Agenda and minutes

Venue: Bromley College of Further and Higher Education, Rookery Lane, Bromley, BR2 8HE

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

68.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Sam Parrett and Neil Proudfoot.  Jane Bailey, Director of Education, and Cllr Fortune, Portfolio Holder for Education also sent apologies for absence.

69.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no additional declarations of interest.

 

70.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 26TH NOVEMBER 2015 pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 November 2015 were agreed, and signed as a correct record.

 

The following issues were raised under matters arising:

 

Minute 65 (Review of Funding Formula – 2017/18

 

Karen Raven reported that there had been a further Secondary Headteachers’ meeting where it had been agreed, in light of the strong feelings expressed, that a letter should be sent on behalf of the group to the Secretary of State for Education.  The letter would set out that Head Teachers did not feel that there was sufficient funding for schools in Bromley and would outline the consequences of this underfunding.

71.

2016-17 Dedicated Schools Grant pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Forum considered a report providing information on the 2016-17 Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) and how it would be allocated.  In December 2015, the Department for Education (DfE) released the final DSG for 2016/17 based on the final units of funding that were released in July 2015.  The final units of funding increased marginally from 2015/16 (from £4,545.22 to £4,548.24) to include funding for non-recoupment academies/free schools that were previously funded separately.  The DSG income was generally in line with what was expected and what had been received in previous years.  In 2015/16 a balanced budget was set at the start of the financial year (taking into account planned expenditure to be funded from the unspent DSG carried forwards from previous years) as agreed by the Schools’ Forum.  Initial calculations indicated that the DSG was likely to be overspent by around £4 million in 2016/17.  Additional pressures on the budget included special schools, bulge classes, SEN services and licenses.  It had previously been agreed as part of the 2015/16 budget process that £1m per annum of previously unspent DSG would be used to support expenditure in 2015/16 and 2016/17.  Further savings had been identified by officers from the Central Spend areas to reduce the overspend with a further £1.25m from the DSG carry forward to balance the budget for 2016/17.  The previous DSG underspend was now almost fully spent and as such the Local Authority would no longer have this as a resource on which to draw down.  The Local Authority was very concerned about this situation as it demonstrated that the current budget was not sustainable and that further savings would need to be identified in future years.  Officers had already begun the task of identifying potential savings within the High Needs and Early Years Blocks and within the central spend in the Schools Block.  However, it was anticipated that additional savings may also need to be found within the Schools Block, and the Schools’ Forum was asked to consider this as part of the Formula Review in preparation for the introduction of the National Funding Formula which was due to be announced early in 2016 as part of a full consultation process.

 

Members questioned when the savings from Beacon House, in relation to SEN spending, would be built into the budget.  The Finance Manager reported that the anticipated 25 places at Beacon House had already been built into the budget and that the savings from this were containing a further increase in expenditure.  The high level of expenditure (£11,954,041) on SEN Outborough fees was noted by the Forum and Members noted that if this issue could be adequately addressed the budget pressures facing other areas would be eased.  In response, the Head of Schools Finance Support stressed that this budget was targeted at a small number of pupils (around 200) with high level complex needs and that the Local Authority had very little discretion surrounding this funding stream.  As all of the Special Schools in Bromley  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.

72.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

The Schools’ Forum noted that this was the last meeting that the Finance Manager would attend.  Members expressed their thanks for the support that the Finance Manager had given to the Schools’ Forum.

73.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

All meetings are at the Bromley College of Further and Higher Education unless otherwise stated.

 

 

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