Newcastle Schools Forum. Schools Central Expenditure Budgets. Item 12. 8th October Anthony Francis, Resources. For decision.

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1 Newcastle Schools Forum 8th October 2013 Schools Central Expenditure Budgets Report by: Anthony Francis, Resources For decision 1 Summary 1.1 This report considers the Schools Central Expenditure budgets as agreed with Schools Forum for 2013/14 in the context of budget requirements for 2014/15. In line with DfE operational guidance each specific budget area will be considered in turn so that Forum members can agree whether a budget should be retained for 2014/15 on the grounds of being an historic commitment, or maintained schools can choose to de-delegate funding where this is appropriate and in line with DfE guidance. 2 Recommendation 2.1 Schools Forum is asked to consider each budget proposal in turn and agree to retention, delegation / de-delegation as appropriate for each budget item. 3 Schools Central Expenditure Budgets The DfE document 2014/15 Revenue Funding Arrangements: Operational Information for Local Authorities gives guidance around schools central expenditure budgets and outlines the circumstances in which a budget can be considered an historic commitment (and can therefore continue with the agreement of Forum) to fulfil the purpose it was originally set up. There should however be no increase to this budget over and above anything that had been previously agreed. The document also outlines the circumstances under which the budget should be delegated out to schools (and academies) and then maintained schools can then vote to de-delegate funding to retain the central service. Academies are then free to buy-back the specific service if they so wish. De-delegation is not an option for academies, special schools, nurseries or PRU s. De-delegation decisions can therefore only be voted on by primary and secondary mainstream representatives of the Forum. A School Funding proforma is required to be submitted to the Education Funding Agency at the end of October with initial indications for all delegation / de-delegation decisions. An updated proforma is required to be submitted Page 1 of 10

2 to the EFA at the end of January at which point these decisions are confirmed. Following a similar process as last year it is proposed that the review of central budgets for delegation / de-delegation purposes is conducted in a two stage approach. Where the rationale for holding a central budget is clear from the outset ratification is sought now. Similarly where a previously agreed time limited budget has now expired this is confirmed as delegated out to schools for 2014/15. Where further discussion is required around specific budget decisions it is proposed that this is deferred until the December Forum meeting but that it is prudent to show on the EFA October pro-forma submission as centrally retained pending approval. This is on the basis that school allocations would otherwise be inflated by budgets that the Forum and sector representatives may legitimately wish to de-delegate / pool. Any budget areas where the decision is taken not to de-delegate can be reflected within the January EFA proforma submission. 3.3 The agreed Schools Block Central Expenditure Budgets for 2013/14 amount to 1,620,092. This is broken down in the following table: Budget Description Budget Suggested Approach Secondary Improvement Team (SIS Contribution) 250,000 Discuss in December Primary Improvement Team (SIS Contribution) 250,000 Discuss in December Historic Retiring Allowances 92,430 Seek Approval Now AST Remainder of existing agreement 60,633 Drops Out Newcastle School Achievement Awards 4,000 Seek Approval Now Fischer Family Trust 4,440 Seek Approval Now Bursary Support 70,000 Discuss in December CLA + MPA Licensing (per DfE instruction) 63,200 Seek Approval Now Licences / Subscriptions 26,020 Seek Approval Now Education Psychology Support (Behaviour) 87,380 Drops Out Trade Union Facility Time 108,430 Discuss in December Mainstream Schools in Financial Difficulty 71,749 Seek Approval Now Security Alarms 19,570 Discuss in December Schools Forum 15,460 Seek Approval Now Free School Meals Eligibility Checks 50,000 Seek Approval Now Risk Management Projects 70,240 Discuss in December ICT Broadband Connectivity 170,460 Discuss in December Anti Bullying 36,570 Discuss in December Targetted Support Behaviour & Attendance 49,510 Discuss in December CLC Contribution 120,000 Seek Approval Now 1,620,091 Page 2 of 10

