It is made up of representatives from:
- schools and academies
- non-school organisations such as nursery and 16-19 education providers
The forum is consulted about areas including:
- changes to the local funding formula (the local authority makes the final decision)
- proposed changes to the operation of the minimum funding guarantee
- changes to or new contracts affecting schools, such as school meals
- arrangements for pupils with special educational needs, in pupil referral units and in early years provision
The forum decides:
- how much funding may be retained by the local authority within the dedicated schools grant (eg for providing an admissions service or providing additional funding 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 (eg for staff supply cover, insurance, behaviour support)
- changes to the scheme of financial management
The forum includes representatives from:
- maintained nursery schools
- maintained primary schools
- maintained secondary schools
- maintained special schools
- maintained pupil referral units
- mainstream academies (including free schools)
- special academies (including free schools)
- alternative provision academies (including free schools)
- post-16 education providers
The number of representatives from each type of school should reflect how many pupils they represent.
Responsibilities of schools and their representatives
Representatives should communicate effectively with their schools, to ask for their views and opinions and to give feedback on forum meetings. However, they must represent the interests of their sector as a whole, and not of their own individual school.
School staff and governors should make sure that the representatives they choose are competent to act as their advocates. They should also ensure that they are aware of schools forum business and make their views known about decisions affecting schools’ finance.
Responsibilities of local authorities
Local authorities must publish all schools' forum papers in advance of each meeting. Any recommendations should be clear and local authority responsible officers should attend meetings to provide further information and advice. Local authority officers should not dominate the meeting. All schools forum meetings must be open to the public. Observers do not have an automatic right to speak at meetings, but the chair may allow contributions where appropriate.