Dedicated School Grant (DSG) Update and LA proposed amendments to Central Bedfordshire's Scheme for Financing Schools
This paper provides an update on the DSG and Growth Fund allocation for 2016/17 and funding arrangements for 2017/18. It asks Schools Forum to agree a DSG transfer from the Early Years block to the Schools block and to approve the LA proposed amendments to Central Bedfordshire’s Scheme for Financing Schools.
The Forum received a report which provided an update on the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) and Growth Fund Outturn for 2016/17 and funding arrangements for 2017/18. The agreement of a DSG transfer from the Early Years Block to the Schools Block and to approve the Local Authority (LA) proposed amendments to Central Bedfordshire’s Scheme for Financing Schools.
From 2013/14, the DSG would be split into three notional blocks: Early Years, High Needs and Schools.
The Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) was set at negative 1.5% per pupil for 2016/17.
It was noted that the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) is no longer required to complete two statements annually instead the DfE have now requested one annual outturn statement, confirming that the DSG received by the Authority was fully deployed in support of the school budgets in accordance with the conditions of the School Regulations. In addition, it will also include a Non Maintained Special School (NMSS) statement and Fraud cases reported in school statement.
The Schools Block is based on a per pupil unit of funding of £4,294.39 (an increase of £5.30 from 2015/16) multiplied by 36,643 pupils as reported in the October 2015 census (an increase of 777 pupils).
The Early Years Block is based on a unit of funding of £3,979.80 multiplied by 2,621full time equivalent number of pupils as reported on the January 2016 census. In June 2016, the block was updated for 7/12ths of the January 2015 pupil numbers to cover the period September 2015 to March 2016.
The High Needs Block is a single block of high needs pupils/students age 0 – 24. For 2016/17 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 students in Further Education (FE).
The distribution of the 2016/17 DSG based on the 51 Academy conversions at August 2016 was £195,373 (£92,507 went to Academies ISB). Paragraph 18 of the report provided a breakdown of the centrally retained DSG of £19.201m.
Growth Fund 2016/17
The Growth Fund can only be used for the purposes of supporting significant pre-16 growth in schools to meet basic need as a result of the local authority’s duty under section 13(1) of the 1996 Act to secure that efficient primary/secondary education are available. 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 2016/17 was set at £2m. The Forum noted that the unspent amount of £241,830 from 2015/16 will be used for the same purpose in 2016/17. An adjustment was due from the EFA of £18k in respect of a Growth Fund payment to Academies. The adjustment will be included in the 2016/17 Growth Fund.
Funding announcement for 2017/18
The Forum noted that on 21 July 2016, the DfE announced the DSG for 2017/18 and that it would remain split into three notional blocks: school, high needs and early years.
The final DSG for 2017/18 is £196.854m. This is based on:
· Schools Block: £157.466m – which is based on the SBUF published in July 2015. For CBC the SUBF is £4,314.16 an increase of £19.77 (due to the transfer of the ESG retained duties and the one off DSG funding of £105k added to schools in 2016/17. Schools block will also include funding for the previous Education Services Grant (ESG) retained duties (£15 per pupil) which will be transferred into the schools block for 2017/18 (£618k for CBC).
· High Needs Block: £25.886m – which is based on the 2015/16 carry forward plus an additional top-up of £47m distributed based on the 2-19 aged population in each Local Authority.
· Early Years: £12.206m – which is based on the same rate as in 2015/16 £3,979.80 for three to four year olds. This includes the early year pupil premium (EYPP) £300 per year per eligible pupil equating to £139k and funding for disadvantaged two year olds at an hourly rate of £5.03.
Paragraph 31 of the report provided a breakdown of the indicative DSG Revenue allocation of £196.854m for 2017/18.
Paragraph 16 provided a list of the single national licence managed by the Department for Education for all state-funded schools in England. The Forum noted the estimated cost will be £245k.
Paragraph 18 provided a breakdown of the centrally retained DSG of £19.201m for 2016/17.
Amendments to CBC’s Scheme for Financing Schools
The Forum, at their meeting on 13 June 2016, agreed in principle to a consultation being carried out with all maintained schools regarding the reinstatement of the clawback. The consultation was carried out between 1 – 29 July 2016. There were 19 responses (22% of schools) – 1 nursery, 14 lower, 1 middle, 2 upper and 1 special school. 16 schools agreed in principle to the inclusion of the balance control mechanism.
Option 3 received the most support and therefore it will be implemented by the Local Authority (LA). It was explained by the Senior Finance Officer that the clawback only applies to surplus funding which has not been earmarked for a specific purpose. If a school cannot provide a rational as to why the funds have been held. It was noted that only once in three years had a clawback occurred.
The Forum noted that the changes provided in Appendix A to the report showed the changes to be made to the Capital Spending from Budget Shares. It was noted that the changes, indicated by track changes, were to provide clarification rather than alter the accounting procedures.
1. That the update on the 2016/17 DSG allocations be noted.
2. That the transfer of £226,821 for 2016/17 from the Early Years Block to the Schools Block (increasing to £237,044 2017/18) be agreed.
3. That the update on the 2016/17 Growth Fund be noted.
4. That the 2017/18 funding announcement be noted.
5. That the LA proposed amendments to Central Bedfordshire’s Scheme for Financing Schools be approved.
- DSG Sept 16, item 8. PDF 117 KB
- Appendix A - Scheme for Financing Schools LA's proposed changes June 2016, item 8. PDF 35 KB