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Does the Local Authority have 100% assurance that the DfE is funding the % increase difference for the Teachers National Pay Award. That’s before discussing the Teachers Pension Scheme Employers Contribution.
National Pay is 1% schools funded with the remainder being funded on a per pupil basis calculation by the DfE with a minimum of 100 pupils for small schools.
Teachers Pension Scheme is to be 100% funded – the DfE are going to consult on how this will be distributed.
How much is there in Devon’s overall “slush” fund?
Devon’s reserves stand at £14m and is based on an assessment of the financial risks facing the authority. Over the past 4 years the authority has had to find £50 million of savings to meet its own budget pressures.
How confident are you that the DfE will provide more money for Growth Funding, and it being in excess of the £1million proposed to be cancelled.
The ESFA have released provisional calculations based on the growth between the October 2016 Census and the October 2017 Census – identifying an increase of growth funding in excess of £1 million.
Provided the growth between the October 2017 Census and October 2018 Census is similar, then we are confident that the funding will be forthcoming.
Was the decision to increase the Growth Fund budget by £1m made solely so that it could be then released to partly fund the 0.5% without seeming to come from schools’ budgets?
Absolutely not. The £1m was agreed at DEF as part of the 2017-18 year end discussions in March this year to accommodate the potential growth across growing schools within Devon. As part of the Funding Consultation process we agreed that in light of the possible additional funding through the new formulaic approach of the DfE to fund the authority for growth that we would take the low risk option to reduce the growth funding back to previous year’s levels as we need to support the High Needs Block.
Why are we (Devon) not lobbying government to put limitations of cost of provision in the independent sector to make their costs more in line with funding available. This happens within the care of the elderly in nursing homes.
Devon, as members of the f40 and through direct lobbying of our local MPs raises this concern and continued pressure at every opportunity at regional or national level, as well as with the Department.
Are we expecting further reduction in low prior attainment factor in future years?
The changes to low prior attainment is decided by the ESFA – based on the cohort and funding available for distribution via this factor. Therefore, this may change in the future but is out of Devon’s control.
What is the size of schools winning/losing implementing the Minimum Funding Level?
The gainers are mainly larger primary schools and larger secondary schools or schools with limited additional educational needs.
Majority of schools will have a reduction in their funding due to the Minimum Funding Level only being affordable by implementing a negative Minimum Funding Guarantee.
What has happened with the £33pp reduction which was introduced 2 years ago and was supposed to be put back into the AWPU after 2 years.
The £33 per pupil moved from the Schools Block to High Needs Block in 2017/18 – the year prior to the implementation of the National Funding Formula (NFF). The authority had a 2-year plan to bring the High Needs Block back into a balanced budget. There was never an intention to revert this funding after 2 years to the AWPU.
By transferring this funding in the year we did, we saw additional funding come through the NFF implementation to the Schools Block as the baseline was lower. If this had remained the funding gap would have been less within the NFF.
Has the Local Authority modelled a stepped Minimum Funding Level? Primary £3,300 to £3,400 and Secondary £4.600 to £4,700?
Yes, to afford the Minimum Funding Level which benefits 53 schools, can only be implemented by applying a negative Minimum Funding Guarantee, which results in up to 300 schools having a reduction in funding to enable 53 schools to gain funding.
Will you take further funding from Schools for High Needs next year?
The 0.5% requested for 2019-20 will go back into the Schools Block for 2020-21. It is only allowed to be transferred for one year. Any further need will have to come back to schools and schools forum through consultation for 2020-21 funding.
What are the sources of funding for SEN provision? Is it purely from the DSG?
Yes, the only source of funding is DSG into the High Need Block. There is also AEN within the school funding.
If some savings are yet to be confirmed, will more money be taken from the Schools Block if these savings aren’t as high as expected.
The current funding pressures do not account for the additional savings identified. Therefore, if they are realised they will reduce the overall pressures on the High Needs Block not increase them.
Will you take further funding from Schools for high needs next year?
The 0.5% requested for 2019-20 will go back into the Schools Block for 2020-21. It is only allowed to be transferred for one year. Any further need will have to come back to schools and schools forum through consultation for 2020-21 funding
Does the £3 million in fact only reduce the ongoing deficit? What is the 3-year plan? Is the deficit not just set to continue to grow?
Continue to work on the areas explained within the consultation document, also supporting early identification and solutions. Timeliness is key in reducing anxiety and step escalation.
Looking at what we can control
- Special school places
- Independent brokerage / contracting
- Earlier identification
Perception in schools is that EHCPs reducing. Numbers funded in schools are dropping but still have children with same/similar issues – but they are no longer funded.
The perception is incorrect as the number of EHCPs are in fact increasing and are all funded.