Agenda item

Update on DSG 2021-22 with potential funding levels

Minutes:

TY reported that the Education and Skills Funding Agency had published indicative information on next year’s allocations and updates to formula regulations at the end of July as follows:

·      The information was incomplete and did not include early years;

·      The information and numbers were calculated on current pupil cohorts (from October 2019 census) which would be updated following the October 2020 census; 

·      The Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) data set would change from 2015 to 2019 and indicative values were based on the 2019 data;

·      Local Authorities still retained discretion and there was no proposal to move to a hard national funding formula although National Funding Formulas had been published;

·      Schools block:

o   Nationally there was a 4% increase with a funding floor to ensure that no Local Authority would get less than 2%, Bristol was estimated as 2.7% increase;

o   Increase per pupil funding levels incorporated some of teachers pay and pensions grant;

·         High Needs:

o   £730m in the national funding pot, each Local Authority was not likely to receive less  than 8%  increase (8.5% for Bristol);

o   Pay and pension grants for special schools were incorporated into this allocation;

·         CSS block:

o   This had reduced over the last few years as SFA looked to unwind historic commitment funding (prudential borrowing for Bristol) and this element would be further reduced but there would be a small increase for the inclusion of pay and pension grants for centrally employed teaching staff (-2.6% for Bristol);

·         DSG overall 3.6% increase for Bristol;

·         Minimum funding guarantee would be between +0.5-2%;

·         The next step was for schools to be consulted on the minimum funding level guarantee; any block movements; de-delegation and formula factors prior to Schools Forum taking a decision in November.

 

It was agreed that a meeting of the Finance Sub-Group be held in advance of the next meeting to discuss the details of consultation.

 

In response to a question about whether any schools were still being funded on the prediction of a cohort rather than an actual cohort, TY confirmed that last year there had been 2 schools, Trinity and the former Steiner Academy that had transformed from an all through school to a primary school and an adjustment would be made in the case of the former Steiner School to reflect its new position as a primary while Trinity would have real statistics for this year which would supersede previous data. 

 

Members questioned if feedback from primary schools was that it was harder to put forward a balanced budget as the National Funding Formula in Bristol favoured secondary schools and larger primaries.  TF confirmed that smaller schools were protected under the minimum funding guarantee and a bigger challenge for them were static and falling rolls combined with increasing costs.  It was suggested that the issue of falling roles and place projections could be a topic of discussion for the Finance Sub Group.

 

In relation to a question about maternity supply cover, GB confirmed that the two maintained secondary schools were contributing enough to cover their side of the de delegation, but he would look at coding the secondary and primary money separately in the future. 

 

RESOLVED

·         that the potential 2021/22 indicative funding levels be noted;

·         that the proposed restrictions relating to the DSG be noted;

·         that the proposed LA consultation with schools on items in the local formula, particularly MFG, transfers between blocks, and formula factors be noted;

·         that the proposed LA consultation with schools on their views on dedelegation be noted, and the results of the consultation be reported to Forum for decision at the meeting in November.

 

Supporting documents: