Schools forums have a consultative and advisory role in school funding and financial matters and have been a statutory requirement in every local authority in England since 2003.
The key functions of schools forums are set in statute and include the requirement for consultation on the school funding formula, contracts and financial issues. They do not hold a budget and regulations do not allow a decisionmaking role.
The membership of each schools forum consists of:
• representatives from schools (most commonly headteachers and governors),
• representatives from the wider community (such as early years professionals or members of the 14–19 partnership; known as non-school members),
• non-voting observers such as councillors or members of the public.
The membership of schools forums has been progressively extended and the most recent revisions to the schools forums (England) Regulations in 2010 were put in place to encourage a membership which is more representative of the education and wider community. Therefore, it is now required that the number of school members by school phase and type must be proportional to pupil numbers. In addition, schools forums must also include at least one academy representative, one special school representative and one nursery school representative. It is also now no longer optional, but a statutory duty, for schools forums to appoint non-school members