will need to be based on a comparison of costs and benefits.  
  • SW went through secondary part of paper and explained regarding growth fund which is reducing every year as previous expansions work their way through the system. 
  • The group raised questions about the funding linked to union work and jury service and further analysis of this work will be undertaken. 

Actions: SW/ RB

Item 5

Schools Block 2021/22 (Schools Forum Agenda Papers 7, 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3)

  • Formula funding considerations and comparison of 2020/21 other LAs /national funding formula arrangements 
  • 1. KS3 and KS4 AWPUs
    BHCC use a single rate across both KSs. The vast majority of LAs and the proposed national funding formula applies differential rates across KS3 and KS4.
  • 2. Low Prior Attainment Factor
    National funding model allocates 7.5% of total budget through this factor compared to 6.4% for Brighton and Hove. Table shows what happens if we take out of other funding and have it in-line with the rest of the country.
  • 3. Extend use of IDACI and ever-6 FSM for deprivation funding (as previously agreed)
  • 4. Level of minimum funding guarantee
  • 5. New minimum per pupil funding levels
  • There was a consensus to restrict changes unless there is a clear and compelling reason for these to be implemented, particularly as there is still uncertainty about the timing of the introduction of a ‘hard’ national funding formula. This view will be taken forward to the Schools Forum.

Actions: SW/ RB

Item 6

Covid-19 related expenditure in schools (discussion)

  • Finance has provided a briefing containing the various different forms of financial sort schools can / have accessed for Covid-19 which has been circulated to all schools and published on BEEM. 
  • Central government catch up grant funding will be released into school. Funding will come in three tranches spanning the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years. The first instalment will be on schools’ finance reports next week, first trance has already come through recently. 

Actions: All

Item 7

HR items

Teachers Pay Policy

Government sets the minimum and maximum for various ranges and within those ranges it is up to individual schools to determine how the pay award is applied.  The local authority recommends a model pay policy to schools. Government is lifting most of range by 2.75%, except the bottom of the Main Range which is 5.5% and then tapering down increases recommended on point 1 to 5 with the top point 6 being 2.75%. Unions seeking implementation of the Governments recommended increases on the main scale reference points and 2.75 on everything else.  Headteachers gave views, secondary heads are supporting. Primary heads do support it but do not know where the funding will come from.

Action: As feedback from Heads is supportive of recommended approach, HR will now consult with teaching Unions and hope to be able to implement in November.

Covid-19 Staff Recognition

SR has done some work to see how they can recognise staff either through money, time off or a non-financial reward. Could have a voucher scheme as best option and see if we can target at local businesses but more work needs to be done on it. Teachers cannot legally be paid an additional sum. Could create a lot more problems. Schools have the option to opt out and do their own rewards. 

Action: SR to send a draft of the committee paper to RB in order to get a view from headteachers.

Actions: KS

Item 8

Any other business


  • For all non-academy schools, the cost of vaccinations for staff will be met by the schools’ contingency budget.

Term of reference

  • RB will undertake a review of the group’s ToR outside of the meeting and update members by email with the aim of sharing something with the Schools Forum in October. 

Position of schools and support regarding budget planning especially in relation to new headteachers.

  • SW and LH have circulated briefing note which highlights all the funding for COVID 19. They are awaiting outturn forecasts to reflect additional costs and the grants that are received from the government. Will be working over the next few months on this. Headteachers need clear guidance. Headteachers should be reporting variations to finance.
  • RK asked that HTs are included in communications to business managers from schools’ finance

Action: Finance to include HTs from Schools Forum and SBWG on general city-wide communications to business managers 

Actions: SW

Date of next meeting

23 November - 2pm to 4pm