Issue - meetings


Meeting: 15/01/2015 - Schools' Forum (Item 30)



Report ED15034


The Council had carried forward a total of £8.946m of Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) from underspends of £1.697m, £2.984m and £4.265m in the 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14 financial years respectively. As part of the ongoing discussions regarding this unspent DSG, the Schools Forum was asked to consider proposals for the use of the funds.

The proposals were to distribute £3.5m to schools as a one-off payment, to fund two growth bids of £500k each for two years for early years providers and bulge classes, the purchase of Beacon House for £1.79m and to contribute £3m to the refurbishment costs of Beacon House. This would leave an unallocated surplus of £656k to be carried forward into 2015/16.

A letter had been received from Karen Raven on behalf of secondary head teachers stating that they were broadly in agreement with the proposed expenditure on Beacon House. She reiterated concerns that they had not been consulted on the decision to purchase Beacon House and sought an undertaking that they would be consulted sooner on any future projects. She also made the recommendation that the opportunity be taken to liaise more effectively with primary head teachers about the transition of year 5 and 6 pupils into Beacon House in year 7.

The Education Portfolio Holder apologised that it had not been possible to consult with the Forum about the purchase of Beacon House, but he explained that it had been necessary to move very quickly and confidentially to realise the opportunity to provide what was potentially a facility of national excellence.

The Authority was in discussion with Bromley College about the development of the Midfield campus for KS3 provision. Comments were made that, just like Burwood, the Midfield site was not ideal, being towards the edge of the borough, but it was also accepted that in other ways it was a more welcoming site than Burwood.

The Forum also discussed how schools would be notified of the additional funding – both the £3.5m from unspent DSG and the £19.5m additional funding in the Schools Block. Officers confirmed that they would give explicit guidance to maintained schools on the figures; however, the Authority did not provide information for academies. 

RESOLVED that the proposals for the use of unspent DSG be supported.


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