Greenwich Council

Agenda, decisions and minutes.

Venue: PDC Waterdale Road London SE2 0XT

Contact: Denise Kevern  Email: denise.kevern@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 5145

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Forum.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Gary Farrelly, Claire Harrison, Jane Perry, Joanne Howcroft-Scott, Natalie Palmer, Martyn Patterson, Susan Skidmore, Councillor Angela Cornforth, Councillor Gary Dillon and Councillor Mick Hayes.

 

Nick Edwards (6.40pm Item 10) and Councillor David Gardner (6.20pm Item 6) gave apologies for lateness.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2018.

 

No motion or discussion may take place upon the Minutes except as to their accuracy, and any question on this point will be determined by a majority of the Members of the body attending who were present when the matter in question was decided.  Once confirmed, with or without amendment, the person presiding will sign the Minutes.

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Schools Forum held on 17 October 2018 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.

 

3.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

Item 6 – Corelli College had been amended to show Halley Academy.

Item 7 – Pilot working with the Department for Education and the provision of an update report. No further action was required.

Any Other Business – Human Resources to provide an update on statutory maternity pay and Teacher’s Pension Scheme. An update was provided at the meeting of 19 December 2018.

4.

Declarations of Interest

Members to declare any personal and financial interests in items on the agenda.  Attention is drawn to the Council’s Constitution; the Council’s Code of Conduct and associated advice.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

5.

Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) 2018-19 Projected Outturn Position pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To note the updated Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) 2018/19 position and the projected outturn position using 8 months of data. To note the DSG will continue to be adjusted for on-going Academisation. The DSG will however benefit from the change in status of those schools converting to Academy in the form of charitable rate relief against Non Domestic Rates.

Minutes:

The Children’s Services Finance Advisor presented the report and gave an overview of the content. He highlighted that there was a revised overspend of £1.644 million.

 

A Forum member questioned why the Centrally Retained budget was based on 2012/13 budget. The Finance Advisor responded this was because there had been no uplift since then.

 

A Forum member expressed concern regarding the High Needs Budget, Greenwich was higher than the national average and the budget did not reflect it and the overspend would only increase. The Director of Children’s Services said that across London, Greenwich’s overspend was lower than most and it would be managed through reserves.

 

Resolved:

 

That Schools Forum noted:

 

1.     The updated Dedicated Schools Grant 2018/19 position and the projected outturn position using 8 months of data.

2.     The Dedicated Schools Grant would continue to be adjusted for on-going academisation. It would however benefit from the change in status of those schools converting to academy in the form of charitable rate relief against Non Domestic Rates.

3.     Schools Forum would receive a further update at the meeting of 16 January 2019.

 

6.

National Funding Formulae for Schools and High Needs update pdf icon PDF 400 KB

To note the content of this report.

 

To agree: High Needs Block - In principle a transfer of £1m (0.5%) to the High Needs Block in 2019-20 to meet the continuing pressure demand levels on the HNB.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed an in principle transfer of £1.1m (0.5%) to the High Needs Block for 2019-20 to meet the current pressure demand levels on the High Needs Block.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools joined the meeting (6.20pm).

 

The Children’s Services Finance Advisor said that the figures had changed but not significantly. The High Needs Block remained a significant pressure.

 

The Senior Assistant Director for Inclusion, Learning and Achievement advised that there were always factors that could not be predicted, but there were mechanisms in place for planning and growth.

 

The Assistant Director of Finance said there were reserves but overall funding was insufficient. Royal Borough of Greenwich has one of the better DSG positions at present in London but High Needs was always going to be an issue.

 

Resolved:

 

1.     That Schools Forum noted:

 

·               The Department for Education (DfE) had published illustrative local authority level allocations for 2019 to 2020 for the schools, central school services, and high needs, blocks at Pre-16 schools funding: guidance for 2019 to 2020 (Appendix A)

·               The DfE had also published illustrative school level funding allocations based on the 2018-19 pupil data (Appendix C). This illustrated the impact of the NFF for 2019-20.

·               The allocations that they have published contain the actual primary unit of funding (PUF) and secondary unit of funding (SUF) that they would use to calculate each local authority’s schools block.

·               Final allocations would be published in December 2018, based on pupil numbers recorded in the October census.

·               This was only a guide to assist in modelling school budgets in consultation with schools forums.

·               This suggested that the overall per pupil funding has increased by £9.12 for Primary Schools to £4,907.34 and by £147.65 for Secondary Schools to £6,598.44.

·               Department for Education (DfE) claimed that 1% increase of funding to 2017/18 baseline—this needs caution see next point.

·               New Formula approach to Growth Funding.  This was based on £1617 for Primary (£2772 annualised) and £2419 for Secondary (£4416 annualised).  The funding was based on Super Output areas assessed with overall growth in numbers. DfE has provided updated illustrations which show a total budget of £2.5m.  Any pressure arising from Growth and associated policies will have an impact on Schools Block (i.e allocation to Schools) and therefore influence (increase) the level of Minimum Funding Guaranteed that will be required.

·               A further potential risk was also around NDR (Rates) increases.  In the National Funding Formula funding to support NDR would be on lagged value.  Any potential increase would have a pressure on the MFG. 

 

High Needs Block

 

1.2   Schools Forum noted;

 

·               Detailed breakdown of how the HNB was compiled as requested by Schools Forum. This report produced that detail, and recognised two key components.  Firstly that the historic base line of circa £20m and secondly a transitional protection of £3m. 

·               New regulations from the DFE which required a recovery plan should the local authority overspend its DSG (for information this is not relevant at present for Royal Greenwich).

·               Noted indicative increase in funding of £935k for 2019/20. 

·               Hospital Schools –A further consultation would be out this autumn to discuss a formula approach to Hospital Provision.

·                Post  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Consultation - National Funding Formula 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To note the content of this report.

 

To agree in principle a funding model for 2019-20.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Deferred determining the preferred option to implement for the 2019/20 National Funding Formulas for Schools until the meeting of 16 January 2019.

 

Minutes:

Schools Forum noted that the Schools Forum Working Party would meet in January 2019 to agree their recommendations regarding the preferred option to implement 2019/20 National Funding Formula for Schools.

 

The Chair requested that the meeting of Schools Forum 16 January 2019 be a single item to address this matter.

Action: Corporate Governance

 

Resolved:

 

That Schools Forum;

 

1.     Noted the Schools Forum Working Group convened 13 December 2018 to consider the outcome of the consultation with Schools with a view to providing a formal recommendation to Schools Forum for consideration.

 

2.     Deferred determining the preferred option to implement for the 2019/20 National Funding Formulas for Schools until the meeting of 16 January 2019.

 

3.     Noted that the authority would receive the final Schools Block settlement and provisional High Needs and Early Years Funding figures in late December.

 

4.     Noted the contents of the report.

 

8.

High Needs Review pdf icon PDF 32 KB

A verbal update will be provided.

Minutes:

The Director of Children’s Services and the Senior Assistant Director advised the Schools Forum that they were interviewing a potential candidate to undertake the review on behalf of the borough. The Department for Education has provided a grant for the work.

 

In response to a question, they replied that relative intelligence across the country was made available via the Director of Children’s Services Institute, Borough Treasurers, LGA and London Councils. Any information received circulated to Forum members.

Action: Children’s Services

 

Resolved:

 

Schools Forum noted the update of the High Needs Review.

 

9.

Pilot working with the Department for Education and Schools pdf icon PDF 32 KB

A verbal update will be provided.

Minutes:

The Chair advised the Schools Forum that he would meet with Luigi Leccacorvi and Douglas Greig early in the New Year. The intention was to collaborate with schools in other Boroughs to discuss the pilot work.

 

Resolved:

 

Schools Forum noted the update.

 

 

10.

Early Years Special Educational Needs (SEN) funding arrangements - Briefing pdf icon PDF 32 KB

A verbal update will be provided.

Minutes:

Nick Edwards joined the meeting (6.40pm).

 

The Senior Assistant Director Inclusion, Learning and Achievement introduced the Head of SEND Outreach Support Services who tabled a document entitled ‘Consultation on proposals for SEN Inclusion funding from 8 January 2019’. She highlighted that the number of children accessing SEN funding has increased significantly over the last few years and the current model of 121 support was not sustainable. The new model based on a banding system rather than an hourly one. On completion of consultation 21 December 2018, the proposed changes, would be trailed for two years from January 2019 and reviewed.

 

In response to a question, she assured the Forum that any existing support, would be honoured.

 

The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools asked if the timescale was a little tight to provide adequate analysis of the consultation. The Senior Assistant Director assured him that responses were being analysed as they were received, and if there were a large volume received at the end of consultation, the timescales would be reviewed.

 

Resolved:

 

That Schools Forum noted the Early Years Special Educational Needs (SEN) funding arrangements briefing.

 

11.

Human Resources - Briefing pdf icon PDF 32 KB

A verbal update will be provided.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director Finance gave a verbal update.

 

He explained that a rebate transaction for maternity pay would not be visible to a school, if Royal Borough of Greenwich Payroll were processing on their behalf. This was because, 92% was met by the Government and 8% by the employer, the school only sees the 8% charge and therefore there was nothing to claim back.

 

David May to email the Assistant Director of Finance to obtain a written explanation.

Action: David May

 

The Assistant Director of Finance continued that there were two pensions Local Government and Teacher’s pensions. The employer contribution rate was frozen. The Government were reviewing the Local Government Pension Scheme and the changes were expected to apply from April 2020. Greenwich would try to keep the rate at the current level but this would be dependent on external factors, for example the financial markets. With regard to the Teacher’s Pension, the discount rate would drop from 2.8 to 2.3% from September 2019 this meant liability increases from 16 to 23%. The Government had implied that they intended to provide funding for the first year, but had not confirmed to date. This might be a potential pressure on budgets.

 

Resolved:

 

That Schools Forum noted the briefing.

 

 

 

12.

Attendance Record pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To note and review representative’s attendance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

That Schools Forum noted the Attendance Record.