Agenda and minutes

Schools Funding Forum
Thursday, 10th May, 2018 8.30 am

Venue: CEME

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

Items
No. Item

53.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS OR OBSERVERS

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Simon London (Secondary Academy) and Gary Pocock (Special Academy). 

 

Vicky Fackler was in attendance as a substitute for Gary Pocock.

54.

TO AGREE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 22ND FEBRUARY 2018 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Forum held on the 22 February 2018 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

55.

MATTERS ARISING

Minutes:

There were no matters arising from the minutes from the previous meeting which were not covered by items elsewhere on the agenda.

56.

OLIVE AP ACADEMY - FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Minutes:

An update on the funding arrangements for the Olive AP Academy was provided, during which it was explained that the local authority had met with representatives of the Olive Academies Trust to discuss options.  Other local authorities had also been contacted to compare levels of funding and it was found that Havering’s funding allocation was low relative to other local authorities although this was in the context of Havering’s DSG High Needs settlement being the lowest per capita in London.

 

The proposal put to, and accepted by the Board of the Olive Academies Trust was as follows:

 

1. An additional allocation of £180,000 to be reflected in an increased top up rate.

2. An ‘up-front’ assumption of income from the AWPU deduction from excluding schools of £70,000, also to be reflected in an increased top up rate.

3. The ability to offer intervention places to secondary schools at a charge, with the costs to schools supported from the central Social inclusion Fund.

 

The Board however expressed concerns about meeting the shortfall which would require further discussion with the local authority.  Concern regarding the charging of vulnerable schools was raised and it was explained that the proposals would need to be discussed with secondary headteachers, to ensure that they had an input into the shaping of the Olive Academy.

 

The allocation of the Social Inclusion Fund was questioned, upon which it was explained that consideration would need to be given to protecting the fund to ensure a fair division of funds between primary and secondary schools and to applying weighting to vulnerable schools. 

 

The Schools Funding Forum noted the funding arrangements for Olive AP Academy – Havering, as detailed in the report.

57.

DSG OUTTURN 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Minutes:

Members received a report which set out the year end position on expenditure from the Dedicated Schools Grant in 2017-18.

 

The carry forward balance from centrally retained Dedicated Schools Grant from 2017-18 into 2018-19 was £948,887.  The balance of DFE grant for 2, 3 and 4 year olds and 30 hour take up, staff vacancies and transfer of central costs contributed to the £193,000 Early Years Block underspend.  It was proposed that £93,000 of the underspend be used to support the Local Authority with the purchase of new software to improve the collection of census data from providers.  The recommendation to hold the underspend as an unallocated sum until the adjustment to the grant allocation by the DFE was agreed by members. 

 

The High Needs Block had been overspent by £296,000 partly due to the high cost of placements at residential and independent provision.  It was proposed, and agreed, that part of the overall underspend be allocated to the High Needs Block to balance the overspend.  A report on High Needs would be provided at the next meeting.  

 

The Schools Block had underspent by £1.031m mainly due to an underspend of the Falling Rolls Fund by £247,020,  Pupil Growth by £562,041 and School Partnerships by £144,013. Any school funded for pupil growth in the current financial year where the PAN had subsequently been reduced would have the funding  withdrawn.

 

The Schools Funding Forum noted the areas of underspend and overspend from the 2017-18 DSG Schools Block; and agreed the following:

 

i)          To balance the overspend of £296,034 in the High Needs Block from 2017-18 to reduce the pressure in that area in 2018-19.

ii)         To carry forward £50,000 from the £144,013 School Partnership budget as a contingency for the Havering Academy of School Leadership.

iii)       To retain the remaining balance of £684,727 as an unallocated contingency to support continuing high needs pressures in 2018-19 and to provide sufficient funding to implement the national funding formula in 2019-20.

 

The budgets that were de-delegated from maintained primary and secondary schools were balanced at year end with the exception of an underspend of £21,058 in the budget for trade union facility time due to vacancies for trade union representatives.  It was proposed that £21,058 be carried forward to the 2018-19 budget for trade union facility time with consideration given by the trade union representatives on how it should be best used in the provision of support to schools.

 

During discussion, members expressed concern that there had been no accountability or transparency of expenditure of trade union facility time.  It was explained that the Conditions of Service Working Group would be open to recording trade union time and a template had been drafted for comment by the trade unions.  Members discussed the impact that the increase of academies would have on the budget and the implications of not having access to local trade union representation.  Advice outlining service purchasing had been sent to all schools, including details of what services would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

S251 BUDGET STATEMENT 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Forum received, and noted, the Section 251 budget statement for the 2018-19 financial year detailing planned expenditure on all aspects of Children’s Services.  The total net schools budget (before Academy recoupment) was £214,437,770.

59.

ACADEMY CONVERSIONS AND SPONSORS

Minutes:

Members noted that Harrow Lodge Primary School had converted to academy status with the Partnership Learning Trust on the 1 March 2018.

60.

NEXT MEETINGS

The next meetings have been arranged as follows:

 

2013

 

May – Thursday 23rd

July – Thursday 11th

 

All meetings to be held at CEME at 8.30am.

Minutes:

Future meetings had been arranged as follows:

 

7th June 2018

5th July 2018

61.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

1)     The Healthy Pupils Capital Grant funded by the sugar tax had been put to the ESP representatives and it was agreed that this would be allocated to schools by formula rather than organise a central bidding process.

2)     Any parent in receipt of Universal Credit would be eligible for free school meals from June 2018 if their household income was less than £7,400 per annum (excluding benefits).  All pupils currently eligible for free school meals would retain their eligibility irrespective of the changes until 2022.  This would mean that schools expenditure on free school meals would increase, however Government had provided reassurance that schools would be compensated.