Dorset Schools Forum

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The Dorset Schools' Forum is an advisory group of head teachers, school governors and non-school members with specific decision making powers who meet with the local authority (LA) to consider financial matters relating to schools and wider education.

It acts as the conduit for colleagues in schools, early years' settings and providers of 16-19 education, for information relating to schools' budget funding. It also provides the principal feedback channel on funding issues, enabling the views of schools and providers to be formally communicated to LA officers and county councillors.
 
As it is required to take a strategic view in all its dealings, the Schools' Forum is unable to 'champion' individual causes. However, it is always useful for members to be appraised of any issues.

What are our responsibilites?

Whilst schools' forums are independent of local authorities, they are supported by them. The LA calls and records meetings, disseminates the outcomes of discussions and is responsible for training members and managing their expenses. The Children's Services Directorate Sufficiency and Funding Manager leads in making proposals to the Schools' Forum, ensures that county councillors are kept up to date on schools' budget issues and takes responsibility for the work of the paid LA officers who support the group.
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Statutory requirements

It is a statutory requirement for all local authorities to have a schools' forum constituted under the Schools' Forum (England) Regulations 2012 as amended by the Schools and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations 2014. These statutory instruments regulate its power and responsibilities whilst the Education Funding Agency guide for schools and academies explains the role of the local schools' forums and how to ensure the voice of the school is heard. The guidelines under which the Dorset Schools' Forum operates can be found in its terms of reference.
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Further Information

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Clerk to the Schools' Forum
Karen Smallwood
k.l.smallwood@dorsetcc.gov.uk
01305 224172

Sufficiency and Funding Manager
Margaret Judd
Children's Services Directorate
m.judd@dorsetcc.gov.uk
01305 221886

Assistant Finance Officer
Lucy Cropp
Children's Services Directorate
l.m.cropp@dorsetcc.gov.uk
01305 224155
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The council is made up of 46 councillors and the major decisions of the county council are made by them.
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