SW presented his paper, explaining that this consists of 2 parts, in other words an overview of DSG in terms of funding coming into the LA, and areas requiring forum approval.
SW summarised section 3 (Background), in other words that this will be the last year of a 3 year funding settlement. A spending review for funding allocations beyond next year is awaited.
The Schools Block nationally will see an increase of c. 3% in the next financial year; this does not include other funding such as grants for education recovery or Pupil Premium.
While it has not been confirmed, it is expected that there would be an additional recognition of the National Insurance increase, or at least a contribution towards it.
The High Needs Block will be subject to a further increase in 2022 to 2023 estimated at between 8% and 10%.
Local authorities across the country are reporting significant pressures on their high needs block budgets and the government has still not published the outcome of the SEND review.
7.5 - Early Years Block
No funding announcements have been received yet.
All figures at this stage are indicative and dependent on pupil numbers. Final allocations will be received in mid-December.
7.6 - Noted
The forum noted the estimated gross DSG of £205.121m for 2022 to 2023 and indicative values as well as the provisional 2022 to 2023 DSG allocations and potential increases to the Schools and High Needs Blocks and the reduction in the Central School Services Block.
The second part of the paper dealt with the de-delegation of the Schools Block, all requests for de-delegation being in line with what was agreed in previous years. The individual amounts also remain exactly the same.
To agree the de-delegation of the items within Exception 1 for the primary phase of the schools block of £0.911m as per paragraph 4.1 of the paper.
The chair asked RBa to summarise an email exchange with DJ, representing Primary School Headteachers, as none were represented at this meeting.
Oli Sharpe (Primary School Governor) joined the meeting.
RBa reported that the email exchange did not express any reason to disagree with the proposals. However, concerns were highlighted about the timings of these decisions, and that decisions about de-delegation have to be taken long before schools know their own budgets.
However, DJ did not feel that this concern should stand in the way of progressing with these matters and advised RBa that if Primary headteachers were present at this meeting they would vote in favour.
BH asked whether it is known that other headteachers share the view expressed in the email correspondence.
RBa explained that other Headteachers were copied into the correspondence and were therefore given opportunity for input.
DJ is also chair of the Primary Representatives Group and would have shared his thoughts on that forum. It can therefore be assumed that all agreed.
BH was concerned that the concerns raised should not be lost. However, it was highlighted that the local authority (LA) and the forum follow prescribed timetables and that school budget calculations are reliant on receiving the final DSG allocations.
The biggest delay is caused by all figures being based on the October census; details are therefore not known until much later.
A further update is due to be given at the December meeting, followed by agreement of the DSG in January prior to submission to the DfE.
7.12 - Agreed
Primary Representatives agreed to the de-delegation of items as outlined in the paper.
To agree the de-delegation of the items within Exception 1 for the secondary phase of the schools block of £0.419m as per paragraph 4.1 of the paper.
Secondary heads had been consulted and were in agreement with the de-delegation of funding.
7.14 - Agreed
Secondary Representatives agreed to the de-delegation of items as outlined in the paper.
To agree the growth fund of £0.278m as per paragraph 5 of the paper.
The forum was asked to retain the growth fund in recognition of the fact that this will be the last year of a pupil bulge in Secondary schools.
7.16 - Agreed
The forum agreed to centrally retain the growth fund of £0.278m for 2022 ro 2023.
To agree the items within the Central Services Schools Block (CSSB) of £1.442m as per paragraph 6 of the paper.
SW explained that this last section seeks Forum approval for the central retention of funding for the LA’s statutory and regulatory duties, access for education and asset management. There has been no change from previous years.
There is a remaining balance in the CSSB allocation for 2022 to 2023 of £840,000 which will be transferred to the Schools Block for delegation to primary and secondary schools and academies.
RBa gave further information on admissions.
The LA continues to take responsibility for coordinating in-year admissions, and the service has not increased its charges. However, the cost of living for the staffing element has increased.
7.18 - Agreed
The Forum agreed the items within the CSSB of £1.442m.