Agenda item

School Funding Consultation and Budget Proposals 2022-23

This report sets out the outcome of the 2022-23 school funding consultation and proposals for the DSG budget

The schools block proposals include that the mainstream schools funding formula is to continue to adopt the National Funding Formula (NFF), the existing growth fund policy is maintained, and the balance of funding is transferred to support the high needs budget. Also included are budget proposals for the central school services block and services to support maintained schools.

Minutes:

The Assistant Chief Financial Officer presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these Minutes in the Minute Book and reminded the Forum that the Forum must be consulted on the local funding formula for mainstream schools and agree a range of central DSG budgets albeit that there was limited scope for making changes to the nationally allocated figure. The Forum was also referred to a revised appendix 2b circulated within the Supplementary appendix to the agenda.

The report set out the outcome of the 2022-23 school funding consultation and proposals for the DSG budget. It was explained that the schools block proposals include that the mainstream schools funding formula is to continue to adopt the National Funding Formula (NFF), the existing growth fund policy is maintained, and the balance of funding is transferred to support the high needs budget.

Also included were budget proposals for the central school services block and services to support maintained schools.

The consultation with schools was reported to have been undertaken over three weeks, closing on 17 December 2021. A copy of the consultation and a link to the online survey had been sent out to all schools by e-mail. A virtual consultation meeting held on 9 December, aided by a presentation, was well-attended by schools

That Forum was advised that, following final checking by the DfE and approval at the BCP Council meeting on 22 February, the final school budget figures would be distributed to schools by the end of February.

Each element of the budget proposals were set out and described within the report.

In terms of the transfer to high needs it was established that this funding should be used to increase SEND funding for mainstream provision as part of the banding review underway and not be set against the high needs deficit. Allocation of this funding to be considered at a future meeting when the band funding review had concluded. 

RESOLVED

School Members:

1.    Recommend to Council that the schools NFF continues to be adopted as the local mainstream school formula.

(Voting : Unanimous)

2.    Agree the existing growth fund policy is to continue for 2022-23 with the resulting budget requirement of £0.531 million as set out in paragraph 29.  

(Voting : Unanimous)

All Members:

3.    Agree surplus school block funding estimated at £0.751 million (0.3%) can be transferred to support the high needs budget as set out in paragraph 32.

(Voting : Carried – One member voted against)

It was agreed that the Schools Forum discuss at a future meeting the wider issues around how this part of the budget is utilised.

4.    Agree the central school services block budgets as set out in table 5 of paragraphs 36.

(Voting : Unanimous)

Maintained School members only:

5.    Agree collectively the retention rates per pupil and budgets for LA duties supporting maintained schools as set out in paragraphs 43 and 44.

(Voting : For 2; Against 1.

It was noted that the representative of Christchurch PRU was not present at the meeting and the Chair undertook to clarify the view of the school on this proposal.

6.    Agree separately for primary, secondary, special/PRU the de-delegation of funding for school improvement duties as set out in paragraph 49.

(Voting: Unanimous) 

 

Supporting documents: