Agenda item - School Funding

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Agenda item

School Funding

Report of the Executive Director Families, Children & Learning (copy attached).

 

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee

 

(1)  Noted the move to a complete National Funding Formula from 2019/20 and the anticipated impact this would have on the city’s schools.

 

(2)  That the committee agreed that the actions being taken to support schools in their preparation for changes to school funding were appropriate and proportionate.

Minutes:

79.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Families, Children & Learning on school funding. The report informed the Committee on the proposed changes to school funding in the move to a National Funding Formula from 2019/20, and provided an update on the work being undertaken with schools to support them in addressing expected budget pressures which would be encountered. The report was introduced by the Head of School Organisation, and the Principal Accountant Families & Schools.

 

79.2    Councillor Phillips referred to paragraph 3.11 of the report, and asked when it would be known how the Strategic School Improvement Fund could be accessed. The Head of School Organisation said that the Authority was still awaiting that information. Councillor Phillips noted that there was no Equalities Impact linked to the report, and was advised that until it was known how the Fund could be accessed the equalities impact couldn’t be assessed.

 

79.3    Councillor Miller asked when it was decided that the Schools Forum could decide on school budgets. The Executive Director said that the Schools Forum was a statutory requirement. The Principal Accountant said that the Forum had some decision making powers, and that the papers for that meeting were on the Council’s website.

 

79.4    Mr Jones asked if it was known what the future level of financial pressure on High Needs Block would be. The Head of School Organisation said that the Authority were currently looking at the pressure for the next academic year, and that would be reported to the Schools Forum in June 2017.

 

79.5    Councillor Russell-Moyle said the schools should be congratulated for working together. However he was concerned that whilst the Government were saying that savings needed to be made, and for schools to work together, they were taking money from funding and giving it back to individual schools.

 

79.6    Councillor Taylor commended the work being undertaken by schools to address the changes in funding. He noted that the school budget was ring fenced, and had kept in line with increases in pupil numbers so the budget was not actually being reduced. The new formula was more timid than had predicted, and there was protection for schools which were facing particular difficulties.

 

79.7    The Chair said that school budgets were under pressure, and he would encourage people to look at the Audit Office report which showed that schools were looking at facing an 8% reduction in real terms in their funding.

 

79.8    RESOLVED: That the Committee

 

(1)  Noted the move to a complete National Funding Formula from 2019/20 and the anticipated impact this would have on the city’s schools.

 

(2)  That the committee agreed that the actions being taken to support schools in their preparation for changes to school funding were appropriate and proportionate.

Supporting documents:

 


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