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Dedicated Schools Grant Budget Update for 2019-20

Meeting: 11/02/2020 - Schools' Forum (Item 59)

59 Dedicated Schools Grant Budget Update for 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 286 KB

To consider a reportfrom the Assistant Director of Education and the Assistant Director of Finance on the Dedicated Schools Grant budget position for the financial year 2019-20

Minutes:

The Assistant Director of Finance and the Assistant Director of Education submitted a report updating Forum members on the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) position for the Financial Year of 2019-20.

 

The report stated that the projected in-year deficit for the Dedicated Schools Grant was £5.426m.  It was explained that there was a projected surplus of £0.106m on the Schools Block; this related to a surplus of growth funding and a small surplus relating to business rates adjustments.  It was also explained that the Central Schools Services Block had a nil variation and the Early Years Block had a projected surplus of £0.247m.  However, the High Needs Block continued to have a significant deficit.  This was projected to be (£5,779m).

 

It was highlighted that growth within the High Needs budget had continued at expected levels and that, when setting the budget in February 2019, predictions indicated that there would be an in- year overspend of £5.51m and, after taking into account the Dedicated Schools Grant reserves, there would be a year-end overspend of £2.28m. 

 

It was explained that the latest figures showed the projected overspend at March 2020 had increased slightly to £2.55m, assuming further growth of £0.69m for the Spring term.  Members of the Forum were also made aware that this growth could also be demonstrated by the increased number of Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs) as there continued to be a significant number of requests for assessments.  It was predicted that the number of Education and Health Care Plans could increase by a further 90-120, taking the total to approximately 1,683 by March 2020.

 

With regard to the Early Years Funding Block, an update was provided, with projections demonstrating that the funding position had significantly improved for 3 and 4 year olds.  However, this also highlighted that there was still significant pressure on funded hours for 2 year olds.  It was explained that the final settlement for Early Year’s funding would be announced in June/July 2020 and would be reported to the Schools’ Forum in the Summer term of 2020.

 

Consideration was given to known pressures and commitments for 2019-20 and it was stated that, should all projections materialise, there would be a deficit of £2.077m on the Dedicated Schools Grant.  As a result, it was made clear that a Deficit Recovery Plan may need to be submitted to the Department for Education outlining plans for recovery over the next 3 years.  With this in mind, it was explained that the position would be closely monitored and updates would be provided to the Schools’ Forum.

 

RESOLVED

That the content of the report be noted.