Decision details

The Schools Budget 2023/24

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes




That Cabinet:


  1. Agrees that the total Schools Budget for 2023/24 be set with an overall deficit of £3,617k when compared to the total of the Dedicated Schools Grant provided to the Council
  2. Approve the Primary and Secondary schools funding formula option 2 as preferred by the Schools Forum on 18th January 2023.
  3. Note the Early Years Single Funding Formula allocation, for which consultation was launched with Schools Forum on 18th January 2023.
  4. Approve the Early Years Centrally Retained budget.
  5. Approve the Central School Services budget.
  6. Note the indicative budget for the High Needs block of £62,084k, which will be presented to Schools Forum on 20th March 2023 as part of ongoing consultation, additionally noting that the block is also subject to the disapplication request being considered by the DfE for the 0.5% transfer from the schools block.
  7. Should any further Council approval regarding the Schools Budget 2023/24 be required, agree to delegate authority to the Cabinet Member for Finance and Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education, in consultation with the Corporate Director of Finance, to determine under urgency provisions.  


Reasons for decision


The Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education introduced the report and noted that last year the Council had reached a 5 year agreement with the Department of Education to eliminate the schools budget deficit, which included creating extra capacity for SEND places locally.


The Cabinet Member detailed the various block elements of the schools budget and the consultation status of them with the Schools Forum, where some further consultation was required. It was noted that the overall budget was driven by pupil numbers and that there continued to be demand, and increasing pressure on the high needs block which funds children with special educational needs and was contributing to the deficit. It was noted that a disapplication request had been made by the Council to the Department for Education, not supported by the Schools Forum, in order to transfer some of the schools budget to mitigate the increase in the high needs block and that a response was awaited.


In respect of changes to the Government funding, the Cabinet Member informed Cabinet that there was a Looked After Children factor which would no longer apply and would disadvantage Hillingdon given there was a higher proportion of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children in the Borough. The Cabinet Member, however, welcomed the additional funding for the early years funding block allocation which, along with the early years pupil premium, would benefit local nursery provision.


The Cabinet Member noted that the Council was a high delegator of school budget monies, with the vast majority of funding going directly to schools. Cabinet, therefore, agreed the recommendations as set out in the report.


Alternative options considered and rejected


Cabinet could have decided to recommend that the Schools Forum reconsider the proposed funding for schools.


Relevant Select Committee

Children, Families & Education

Expiry date for any scrutiny call-in / date decision can be implemented (if no call-in)

Decisions 1, 2, 4, 5 & 7 can be called in by 5pm, 24 February 2023

Officer(s) to action

Andy Evans






The report and any background papers relating to this decision by the Cabinet are available to view on the Council's website or by visiting the Civic Centre, Uxbridge.


This item was also circulated less than 5 clear working days before the Cabinet meeting and it was considered by the Chairman to be urgent, and therefore, considered.



Publication date: 17/02/2023

Date of decision: 16/02/2023

Decided at meeting: 16/02/2023 - CABINET

Effective from: 25/02/2023

Accompanying Documents: