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Decision details

Dedicated Schools Grant budget proposals 2023/24

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To consider the Dedicated Schools Grant budget proposals 2023/24. This report will subsequently be submitted to Full Council as part of the budget process.


The Cabinet recommended the following proposals to full Council:

Approved 2023/24 DSG budget:

1.      Schools Block (detail in Appendix A3)

a.      The Schools Block budget be set at £323.851m for 2023/24, as per Table 1.

b.      £1.627m of the overall Schools Block DSG be transferred to the High Needs Block and earmarked to support the Education Transformation Programme.

c.       The basis for distributing the funding to mainstream schools be as set out and agreed by Schools Forum (Appendix A.3)

d.      The Growth Fund for established schools expanding in September 2023 be set at £2.0m (a component of the total Schools Block budget).

2.      Central School Services Block (detail in Appendix A2)

a.      Following Schools Forum agreement, approve the Central School Services Block budget is set at £2.717m for 2023/24.

3.      High Needs Block (detail in Appendix A2)

a.      Approved the High Needs Block budget be set at £88.131m for 2023/24 as per Appendix A2, after receiving transfers of £1.627m from Schools Block noting that this level of budget is estimated to lead to a cumulative deficit in the High Needs Block in the region of £62m by the end of March 2024.

4.      Early Years Block (detail in Appendix A2)

a.      Approved the Early Years Block budget be set at £38.526m for 2023/24, noted that spend and DSG income would fluctuate, according to participation levels in each of the three school terms

b.      Approved the Funding for Early Years should be distributed in line with the arrangements explained in the report to Schools Forum (Appendix A2).


Cabinet noted the following:

5. Overall position – Noted

a.      The 2023/24 DSG overall allocation of £453.226m, an uplift of £29.838m or 7.0% from the previous year.

b.      The Education Service would continue to work with the Schools Forum and the respective Task and Finish Groups (High Needs Task and Finish Group; Early Years Task and Finish Group) and via education transformation programmes such as the Belonging with SEND programme and DfE DBV Programme to explore sustainable mitigation options to bring the DSG budget to an affordable position over the medium term.

c.       Bristol Schools’ Forum’s (SF) feedback on 2023/24 DSG budget:

i.        Whilst more funding is welcomed in the new financial year, Council are asked to note the substantial cost pressures in the sector and significant challenges in Early Years and High Needs.

ii.   Continued concern from the SF regarding falling rolls in primary schools.

iii.   Schools Block - moving towards hard National Funding Formulae (NFF) means further deviation from local priority factors such as AEN and a need seek a transition factor in implementing this approach.

Report author: Denise Murray

Publication date: 24/01/2023

Date of decision: 24/01/2023

Decided at meeting: 24/01/2023 - Cabinet

Effective from: 01/02/2023

Accompanying Documents: