Schools Forum

The Schools Forum is administered by the local authority. The forum runs consultations and makes decisions on how some of the schools funding is distributed. This page provides information on the forum and forum representative's responsibilities, how funding payments are made and the minutes of past meetings. 

Responsibilities of the forum

Each year local authorities receive the Designated Schools Grant (DSG) from the Secretary of State which must be used in support of early years and schools.

To ensure fair and transparent distribution, the forum decides:

  • how much funding may be retained by the local authority within the dedicated schools grant (for example, providing an admissions service, or providing additional funding for growing schools)
  • any proposals to carry forward deficits on central spend from one year to the next
  • proposals to de-delegate funding from maintained primary and secondary schools (for example, for staff supply cover, insurance, behaviour support)
  • changes to the scheme of financial management

The forum also acts in a consultative role for:

  • 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 (school meals, for example)
  • arrangements for pupils with special educational needs in pupil referral units, and in early years provision

Responsibilities for Schools Forum

Schools Forum is made up of representatives from early years, schools and 16 to 19 education providers. Representatives from schools and academies (including free schools) should be roughly proportionate to the number of children in each sector.

Check the current representatives for your sector

They should:

  • canvas the views of their sector and give feedback to those they represent
  • represent the interests of their peer group rather than the interests of their own individual school or provision

When electing the schools forum representative for your sector you should ensure that:

  • they are competent to advocate on your behalf
  • they are aware of schools forum business and make their views known about decisions affecting early years and schools’ finance

How often does the forum meet?

Full Schools Forum meets monthly between September and February for approximately two to three hours. Occasionally additional meetings may be required.

In addition to the full meetings, schools forum will often ask representatives to be part of a ‘Task and Finish Group’, set up to look into specific areas of funding and bring recommendations back to the full forum to vote on.

Payments of agreed funding

Once the Schools Forum have agreed how the funding will be distributed for the oncoming year this funding formula will be used across all schools within Waltham Forest.

Academies receive their budgets (based on the locally agreed formula) directly from central government, whilst the local authority is responsible for distributing the funding directly to maintained schools.

Find out how Schools Forum have agreed to distribute funding for the 2019-20 financial year.

The local authority is also responsible for making direct payments to all schools for:

  • top up funding for high needs pupils
  • Early Years Designated Schools Grant (EYDSG)
  • excluded pupils funding
  • allocations of the local authorities growth fund or falling rolls funds

Further information on the obligations and duties of the Schools Forum can be found on

Schools forum reports and appendices 2021-22

15 September 2021 agenda papers


Schools forum reports and appendices 2020-21

16 September 2020


11 November 2020


9 December 2020


10 February 21


Schools Forum draft minutes 10 February 2021

Download minutes

Schools Forum agenda and papers 15 September 2021

Download agenda

Schools forum reports and appendices 2019-20

14 May 2019

Combined report

School Forum draft minutes 14 May


18 September 2019

Combined report

16 October 2019

Combined report

September 2019

Summary of Decisions

13 November 2019

Combined report

School Forum December 2019


School Forum January 2020

January forum agenda. Includes December 2019 minutes.


School Forum February 2020

February Forum agenda. Includes January 2020 minutes.


Schools forum reports and appendices 2018-19

19 September 2018

Combined report

14 November 2018

Combined report

12 December 2018

Combined report

16 January 2019

Combined report

13 February 2019

Combined report

Schools Forum reports and appendices 2017-18

13 September 2017

Combined report

11 October 2017

Combined report

8 November 2017

Combined report

6 December 2017

Combined report

18 January 2018

Combined report

21 February 2018

Combined report

Schools Forum reports and appendices 2016-17

14 September 2016

Combined report

12 October 2016

Combined report

9 November 2016

Combined report

14 December 2016

Combined report

18 January 2017

Combined report

22 February 2017

Combined report

High Needs Consultation

Consultation Document on Allocation of High Needs Funding 2020-21


Appendix 1 Additional Information


Appendix 2 High Needs Budget Summary


Appendix 3 Illustration of proposed levels 1 and 2


Appendix 4 Illustration

Last update: Wednesday 15th of September 2021 01:36:24 PM