3 3.4 There are a range of reasons why it has been proposed that some items are only considered at the December meeting. Firstly we have made a commitment to a policy review of the School Improvement function following on from being aligned to a review of services to schools. A number of services within the Education Division may need to change as a consequence of this work and it is considered that Schools Forum will be better positioned to assess this range of issues in December. One exception is the 500k of support for the overarching School Improvement Service. 3.5 Given that we would want to continue to support schools through the academic year before offering any changes for , it is proposed to continue the support from the central budget for the period April 2014 to August 2014 and defer consideration of any further support until December s meeting. 3.6 Finally, the other budget where we are seeking to defer consideration until December is the ICT Broadband Connectivity budget where progression of contractual options will leave us better positioned to assess in December. 3.7 Each specific budget is considered in turn so that Forum members can understand the purpose of each budget, consider what the implications would be for each school and service and a recommendation is made at each stage on which Forum members should vote. 4 Budget Detail 4.1 Secondary Improvement Team (SIS Contribution): 250k This contributes directly to the Secondary Improvement team to allow the provision of services that are currently available to secondary schools across the city. If this contribution did not continue then the existing level of support and intervention could not continue in its current form. treated as an Historic Commitment as Forum agreed in February 2012 that this contribution should continue for a period of three years (12/13, 13/14 & 14/15) at which point it would be reviewed again. Recommendation: Approve 104k for April 2014 to August 2014 and defer further consideration until the December meeting. 4.2 Primary Improvement Team (SIS Contribution): 250k This contributes directly to the Primary Improvement team to allow the provision of services that are currently available to primary schools across the city. If this contribution did not continue then the existing level of support and intervention could not continue in its current form. treated as an Historic Commitment as Forum agreed in February 2012 that this contribution should continue for a period of three years (12/13, 13/14 & 14/15) at which point it would be reviewed again. Page 3 of 10

4 4.3 Historic Retiring Allowances: 92k The central budget currently provides for 92k of historic retirement costs. These are legitimate charges against the DSG as at the time of approval would have been shown to secure a saving against the schools budget which is a requirement of the School Finance (England) Regulations. If this budget was not centrally retained the authority would be in a position where it would not be able to meet the associated liability and the costs would need to be passed to the respective schools, which would be contrary to their understanding when the original agreements were reached. Recommendation: Approve 104k for April 2014 to August 2014 and defer further consideration until the December meeting. 4.4 AST Remainder of Existing Agreement: 61k This centrally retained pooled budget funded the residual AST costs for 2013/14 as discussed and agreed with Schools Forum in December This was a time limited agreement and therefore the funding will be returned to the Individual Schools Budget for reallocation through the funding formula. Recommendation: This time limited agreement has now come to an end and therefore the sum of 60,633 be returned to the ISB for distribution through the funding formula. 4.5 Newcastle School Achievement Awards: 4k This contribution funds the Newcastle School Achievement Awards and was agreed by Forum in October 2011 and again in September treated as an Historic Commitment. delegation / subsequent de-delegation. 4.6 Fischer Family Trust: 4k This contribution funds access to Fischer Family Trust information used by the Performance Monitoring & Data team and was agreed by Forum in October 2011 and again in September treated as an Historic Commitment. delegation / subsequent de-delegation. 4.7 Bursary Support: 70k Page 4 of 10

5 This budget provides the schools budget contribution to the coordinated scheme across Newcastle. If this budget was not retained then each school / academy would be required to administer and fund their own scheme. Under DfE operational guidance for local authorities this budget can be treated as a contribution to a combined budget and can therefore be retained centrally before allocating within the formula (subject to Forum approval). 4.8 CLA / MPA Licences: 63k This budget was specifically created by the DfE to provide a national coordinated approach to pay for the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) and Music Publishers Association (MPA) licences (any other licenses would continue to be administered at a local level). The DfE changed the funding regulations from 2013/14 to permit the creation of this budget. Under DfE operational guidance for local authorities this budget can therefore be approval). If this budget was not retained centrally then each school would need to be charged individually which could be at increased cost. delegation / subsequent de-delegation. 4.9 Licenses / Subscriptions: 26k This budget funds the centrally co-ordinated scheme for licenses and subscriptions not covered by the specific contribution created by the DfE (see above). The total cost of administering these licenses and subscriptions on behalf of schools and academies in Newcastle is 36,440 of which 26,020 related to mainstream schools (and was therefore de-delegated) and 10,420 related to academies and Forum agreed academies would be approached to participate within the coordinated scheme. Under DfE operational guidance for local authorities this budget can be treated as a contribution to a combined budget and can therefore be retained centrally before allocating within the formula (subject to Forum approval). Academies would be approached individually to contribute accordingly to the coordinated scheme. If this budget was not retained centrally then each school and academy would need to be charged individually and administer their own licenses and subscriptions which could be at increased cost. delegation / subsequent de-delegation. Academies approached to continue to contribute to coordinated scheme Education Psychology Support Behaviour: 87k This budget contributes to two Educational Psychology (Behaviour) posts. The central budget held prior to 2013/14 was 121k and was delegated out in full in 2013/14 but maintained schools chose to de-delegate for a period of one year. This service will therefore become fully traded open to both maintained schools and academies. Page 5 of 10

