Dedicated Schools Grant
To note the 2014/15 DSG allocation and Growth Fund for 2014/15. To note the 2015/16 funding arrangements.
The Forum considered a report which provided an update on the 2014/15 Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) allocation and Growth Fund for 2014/15. In addition, the funding arrangements for 2015/16 were provided for noting.
From 2013/14, the DSG was split into three notional blocks: Early Year, High Needs and Schools.
The School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations defines the Local Authority education budgets for the 2013/14 financial year only. The Regulators provided simplified local formulae, greater delegation to schools and new arrangements for funding pupils with high needs.
The Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) was set at negative 1.5% per pupil for 2014/15.
It was noted that the Chief Finance Officer (CFO), is required to only submit an annual outturn statement confirming the full deployment of the DSG. However there are two additional documents now required:
Non Maintained Special School (NMSS) statement – requires confirmation by the authority that all students identified as high needs students were not incorrectly identified.
Fraud cases statement – requires confirmation of the number and value of fraud cases in schools, the number investigated and the action taken where appropriate.
The Forum noted that a question has been raised with the DfE regarding the Council paying the deduction for CRC. It was felt that ,as CBC had not joined the scheme at the point Schools were withdrawn from CRC, there was a query as to the validity of the deduction from DSG.
2014/15 DSG Budget Allocation
The Schools Block is based on a per pupil unit of funding of £4,144.47 multiplied by 35,148 pupils as reported on the October 2013 census.
The Early Years Block is based on a unit of funding of £3,979.80 multiplied by 2,587 full time equivalent number of pupils as reported on the January 2014 census. In April 2015, the block will be updated for 7/12ths of the January 2015 pupil numbers to cover the period September 2014 to March 2015.
The High Needs Block is a single block for high needs pupils / student age 0-24. For 2014/15 the block is split into two parts, pre-16 and post-16 (ages 16-24). The Forum noted that since August 2013, the post-16 funding has combined three previous budgets: SEN block grant, specialist placements funding and the cost of high needs student in Further Education (FE).
The 2014/15 funding for early education places for 2 year olds from lower income households is to fund Statutory Places (£2,218k) and ‘trajectory building’ (262k) to create non-statutory places in preparation for the increased entitlement.
The distribution of the 2014/15 DSG based on the 48 Academy conversions at August 2014 was £183.049 (of which £83,790 went to Academies). Direct payments to Academies included in Central Spend = £4,308k. Paragraph 14 provided a breakdown of the centrally retained DSG of £18.824m.
Growth Fund 2014/15
The Growth Fund is for significant pre-16 growth in schools. Funds are available to both maintained schools and academies. Where a school has elected to expand they are not eligible for the Growth Fund.
The amount for 2014/15 was set at £1m. It was noted that this amount has already been exceeded as detailed in paragraph 20 of the report. It was confirmed that none of the funding was provided for Infant Class Size growth.
Fair Schools Funding in 2015/16
The Fair Schools Funding in 2015/16 consultation began in March 2014 by the Department for Education (DfE). The DfE had allocated an additional £350m to increase the per pupil budgets for the least funded local authorities. On 17th July the DfE announced the final methodology to be used to distribute funding to LA’s in 2015/16. The Senior Finance Officer informed the Forum that the allocation for CBC had been increased to £5.3m.
The Technical Sub Group met on 9 September to consider the outcome of the consultation document and possible models for distribution of fundinf for 2015/16. The group requested that the Forum as a whole consider some of the points prior to the consultation document being issued to schools for their views.
1. That the update on the 2014/15 DSG allocations be noted.
2. That the update on the 2014/15 Growth Fund be noted.
3. That the 2015/16 funding arrangements be noted.