2021/22 Budget Proposals
Jonathan Castle presented the indicative DSG budget for 2021/22. The indicative DSG income for 2021-22 is £379m; the current 2020/21 income being £352m. The following areas were highlighted.
The Schools Block
This includes a proposed minimum funding guarantee increase of +2%. In addition, each primary school is guaranteed a minimum of £4,180 per pupil and each secondary school at least £5,415 per pupil in 2021/22. These per pupil rates now include the Teachers Pay Grant and Teachers Pension Employer Contribution Grant which were previously distributed as separate grants.
Early Years Block
An update to the 2021/22 allocation will be made once the January 2021 Early Years and Schools census numbers are finalised. The allocation will then be finalised after the January 2022 census. Once the LA receives clarification from the Government around Maintained Nursery School supplementary funding, it will return to Schools Forum with the Early Years Funding proposals. The deadline for Schools Forum to review is February 28th. Should the Forum agree, the rates can be agreed via email so that a formal meeting is not required.
Authority Proforma Tool (APT)
The LA is required to submit a completed APT to the DfE annually, which shows all the detailed calculations and assumptions underpinning the proposals for allocating budgets to schools. For Academies and Free Schools, it captures the data required by the Education and Schools Funding Agency (EFSA) to calculate academy budgets and recoupment deductions to the gross DCG.
Jonathan Castle presented a table detailing the proposed Schools Block Funding Factor rates for 2021/22 along with the current factors in the Barnet funding formula for 2020/21. Under the National Funding Formula (NFF), Basic Entitlement Schools Block Factor rates for 2021/22 have increased by 3% from 2020/21. As the Government has announced a public sector pay freeze, this increase represents an increase in school funding in real terms compared to 2020/21.
The APT is due for submission on 21 January 2021.
In addition to the rates submitted in the APT, the authority must also clarify the funding criteria used when allocating growth and split site funding.
The Growth Fund and Split Site Funding criteria were presented to and agreed in principle at the Schools Forum at the October meeting. The only changes made to what was presented at the October meeting was to update the growth rates in line with the new minimum funding rates.
Schools Forum is also required to approve the size of the Growth Fund, which is estimated to be £2.787m
Jonathan Castle outlined Appendix 1 detailing the indicative minimum funding guarantee and school factors funding allocations for each school for the Schools Block. Subject to data correction, over 70% schools had an increase in budget compared to 40% of schools with an increase in pupil numbers.
Sarah Sands asked if the Growth fund is not needed, does it go into contingency?
Jonathan Castle confirmed that whilst it is not forecast to be needed in the current year, provisional workings show it will be needed in full for the next two years.
Ian Kingham asked how much was the increase in the High Needs Block?
Jonathan confirmed that the DfE had applied an 11% increase in allocation across the country because of the pressure on schools.
That School Forum
i. Notes the 2021/22 draft budget as shown in table 1
ii. Agree that the proposed hourly funding rates for early years will be sent to Schools Forum members by email and agree that the rates may be agreed by agreement of majority of members who respond
iii. Notes and agrees the 2021/22 formula factor rates used in the APT submission (National Funding Formula rates) as shown in Table 2 (all voting members)
iv. Notes and agrees Growth Fund criteria and amount; and Split Site criteria (all voting members).
All items were unanimously agreed and approved