Agenda item

Schools Budget 2020/21

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 2020/21. The Budget Working Group ( BWG) meets on 10th January 2020 and their proposals will be set out in a supplementary report.


The Schools Finance Manager (SFM) introduced the report and highlighted that for some items the forum would make the decision and in others it would make recommendation to the cabinet member children and families to determine on behalf of the council. The main points of each recommendation were noted as follows.


Recommendation A

·         Allocated per pupil values as set out in the National Funding Formula in full;

·         Reflected the contents of the schools consultation paper;

·         Included the new mobility factor with threshold of 6%, a number of Herefordshire schools would benefit from this;

·         A number of schools, particularly larger schools, would benefit from the minimum total funding per pupil of £3750 for primary and £5000 for secondary.


Recommendation B

·         Allocated the anticipated growth fund allocation which had been consulted on in the autumn paper;

·         Followed the principles set out in the draft policy to be approved under recommendation E;

·         Following confirmation of basic need pressure in the area by the Interim Education and Capital Manager it was recommended that a growth allocation be made to Kingstone High School to support an increase in places from September 2020;

·         The allocation would need to continue in future years, as long as demand continued, until the increased PAN applied to all year groups;

·         The transfer to the high needs block would ensure that the SEN protection fund could continue for primary schools and be extended to include secondary schools, as set out in the consultation paper.


Recommendation C

·         This allocated the balance of funding from the higher than expected growth fund allocation and savings resulting from higher attainment in primary schools and consequent lower spend on low prior attainment;

·         It was proposed that £100k be allocated to support additional SEN activities around nurture provision, this had been targeted as the area of highest growth for specialist places;

·         The remaining excess was proposed to be distributed to all schools at a per pupil rate of £20;

·         The proposals were discussed in detail by the Budget Working Group (BWG);

·         The chair of the BWG stated that the principle of supporting additional nurture provision had been agreed but there was considerable debate at the working group meeting on the best method of delivery;

·         The Head of Additional Needs (HAN) was to bring more detailed proposals to a future meeting of the BWG for further discussion;

·         The BWG had considered whether to recommend a larger sum be allocated to the nurture provision project but had noted that this would have required a reduction in the per pupil distribution to all schools, the BWG recommended that the allocation remain as set out in the main report and that the level of funding be reviewed for 2021/22;

·         The HAN explained that a working group would be convened to discuss models of nurture provision, that one model would not necessarily fit the whole county and that anyone interested would be welcome to participate, it was proposed that the new provision be in place from September 2020;

·         It was recognised that the success of the project would need to be measured, while intervention work would not always be successful in every case there were a number of measures in use across the country which could be applied.


Recommendation D

·         A technical Granted authority to the SFM to make minor adjustments to the nearest £5k to comply with DfE submission requirements.


Recommendation E

·         The growth fund policy was as set out in the consultation;

·         The policy would be reviewed at intervals to ensure it remained fit for purpose.


Recommendation F

·         The central services block allocations were much the same as the previous year with a modest reduction in school admission costs and a small increase in the costs for national licences.


Recommendation G

·         Applied to local authority maintained schools only;

·         As set out in the consultation document;

·         Local Authority maintained secondary schools had been consulted on the option to de-delegate trade union facilities but the feedback was that they preferred to retain the current Service Level Agreement arrangements.


Recommendation H

·         Proposed passing on the increase received to early years providers;

·         A consultation letter had been sent to all providers before Christmas and only four comments had been received;

·         The early years representative on the forum stated that additional funding would be welcomed and recognised that the council was passing on the full increase received.


In general discussion of the recommendations and content of the report, forum members noted the low response rate to the consultation, which was similar to previous years. The chair noted that the low response rate was disappointing but assumed that this reflected schools were broadly in favour of the proposals. It was suggested that the format of the consultation document be reviewed for the autumn 2020 consultation to see if changes could be applied which might increase the response rate.


It was agreed that


(a)  That: The local implementation of the National Funding Formula (NFF) for 2020/21 as set out in the consultation document and recommendation (a) – (h) as below, be approved for recommendation to the Cabinet member for children and families as follows; (a) The final school funding values be agreed, subject to a minimum total funding per pupil of £3,750 for primary schools and £5,000 for secondary schools, including the Minimum Funding Guarantee at 1.84% and the adoption of the mobility factor, as follows:



Basic entitlement per pupil




Basic entitlement per secondary pupil

Key stage 3



Basic entitlement per secondary pupil

Key stage 4



Deprivation per free school meal




Deprivation per free school meal




Deprivation per ever-6 free school meal




Deprivation per ever-6 free school meal




Socio-economic deprivation Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI)


Band A (3% of pupils)








Band B (8% of pupils)








Band C (7% of pupils)








Band D (8% of pupils)








Band E (9% of pupils)








Band F (10% of pupils)








Band G (55% of pupils)








Low prior attainment per pupil








Lump sum








Looked after Children, primary and secondary




Primary sparsity, on NFF taper basis , over 2 miles and less than an average year group size of 21.4 pupils




Secondary sparsity, on NFF taper basis, over 3 miles and less than an average year group size of 120 pupils




English as additional language per primary pupil




English as additional language per secondary












PFI contract




Business rates




Exceptional premises  factor – Eastnor rent




(b)  The options as supported in the schools’ consultation paper be agreed at a cost of £317k, as follows;

(i)            Growth funding be finalised for basic need expansion at Kingstone High School, £117k for an estimated additional 50 pupils in September 2020

(ii)          Transfer to high needs block for primary SEN protection, £100k

(iii)         Transfer to high needs block for secondary SEN protection, £100k


(c)  the balance of funding, £303k is allocated as follows

(i)            Additional transfer of £100k to the high needs block to fund additional SEN activities in order to potentially reduce future demand on the high needs budget

(ii)          Additional £20 per pupil for primary and secondary schools at a cost of £203,000


(d)  That any minor adjustments to the schools budget up to £5k, in order to comply with DfE submission requirements, be made to the funding allocated to the growth fund as set out in (b)(i) above;


(e)  The growth fund policy and criteria for allocating to schools as set out in the schools consultation paper be agreed;


(f)   That the central services block be allocated as follows

(i)            Statutory retained duties £360k

(ii)          Schools Forum administration costs £12k

(iii)         School admission costs £122k

(iv)         National licences for schools £138.5k

(v)          Transfer to the high needs block £60.5k


(g)  That local authority maintained school members, approve the de-delegation of funding in 2020/2, and advise the Cabinet member for children’s and families for information, as follows

(i)            trade union facilities for primary schools only be approved at £2.75 per pupil

(ii)          school budgeting software licence at £400 per school

(iii)         ethnic minority support at £1.12 per pupil plus £6.60 per Ever-6 Free school meals and £107 per English as an Additional Language first year pupil

(iv)         that the statutory education services for non-academy schools be charged at £12.50 per pupil


(h)  The early years funding formula for Herefordshire providers from April 2020 be as follows;

(i)            Two year olds: £5.28 per hour

(ii)          Three and four year olds: £3.97 per hour + £0.33 per Early Years Pupil Premium eligible children + a rurality supplement per provider of £51 per week (pro-rata for providers that deliver less than 100 hours per week) paid for 38 weeks per year

(iii)         Early years central expenditure be increased in line with the DfE’s inflation allowance of 1.8% to £341k for early consultants and NEF payment costs for 2020/21.


(NB restrictions were applied to voting as follows:


Only representatives of LA maintained schools, academies and early years providers were eligible to vote on recommendations (a) to (f) and (h). All were supported unanimously.


Only representatives of LA maintained schools were eligible to vote on recommendation (g). The recommendation was supported unanimously.)

Supporting documents: