Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

40.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

41.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

Councillor Peter Fortune declared that his wife was employed by the Step Academy Trust.

 

There were no additional declarations of interest.

42.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE MEETING

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions to this Committee must be received in writing 4 working days before the date of the meeting.  Therefore please ensure questions are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Wednesday 25 January 2017.

Minutes:

No questions had been received from members of the public.

 

43.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 1 NOVEMBER 2016 AND MATTERS OUTSTANDING pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 1 November 2016 were agreed, and signed as an accurate record.

 

In relation to Minute 34, the Chairman noted that the report on the SEN Transport Budget had not been included on the agenda of the meeting and requested that this be actioned for the next meeting.

 

Action Point: That a report on the SEN transport budget, including more information on children living independently, be presented to the meeting on 15th March 2017.

44.

EDUCATION PORTFOLIO DRAFT BUDGET 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 186 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report ED17035

 

The Sub-Committee considered a report setting out the Education Portfolio Holder’s draft 2017/18 budget which incorporated the future cost pressures and initial draft budget saving options reported to Executive on 11th January 2017.  The Sub-Committee noted that there were still outstanding issues and areas of uncertainty remaining and further updates would be included in the 2017/18 Council Tax report to the next meeting of the Executive on 8th February 2017.

 

The report anticipated that the disproportionate cuts in direct funding to local government would continue over the remainder of the four year spending review period.  The impact of funding reductions translated to a reduction in the Council’s Settlement Funding Assessment of 36% by 2019/20 compared with the England average of 21.6% for the period 2016/17 to 2019/20.  The Budget Strategy had to  be set within the context of a reducing resource base, with Government funding reductions continuing beyond 2020.  This highlighted the on-going need to reduce the size and shape of the organisation to secure priority outcomes within the resources available.  The overall updated strategy had to be set in the context of the national state of public finances, with austerity continuing given the level of public debt, and the high expectation from Government that services should be reformed and redesigned with devolution contributing to the transformation of local government.

 

Despite being a low cost authority, Bromley had achieved general savings of over £80m since 2011/12 but it was becoming more challenging to achieve further savings with a low cost base.  Overspends had been identified in the 2016/17 Budget monitoring report to Executive on 30th November 2016 relating to SEN transport.  In addition to the cost pressure relating to SEN transport, there were potential funding reductions of up to £1.5m per annum towards SEN placement costs arising from the introduction of a ‘High Needs’ funding block from 2018/19.  This highlighted the need for a fundamental review of SEN services.  The Government had announced one off funding of just under £139,624 in 2016/17.  This related to a High Needs Strategic Planning Fund which local authorities could use to carry out a strategic review of their high needs provision.  Members were being asked to agree the release of this one off monies to undertake a review working with schools, colleges and other providers, and with parents and young people.

 

The latest forecast indicated that despite having a balanced budget in the next two years there remained a significant budget gap in future years that needed to be addressed.  The report to Executive on 11 January 2017 identified the budget gap rising to over £23m by 2020/21 with the gap rising steeply from 2019/20.

 

In relation to the Education Budget, additional growth pressures had been set aside in contingency of £750,000 for the additional cost pressures in SEN transport.  £477,000 had been allocated to the budget to cover the loss of Education Services Grant (ESG) due to schools conversion to Academies.  ESG would cease completely in 2017/18.

 

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.

45.

DEDICATED SCHOOLS GRANT 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Report ED17034

 

The Sub-Committee considered a report setting out information on the 2017/18 Dedicated Schools’ Grant (DSG) and how it would be allocated.

 

On 20th December 2016, the DfE released the DSG allocations for 2017/18 alongside the second stage of the consultation on the National Funding Formula (NFF) and the High Needs Funding Formula to be introduced for 2019/20.  The consultation was due to close on 22nd March 2017.

 

The DSG allocation was in line with the expectation of LA officers.  For 2017/18 the blocks were not ring-fenced and therefore an overspend in one block could be offset against an underspend in another block to ensure that the DSG was balanced overall.

 

The Early Years Block funding had been allocated based on the New Early Years funding Formula (EYFF) consulted on earlier in the year.  As anticipated, the allocation for Bromley had increased meaning that not only had the LA not needed to find any savings in this area but also that most EY providers would see an increase in their funding in 2017/18.  In November 2016 the Schools’ Forum was consulted about the proposed funding formula for 2017/18.  The outcome of the consultation supported the LA’s recommendation to only have one element (deprivation) in the new funding formula, but for this to be allocated using both IDACI (Income of Deprivation Affecting Children Index) and EY Pupil Premium entitlement as the measures of deprivation. 

 

As a result of this most settings would see an increase in funding, with the exception of a small number of settings that had previously received additional funding through the SEN factor which was no longer an allowable factor.  It was however anticipated that the impact of this would not be significant.

