Issue - decisions

The Schools Budget 2019/20 (Cllr David Simmonds CBE, Cllr Jonathan Bianco & Cllr Ray Puddifoot MBE)


15/02/2019 - Schools Budget 2019/20



That Cabinet:


1.    Agree to apply the disapplication approval notified by the Education and Skills Funding Agency on 7 February 2019, to transfer £3,499k from the Schools Block to enable an in year balanced Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) Budget for 2019/20 to be set (as set out in paragraphs 1 to 4 of the addendum).

  1. Approve the Primary and Secondary schools funding formula as agreed by schools and the Schools Forum, as set out in paragraphs 26 to 30.
  2. Approve the Early Years Single Funding Formula, as set out in paragraphs 31 to 40.
  3. Approve the base rate of funding for the Two Year Old Free Entitlement Offer, as set out in paragraph 41.
  4. Approve the Early Years Centrally Retained budget as agreed by the Schools Forum, as set out in paragraphs 43 to 46.
  5. Approve the Central School Services budget as agreed by the Schools Forum, as set out in paragraphs 47 to 51.
  6. Approve the High Needs budget as agreed by the Schools Forum, as set out in paragraphs 52 to 64.

8.    Request that the Chairman of the Executive Scrutiny Committee considers waiving the scrutiny call-in period on the amended recommendation 1 and recommendations 2-7 so they come into immediate effect in order allow for sufficient time to submit school budget figures to the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

9.    In the event any new information is received requiring further changes to the Schools Budget following Cabinet’s decision, delegate authority to the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members for Finance, Property and Business Services and Education and Children’s Services, in consultation with the Corporate Director of Finance, to agree any amendments to the Schools Budget for 2019/20 under urgency provisions.


Reasons for decision


Cabinet reviewed the consultations with School Headteachers, Governors and Early Years providers on the distribution of the funding arrangements for schools for 2019/20.


In an addendum to the meeting, Cabinet noted that the Council’s disapplication request to the Department for Education had been approved on 7 February 2019 giving ministerial authority for the transfer of funding within the Dedicated Schools Budget to help mitigate the substantial £3,499k deficit in the High Needs section. Cabinet gave all due consideration to the feedback from the Schools Forum at its meeting on 12 February 2019 following the development, however, it also noted that individual schools budgets would still increase by £964k next year and that this would be on top of the additional funds that schools would receive from the Teachers Pay Award Grant.


Cabinet noted the importance of the Schools Forum in managing the total education budget and also the responsibility of individual schools themselves in setting their own balanced budgets.


Given the need to responsibly tackle the deficit and taking into account the resultant position of individual schools budgets, Cabinet agreed to fully apply the disapplication request, thereby enabling the setting a balanced Schools Budget.


Alternative options considered and rejected


Cabinet could have ignored the Secretary of State’s decision and agreed to set a £3,499k deficit Schools Budget for 2019/20 or partially applied the disapplication approval.


Officer to action:


Peter Malewicz, Finance


Classification: Public


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.


Urgency Provisions


This report had been circulated less than 5 working days before the Cabinet meeting and was agreed by the Chairman to be considered as urgent.