6 Recommendation: Historic agreement now comes to an end and the funding is returned to the Individual Schools Budget Trade Union Facility Time: 108k This budget funds the centrally co-ordinated scheme for Trade Union Facility Time (Block funding and Floating Facility time) at a total cost of 151k. The Forum agreed a pooled budget approach to funding this in 2013/14 to continue with the arrangements that have operated in Newcastle over a number of years. Funding was delegated in the first instance to all schools and academies and maintained schools de-delegated a contribution of 108k with academies contributing the remainder. Contributions were calculated in line with AWPU allocations. Under DfE operational guidance for local authorities this budget can therefore be treated as a contribution to a combined budget and can therefore be approval). Academies would be approached individually to contribute accordingly to the coordinated scheme. If this budget was not retained centrally then each school with a Trade Union representative would either need to absorb the cost of any facility time or schools would need to organise and administer their own scheme to recover costs. Recommendation: Maintained primary and secondary representatives to agree to de-delegation of resource either at existing level or level deemed appropriate by sector members Maintained Schools In Financial Difficulty: 72k Previously a Schools In Financial Difficulty budget of 100k existed however as part of the funding reforms for 2013/14 this was required to be delegated to schools and academies in the first instance. The budget of 72k represents the amount de-delegated back to the central budget by maintained schools. The presumption of delegation applies therefore maintained schools are required to confirm that they wish to de-delegate this resource for 2014/15. If no resource is de-delegated then there will be no fund for schools who find themselves in financial difficulty during the course of the year to apply to. Recommendation: Maintained primary and secondary representatives to agree to de-delegation of resource either at existing level or level deemed appropriate by sector members Security Alarms: 20k This budget provides for technical support to schools in relation to alarms, CCTV, access control and fencing. This includes developing specifications with schools for new intruder alarm systems, security fencing schemes and moving CCTV equipment within schools. Local authority Security staff provide advice on the appropriate equipment required at each school site whereas if advice from independent contractors is sought this may result in the school purchasing equipment unsuitable for their specific needs (which may be at significant increased cost to the school). This budget also Page 6 of 10

7 provides for the checking and payment of invoices relating to alarms, CCTV and access control systems so that any charging errors are corrected. A substantially discounted call out rate has been negotiated with the main alarm contractor (ADT) of 40 per hour (normal cost 115 for first half hour) in addition to a 0% increase in maintenance charges with ADT. If funding was devolved to schools then schools would be required to process individual maintenance and callout invoices which ADT have confirmed would result in the loss of the discounted call out and maintenance rates. treated as a contribution to a combined budget and can therefore be approval) Schools Forum costs: 15k The central budget currently provides for 15k to support the servicing of the Schools Forum. This is a legitimate charge against the DSG under section 43 of the Education Act This budget covers officer time in connection with servicing the Forum in addition to the cost of venue hire for Forum meetings and the annual budget update and associated events. Benchmarking tables show that although a relatively small value budget Newcastle has the same cost as the majority of regional and statistical neighbours and significantly lower than Gateshead. If this budget was not approved to continue then a fundamental discussion would be required as to how the Forum would be able to be supported into the future. Servicing of Schools Forums is specifically listed within the DfE operational guidance for local authorities as a budget that can be retained centrally before allocating within the formula (subject to Forum approval). delegation / subsequent de-delegation Maintained Schools Free School Meals Eligibility Checks: 50k This budget was created with approval of Schools Forum in October 2012 to fund costs associated with determining the eligibility of a pupil for free school meals. This is a legitimate charge against the DSG and under the Operational Guidance for Local Authorities can be de-delegated by maintained schools. If this was not funded through a centrally retained budget then the costs would need to be charged out to individual schools Recommendation: Maintained primary and secondary representatives to agree to de-delegation of resource. Academies do not access this service free of charge but would be free to discuss a buy back arrangement. Page 7 of 10

8 4.16 Risk Management: 70k This budget provides capacity to enable a consistent approach to be developed across the school community to risk management and incident response. The Risk Management advisor works with schools to develop individual plans to enable a response to a range of potential incidents from everyday operational disruption to significant impact / major disruption. This is on ongoing requirement for schools and requires expertise to assist schools to consider all the challenges that they may face. Support is provided to schools to ensure the individual requirements are addressed from the plan itself, through to briefing staff and testing the arrangements. This approach whilst capturing the individual requirements of each school also enables an agreed standard of response to incidents which when impacting on more than one school is essential. Support for the plan development, updates & training and assistance directly to Head Teachers in response to live and ongoing incidents is funded through this budget. In addition specific remedial actions to address major issues are funded through this budget. Recent incidents supported include: Winter Pressures - where assistance to acquire help with snow clearing to allow pedestrian and vehicular access to schools. Response to individual premises related incidents / Structural issues. Safeguarding response and assistance The above arrangements provide an element of "insurance" for schools - it allows contact to an officer via the Duty Phone 24/7 and therefore reassurance that even out of hours Head Teachers can obtain support and guidance quickly and for the duration required. If this budget was delegated then no guarantee can be given to schools that sufficient resources could be generated through a traded option to maintain the same level of support if some schools choose not to buy-back. In such a situation the cost of addressing situations as referred to above would fall back on the school / schools affected and by nature these incidents are unpredictable. treated as a contribution to a combined budget and can therefore be approval) ICT Broadband Connectivity: 170k This budget provides a contribution to the overall costs associated with the Newcastle schools broadband Wide Area Network (WAN). This is taken into account within the WAN SLA charged to schools. A report will be presented to Schools Forum in December to update on options from treated as a contribution to a combined budget and can therefore be Page 8 of 10

9 approval). Recommendation: This budget is provisionally treated as a contribution to a combined budget for the purposes of the October EFA Schools Budget submission but that this is reviewed as part of the Forum report in December. Any changes can then be incorporated within the final EFA Schools Budget submission in January Anti Bullying / RESPONSE: 37k This budget provides capacity for all schools to access specialist anti-bullying support through specific interventions in schools or bespoke support developed in conjunction with schools. The range of programmes developed and available to schools range from sessions looking at the use of digital media and how this affects young people, programmes which tackle all forms of discriminatory behaviour including homophobia, gender and disability based bullying as well as interventions focussed upon race and gender issues. This work compliments the work undertaken by schools to address the spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of the OFSTED framework. This activity supports those highly vulnerable young people from bullying through the highly effective restorative practice. If budgets were delegated there can be no guarantee to schools that sufficient resource could be generated through trading to retain the same level of support if some schools choose not to buy back. As this budget falls under the DfE category of Behaviour Support Services under the Operational Guidance for Local Authorities this budget should be delegated through the formula in the first instance but maintained schools can agree to de-delegate Targeted Support Behaviour & Attendance: 50k This budget provides enhanced capacity to schools in relation to Behaviour and Attendance. This includes supporting strategic and school planning activity as well as offering direct and successful support to staff in classroom settings and as part of a well delivered CPD programme. In this respect the direct beneficiaries are the children and young people who experience improved behaviour management approaches from staff within a classroom setting as well as the staff themselves who are supported to develop their skills, confidence and capacity to manage children and young people within a classroom setting. This budget also allows the development of specific interventions and to review practice and documentation with schools who are considering a potential referral to the Inclusion panel or who may otherwise consider a potential permanent exclusion of a child. This therefore provides a valuable resource for schools in enabling children and young people to access the right provision to meet their needs quickly. Retaining this role ensures all schools can access this expertise when needed with the difficulty for schools being they can not accurately predict when one of their pupils would benefit from access to such specialist advice. This will also allow the continuation of existing partnerships and networks to contribute to schools Page 9 of 10

10 sharing good practice more effectively as well as being supported in developing responses to changes in legislation and guidance If budgets were delegated in full there can be no guarantee to schools that sufficient resource could be generated through trading to retain the same level of support if some schools chose not to buy back. As this budget falls under the DfE category of Behaviour Support Services under the Operational Guidance for Local Authorities this budget should be delegated through the formula in the first instance but maintained schools can agree to de-delegate CLC Contribution: 120k This budget contributes to the provision of facilities and support at the CLC available to all schools. treated as a contribution to a combined budget and can therefore be approval). delegation / subsequent de-delegation. Background Papers and Contact Officer Details List of Background papers held by Anthony Francis on Schools Forum File 1. FAMIS ledger prints / Schools Forum Reports 2. School Funding Reform: Arrangements for 2014/15 (DfE) /15 Revenue Funding Arrangements: Operational Information for Local Authorities (DfE) Contact Officer: Anthony Francis, Lead Financial Specialist, Telephone number Page 10 of 10

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