The Essex Schools Forum is mainly a consultative body consisting of 28 members. However, there are situations in which they have decision-making powers. The overarching areas on which Schools Forums make decisions on local authority proposals are:
- De-delegation from mainstream schools budgets (separate approval will be required by the primary and secondary phase members of Schools Forum), for prescribed services to be provided centrally.
- To create a fund for significant pupil growth in order to support the local authority’s duty for place planning (basic need) and agree the criteria for maintained schools and academies to access this fund.
- To create a fund for falling rolls for good or outstanding schools if the schools’ surplus capacity is likely to be needed within the next three years to meet rising pupil numbers and agree the criteria for maintained schools and academies to access this fund.
- To move up to 0.5% from the Schools Block to the Central School Services Block, Early Years Block or High Needs Block.
- Continued funding at existing levels for prescribed historic commitments where the effect of delegating this funding would be destablising.
- Funding for the local authority in order to meet prescribed statutory duties placed upon it. Approval is required to confirm the amounts for each duty and no new commitments or increases in expenditure from 2013/14 are permitted unless agreed by the Secretary of State.
- Funding for the local authority from maintained schools to meet its prescribed statutory duties formerly funded by the Education Services Grant.
- Funding for central early years expenditure, which may include funding for checking eligibility of pupils for an early years place and/or free school meals.
- Authorising a reduction in the schools budget in order to fund a deficit arising in central expenditure that is to be carried forward from a previous funding period.
Schools Forum meetings are open to the public and meetings take place at Hamptons Sports and Leisure, Tydemans, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 9FH. Dates of future meetings can be found by clicking on School Forum Meeting Agendas & Minutes below.
On this page you can download a number of documents which provide further information about the Schools Forum including its membership and the role it plays in Essex. Agendas and minutes of recent meetings of the Schools Forum can be found using the link below.
School Forum Members (Word Format)
A list of the current membership of the Schools Forum
Updated September 2017
Terms of Reference (Word Format)
A document setting out the rules by which the Schools Forum is governed
Agreed December 2014
School Forum Operational Guidance (PDF Format)
A guide produced by the DfE providing information, guidance and good practice on the Schools Forum