Manchester City Council

Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Schools Forum - Monday, 24th September, 2018 4.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension

Contact: Donna Barnes 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To note as a correct record the minutes  of the last meeting


Noting that the meeting that had been scheduled for 16 July 2018 had not been quorate, the minutes of the meeting that took place on 18 June 2018 were resubmitted for consideration as a correct record.  Saeeda Ishaq highlighted that her attendance had not been recorded for the June meeting. 


In addition, a note of the non-quorate meeting was also submitted for consideration although no formal business was transacted nor any decisions made at that meeting.




1.            To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 18 June 2018 as a correct subject to the amendment above.


2.         To note the record of the meeting that was not quorate on 16 July 2018.




Dedicated Schools Grant pressures and plan for recovery pdf icon PDF 318 KB


The Forum considered a report of the Directorate Finance Lead – Children’s and Education which set out the current position on the centrally held Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) provisional outturn for 2018/19. Within this report was also the expected financial position with regard to the DSG in 2019/20 onwards.


It was explained that the forecast year end position on the centrally retained DSG was a net overspend of £2.9m which was largely due to ongoing pressures in the High Needs Block which had been well recognised at local level by the Forum and at national level by the Department for Education (DfE).


The Directorate Lead: Children and Families Finance referred to the main points and themes within the report which included:


  • an explanation and breakdown of the High needs block overspend.  The forecast was estimated to be £2.9M (2018/19) and £2.4M (2019/20) based on current trends and expected DSG grant allocations
  • an overview of the factors that have contributed to the Early Years Block shortfall
  • a summary of recovery proposals to bring the High Needs Block back into balance which included:


-   a proposal to transfer 0.5% of funds from the DSG’s Schools Block (2019/20) to the High Needs block (2019/20) in order to address the funding shortfall following consultation with Local Authority maintained schools and Academies.  Within this discussion the report made reference to the DfE’s Teachers Pay Grant 2018/19 and 2019/20, Free School Meal eligibility and transitional grant protection funding for the roll out of Universal Credit as potential sources of mitigation.

-   a review of  Out of City Residential placements

-   a review of commissioned services

-    the execution of a central High Needs Block line by line review

-   Post 16 years de-designation to 25 years


Some of the key points that emerged from consideration of the report were:


·           The growth in the number of pupils in the city who are funded by the High Needs Block.  This growth has taken place at a rate which is greater than the growth that is reflected within the DSG.  There had been an increase in the special school pupil population as well as the number of pupils in the city with an EHCP.  The growth in this particular population was reflected nationally, although Manchester’s rate was found to be at a slightly higher rate.  This was attributed in part to population growth and children coming into the city, as well as effectiveness of Manchester Early Years Delivery Model pathway which has led to earlier diagnosis.  There was also said to be a disproportionate rate of growth in the number of pupils with an EHCP within the 20 – 25 year age bracket compared to nationally.  Officers were continuing to explore the extent to which further efficiencies may be achieved.


·           The impact of the HNB funding shortfall on Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) and the extent to which all schools are committed to paying the voluntary permanent exclusion levy.  The manner in which PRUs are funded was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.