Agenda and minutes

Leicestershire Schools' Forum - Wednesday, 12 February 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Beaumanor Hall, Beaumanor Drive, Woodhouse, Leicestershire

Contact: Karen Brown (Tel. 0116 305 6340)  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for absence/Substitutions.


Apologies for absence were received from Dawn Whitemore, Catherine Drury, Dave Hedley, Mr Ould CC, Carolyn Lewis, James Tickle, Zoe Wortley, Julie McBrearty, Clare Allen, David Atterbury and Alison Bradley.


Jon Mellor was substituting for James Tickle and Deborah Taylor for Mr Ould.


Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 November 2019 (previously circulated) and matters arising. pdf icon PDF 227 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 6 November 2019 were agreed.



2020/21 Schools Budget pdf icon PDF 267 KB

Additional documents:


Jenny Lawrence presented a report on the 2020/21 Dedicated Schools Grant Settlement for Leicestershire and the 2020/21 Schools Budget.  The report builds upon a number of reports presented through the 2019/20 financial year.


Jenny referred to paragraphs 10-13 which sets out the background to the funding system in terms of how it is received into the local authority and the role of the Schools Forum in setting the 2020/21 Schools budget.


Jenny referred to paragraph 15 which sets out the purpose and scope of the 2020/21 Schools Budget and the action required.  Jenny highlighted the funding for the local authority in order to meet prescribed statutory duties placed upon it; these were admissions, asset management and central support services.  This largely consists of recharges from services outside the Children and Families Department that support budgets funded from DSG such as finance, ICT and property.  Jenny said that item 4 is an area of concern for the local authority as funding has been reduced – the costs relate to previous premature retirement costs which will not reduce in line with the grant reduction. 


Jenny highlighted the importance of paragraph 16 as in previous years Schools Forum approval has been required to carry forward a deficit on the Schools Block to be met from the following year’s budget.  The DfE has laid down new legislation that confirms local authorities are now required to carry any deficit forward.  In addition, legislation now states that local authorities may contribute to the deficit with the permission of the Secretary of State.  The option of local authorities to top up the dedicated schools grant has been very much reduced.


Paragraph 17 states that the local authority will be required to seek adjudication from the Secretary of State should approval from Schools Forum not be granted for the centrally funded items.


Paragraph 18 outlines that the budget for copyright licences is held centrally which funds all academies and maintained schools and is £509,100. 


Discussion took place on the dedicated schools grant in terms of the new requirements.  Jenny commented that the Secretary of State was now in control of the grant - if the DSG hits a deficit the local authority will have to establish a deficit recovery plan which was already in place through the High Needs Development Plan as it is the high needs element of the grant that is the only area overspending.  Schools Forum asked for the last sentence of paragraph 16 - The latter of these changes effectively prohibits local authorities from contributing to DSG and to fund any DSG deficit to be clarified.  Clarification – the Secretary of State has set out that the grant is ringfenced and whilst it will be possible for local authorities to contribute to the grant with Secretary of State permission, the laying of the legislation meant that such a permission is unlikely although this has not been tested.


Ros Hopkins asked if the deficit area being discussed was schools deficits.  Jenny confirmed it was a deficit on dedicated schools grants.


Chris Parkinson asked about contributions to school growth.  Jenny commented that school growth is a direct allocation to the local authority to meet the revenue costs arising from the need to commission additional school places.  The local authority can only contribute to the DSG with permission of the Secretary of State.  Jenny set out that local authorities have to meet the cost of the additional pupils between September and March before the school triggers DSG funding, it is also required to meet pre-opening and dis-economies of scale funding.  Jenny said that the DSG reserve is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 114.


Any other business.


2020/21 National Funding Formula


Jenny reported that a lot of telephone calls had been received as a result of the DfE publication on the 2020/21 NFF.  The original settlement produced a table for NFF formula for schools based on 2018 data.  The DfE published it on the website as a more accessible way of looking it.  Jenny stated that it is not using out of date data.  The recommendation is not to use this and to use the S251 statement and gag information instead.



Date of next meeting.


Wednesday 17 June 2020, 2.00 pm, Beaumanor Hall

Monday 28 September 2020, 2.00 pm, Beaumanor Hall