 

Funding for 2 year olds would remain at £6.00 per hour, however the funding received by the LA would increase from £5.28 to £5.66, reducing the amount by which this was subsidised by 3 and 4 year old funding.

The outcome from the consultation also introduced a requirement for all LAs to establish an SEN Inclusion Fund – for Bromley it had already been proposed that the expenditure relating to the SEN Support in Pre-schools (SIPS) programme would move from the High Needs Block to the Early Years Block.  That this was deemed to fulfil the new requirement.

 

The following additional new funding allocations for  2017/18 would also be received:  (i) Disability Access Funding of £73,800 – allocated to pupils in receipt of the Disability Living Allowance; and (ii) Additional 15 hours free childcare of £2.6m which would come into effect from September 2017.

 

The Early Years Block had been balanced to zero as expected and was therefore neither subsidised by nor subsidising either the Schools Block or the High Needs Block.  The High Needs Block had received an allocation of £46m from which the DfE deducted funding recouped for an agreed number of places at special academies, AP academies and other post 16 institutions at a total of £6.774m which then  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING - 2ND QUARTER 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD17015

 

The Sub-Committee considered a report highlighting changes agreed by the Executive in respect of the Capital Programme for the Education Portfolio.

 

A revised Capital Programme was approved by Executive on 30th November 2016, following a detailed monitoring exercise carried out after the 2nd quarter of 2016/17.  All changes on schemes in the Education Programme were itemised and detailed in the report considered by the Sub-Committee.  As part of the 2nd quarter monitoring exercise, £3257,000 had been re-phased from 2016/17 into 2017/18 to reflect revised estimates of when expenditure on the Education schemes was likely to be incurred.

 

The Government had announced Bromley’s allocation of £6,895,846 Basic Need Capital Grant to cover the period 2018/19.  This bought the total Basic Need Capital Grant received by the Council for the period 2011-19 to £77,773,224.

 

A Member noted that it appeared that the London Borough of Bromley had been had been more successful in maintaining its schools than some other London Boroughs.  It was noted that whilst a number of Bromley Schools benefitted from extensive grounds, maintenance of the facilities was costly.  In response the Director of Education confirmed that the Basic Needs funding that Bromley had received had helped provide the high levels of maintenance in schools across the Borough.

 

The Sub-Committee noted that a number of the schools listed in the appendix had changed their name in recent years and requested that the names be reviewed updated for future reports. 

 

RESOLVED: That the Portfolio Holder for Education be recommended to:

 

(a) note and confirm the changes to the Capital Programme agreed by Executive on 30th November 2016; and

 

(b) note the additional £6.9m Basic Need Capital Grant received by the Council for 2018/19.

47.

CONSTITUTION OF THE SCHOOLS FORUM pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report ED17033

 

The Sub-Committee considered a report providing an overview of the representation on the Schools’ Forum.  The Constitution was last fundamentally reviewed in September 2012 when the DfE introduced new Schools’ Forum Regulations.  Since then there have been no further major DfE regulation affecting Schools’ Forums.

 

As a result of a number of LA maintained primary schools converting to academy status there needed to be a shift in membership with an increase of two primary academy members and a decrease of two primary maintained members of the Forum.

 

It was proposed that:

 

a) there was a reduction of one maintained primary governor representative (down to zero), the position was currently vacant.
b) there was a reduction of one maintained primary head representative (down to one), there were currently two maintained primary head representatives.
c) there was an increase of one academy primary head representative (up to two).
d) there was an increase of one academy primary governor representative (up to three).

 

It had also come to light that there were currently two representatives from one school on the Forum, in breach of paragraph 1.10 of the Constitution.  It was recommended that the Member with the shortest length of membership should be removed from office and an alternate member sought.

 

It was recommended that no changes to the Non-Schools Membership be made at this time.

 

The Sub-Committee noted that there would be three vacancies on the Forum.  The relevant group would be asked to nominate a representative using a democratic process.  Where this would not possible the Council would approach the relevant group for nominations.

 

The Schools’ Forum had considered the proposals on 12th January 2017.  One area highlighted by a forum member was the different number of head teachers represented in the Primary and Secondary sectors.  Their view was that there should be equal representation.  It was pointed out that the membership was determined by pupil numbers and that there was proportionally more pupils in primary settings than secondary.  It was not proposed to amend the constitution to reflect this.  Following a vote, the Schools’ Forum, by majority, agreed with the changes being proposed by the Council.

 

RESOLVED: that the Education Portfolio Holder be recommended to agree the constitution of the Schools’ Forum.

48.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

There was no other business.

49.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

7.00pm, Tuesday 28 March 2017

Minutes:

Following discussions amongst Members, it was agreed that the next meeting of Education Budget Sub-Committee would be rescheduled to 5.30pm on Wednesday 15th March 2017.

 

 

Original Text: