Agenda and minutes

Gateshead Schools Forum
Thursday, 10th January, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Dryden Centre

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

Items
No. Item

44.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Gary Haley, Steve Williamson, Ethel Mills, Martin Flowers, Chris Toon and Christine Ingle.

 

45.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 93 KB

The Forum is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the last meeting held on 6 December 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            The minutes of the last meeting held on Thursday 6 December 2018 were agreed as a correct record.

 

46.

DSG Funding Settlement pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Carole Smith, Corporate Resources

Minutes:

The Forum received the report to provide information received from the Department for Education for the 2019/20 Dedicated Schools Grant funding settlement and work being carried out to provide schools and early years providers with their budgets for 2019/20.

 

It was highlighted that the DfE issued the 2019/20 funding settlement on 17 December 2018 with Gateshead receiving an estimated £148.661m DSG for 2019/20 before recoupment. It was also noted that this is an increase in funding if £3.452m from the £145.209m received for 2018/19.

 

A summary of the Early Years Block was provided; it was noted that this calculation was changed in 2017/18 due to the implementation of the Early Years National Funding Formula. It was advised that for 2017/18 there was a new hourly rate of £4.53 for Gateshead which is an equivalent of £4,303.50 per FTE funding. The Forum were also advised that 2-year-old funding remains the same as 2017/18 at £5.20 per hour.

 

The Forum were also provided with an overview of the Central Schools Services Block, The Schools Block and the High Needs Block directly from the report. It was also highlighted that the rates per pupil for the pupil premium plus for looked after children 2019/20 will be maintained at their current rates.

 

It was noted that the grant for Universal Infant Free School Meals continues at a meal rate of £2.30 for the 2019/20 academic year. It was further noted that the Primary PE and Sports Premium have not yet been announced.

 

From the report it was noted that the DfE published the methodology for two new grants which were the Free School Meal Supplementary Grant and the Additional Capital Grant. An overview of the grant rates was also provided to the Forum from the report.

 

It was proposed that the Schools Forum note the funding available in the individual DSG Blocks before any movement between blocks. It was advised that the information enables the individual school budgets to be calculated using the DfE’s Authority Proforma Tool.

 

It was highlighted to the Forum that the boroughs nursery has seen a grant reduction of £27k projecting a deficit of £40k for the year 2019/20. It was noted that this has had a negative impact on the ability to provide facilities management and adequate staffing provision. It was further noted that pupil premium for the nursery has reduced and there are no top up funds nursery children with SEN.

 

A comment was made noting frustration that nursery school numbers are reducing despite Government research showing that nursery attendance is beneficial to the long-term education and wellbeing of children.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            The Schools Forum noted the contents of the report.

 

 

 

47.

School Funding Top Slice Consultation pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Carole Smith, Corporate Resources

Minutes:

The Schools Forum received a report advising of the results from the Mainstream Schools Funding Consultation that was issued to all schools on 7 December 2018 and closed on 20 December.

 

It was highlighted from the report that under the Schools and Early Years Finance Regulations and Dedicated Schools Grant Operational Guidance, all schools must be consulted when the local authority is proposing to move funding between the blocks of the Dedicated Schools Grant. It was also noted that all schools and Schools Forum can only approve movements of up to 0.5%.

 

It was advised that the purpose of the consultation is to seek the views of schools on the proposal to top slice the schools block by 0.5% to support the overspending high needs block. It was noted that three schools voted yes to top slice with two schools voting no.

 

It was proposed that the Schools Forum note that five responses were received and that this vote result (in addition to the Schools Forum’s agreement to top slice) would mean that Gateshead Council intend to top slice the schools block of the Dedicated Schools Grant to support the Higher Needs Block.

 

A comment was made stating that this method may not be sustainable based on the increasing numbers of pupils with high needs. It was noted that this is a national  issue with some boroughs being in a much worse position that Gateshead.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            The Schools Forum noted the consultation responses and Gateshead Council’s intention to top slice the SB to support the HNB.

 

48.

Mainstream School Funding (additional information to be provided at the meeting) pdf icon PDF 188 KB

Carole Smith, Corporate Resources

Minutes:

The Schools Forum received the report that proposed the Authority Proforma Tool (APT) for submission of Gateshead Schools funding factors and values to the DfE for approval to enable to calculation of mainstream schools individual budgets for 2019/20.

 

It was noted from the report that Gateshead received its Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) funding settlement on 17 December 2018. It was further noted that since receipt of the settlement, work has been undertaken to calculate individual mainstream school budgets. A summary of the schools block allocation of funding for 2019/20 was also summarised within the report.

 

It was highlighted that the funding has been used to calculate Gateshead mainstream schools’ individual schools’ budgets using the APT based on the agreed methodology and proposed formula factors.

 

It was further noted that a number of inputs and adjustments were made to the APT prior to modelling and a summary of those was provided within the report. Further details were highlighted regarding funding pressures for 2019/20 in addition to data changes and modelling.

 

With regard to modelling, the Forum were advised that of the models summarised, model 5 increased the capped gains to 2.5%, reduced the MFG to -0.89%. It was also noted that this had the effect of capping £191,920, and the MFG funding of £260,968, It was advised that in order to make the model affordable both the primary and secondary lump sums were further reduced from the original phasing. It was further noted that the primary lump sum was reduced from £122,222 to £110,000, and the secondary lump sum from £123,333 to £120,000. It was advised that this formula is affordable with £406 of schools block DSG unallocated.

 

It was proposed that the Schools Forum reviewed the information and approved model 5 dependant on the outcome of the work to redistribute Thomas Hepburn pupils.

 

A discussion took place regarding the management of the processes outlined within the report. It was noted that the process would be better managed locally and not by the DfE. The Forum also agreed that they favour model 5b (as outlined within the report appendix) to ensure that funding will be received in the best timescales.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            The Forum agreed to use of model 5b and noted the contents of the report.

 

49.

Growth Funding pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Carole Smith, Corporate Resources

Minutes:

The Forum received the report advising that there has been a successful application for Growth Funding which has satisfied all the growth fund criteria previously approved by Schools Forum.

 

It was noted from the report that in December 2014 the Schools Forum had approved the creation and the criteria of a Growth Fund for mainstream schools. It was further noted that the Forum had agreed to centrally hold £100,000 of the Dedicated Schools Grant for a Growth Fund as a permitted centrally retained service in accordance with Schools and Early Years Finance Regulations 2017 and the Education Funding Agency Schools Revenue Funding 2018/19 Operational Guide. It was highlighted that the criteria for the Growth Fund has been checked and passed for compliance by the Department for Education.

 

From the report the Forum were advised that Emmaville Primary School had made an application to the Growth Fund for funding for pupil growth from September 2018. A summary of the application and intended use of funds was provided within the report in addition to the Growth Fund procedure.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            The Schools Forum noted that the funding has been awarded to Emmaville Primary School for growth in pupil numbers from September 2018.

 

50.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

Thursday 7 February 2019 at 2.00pm at the Dryden Centre

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Schools Forum is scheduled for Thursday 7 February 2019 at 2pm at the Dryden Centre.