Agenda item

Minutes and Matters Arising

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of 16 January 2020.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Forum held on 16 January 2020 be approved as a correct record.


Arising from minute 133, Chris Taylor had prepared a PowerPoint presentation to update on the schools which had at least 10% forecast surplus places. Chris Taylor advised that he had undertaken to meet with all those schools. Of those schools, College Town and Harmans Water did not require a meeting. The meeting with New Scotland Hill was cancelled and was due to be reconvened. The meetings with Ascot Heath and Wooden Hill were outstanding.


The information provided to the schools included the School Places Plan (SPP) Forecast Methodology which had previously been shared with The Forum. They were also given detailed numbers on roll (NOR) by year group and the Published Admission Number (PAN) as well as the numbers of babies born in each designated area (the latter was new data). Chris had also been able to correlate the NOR with parental preference. Each school was given a designated area analysis.


Potential income based on forecasts was provided by Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) Finance to all schools, not just those with greater than 10% forecast surplus places. This enabled schools to plan contingency budgets.


The School Places Plan 2020-24 was approved by the Executive on 28 January 2020. The strategy included the following:

·      Harmans Water reducing their PAN by one Form of Entry (FE) from September 2021;

·      Great Hollands and Sandy Lane were considering a PAN reduction (Neil Davies clarified that Sandy Lane were not considering a PAN reduction whilst in lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic);

·      Crown Wood were monitoring the impact of Harmans Water reduction in PAN and considering a PAN reduction;

·      Kings Academy Binfield deferred their one FE expansion by one year to September 2022; and

·      Garth Hill College and Easthampstead Park would reduce their PAN by one FE from September 2021.


Chris Taylor highlighted that the forecasts for the September 2020 Intake Year were highly accurate at 99.0% of primary and 99.4% for secondary.


The Forum noted that the data showing 2019-20 funding allocations to schools experiencing significant in-year growth in pupil numbers (Annex 2 of the report for Agenda Item 8) highlighted how important it was for forecasts to be more accurate. The Forum thanked Chris Taylor and the team for the work that had been done to provide more local analysis.


The Forum queried how long-term planning regarding staffing would be affected by reductions in pupil intake. Chris Taylor explained that the forecast was that there would be a reduction in the number of primary-aged children and a rise in the number of secondary-aged children followed by a decline. The number of staff employed would be related to that which is why Chris Taylor had provided the information to schools. It was expected that each school would address this predicament differently.


Also arising from minute 133, Paul Clark advised that there had been no responses from the questionnaire which had been circulated to other local authorities to establish a benchmark for the test of reasonableness in relation to allocation of funding to new schools.

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