The schools forum is made up of representatives from schools and academies with some representation from other non-school organisations, such as nursery and 14-19 education providers. The forum acts as a consultative body on some issues and a decision making body on others.
The forum acts in a consultative role for:
- changes to the local funding formula (the Council is responsible for the final decision, although in some cases it may delegate the decision-making power to the schools forum)
- proposed changes to the operation of the minimum funding guarantee
- changes to or new contracts affecting schools (e.g. school meals)
- arrangements for pupils with special educational needs, in pupil referral units and in early years provision.
The forum is responsible for decisions on:
- how much funding may be centrally retained within the dedicated schools grant (e.g. for the admissions service, prudential borrowing costs, additional funding available for growing schools)
- any proposed carry forward of deficits on central spend from one year to the next
- proposals to de-delegate funding from maintained primary and secondary schools (e.g. for staff supply cover, insurance, behaviour support)
- changes to the scheme of financial management.
The Schools Forums Regulations 2012 set out requirements relating to membership of schools forums, their proceedings and the financial issues on which they must be consulted.