To consider matters raised in a briefing paper detailing the standard financial items including:
· DSG( Dedicated Schools Grant) Allocations for 2022-23;
· PFI ( Private Finance Initiative) Funding and MFG (Minimum Funding Guarantee) 2022-23;
· Trade Union funding;
· Central in-year Growth Funding 2021/22; and
· Scheme for Financing Schools.
DSG Allocations for 2022-23
The Forum noted the that the current APT (Authority Proforma Tool) model (based on the October 2020 census ) gives a school’s block budget of £163,807k of which £68,879k is academy recoupment. These amounts are scheduled to be updated in December with data from the October 2021 census details
PFI (Private Finance Initiative) Funding and MFG (Minimum funding guarantee) 2022-23
The Forum considered that the City’s 3 PFI secondary schools with additional PFI premises costs of £738k and that under NFF (National Funding Formula) these costs are not protected in the MFG calculation. As in previous years we will need to insert a technical adjustment in the APT (Authority Proforma Tool) model to disapply PFI costs in order that the PFI schools benefit from MFG protection like every other school.
It was noted that compensating 0.4% correction on average to other school balances (including academies) would be required to fund the adjustment.
Trade Union funding
The Forum considered a proposal from officers for maintained primary schools to allow the budget share to be reduced (de-delegation) for trade union fees.
Officers explained that in previous years Schools Forum had agreed the allocation of this funding it should consider whether it would do so on this occasion and these funds were used to compensate schools for the periods when there was the additional expense of covering teaching time whilst representative undertook union activities. It was explained that as fund had accumulated a healthy surplus from the average amount of annual expenditure and that the Forum could choose to de-delegate the funding this year, as the amount of balance the fund had accrued would be sufficient for a year or so of costs. Officers therefore proposed that no de-delegation is made for 2022-23.
Representation for union representatives was received who outlined potential additional costs that would be required. Forum members expressed a wish to further investigate this matter requested that a working group be formed to fully explore issues of de-delegation of funding to Trade Unions and agreed to defer any decision until the matter returned.
Central in-year Growth Funding 2021/22
The Forum noted that a central allowance for growth funding from the 2022/23 Schools Block allocation would be needed for identified growth in schools (maintained and academy) above operational PAN (Published Admission Number) identified from the October 2021 census, that met the eligibility criteria in our growth funding policy. It was explained that due to lagged funding, this would be required to fund the additional pupils for the period September 2021 to March 2022 for maintained school and the September 2021/2022 academic year for academies.
It was explained that the DFE guidance set out that the amount that would be top sliced from the School’s budget allocation to provide a central growth fund. It was noted that the growth fund policy had not increased the amount payable since 2019, although staff and resources costs have increased due to pay and pension changes.
It was proposed by officers that increasing the lump sum from £56,200 to £66,000 for primary schools and from £72,500 to £88,300 secondary schools to allow for these changes. It was noted that the growth amounts are not confirmed until pupil numbers are known.
Upon being put to the vote the maintained and academy schools representatives approved the proposed increase.
Scheme for Financing Schools.
It was noted that following the September Schools Forum meeting a revised Scheme for Financing Schools was presented and subsequently sent to all maintained schools for comments. Two comments were received asking for clarification of a couple of points. No objections were received.
Upon being put to the vote required the Forum Representatives from maintained schools approved the Revised Scheme for Financing Schools.