Our purpose, quite simply, is to help create circumstances in which successful teaching and learning can take place.
Managing schools to sustain such good provision is demanding and requires effective support services. The current challenging financial context means that we all need to test value for money and ensure we are using our core resources to best effect.
Good quality support and business services are essential and the council is committed to delivering high value, efficient services and acting on feedback from schools and academies. It is important for all concerned that we get this right and our services are seen as a positive factor in promoting good education.
Papers and minutes of Dorset Schools' Forum
Papers are published online one week in advance of each meeting to allow members the time to canvass the views of those they represent. A link to the papers and forum members' contact details is also circulated to schools and chairs of governors to keep them up to date with the latest issues under consideration by the Schools' Forum.Minutes of meetings are published within one week of the date of each meeting.Any member may put forward an item for inclusion on the agenda. This is agreed with the Chair two weeks in advance of each meeting, in line with the annual schools' forum business cycle which is agreed with Schools' Forum members annually in July.All reports contain an executive summary in standard format, and recommendations for the action required by the Schools' Forum are classified as follows:items for approval - where a decision is requireditems for consultation - where the view of the Forum is soughtitems for information - to assist forum members in maintaining a general understanding of current issues in relation to children's services budgets, and schools' funding. Updates are regularly provided on the work of the Children's Trust Board and the Dorset Education Partnership
Membership of Dorset Schools' Forum
As per the regulations (attached below), schools' forums must include:schoolsacademiesnon-schools membersThey must also ensure the number of representatives from schools and academies is proportionate to the number of pupils registered to them.Schools and academy members together must comprise at least two thirds of the total membership. The balance between primary maintained, secondary maintained and academy members must be broadly proportionate to the number of pupils in each category.There is an annual review of the constitution (attached below) to ensure these principles are followed. This is important as schools may decide to covert to academy status at any point during the academic year.Dorset Schools' Forum currently has 25 seats. This includes three substitutes or 'named observers'. All members have a duty to fulfil Dorset Schools' Forum roles and responsibilities.Current MembershipSchools membersPrimaryJacqui Booth (Head Teacher), St James' CE VC First School, Gaunts Common - email@example.comRos Eveleigh (Governor), St Gregory's VA Primary School - firstname.lastname@example.orgAmanda Gallaher (Governor), The Abbas Collaboration - email@example.comKris Winthorpe (Head Teacher), Bovington Primary School - firstname.lastname@example.orgVacancySecondary (including middle)Hilary Billimore (Governor), Ferndown Upper School - email@example.comPhil Jones (Head Teacher) (Vice-chair), Ferndown Upper School - LindaPapworth@fernup.dorset.sch.ukVacancySpecialPaul McGill (Head Teacher), Beaucroft Foundation School - firstname.lastname@example.orgObserver: Bruce Bonwell (Governor), Westfield Arts College - email@example.comAcademiesRoss Bowell (Business Manager), Wimborne Academy Trust - firstname.lastname@example.orgJayne Browne (Head Teacher), Piddle Valley CE VA First School - email@example.comBruce Douglas (Head Teacher), Wyvern Academy - firstname.lastname@example.orgPatrick Earnshaw (Head Teacher), Highcliffe School - email@example.comRebecca Golledge (Business Manager), St Osmund's CE VA Middle School - firstname.lastname@example.orgTristram Hobson (Head Teacher), The Swanage School - email@example.comBrendan Mullany (Governor) (Chair), Wareham St Mary CE Primary School - firstname.lastname@example.orgLearning CentresAlison Glazier, The Compass Centre - email@example.comObserver: Caroline Peer - firstname.lastname@example.org Non-schools membersEarly YearsLorraine Clark (Voluntary Sector), Hopscotch Pre-School - email@example.comAmanda Davis (Strategic Community Lead for 0-10s & FPZs, Dorset County Council - firstname.lastname@example.org ProvidersNicky Porter, Kingston Maurward College - email@example.comDiocesan BoardOne observer: Martyn Kemp, Salisbury Diocese - Martyn.Kemp@salisbury.anglican.orgTrade UnionsVanessa Lucas, Dorset Teachers' Council - firstname.lastname@example.orgCraig Martin, GMB/Unison/Unite - email@example.com
Business of Dorset Schools' Forum
Main areas of businessThe main areas of business in a typical year involves:agreeing the allocation of the Dedicated Schools Grant, including its distribution amongst schools and early years settings, and the extent to which resources are retained centrally for functions managed by the local authority. For example, pupil admissions and the arrangements for pupils with special educational needsagreeing the policy and monitoring its application for the award of additional funding for costs in unforeseen circumstances (see below) and pupil growth (see below)making recommendations on the schools, early years, and high needs block funding formulae, including formula changes, timescales for review and consultation with schools and early years settingsagreeing the de-delegation of funding from maintained primary and secondary schools for free school meal eligibility checking, trade union facilities, behaviour support services, termination of employment costs of schools in financial difficulties, and contingency for unforeseen circumstancesagreeing changes to financial procedures, including the Dorset scheme for financing schools and the Schools' Financial Efficiency Policy (see below)monitoring the local authority's management of school deficits and surplusesmaking recommendations on proposed contracts for the provision of services to schools funded out of the schools' budgetmonitoring the local authority's arrangements for pupils with special education needs, its provision for early years, and the education of children other than at schoolSchools' Forum Business CycleThe business cycle (see below) provides information about the business that will appear on future agendas. To ensure that members understand the 'wider' picture and are able to enter into dialogue with the local authority in a fully informed way at schools' forum meetings, this includes:updates on academy conversionsthe establishment of studio and free schoolsschool reorganisationsfunding for 16-19 educationthe work of the Dorset Learning Partnershipthe Increasing Participation BoardIn addition, members are kept up to date about Children's Services budgets overseen by our committees.
Meetings and working practice of Dorset Schools' Forum
To ensure transparency of its business and operations, all meetings of the Schools' Forum are open to the public (see document below). Please provide the Forum Clerk with at least 5 working days notice of your intention to attend.In addition, all Dorset County Councillors are invited to attend meetings as observers.Eligibility to speak at schools' forum meetings is limited to:Schools' Forum membersExecutive county councillors with responsibility for education / children's services or local authority resources. This enables them to hear the views of the Schools' Forum first hand and contribute to the discussion, thereby maintaining a clear channel of communication between the Schools' Forum and the county councilThe Director for Children's Services or their representativeThe Chief Finance Officer or their representativeAny officer invited by the Schools' Forum to provide financial or technical adviceAny officer presenting an item on the agenda, but their right to speak is limited to matters related to the item they are presentingEducation Funding Agency observers who attend from time to time in order to provide support to the local process and provide the national perspectiveFrequency of meetings is decided by the local authority in discussion with the Schools' Forum. In regulation (see document below), forums must meet at least four times a year. The Dorset Schools' Forum meets eight times a year, with the meetings being held in line with the annual Schools' Forum business cycle (attached below). Where there is a genuine business need for a decision or formal view to be expressed by the Forum, and consulting members electronically is considered inappropriate, extraordinary meetings may also be called.The Dorset Schools' Forum working practice (attached below) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency's schools' forums' operational and good practice guide (attached below) provide more information about schools' forum meetings and proceedings.