Annual General Meetings Minutes

National Middle Schools’ Forum

Annual General Meeting

Monday 15th October 2018

Stratford on Avon




1. Chair's introductory remarks


Mark Walker looked back over a busy year for the Forum in which there had considerable progress in our work with Ofsted and DfE and tangible evidence of a better understanding of the middle school context. Not just that we have our foot in the door – but have been in the room in substantial and meaningful discussons. We have also been successful in discussions over the treatment of three tier schools in the national funding formula proposals.


Mental health and well being was part of the focus for our Day Conference in 2018 and continues as a theme in our current conference.


2. Treasurer's Report


Laura Rawlings presented the accounts covering the period from the 1st September 2017 to 31st August 2018.


  • Income during this period - £31,234.50
  • Expenditure during this period – £36,024.98


In total the current balance in the two accounts Total £22,339.95



Balance as at 31/08/2018

HSBC Community £19,913.06

HSBC Business Account £2,426.89


While the income from subscriptions was slightly down on the previous year the Forum continues to maintain a healthy positive balance in its accounts, which enables the range of work the Forum has undertaken over the year.


The members thanks Lesley Judge for her work throughout the year in carefully managing the Forum’s funds and administering conference bookings so efficiently.


3. Executive Officer's report

The current position of middle schools

There are currently over 50,000 pupils in109 middle schools.

82% of middle schools were judged to be good or better in their latest Ofsted inspection (Sept 2018).This figure has been stable for the last 4 years – and places our schools where you would expect them to be in comparison to primary and secondary school outcomes:

Middle school accountability and recent changes at Ofsted


Nigel Wyatt presented a summary of recent progress with DfE and Ofsted over a number of issues which arose due to an over reliance on KS1 to KS2 progress measures:


Progress of PP pupils – apology from DfE for sending inappropriate letters

Coasting schools Round 1 - letters from RSC – apology from Sir David Carter for not following statutory guidance – new process for round 2

Middle schools labelled as coasting in inspection reports – now banned

Presentation of data in Ofsted IDSR – new wording for middle school IDSR – IDSR no longer mentions coasting or floor targets

Presentation of data in DfE School performance tables – colours no longer used for middle schools – new cautionary wording to match Ofsted IDSR

Monitoring role of RSC staff – NW invited to present to RSC staff – paper of Datalab evidence circulated

Remaining issues:

Ofsted risk assessment process for short inspection

Criteria for NLE/NLG and Teaching school accreditation

DfE Financial benchmarking tool

Nigel Wyatt showed figures comparing total expenditure in middles of between 450 and 500 pupils. These had been generated using the new financial benchmarking tool. This looks like a worthwhile means of comparing your schools perfr=romance with similar schools.


National Funding Formula – Minimum funding per pupil


The impression that three tier systems are underfunded compared to two tier systems has had some currency in newspaper articles in Somerset and Northumberland. This is not the case.


There has been an issue with the proposals for minimum funding per pupil – with inequitable treatment for our upper schools in particular. The proposals published in July 2018 took a step towards addressing these issues – and we are hopeful that this will be fully rectified in the following year when further work on DfE databases enable them to securely identify 13 to 18 upper schools in their calculations.

4. Suggestions for the NMSF Development Priorities 2018 / 2019

Delegates suggested areas for development in the work of the Forum in the coming year that will be considered at our next Steering Committee meeting

   I. To continue to work alongside the Department for Education in order to establish further clarity and fairness for Middle Schools with regard to;

       a. the future of assessment and accountability measures

       b. the accreditation for NLEs and NLGs

   II. To work closely with Ofsted in order to ensure clarity and fairness for Middle Schools with regard to;

       a. the risk assessment process connected to short inspections

       b. the launch of the New Framework in September 2019

   III. To continue the dedication of the NMSF in highlighting Mental Health and Well Being as a core aspect of its work

Steering Committee Membership 2018/19


It was proposed and all agreed that for the coming year the Maxine Warner (C Beds) would become the new Chair pf the Forum.


Mark Walker was thanked for outstanding contribution to the work Forum during his extended period in the role as Chair, and vital part he has played in meetings at a national level in progressing the relationship with national partners.


LA areas were encouraged to consider ensuring that they were represented at Steering Committee meetings in London, and for existing members to consider bringing a ‘friend’ with them.




7. AOB


The were no items for consideration



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Dates for Steering Committee Meetings for the coming year


· Wednesday 7th November 2018

· Wednesday 6th March 2019

· Wednesday 5th June 2019


At 10.30 - St Saviours Church, St George's Square, Pimlico, SW1V 9A

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