Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

50.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

51.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no additional declarations of interest.

52.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 31 JANUARY 2017 AND MATTERS OUTSTANDING pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 31st January 2017 were agreed, and signed as a correct record.

53.

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 Thursday 9th March 2017.

Minutes:

No questions had been received from members of the public.

 

54.

RESPONSE TO THE NATIONAL FUNDING FORMULA SECOND CONSULTATION

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report ED17042

 

Members considered a report providing an overview of the second stage consultation documents including DfE presentation and worked examples relating to Bromley and to individual schools.  The second stage of the DfE consultation on the proposed National Funding Formulas (NFF) for Schools and for High Needs was launched on the 14th December with a closing date of 22nd March 2017. LA Officers had recently attended a number of DfE led presentations and seminars which had helped with their understanding of the proposals which were very detailed and complex.

 

The Schools’ Forum had also met to discuss the consultation on 9th March 2017 and its response had been circulated to the Sub-Committee in advance of the meeting with copies tabled at the meeting.

 

In opening the discussion, the Chairman noted that he had reviewed the response provided by the Schools’ Forum and had further noted that the Head Teacher of Chislehurst School for Girls had expressed some dissatisfaction with the response.  The Director of Education explained that the concerns of secondary head teachers rested on the ratio between primary and secondary and further reported that secondary schools, in particular, were feeling the effects of budget cuts as a result of the Post-16 Funding regime changes.

 

The Head of ECHS Finance reported that at its meeting on 9th March 2017, the Schools’ Forum had been unable to reach a consensus of opinion in relation to some of the consultation responses.  However, it was important that a measured response was provided to the consultation and Officers had tried to achieve this in the response that had been drafted and tabled for the consideration of the Sub-Committee.  The Head of ECHS Finance emphasised that there had been a need to provide a collective response from the Schools’ Forum and where individual schools were dissatisfied with the response that had been drafted and agreed they were able to submit their own response to the DfE reflecting the unique circumstances of their schools.

 

The Sub-Committee noted that the Government had previously funded the first year of a free school but were no longer adopting this approach.  This had significant implications for Local Authority budgets due to the way in which funding was received.  A Member endorsed the comments made in the draft response surrounding the importance of any new free school being a viable size.  It was felt by Members that anything opening as a free school below 2 or 3 form entry was not viable.  This was a national issue that needed to be addressed.  The Director of Education also highlighted that whilst a free school may open as 2 form entry they may not be able to recruit pupils to fill all the available places.  Any new school that opened also needed to demonstrate that there was sufficient demand in the area.

 

In relation to the draft response for Question 17 – Do you support our proposals to limit the reductions on local authorities’ central school services block funding to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

SEN TRANSPORT BUDGET pdf icon PDF 296 KB

Minutes:

Report ED17040

 

Members considered a report providing an update on the 2016/17 SEN Transport Budget, including information on children travelling independently.

 

In introducing the report, the SEN Transport Project Manager noted that Members of the Education Budget Sub-Committee had requested the report on the SEN Transport Budget at its meeting on 1 November 2016.  At this time SEN Transport was forecast to be overspent by £1.23m.  This forecast overspend had been significantly overstated and had subsequently been revised with the current forecast outturn position for the 2016/17 financial year representing an overspend of £653,000.  The previous £1.23m overspend was derived from a basic extrapolation of recurring cost for the remainder of the year for the volume and cost of the SEN Transport delivery costs as at July 2016.  However, this methodology had not taken into account the academic year delivery of SEN Transport, in which volume is typically at its highest at the end of the academic year but will then reduce from the commencement of the new academic year in September and then rising throughout the year.  The SEN Project Manager confirmed that future forecasts would be based on closer working between officers in the SEN Transport Operations Team and the Education Finance Team to establish a suitable methodology for future forecasting which took into account the academic year effect.

 

The SEN Transport budget overspend was in relation to the direct support costs to pupils for transport.  This included: (i) the costs of providing SEN Transport to eligible pupil which was provided through the current Transport Framework contract commencing from the 2015/16 academic year; (ii) the costs of parental mileage payments; and (iii) recoupment income from other services and local authorities purchasing transport through the framework contract.

 

The report considered by the Sub-Committee provided an overview of the budget and outturn position for the budget lines specifically related to the transport contract, mileage, and recoupment against the contract.  Members heard that the latest forecast over spend against the 2016/17 transport support costs was a continuation of an existing level of overspend that had developed in the 2015/16 financial year.  2016/17 expenditure also included the full year effect of the impact of the higher volume and cost for SEN Transport that commenced in the 2015/16 academic year.  SEN Transport support costs provided in the report showed the service moving from an underspend position to an overspend from 2015/16 onwards.  Key factors for the overspend in 2015/16 and 2016/17 were: (i) increased volume, (ii) increased contract costs, and (iii) increased support costs.  Details of the impact of these three factors were set out in the report and the SEN Project Manager highlighted that the young people becoming eligible for SEN Transport had increasingly complex needs that required different transport solutions.  In addition, the pupils were also younger, with support starting from 4 years old.

