Agenda and minutes

Gateshead Schools Forum
Thursday, 12th January, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Dryden Centre

Contact: Rosalyn Patterson - email:  rosalynpatterson@gateshead.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Ethel Mills, Julie Goodfellow, Chris Richardson, Christine Ingle, Michelle Richards and Elaine Pickering.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 230 KB

The Forum is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the last meeting held on 8 December 2016

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 December 2016 were agreed as a correct record.

 

 

3.

De-Delegation - EMTAS pdf icon PDF 277 KB

Ann Muxworthy, Education Gateshead

Minutes:

The Forum received a report on the work of the Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS) as part of the de-delegated funding.

 

It was noted that the service is currently dealing with a constantly changing picture, the number of Syrian refugees has increased and work is ongoing to support those children.  It was reported that the number of staff within the team has reduced to seven part time staff, this equates to 5.2 full time equivalents. Staff have a large caseload as they work with 300 children, although there are approximately 1,500 on the books.

 

Challenges were identified, for example the team is expected to respond when a new child enters Gateshead, there are also additional complexities due to the increased number of languages spoken in Gateshead. In addition there is uncertainty as to the impact of Brexit and the nature of the provision that can be offered going forward as this is a Council wide issue.

 

In addition to the support provided the EMTAS staff are also carrying out initial six week assessments for all new EAL admissions, the school can then identify what additional support is needed. This means that the service is spread thinly to ensure the needs of all schools are satisfied, and there is currently no budget officer, admin staff or training costs within the costs to be covered by de-delegation and trading.

 

It was noted that there are issues around communication of the services provided.  Newsletters are sent out but do not always get the desired readership. The point was made that this is a Council wide issue and more needs to be done to drive the equalities agenda.

 

It was clarified that there is a move away from schools receiving man hours to a six week assessment, this allows for clearer end points.

 

The position with regards to secondary schools was questioned. It was confirmed that secondary schools buy back under a SLA because it is not de-delegated (only maintained schools can de-delegate), however take up is low with six schools not buying back. It was acknowledged that conversations need to be held with those schools as to what provisions they are making for these pupils.

 

It was questioned whether the amount required to maintain staff levels depends on secondary school buy in. It was clarified that primary de-delegation does not cover the cost of staff and therefore every bit of income is needed to cover costs. It was queried that the SLA charged to secondary schools could result in a subsidy by primary schools de-delegation. It was confirmed that de-delegation is a flat rate, whereas if there was an influx in refugee pupils for example secondary schools would have to pay more. It was also pointed out that there is no option to de-delegate at academy level.

 

It was agreed that it would be worthwhile for contact to be made with GASH to fully explain the service and raise awareness about buying back.

 

The point was made that the Council needs  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

DSG Settlement pdf icon PDF 321 KB

Carole Smith, Corporate Resources

Minutes:

The Forum received a report on the 2017/18 funding settlement which was received on 20 December 2016. It was reported that Gateshead will receive approximately £138.5m DSG, which is an increase of £4.4m from 2016/17. This amount is for all three blocks; Early Years block, Mainstream Schools block and High Needs block.

 

In terms of the Early Years block it was noted that there has been an increase due to implementation of the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF) on how local authorities receive funding, and the increase to 30 hours of provision for eligible children from September 2017. It was reported that the Guaranteed Unit of Funding (GUF) has increased to £4.53 per hour and £5.20 for two year old funding. It was noted that pupil numbers are down and updated numbers should be received by June based on January 2017 census.

 

Under the new EYNFF total funding has increased by £600,000 and Early Year Pupil Premium is down by £60,000 based on historical basis. A new Maintained Nursery Supplement of £146,000 has been introduced and a new ring fenced grant of £49,000 for Early Years Disability Access Funding.

 

In relation to the mainstream block, the GUF has increased to reflect the retained element of the ESG, approximately £383,000. Also, the NQT grant is no longer separately identified.  The total funding for the mainstream schools block is estimated at £105.293m, with proposed reductions for; retained duties funding, centrally retained funding, Growth Fund of £35,000 and DfE top-slice for school licences of £155,000.

 

The High Needs Block has increased by £739,000 to £21.78m, due to £414,000 for post 16 responsibilities transferred from the DfE to local authorities and £325,000 in relation to an increased 2-18 population.

 

It was announced that the MFG would remain at -1.5% but no longer applies to early years settings. It was also reported that Pupil Premium would remain the same for all as well as universal infant free school meals remaining the same as 2016/17. It was noted that the year seven catch-up premium and the primary PE and sport premium will continue but the rates are not yet known.

 

Forum was also advised that the DfE will announce money for wider support, including independent supporters and parent carers, this is expected early in 2017.

 

RESOLVED    -           (i)         That the Schools Forum approved the centrally

retained funding for:-

·         Retained duties £0.383m

·         Centrally retained funding for central services £1.206m

·         Top slice of the schools block for licences centrally purchased by the DfE £0.155m

·         Top slice of £0.035m for the provision of a Growth Fund

 

(ii)        That the Schools Forum noted the estimated Early

Years Block

                       

(iii)       That the Schools Forum noted the High Needs Block allocation

 

(iv)       That the Schools Forum noted the other funding information

 

 

 

5.

Mainstream School Funding Formula 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 477 KB

 Carole Smith, Corporate Resources

Minutes:

A report was presented on the proposed Authority Proforma Tool (APT) for the calculation of mainstream schools individual 2017/18 budgets.

 

It was noted that adjustments were made to the APT prior to modelling, in particular around rates and due to the change in the rates multiplier, new school buildings have also opened which has impacted and the rateable value of these schools. New rates are known for Front Street and this has been used to estimate rates of other new builds; Roman Road and Lingey House which opened in 2016 and Ravensworth Terrace which will open this year. It was noted that this rates forecast will be used as the historic baseline for the proposed national funding formula from 2018/19.

 

It was questioned whether the rates multiplier is affected by school size as Lingey House is over two floors with 2 form entry compared to Roman Road which is half the size. It was noted that revenues had been approached for updated rates but the information was not provided so this was based on an estimate. It was suggested that the APT could be remodelled if necessary otherwise there would be overfunding for the smaller school. It was agreed that officers would speak to the DfE to clarify if rate adjustments can still be done next year and if so the APT will be left as it is.

 

It was noted that the PFI factor was recalculated to take into account pupil numbers. Also, adjustments have been made to pupil numbers for current registered pupils for schools with ARMS, this is to ensure there is no double funding for any pupils who are dual registered.

 

Updated data sets have been received for IDACI funding and prior attainment. The DfE has applied a national weighting of 48.02% to the summer secondary prior attainment data to minimise financial turbulence caused by the changes in performance in KS2 SATS.

 

RESOLVED    -           (i)         That the Schools Forum approved the data changes;

·         Thomas Hepburn mobility data amended to 5%

·         The update of the PFI calculation for the change in charges and pupil numbers

·         Updated commissioned numbers for ARMs and the recording of the number of main and current pupils in those ARMs

 

(ii)        That the Schools Forum approved the values and

percentage allocations for the formula factors in the proforma.

 

                                    (iii)       That the Schools Forum approved the transfer of

£0.158m from the Schools Block to the High Needs Block.

                       

(iv)       That the Schools Forum noted the change in IDACI and prior attainment data.

 

(v)        That further clarification be sought around the rates of new build schools and whether rate adjustments can be done next year.

 

6.

Schools National Funding Formula - Stage 2 Consultation pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Carole Smith, Corporate Resources

Minutes:

The Forum received a report on the second stage consultation on the proposed schools national funding formula. It was noted that the consultation is around the DfE’s overall approach and proposed detail and design.

 

It was confirmed that the following elements will be included in the NFF; basic per pupil funding and additional needs funding which will include deprivation factors, low prior attainment, EAL and mobility. School led funding will comprise of lump sum, sparsity, premises factors, PFI, split sites and exceptional circumstances and an area cost adjustment is proposed.

 

A summary of proposals was provided, which included;

·         maintaining overall primary:secondary ratio of 1:1.29

·         maximising pupil-led factors, increased spend on additional need

·         deprivation factor

·         split FSM and ever6FSM

·         increase for low prior attainment

·         increased spending on EAL

·         protect spend on mobility

·         lower national average lump sum

·         fund rates, PFI factor and growth factor on historic spend

·         funding floor so no school can lose more than 3% per pupil

 

It was reported that for 2018/19 funding can be moved to the High Needs Block with Schools Forum agreement.

 

Forum was advised that longer term proposals include; review of IDACI data, possible changes to the early years foundation stage profile, changes to secondary low prior attainment, review of EAL and improved mobility factor.

 

It was noted that illustrative allocations provided by the DfE show increases for all schools. It was also noted that transition to the formula will be gradual.

 

RESOLVED    -           That the Schools Forum noted the contents of the report and

the consultation documents provided.

 

7.

High Needs National Funding Formula and Other Reforms - Stage 2 Consultation pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Carole Smith and Alan Foster, Corporate Resources

Minutes:

The Forum received a report on the consultation on a high needs national funding formula. The main proposals for formula factors and adjustments were identified as;

·         Population based on 2-18 year old pupils

·         Low prior attainment

·         Health and disability

·         Deprivation – FSM and IDACI

·         Basic per pupil element

·         Adjustment for cross border students

·         Hospital education

·         Area cost adjustment

 

In terms of transition arrangements it was confirmed that 50% of funding will be based on historic data and the other 50% will be from the new formula for the first year.

 

It was reported that the original proposal to fund independent special schools has now been removed. A funding floor will protect authorities that would lose funding and gains will be capped up to 3% for 2018/19 and 2019/20.

 

Future intentions of the DfE include schools gaining more responsibility for alternative provision for their pupils. It was acknowledged that this will mean financial implications for many schools.

 

The point was made that secondary schools are only funded for actual pupils in their Additionally Resources Mainstream support bases and they do not receive vacant place funding. It was confirmed that in the APT primary and secondary sectors are treated exactly the same. It was acknowledged that a conversation is required around commissioning of places.

 

It was confirmed that there are no changes to how SEN and disability funding is distributed to further education settings, however there will be further consultation on this.

 

RESOLVED    -           That the Schools Forum noted the information in the report and

the consultation documents provided.

 

8.

NAO Report - Financial Sustainability of Schools pdf icon PDF 268 KB

Carole Smith, Corporate Resources

Minutes:

The Forum received an update on the report on financial sustainability of schools issued by the National Audit Office (NAO). The report finds that the DfE’s arrangements to check and challenge schools are not robust enough and a number of recommendations have been made.

 

It was suggested that a summary of the report be sent to all Headteachers and be included in the termly report to Governors.

 

RESOLVED    -           That the Forum noted the contents of the report and that a

summary be provided to all Headteachers and Governors.

 

9.

Council Budget Consultation

Carole Smith, Corporate Resources

Minutes:

The item was deferred.

 

10.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

Thursday 9 February 2016 at 2pm

Minutes:

The date and time of the next meeting is Thursday 9 February 2017 at 2pm.