To receive and consider the Draft 2021/22 Schools Block Budget report.
Katherine Vernon presented the Draft 2021/22 Schools Block Budget report.
Katherine Vernon stated that the Task and Finish Group had discussed the principles to be used in the local funding formula for the 2021/22 financial year. The discussions were supported by consultations with schools and were as follows:
· The Primary / Secondary ratio would remain unchanged at 1 : 1.29
· The formula factors would be moved by a third towards the National Funding Formula (NFF) rates
· Lump sums were modelled at £150k and £135k. £120k was discarded early on as this negatively impacted our smaller schools.
· The Minimum Funding Guarantee would be set at +1.0% to provide year on year increases in per pupil funding with a cap on gains to be decided
Katherine Vernon informed that 97% of schools consulted were in agreement to apply for a disapplication for the all-through school so that the minimum per pupil levels were applied to the primary and secondary school in the same way as other Wokingham schools.
Katherine Vernon informed that 54% of the schools consulted were in favour of transferring 0.5% of the Schools Block to the HNB, and that had been taken into account in the calculations.
Derren Gray stated that the Task and Finish Group had settled on £135k lump sum because this had the least impact, only impacting one school; and it was closer to the national funding formula.
Katherine Vernon stated that the result of the October census had been taken into account in the preparation of the draft Budget. The pupils’ characteristics would not be available until later in December and the figures for the Piggott Schools could not be changed in the model so this would change slightly following the acceptance of the disapplication.
Derren Gray stated that there had been an increase of around £2m in the Schools Block from the figures discussed in November, which enabled a bit of flexibility in the funding formula.
The Chairman thanked Officers and the members of the Task and Finish Group for the work that was undertaken to model the draft Budget, enabling a transparent and easier discussion.
Derren Gray thanked Katherine Vernon for her work in developing the draft Budget.
1) Schools Forum agreed with the recommendations of the Task and Finish Group for the 2021/22 Schools Block Budget; and
2) Schools Forum agreed that a consultation with all school on the proposed indicative budgets be undertaken in December, with the views of schools to be considered by Schools Forum at the January meeting.