Agenda item

Update on Proposed 2020/21 Schools Funding Formula

Nick Persson to provide update on proposed 2020/21 SCC Schools Funding Formula



·  Paper for discussion - Summary of APT options for 2020/21 schools budget


NP provided paperwork and information on the provisional APT for 2020/21 modelling various scenarios. The Local Authority has a deadline to submit its final agreed APT model to the ESFA in January 2020.

Model 1:

Full NFF. This creates a £1M overspend believed to be mainly due to adding protection for PFI Premises costs, adjustment to rates values and addition of split site funding. Because the provisional Full NFF is unaffordable various other models were created as shown below.

Model 2:

Reduce NFF AWPU by 2%. This is an affordable model and would affect 40 schools.

Model 3:

Reduce the MFG to 0.5% with no cap. This model is not a balanced model but is intended to show which schools are affected using the lowest MFG factor with no cap to see the effects on the schools individual funding. This model affects 23 schools.

Model 4:

MFG 1.84% MFG capped at 3%. This model is not a balanced model but is intended to show which schools are affected using just the MFG factor with a cap to see the effects on the schools individual funding. This model affects 35 schools.


Model 5:

Reduce MFG to 0.5% and cap at 3.24%. This model shows 57 schools contributing to the shortfall and would provide a balanced budget.

Model 6:

Combination of factors model:  This model provides a balanced budget using, NFF AWPU less 1%, MFG 3% and capped at 60%; this would see the greatest number of schools contribution to the over spend. With this option 63 schools would share the funding shortfall.

Model 7:

This model looks at the effect of reducing the Minimum Per Pupil Funding Level (MPPFL) in Primary and Secondary schools as a means of providing a balanced budget. The APT model did not allow for this factor to be amended (other than a reduction for Primary school MPPFL reduction by 5%). Guidance received is that this is a mandatory factor and can only be adjusted following a successful disapplication request. A disapplication request has been submitted and currently waiting for a response.


SP and MS expressed an interest in exploring Model 7 further following a successful disapplication request. JD clarified that there needs to be a decision made around the £1M funding shortfall that is reasonable to roll out to schools, if the national funding formula is unaffordable. The above models have been distributed to schools as part of a consultation exercise and the results will be presented back to the next schools forum to help agree which model to pursue in the event of an unaffordable budget situation.


MS raised a concern that the least deprived schools appeared to be those getting the most and the most deprived schools are getting the lowest increases. A pupil premium child is 22 months behind an average child not on pupil premium. SP stated that the government is very clear that the Local Authority will be given significant money for schools.


NP stated that applying full NFF with the provisional allocation of funding is creating an overspend of £1M. Guidance provided has stated that the MPPFL factors are mandatory (a disapplication is needed to adjust this factor’s values). Investigation into the £1M shortfall appears to be the result of PFI premises protection, split site additional funding and rate value adjustments made within the model. SP appreciates that NP has to work on the information given to him but is unhappy at the response given by the DFE.  SP stated that the DFE allocation to Southampton schools may not be as other Local Authorities are managing to balance their provisional budgets at full NFF. SP noted that the Local Authority are working on the budget allocations given to them.


JD suggested there was a need to consult if changing the formula agreed last year and it was agreed by the forum. A consultation exercise with schools is to be undertaken. There is also a need to consult on High Needs Funding.


NP discussed the provisional funding further and commented that the figure does not include growth funding which will be added in the final funding allocation, also that PFI protection had been added to the APT as an exceptional factor to ensure it is not included in MFG reductions to the PFI schools, and that rate adjustments have been added into the model and these have increased the budget required.  MS commented that the funding in Southampton is quite high a percentage for a small authority. It is thought that PFI is a large reason for the shortfall. RH felt that things have moved on but there should no impact on ability of schools to operate with the funding they receive, now times have moved and costs have risen. SP considered there should be more money in the pot which then makes Model 7 affordable.


(Action NP) Urgent seek clarity from DFE on the funding formula. NP to investigate if figures and see if they have been double counted.


SP stated that the vote was subject to sufficient funding from the DFE.


Vote to distribute full NFF if affordable

For 11

Against 0

Abstain 0


Result: Vote Carried


There was a lot of discussion around the viability of Models; Model 2 was affordable with 40 schools contributing to the shortfall. Model 3 would affect the smallest number of schools who would as a result share a higher burden of reduction in funding. Model 6 resulted with overspend being shared by the highest number of schools (63 out of 67). There were concerns around the most deprived schools not receiving enough funding where it is most needed. It was believed that no one model should be taken in isolation. JD stated that the backdrop is government’s policy on how they are allocating funding and the reason for that is how they are funding schools. JD added that there is also an argument that if the national funding formula is not affordable then it could effect future years funding levels.  


HK felt that schools and the Local Authority should go back and lobby the government, instead of managing, the Forum should go full NFF and the DFE need to fund the money. SP felt that this will not happen and added that there needs to be conversation in principle at least, with short timescales. NP requested some direction about which model to go back to the DFE. SP thought this could not be done because there needs to be a consultation with each school and only four things can be done within the remit. SP believed there is a need to consult and then vote on what is affordable. It was agreed to build in an additional meeting on Tuesday 17th December 2019, once the schools have been consulted. 


Do we agree that the options to the funding is made to agree a model that provides a balanced budget in the event that the full NFF is unaffordable?



For 8

Against 0

Abstain 0


Result: Vote Carried


(Action JD/HK) To work on a letter to lobby the government

(Action NP) To urgently seek clarification from DFE regarding the £1,000,000 overspend