Agenda and minutes

Gateshead Schools Forum
Thursday, 7th January, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: to be held virtually via Microsoft Teams

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Andy Ramanandi, Ethel Mills and Brendan Robson.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 103 KB

The Forum is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the last meeting held on 10 December 2020

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 10 December 2020 were agreed as a correct record.

3.

Dedicated Schools Grant Settlement 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Carole Smith, Resources and Digital

Minutes:

The Forum received a report confirming the 2021/22 DSG funding settlement received on 17 December 2020.

 

The settlement for Gateshead is an estimated £168.449m, an increase of £11.708m from last year.

 

In terms of the Early Years Block, the Early Years hourly funding rate has increased by £0.06 per hour to £4.67. Two year old funding has increased by £0.08 per hour to £5.36. Funding rates for Disability Access Funding (EY DAF) and Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) have not changed.  The Maintained Nursery Supplement (MNS) has decreased as only the first five months of funding is guaranteed.

 

The Central Schools Services Block has an overall reduction of £31,713.

 

The Schools Block has increased, however this is due to the DfE including the teachers pay and pension grants (TPPG), this amounts to £5m. The Primary Unit of Funding (PUF) has increased to £319.55 and the Secondary Unit of Funding (SUF) increased to £481.30. It was noted that, although there has been an increase, this is not as much as on face value as the TPPG is included.  Growth funding has decreased significantly from last year and it was noted that this is expected to be the last year there will be significant amounts of this funding.  In terms of pupil numbers, there has been decrease of 255 pupils in primary school and an increase of 233 pupils in secondary schools.  It is expected that this trend will continue as birth rates have reduced.

 

The High Needs Block (HNB) has increased by £3.097m since the initial December 2020 settlement. Basic entitlement is up by £660. £87,692 has also been added to the HNB for TPPG.

 

It was reported that annual pupil premium rates are to stay the same. The Covid-19 workforce grant was announced bit it was noted that the majority of schools in Gateshead would have difficulty claiming for this.

 

RESOLVED    -           That the Schools Forum noted;

·        The estimated Early Years Block

·        The Central Schools Services Block

·        The Schools Block

·        The High Need Block allocation

·        The other grant information

4.

Mainstream School Funding Proforma 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 504 KB

Carole Smith, Resources and Digital

Minutes:

The Forum received a report on the proposed Authority Proforma Tool (APT), which was received on 15 December 2020.  The settlement received on 17 December 2020 gave Gateshead’s mainstream schools £124.515m for 2021/22, an increase of £8.797m from the previous year, but includes the increase for the TPPG.

 

The funding was used to calculate mainstream schools’ individual budgets. Prior to modelling adjustments were made, for example the PFI factor was re-calculated to take into account the changes in pupil numbers and de-delegation was input.

 

It was noted that there are a number of funding pressures; increase in secondary pupils, significant increase in the number of FSM pupils, IDACI bandings changed which has moved pupils around the banding with no clear pattern.

 

It was reported that, due to the distribution of pupils across the primary and secondary sector, a funding shortfall was produced using the model approved by Schools Forum. Therefore, further modelling was undertaken and the proposed proforma produced.

 

The point was made that schools with significant increases will be pupil driven, therefore is it correct to cap. It was suggested that MFG was set up to prevent schools from losing money and was to create stability, therefore is it correct that the MFG is at the expense of capping.  It was confirmed that there was an increase in minimum amount of per pupil funding which cannot be capped so now there is more complexity around the issue.

 

RESOLVED    -           That the Schools Forum approved the factor values in

appendix 1 and noted the information in appendix 2 and 3.

5.

De-delegation Trade Union Facility Time and Maternity Credits pdf icon PDF 289 KB

Carole Smith, Resources and Digital

Minutes:

The Forum received a report on options for de-delegation and views were sought on what services should be retained centrally.

 

The report focused on proposals for staff costs – maternity credits and Trade Union Facility Time (TUFT) where it was proposed to de-delegate on the same basis as the previous 4-5 years.

 

RESOLVED    -           (i)         That Schools Forum consults with their respective

phases on the possible areas of de-delegation and brings their views to enable Schools Forum to make a decision on de-delegation.

 

                                    (ii)        That for the January submission of the APT the level of

de-delegation is maintained for TUFT and maternity credits at £4 per pupil and £8 per pupil respectively.

 

*Mustafaa Malik declared a pecuniary interest in this item.

6.

Former Education Services Grant pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Carole Smith, Resources and Digital

Minutes:

A report was received seeking approval to centrally retain the former retained duties element of the Education Services Grant (ESG) which was mainstreamed into the DSG in 2017.

 

The retained duties element for 2021 has been calculated as £358,012.

 

It was suggested that it may be worthwhile to discuss the guidance which shows a list of what is chargeable to schools. It was noted that resources are currently tight but that this could potentially be looked at in the future when there is more capacity to do so.

 

RESOLVED    -           That the Schools Forum approved the central retention of

funding allocated for retained duties.

7.

Scheme for Financing Schools Consultation Response pdf icon PDF 187 KB

Carole Smith, Resources and Digital

Minutes:

A report was presented to the Forum on the consultation into revisions to the scheme for financing schools. It was noted that no responses had been received.

 

The main changes in the consultation are that it is now mandatory for each school to submit a 3-year budget forecast each year. Schools must also plan for deficit budgets and submit a recovery plan to the local authority when their revenue deficit rises above 5%. There has been clarification of wording in relation to audit certificates of private funds, proportion of budget shares for maintained schools, surplus balances and licensed deficits.

 

RESOLVED    -           (i)         That the Schools Forum noted that there were no

responses to the consultation on Gateshead’s Scheme

for Financing Schools.

 

                                    (ii)        That the Schools Forum approved the mandatory and

proposed changes to Gateshead’s Scheme for Financing Schools.

 

                                    (iii)       That the Schools Forum approved the proposal that the

changes to the Scheme to come into force 1 April 2021.

 

                                    (iv)       That the Schools Forum noted that a copy of the

updated Scheme will be available on the Council’s website and a copy will be sent out to all maintained schools.

8.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

Thursday 11 February 2021 at 2pm

Minutes:

The next meeting will be held at 2pm on Thursday 11 February 2021.