Issue - meetings

Schools Budget 2019/20

Meeting: 22/01/2019 - Herefordshire schools forum (Item 24)

24 Schools Budget 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 154 KB

To agree final budget proposals for recommendation to the cabinet member for children and families for school budgets, central school services and early years within the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) for 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The SFM introduced the report. Key points noted were:

·         the Budget Working Group considered the report on 11 January 2019 and did not make any additional or alternative recommendations;

·         primary schools had indicated that they valued the SEN protection scheme and the proposed transfer of £112k ensured that the current cap remained for 2019/20;

·         additional funding for high needs had been allocated by the government after the consultation with schools had been carried out, the additional funding of £375k for each of 2018/19 and 2019/20 was welcome and had been incorporated into the high needs block projections shown at paragraph 17 of the report;

·         there was no indication whether there would be similar additional funding for future years but the one off allocation reduced the possibility of the LA needing to top slice school budgets to meet a deficit in the high needs block, current projections showed a positive balance figure through to 2021/22;

·         if demand continued to increase or the funding from the DfE changed substantially then the forecasts would be revised, it was agreed that the high needs block be kept under annual review to ensure sensible budget setting;

·         the detail of the high needs budget for 2019/20 would be brought to the March forum meeting with revised forecasts, rising numbers continued to be a concern.

 

The SFM summarised the recommendations before the forum:

·         recommendation (a) fully implemented the national funding formula (NFF) values at a total cost of £100.2m;

·         recommendation (b) made additional allocations relating to the expected  surplus of £0.3m reflecting the outcome of consultation with schools in the autumn term, this resulted in an additional £10 per pupil on top of the NFF values, an increase to the Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) to ensure this was passed to all schools and a transfer of £112k  to the high needs block to support the primary SEN protection scheme;

·         recommendation (c) allocated additional surplus funds that had not been projected on a broadly equal share between allocating to schools and supporting high needs, this resulted in a further £5 per pupil, an increase in the MFG to the maximum permitted 0.5% to ensure this was passed to all schools and a further transfer to the high needs block of £103k to support the increase in special school places;

·         recommendation (d) was a technical matter setting the protected funding level so that the government’s 0.5% increase on 2017/18 baselines would be passed on to all schools;

·         recommendation (e) set out the allocation of the central schools services block, which included a transfer of £56k surplus funds in this block to the high needs block;

·         recommendation (f) related to early years block funding, as the funding received from the government was unchanged no changes were proposed to the early years funding formula, the pass through percentage would be 97.5%;

·         recommendation (g) related to de-delegated services for LA maintained schools, the only significant change from the previous year was the transfer of free school meals administration to a service level  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24