Introduction

Meeting: Schools Forum

Date: 6 December 2021

Report of: Head of Health, Adults, Families, Children and Learning Finance

Subject: update to the scheme for financing schools

Wards affected: all

1. Purpose of the report

1.1

To consult the Schools Forum and seek approval to make a change to the scheme for financing schools.

2. Recommendations

2.1

To note and approve the proposed change to the scheme for financing school.

3. Information and background

3.1

The School Finance Regulations state that every local authority (LA) must have a scheme for financing schools.

This scheme defines the financial relationship between the LA and the schools in its area.

Schemes cover a wide range of areas and include items such as accounting, banking and audit arrangements.

3.2

The scheme for Brighton & Hove Families, Children and Learning is based on the model scheme produced by the Department for Education (DfE) and can only be amended either by changes directed by the Secretary of State or following consultation with the Schools Forum.

3.3

The scheme for Brighton & Hove Families, Children and Learning was last updated in October 2020 for amendments as directed and notified by the DfE.

This proposed change is only to align wording in the scheme for financing schools with the DfE Model Scheme of Delegation.

3.4

Full details of the proposed change are set out in Appendix 1. This is a local authority amendment that has been recommended by the Internal Audit team.

3.5

Scheme for financing schools from GOV.UK.

Appendix 1 - update to the scheme for financing schools, December 2021

Proposed revision to wording

The Department for Education states that in making any changes to their schemes, local authorities must consult all maintained schools in their area and receive the approval of the members of their schools’ forum representing maintained schools. 

The proposed change relates to section 2.1.4 Control of assets, and specifically to point i), Independent checks of stocks and stores.

Current wording of the scheme

2.1.4 Independent checks of stocks and stores

Governing bodies shall arrange for periodic independent checks and verification of stocks and recorded stores, at least once a year.

Deficiencies up to £500 may be written-off by governing bodies. Deficiencies of between £500 and £2,500 may be written-off by governing bodies after consultation with the Section 151 Officer.

The write-off of deficiencies in excess of £2,500 shall only be authorised by the appropriate Sub-Committee of the Policy and Resources Committee.

Proposed wording of the scheme

2.1.4 Independent checks of stocks and stores 

Governing bodies shall arrange for periodic independent checks and verification of stocks and recorded stores, at least once a year. 

Deficiencies up to £500 may be written-off by governing bodies. The governing body may authorise the write-off of stock deficiencies between £500 and  £2,500 after consultation with Schools Finance.  

Approval of the Executive Director Finance and Resources must be sought for the write-off of deficiencies in excess of £2,500.