Venue: Beaumanor Hall, Beaumanor Drive, Woodhouse, Leicestershire
Apologies for absence/Substitutions.
Apologies for absence were received from Paul Meredith, Dave Hedley (Martin Towers substituting), Jo Blackburn, Kathryn McGovern, Catherine Drury, Graham Bett, Nick Goforth and Edy O’Connor.
The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 6 November 2017 were agreed.
2018/19 School Funding Formula - outcome of consultation
Due to the consultation closing on 30 November this will be a verbal update.
Jenny Lawrence presented an analysis of the consultation outcome to gain final views of the Schools’ Forum to inform the recommendations for Cabinet on 9 January 2018. A copy of the consultation unabridged comments submitted by schools during the consultation period were circulated to members of the Forum.
Jenny stated that 95 schools responded to the consultation; 55 primary and 40 secondary.
Two options were presented for Primary Schools and one for Secondary Schools:
Primary Option 1:
To adopt the NFF principles but local variation in respect of prior attainment, lump sum and deprivation.
Primary Option 2:
Move as close to the NFF as possible excluding sparsity.
To align to NFF as close as possible excluding the sparsity factor.
Jenny commented that the local authority had replicated what sparsity looked like through the working group. The responses for Option 1 were 42 and for Option 2 were 37. Based on the primary responses only Option 1 was more favourable across Leicestershire schools. Jenny asked the Schools’ Forum for any comments.
David Thomas commented that he would go against the formula with the local variations as it failed to demonstrate a clear benefit from deviation from the National Funding Formula proposals, which was the remit against which the modelling had been done.
A primary maintained headteacher made it clear he would lose out over this formula and was uncertain if this was a transition to a NFF in two years’ time. This was a time risk and ‘cliff edge’ argument.
Jenny commented that it was impossible to speculate on what year 3 would be as the DfE had not made any information available. Moving on the next steps would be based on the spending review – difficult to know where the cliff edge is, if indeed there will be one. The baseline budget for 2019/20 will be 2018/19 school budgets. There is growing speculation that it will not be possible to implement a hard formula in 2020/21.
Callum Orr asked if Year 3 was near to the NFF or the existing Leicestershire formula. Jenny said that the expectation would be that with a hard formula Year 3 would be the NFF, if a soft formula, it would be the adopted formula for Leicestershire. Mr Ould commented that he had attended a F40/DfE meeting recently and whether the additional £1.6 billion over the next 2 years was baselined would depend on the next spending review.
Following a vote 14 members did not support the Local Authority proposal to adopt the NFF principles but local variation in respect of prior attainment, lump sum and deprivation for primary schools and there were 2 abstentions.
A Forum member asked what the next stage was. Jenny commented that this was the final stage in consultation. Jane Moore emphasised that if Forum are proposing not to agree with the LA proposal they need to be really clear around the decision and be transparent about the decision the Schools’ Forum is recommending.
Jenny referred to the one option for the Secondary Formula. Jenny added there was only one school that triggered sparsity funding but its position at the funding floor resulted in no more funding if included.
Jenny referred to the two areas where it would be necessary to rebalance the Leicestershire formula to ensure it did not exceed the funding available. They were:
· Balance the cost of any pupil characteristic changes in the school sector in which they arise and;
Forum members agreed with the local authority proposal to balance the cost of any pupil characteristic changes in the school sector in which they arise. ... view the full minutes text for item 55.
Any other business.
There was no further business.
Date of next meeting.
Monday 22 January 2018
Wednesday 28 February 2018
All at 2.00 – 4.00 pm at Beaumanor Hall
Wednesday 28 February 2018 at 2.00 pm
Dates to be agreed:
Wednesday 20 June
Monday 24 September
Monday 26 November
All dates from 2.00 – 4.00 pm at Beaumanor Hall