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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee [Lifelong Learning] : 25th June 2012

 

Report of the Chief Executive

 

Schools Budget Forum Representation

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To seek nomination of a Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee member to the Schools Budget Forum.

Recommendation

1.             That the Scrutiny Committee nominates a Member to sit on the Schools Budget Forum.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.             The membership of the Schools Budget Forum includes a Member of the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee as well as the Cabinet Member.

Background

2.             All Councils are required to have a Schools Budget Forum in accordance with Section 47A of the School Standards & Framework Act 1998 as amended by the Education Act 2002 and The Schools Budget Forums (Wales) Regulations.

3.             The functions of the Schools Budget Forum are set out below:

  • The authority is required to consult the Schools Budget Forum annually on its schools budget.  The authority can also consult the Forum, as it sees fit, on any other matters concerning the funding of schools.
  • The authority has to consult the Schools Budget Forum on any proposed revisions to its Scheme for Financing Schools.  Consultation with the Schools Budget Forum is additional to the statutory requirement to consult governing bodies and headteachers on revisions to the scheme on an individual basis.
  • The authority must consult the Schools Budget Forum on any proposed changes to the factors and criteria to be taken into account, or the methods, principles and rules to be adopted, in relation to its formula for funding schools.  This includes consultation on the likely financial effect of any changes to the funding formula.  Consultation must be carried out in sufficient time to allow the Forum's views to be taken into account in the determination of the authority's formula and in the determination of the schools' budget shares before the start of the financial year.
  • The authority must consult the Schools Budget Forum on contracts for supplies and services that exceed the prescribed threshold for procurement.  The current threshold for local authorities is £154,477.  To ensure the authority receives the view of the Schools Forum before finalising the specifications of the contract, the regulations specify that the authority must consult the Forum at least three months prior to the issue of invitations to tender.
  • The regulations stipulate that the Schools Budget Forum must also be consulted on service level agreements for the supply of goods and services by the authority to schools.  Again, the authority must consult the Forum at least three months before the date on which the agreement is due to be finalised

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             The Schools Budget Forum must have a minimum of 15 members to ensure that the membership of the Forum is not too limited and the interests of schools are properly represented.  The Forum needs to be kept to a manageable size in order to facilitate constructive discussions.  In view of this, the Vale of Glamorgan's Schools Budget Forum has a maximum of 20 members.

5.             Section 47A of the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998, describes school forums as representing the views of governing bodies and headteachers.  The majority of the Forum, therefore, is made up of school members who are elected to represent governing bodies or headteachers of maintained schools.

6.             Given that the majority of Members of the Forum must be 'school members' the regulations stipulate that no more than 25% of the Forum can be made up of non-school members.  The 25% limit includes representatives of the authority.  The only representatives of the Local Authority who have voting rights on the schools forum are those included as part of the non-schools membership.  The composition of the non-schools membership includes representation from the Local Authority and teaching or other trade unions with members in Wales.

7.             Members are able to nominate a substitute to attend meetings of the Schools Budget Forum in their absence.

8.             The period of office for both schools and non-school members is 3 years.

9.             The Membership of the Schools Budget Forum is set out in Appendix A to this report.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

10.        There are no resource implications arising directly from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.        There are no legal implications.

Crime and Disorder Implications

12.        There are no crime and disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13.        There are no equal opportunities implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

14.        This report is consistent with the Council's priorities for Education and Lifelong Learning.

Policy Framework and Budget

15.        Membership of the Forum is determined by the Forum itself.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.        Ward Member consultation is not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.        Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

School Budget Forum Constitution.

 

Contact Officer

Paula Ham, Head of Strategic Planning and Performance, 01446 709161

 

Officers Consulted

Members of the Schools Budget Forum.

 

Responsible Officer:

John Maitland Evans, Chief Executive

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