Agenda and draft minutes

Schools Funding Forum - Thursday, 17th June, 2021 8.30 am

Venue: Zoom

Contact: Nick Carter  Email: nick.carter@havering.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

63.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS OR OBSERVERS

Minutes:

Apologies were received for the absence of Keith Williams, Steve Bowers, Georgina Delmonte and John Delaney. Chris Speller was substituting for Steve Bowers.

 

64.

TO AGREE THE NOTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 23RD MARCH 2021 pdf icon PDF 191 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 23rd March 2021 as a correct and accurate record.

Minutes:

David Unwin-Bailey had been present at the meeting. With this amendment, the notes of the meeting were agreed as a correct record.

 

65.

MATTERS ARISING

Minutes:

There were no matters arising.

 

66.

LA MAINTAINED SCHOOL BALANCES 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Report attached

Minutes:

The Forum received an analysis of LA maintained school balances carried forward from 2020-21 into 2021-22.

 

Members noted that £4.7million had been carried forward into the 2021-22 financial year, an increase of £2.4m from the previous year’s figure of £2.3m. 11 schools were in deficit but members were pleased that this was a reduction on the previous year’s figure of 18.

Members also noted the significant changes in income and expenditure brought about by Covid 19. These included a reduction in income received for lettings, donations, visits and facilities and services (chiefly breakfast and after school clubs). Catering expenditure, which includes the cost of free school meals, had fallen as had expenditure on staff development and learning resources. There had been an increase in teaching staff and cleaning expenditure.

Schools felt that some expenditure, for example expenditure on staff development, had been deferred due to the pandemic and would now take place in 2021-22. This made the total unspent balance appear better than it really was.

The Forum noted the report.

67.

DSG OUTTURN 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 193 KB

Report attached

Minutes:

The Forum received the report which detailed year end balances on the Dedicated Schools Grant.

Members noted that there was a £952,000 underspend in the Early Years block. This included £701m which had been received as an adjustment to the previous year’s grant. Members noted that the Local Authority would meet with the Early Years Provider Reference Group (EYPRG) to discuss the use of the unspent balances.

The Forum noted that there was a £661,000 underspend in the Schools Block with a proposal to offset this against the overspend in the High Needs Block. Members of the Forum then noted a £53,000 underspend in de-delegated expenditure with a £62,000 underspend in delegation for the maternity / paternity leave scheme. Members noted a £9,000 overspend in Trade Union Facility Time which would be carried forward to the following year. Finally members noted a £2.9million in year overspend in the High Needs block with a further £1million overspend brought forward from the previous year.

Overall there was a £1.7m cumulative overspend on the DSG. Once commitments and the Early Years balance, with use still to be determined, were taken into account this rose to £2.7m.

The Forum:

1)    Noted the areas of under or overspend from the 2020-21 Dedicated Schools Grant

2)    Agreed the allocation of funding in financial year 2021-22 as set out in the proposals

 

68.

SECTION 251 BUDGET SUBMISSION pdf icon PDF 359 KB

Report attached

Minutes:

The Forum were presented with the Section 251 budget statement for 2021-22.

Members noted that the statement outlined the LA’s planned spending on schools, de-delegation, high needs, early years and central provisions. The statement had been submitted to the Department for Education.

The Forum noted the report.

 

69.

HIGH NEEDS FUNDING pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Report attached

Minutes:

Forum members were given details of the approach that the Local Authority were planning to take on the High Needs Strategy and High Needs funding. The Local Authority acknowledged that inclusivity comes at a cost and that appropriate funding rates were needed. Funding received for children with Education Health Care Plans was lower than expenditure on those children.

Members noted the response submitted by the Local Authority to the DfE consultation on the High Needs funding formula for 2022-23

The Forum noted the report.

 

70.

EARLY YEARS FUNDING UPDATE pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Report attached

Minutes:

The Forum received a report which gave details on the changes made by the DfE to the way that Early Years funding for the Local Authority would be calculated for 2021-22.

Forum members noted the changes made by the DfE, specifically that Havering would not receive any top up funding for reduced hours. 2 year old hours in January 2021 were 85% of the January 2020 number and hours for 3 and 4 year olds were 94% of the January 2020 number. The threshold below which top-up funding would be given id 85%.

A review of funding rates would be undertaken and presented to the Early Years Provider Reference Group before being brought to the Forum.

Details of Early Years Discretionary Grant payments made to providers were presented.

The Forum:

1)    Noted the changes made to the way that Early Years funding for Local authorities will be calculated and noted the details of the Early Years Discretionary Grant

2)    Agreed the proposed arrangements for a review of funding rates for providers

71.

PROPOSED DATES FOR FUTURE MEETINGS IN THE 2021-22 ACADEMIC YEAR

Dates to be proposed by Nick Carter.

Minutes:

The Forum agreed the following meeting dates for the 2021-22 school year, with a new start time of 8am:

23rd September 2021

21st October 2021

2nd December 2021

13th January 2022

10th February 2022

16th June 2022

Meetings would take place at CEME subject to Covid restrictions.

 

The Forum agreed to hear the remaining items in a closed meeting due to the reports containing publically exempt information under Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

 

72.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

There was no other business.