Agenda and draft minutes

Schools Funding Forum
Thursday, 7th March, 2019 8.30 am

Venue: CEME

Contact: David Allen  Email: david.allen@havering.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

32.

Welcome to new members, apologies for absence and announcement of substitute members or observers

Following requests for nominations to fill vacancies, Kate Ridley-Moy has been appointed as academy representative for primary schools.

 

Following a review of its representatives on various groups, the Early Years Provider Reference Group has appointed Mark Halls as the Schools Funding Forum representative in place of Joanna Wilkinson.

Minutes:

Members welcomed Kate Ridley-Moy as an academy representative for primary schools and Mark Halls as the representative for Early Years Private, Voluntary and Independent providers.  Mark Halls had been appointed by the Early Years Provider Reference Group in place of Joanna Wilkinson.

 

Apologies for absence were received from Georgina Delmonte (Primary Maintained), David Denchfield (Primary Academy), Gary Pocock (Special Academy), John Delaney (NEU) and John McGill (NASUWT).  Vicki Fackler was substituting for Gary Pocock.

 

Emma Reynolds was in attendance as an observer.

33.

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on the 17th January 2019 pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Forum held on the 17 January 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

34.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

There were no matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.

35.

Schools Forum Membership pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received an update on the school and academy representation on the Schools Funding forum based on the October 2018 census.

 

The membership of the Forum was last reviewed in May 2018, with an amendment in September 2018 once all the secondary schools in Havering had become academies.  Since the current constitution was agreed, there had been an increase in the number of maintained primary schools that had become academies.  Members noted the balance of school and academy representation and the number of pupils in each sector.

 

School and Academy representation was as follows:

 

Primary - Maintained

 

     Head Teachers

5

     Governors

2

Primary  - Academies

3

Secondary - Academies

6

Special - Maintained

 

     Head Teachers

1

Special - Academies

1

AP - Academies

1

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Schools Funding Forum noted the updated membership.

36.

Schools Funding 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Forum received a report which confirmed that final allocations of funding for financial year 2019-20 were issued to LA maintained primary schools on the 28 February 2019.

 

It was explained that the issue to schools of their final funding allocations for financial year 2019-120 was the final stage in agreeing formula allocations, de-delegation etc.  Havering had applied the Schools National Funding Formula with a 0.5% per pupil minimum funding guarantee and a 2% per pupil cap on schools that would otherwise receive a higher amount.  Members received an anonymised list of allocations to each school and academy.

 

The total MFG cost for primary schools was £361,326 and a cap of -£828,071; and for secondary the total MFG cost was £2,202,974, with a cap of £0.  It was explained that the two secondary schools with significant high MFG costs was due to previous embedded grants.  An application made to the Department for Education to have these discounted for allocation, had been declined, so the schools were protected on 0.5% at a much higher amount.

 

The total cost in 2019-20 was £171,439,558, less rates accrual of -£35,268 and academy recoupment of -£150,000, revised costs of £171,254,145, leaving a variance of £37,145. 

 

In response to questioning, it was noted that during discussions on 2020-2021 funding, those schools in receipt of significant per pupil funding would be addressed.  For 2019-20, any school in financial difficulty that had been subject to the gains cap would be considered for additional financial support from the small budget held to support maintained schools in financial difficulty.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Schools Funding Forum noted the report.

37.

Early Years Funding pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Minutes:

The Forum received an update on the funding of Havering’s providers of early years education in financial year 2019-20 following a review of the data projections and agreement of the Early Years Provider Reference Group to proposals for increased hourly rates.  Funding for all provision would be met from the Early Years Block of the Dedicated Schools Grant. 

 

A projected underspend from 2018-19 was to be carried forward and used as a contingency in 2019-20 allowing for a higher hourly rate to providers to be proposed.

 

It was noted that there would be no differentiation between the funding of the PVI sector and nursery classes in schools.  There were no nursery schools in the borough, however those outside of the borough were currently protected as the new funding arrangements would otherwise severely impact negatively.

 

The PVI sector representative stated that there was deep dissatisfaction in the sector regarding financial support, particular in relation to Special Educational Need (SEN) funding, as the funding and staff ratios did not allow for work with children with high needs or for support to be given sooner.  It was felt that the methodology was based too much on diagnosis rather than need.  It was explained that the lack of SEN funding was a national issue and further work was needed to reduce expenditure out of the borough.  Inclusion was a clear priority for the Council and a revised Education Strategy was being drafted.  The SEND Executive Board, chaired by the Director of Children’s Services, now had Early Years representation. 

 

RESOLVED:           

 

That the LA’s proposals to increase the hourly rates to be used for the funding of early years providers in financial year 2019-20 was agreed as follows:

 

i)          To increase the basic hourly rate paid to providers for 2 year old provision to £5.60.

ii)         To increase the basic hourly rate to providers for 3 & 4 year old provision to £4.80.

38.

High Needs Funding pdf icon PDF 310 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Forum received a report which summarised the forecast expenditure for financial year 2018-19 from Havering’s allocation from the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) High Needs Block and considered the pressures for future years.

 

In December 2018 the Secretary of State for Education announced additional funding of £125m for local authorities in both 2018-19 and 2019-20.  Havering’s allocation was £611k in each year but this would not meet the cost of existing or future pressures.  2018-19 was the first year in which Havering’s overspend in its high needs block was unlikely to be met in full by DSG contingencies and this would lead to a projected deficit carry forward into financial year 2019-20 of £1.233m. 

 

Havering’s allocation of High Needs DSG in 2019-20 was £25.29m (including the £611 additional funding) an increase of £1.4m.  However, the level of expenditure was expected to increase due to an increase in Education Health and Care Plans; a review of the banded levels of funding for the borough’s three special schools; and a fourth additional special school provision, which would require top up funding from Havering’s High Needs Block.   The increase in local provision should lead to a reduction in the higher costs of placing pupils in provision outside of the borough.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Schools Funding Forum noted the forecast position on High Needs expenditure for financial year 2018-19 and beyond.

39.

Teachers' Pay Award 2019

Minutes:

The Department for Education had published a bulletin advising of a 2% teachers’ pay award for 2019.  The Department for Education considered this increase to be affordable to school budgets; and no grant would be made available.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Members noted the update provided.

40.

Next Meetings

Future meetings have been arranged as follows:

 

13th June

 

All meetings to start at 8.30 a.m. at CEME

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Forum was scheduled to be held on the 13 June 2019, commencing at 8.30 a.m. at CEME.

41.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

There was no other business.