A to Z of services          A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z

Council and Democracy

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Discovery Academy, Porlock Avenue, Hyde

Contact: Democratic Services  0161 342 3050 or Email: caroyln.eaton@tameside.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

55.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest from members of the Forum.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

56.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 339 KB

To consider the minutes of the meeting of the Schools’ Forum held on 17 December 2019.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting of the School’s Forum held on 17 December 2019.

 

RESOLVED

That that the minutes of the meeting of the School’s Forum held on 17 December 2019 be approved as a correct record.

 

57.

Insurance for Schools pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To consider a report from the Assistant Director of Education and Assistant Director of Finance with regard to extending the Academies Risk Protection Arrangement to the Local Authority Maintained Schools sector.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Assistant Director of Education and Assistant Director of Finance, presenting the Government consultation response in relation to extending the Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) to the Local Authority Maintained Schools sector.

 

It was outlined that the Department for Education had been considering extending the RPA, currently operational for Academy Trusts to the Local Authority Maintained Schools sector so that this sector could benefit from potential savings associated with the scheme.  As the charge for RPA is based on pupil numbers only, the charges from the Local Authority based on commercial insurers were not competitive.

 

The Forum considered the results of the consultation, which ran from 9 September to 4 November 2019.  These finding were summarised as follows:

·         55% of respondents to the consultation supported the proposed extension of the RPA cover to Local Authority Managed Schools (LAMS).  They suggested that their current commercial insurance was potentially not cost effective and they could save money if the RPA was extended to LAMS.

·         25% of respondents disagreed with the proposal and suggested that the current commercial market worked well.  They, therefore, did not consider it necessary to extend RPA to LAMS.

·         20% of respondents were unsure and noted that they would need further information before reaching a decision.

 

It was further highlighted that the cumulative response from the Local Authority Maintained Schools sector was strongly positive, with 83% agreeing to the extension of RPA to LAMS, from April 2020. 

 

It was explained that the RPA was not an insurance scheme but was a mechanism through which the cost of risks would be covered by Government funds and that this was a voluntary arrangement, which over 6,100 academies had joined since it was launched in September 2014.  It was also stated that the coverage of risk offered by the RPA was commensurate with that currently offered by commercial insurers.

 

With regard to extending RPA to local Authority Maintained Schools, a number of membership issues were highlighted, including:

  • Church academies would only permitted to join the RPA if they had written approval from their trustees.  This would apply to Church LAMS.
  • It is acknowledged that, in most maintained schools, the Local Authority would retain ownership of the school property and the associated liabilities relating to providing an education service, staff employment and property maintenance and would need to be satisfied with the overall risk cover that a school had in place.
  • PFI schools would need to be reviewed as the document states that, for PFI schools who paid for premises/Building insurance via the PFI Unitary Charge, it was unlikely that they would benefit from joining the RPA. Under the current arrangements for academies, Multi Academy Trusts were allowed to leave them out and this would also need to apply to Local Authority PFI schools

 

It was stated that RPA would be offered on a voluntary basis from 1 April 2020 and would be open to any Local Authority Maintained Primary or Secondary Schools who were not contractually  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

Schools' Forum Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To consider the report of the Assistant Director of Education and Assistant Director of Finance outlining the Forward Plan of reports and meeting deadlines for the Financial Year 2020/21.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Assistant Director of Finance and Assistant Director of Education, outlining the Forward Plan of reports and meeting deadlines for the Financial Year 2020-21, as follows:

Date                                                                Venue

Tuesday 23 June 2020                                   Discovery Academy

Tuesday 29 September 2020                         Discovery Academy

Tuesday 24 November 2020                          Discovery Academy

Thursday 14 January 2021                             Discovery Academy

 

RESOLVED

That the meeting dates set out for 2020-21, and the reports to be tabled at each meeting, be noted.

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.

60.

Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) Funding Formula 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 452 KB

To consider a report on the arrangements concerning the DSG funding for 2020-21 from the Assistant Director of Education and Assistant Director of Finance.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Assistant Director of Finance and Assistant Director of Education, outlining arrangements concerning Dedicated Schools Grant Funding for 2020-21.

 

It was stated that the provisional Dedicated Schools Grant settlement for 2020-21 of £212.246m was received on 19 December 2019 and that, in accordance with the Schools and Early Years Finance (England) (No 2) Regulations 2018, this must be deployed to schools and/or pupils.

 

A breakdown of the provisional settlement for each funding block was provided for members of the Forum, alongside detailed explanation of the increases for each funding block.  It was explained that the increase of 4.6% to the Schools Block was related to an increase in pupil numbers, uplift for Retail Price Index (RPIX) of 3.03% on Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schools and an increase in Department for Education funding rates.

 

With regard to the High Needs Block, the increase of 18.4% related to an increase in pupil numbers and per head gain linked to the National Funding Formula.  It was explained that the Gains Cap for 2020-21 was set at 17%, allowing Local Authorities to see an increase up to this amount.  With this in mind, it was further explained that Tameside were seeing an increase of 18.37% including growth in pupil numbers.

 

In addition, the report outlined the increases in the Early Years and Central Schools Services Blocks related to an increase in Department for Education funding rates and increased pupil numbers.

 

It was explained that the Schools Block was the largest element of Dedicated Schools Grant funding and provided the majority of funding for Mainstream Schools and Academies, with additional elements potentially being allocated through the Early Years and High Needs Blocks.  It was outlined that the Schools Block settlement from the Department for Education was made up of the following funding:

  1. A primary unit of funding (PUF) of £4,297.57
  2. A secondary unit of funding (SUF) of £5,458.85

 

This core school funding covered all pupil and school led factors in the funding formula.  Members of the Forum were made aware that Primary and Secondary units of funding were multiplied by the pupil numbers on Reception to Year 6 plus pupils aged 4 to 10 who were not assigned to a year group for Primary and pupils in Years 7 to 11, pupils aged 11 to 15, not assigned to a year group for Secondary.

  1. Premises – this includes Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and business rates which were based on historical spend
  2. Mobility – to support schools in which a high proportion of pupils first join on a non-standard date
  3. Growth – this is calculated using the difference between the Primary and Secondary numbers on roll on the October 2018 and October 2019 censuses

 

The report detailed that the total Schools Block settlement for 2020-21 was £169,918.  With regard to the proposed funding formula for Mainstream Schools, reference was made to the previous decision of Schools’ Forum to support a disapplication request to the Secretary of State to move  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.

61.

Date Of Next Meeting

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the date of the next meeting of the Schools Forum will be held on Tuesday 23 June 2020 at 10.00am, Discovery Academy, Porlock Avenue, Hyde.