 

The SEN Transport Project Manager outlined the actions taken and the options available to manage SEN Transport costs.  These included:

 

Route Management: this was key to mitigating  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

BUDGET MONITORING REPORT pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report ED17041

 

The Education Budget Sub-Committee considered a report detailing the third quarter budget monitoring position for 2016/17 for the Education Portfolio based on activity levels up to the end of December 2016.

 

Members noted that the Portfolio Holder was being asked to (i) agree the release of the £15,000 SEN Regional Lead grant which was carried forward into 2016/17, (ii) agree the release of £80,000 SEN implementation grant which was carried forward into 2016/17, and (iii) agree the release of £40,000 Place Planning Support which was carried forward into 2016/17.

 

SEN Regional Lead Grant 2015/16 - £15,000

 

Due to the late announcement of this grant in 2015/16, it was agreed that £15,000 would be carried forward to 2016/17 to fund future expenditure. 

 

SEN Implementation (new burdens) grant 2015/16 - £80,000

 

Due to the late announcement of this grant in 2015/16, it was agreed that £80,000 would be carried forward to 2016/17 to fund future expenditure.  Both funding streams would be used to continue the extra capacity to deliver the transition to statements to EHC plans or pupil resource agreements, review current SEND services and provisions, embed the new policies and practises and develop robust systems for recording and monitoring the EHC process. Members noted that the majority of the expenditure would be used for temporary staff.

 

Support to improve the information held on place planning - £40,000

 

Work would be carried out on place planning and future demand for schools places including detailed analysis of the school census, live births and GLA predictions.

 

The Sub-Committee that the use of bulge classes was an issue across a number of London Boroughs.

 

RESOLVED: That the Portfolio Holder for Education and Children’s Services ne recommended to:

 

1.  Endorse the 2016/17 budget projection for the Education Portfolio.

 

2.  Agree the release of the £15,000 SEN Regional Lead grant which was carried forward into 2016/17.

 

3.  Agree the release of £80,000 SEN implementation grant which was carried forward into 2016/17.

 

4.  Agree the release of £40,000 Place Planning Support which was carried forward into 2016/17.

57.

CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING - 3RD QUARTER 2016/17 & ANNUAL CAPITAL REVIEW 2017 TO 2021 pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD17026

 

On 8th February 2017, the Executive received a report summarising the current position on capital expenditure and receipts following the 3rd quarter of 2016/17.  The report also presented for approval the new capital schemes in the annual capital review process. The Executive agreed a revised Capital Programme for the five year period 2016/17 to 2020/21. The Education Budget Sub-Committee considered a report highlighting the changes agreed by the Executive in respect of the Capital Programme for the Education Portfolio.

 

The changes to the Education Portfolio approved by the Executive in February included:

 

Formula Devolved Capital (£446,000 net reduction):

 

The Formula Devolved Capital scheme was funded by a grant from the Department for Education, which was passed straight on to Council maintained schools. The grant had reduced as schools converted to academy status.  Members agreed a total reduction of £446,000 to reflect the revised funding.

 

Basic Need Programme (£6,896,000 increase in 2018/19):

 

In the Basic Need Capital Programme Report approved by the Executive on 23rd March 2016, main works at Castlecombe Primary School were included as a Project in Delivery (Unfunded).  The Council had now received additional Basic Need Capital Grant for the period 2018-19 of £6,896,000 from the DfE and was now in a position to fund these works.  Members had agreed the addition of this amount to the Basic Need capital scheme, and noted that an updated Basic Need Capital Programme was due to be reported to the next meeting of the Executive.

 

Schemes rephased from 2016/17 into 2017/18:

 

As part of the 3rd quarter monitoring exercise, a total of £2,433,000 had been rephased from 2016/17 into 2017/18 to reflect revised estimates of when expenditure on Education schemes was likely to be incurred. This had no overall impact on the total approved estimate for the capital programme. 

 

RESOLVED:  That the Portfolio Holder be recommended to confirm the changes agreed by Executive on 8th February 2017.

58.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

7.00pm, Tuesday 27 September 2016

7.00pm, Tuesday 31 January 2017

7.00pm, Tuesday 28 March 2017

Minutes:

The next meeting of Education Budget Sub-Committee would be held at 7.00pm on Tuesday 18th July 2017.

 

 

Original Text: