Cabinet Member decisions

Decisions published

22/11/2021 - 21/00107 - Household Support Grant ref: 2532    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:


Note and confirm previous activity and delegated decision-making to accept the grant and deploy initial support over the October Half-term.


Confirm overall use and governance for the full grant up to the required end-date of end of March 2021 – updated to reflect changing demands and required support arrangements subsequent to Decision 21/00062 (Summer Grant decision).


Detail relevant delegations to Corporate Director Finance for ongoing management of the grant, including making amendments to funding arrangements and deployment subject to consultation with the Leader.


         Reason for the decision


Government announced in October the Household Support Grant, which is in line with previous grants issued (Covid Winter Grant and Covid Local Support Grant). While previous acceptance and management of related grants was possible via delegated authority arising from previous decisions, it is appropriate and necessary for these previous arrangements to be noted and the ongoing acceptance of the Grant to be subject to Executive Member decision-making.

This decision is required to confirm KCC’s acceptance of the additional grant monies and its planned use.


         Background – Provide brief additional context


An urgent decision was taken in November 2020 to accept the Government’s £4.5m Covid Winter Grant and allocate this into 4 areas: Free School Meals, District allocation to target vulnerable households, KCC services to distribute to families in need, and support for residents with food and utility bills.


In March 2021, the Government wrote to advise there would be an extension of the funding, and an additional £1.5m allocated to KCC. A further decision was taken to accept this funding and allocate this to supermarket vouchers for families of children in receipt of benefits related free school meals during Easter Holidays 2021.


In April, the Government awarded a further £1.06m and renamed the grant the Covid Local Support Grant. In June the Government notified LAs that they were extending the Covid Local Support Grant to September for a final time, and issuing an additional £4.239m. A decision was taken in accordance with previous decisions to authorise the provision of free school meals support through the summer holidays and delegating authority to the Corporate Director Finance to take the necessary actions to spend the grant money in line with the grant conditions and implement the decision, together with authority to accept any future grant provided for similar purposes and to spend this in accordance with the governance framework put in place by the decision.


         Options (other options considered but discarded)


The option of turning down the grant was rejected as there are many Kent families in need who will benefit from receiving this support.


We considered providing all funding to Districts to deliver through localised solutions however there are some elements of support that would be best provided at a county level, for example Free School Meals.


         How the proposed decision supports the Interim Strategic Plan:


This contributes to the strategic outcome of “Children & Young People in Kent get the best start in life”, by helping to keep vulnerable families out of crisis.


Decision Maker: Leader of the Council

Decision published: 22/11/2021

Effective from: 22/11/2021


As Leader of the Council, I agree to:


1) Confirm and endorse the arrangements put in place via Officer Decision 21/0008, taken under delegated authority arising from Key Decision 21/00062 by the Corporate Director for Finance, to accept the Household Support Grant in full for use in accordance with the guidance published by Department of Work and Pensions and relevant terms and conditions.


2) Note that Officer Decision 21/0008 committed £750k of the accepted grant to the provision of supermarket vouchers to families with children in receipt of benefits-related Free School Meals or families in need of support through KSAS during the October 2021 school.


3) Approve use of the grant to support the provision of vouchers to families with children in receipt of benefits-related Free School Meals or families in need of support through KSAS during the Christmas 2021, February and Easter 2022 school holidays.


4) Approve the use of the remainder of the Household Support Grant over the winter period to the end of March 2022 as set out in section 3 of the associated Executive Decision Report.


5) Authorise the Corporate Director Finance, in consultation with the Leader to take any other actions, within the scope of the grant management framework, needed to ensure that the grant is spent in full by the date stipulated by the Department for Work and Pensions, including reviewing, revising and amending the funding allocations set out in the Executive Decision Report.


6) Authorise the Corporate Director Finance, in consultation with the Leader, to take other necessary actions, including but not limited to entering into contracts or other legal agreements, as required to implement this decision.


7) Authorise the Corporate Director Finance in consultation with the Leader, to accept and administer any further grant monies providing they are given by government on very similar terms of reference and that they can be appropriately managed under the funding / governance framework put in place by this decision

Lead officer: Hannah Lucey-Lamb

18/11/2021 - 21/00092 - Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the School Year 2021/22 ref: 2531    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision: The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is asked to End the Summer term a day early so that term finishes on Thursday 21 July 2022 instead of Friday 22 July 2022.


In England, local authority-maintained schools operating according to the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) must open for 195 days.


Of these, a maximum of 190 days involve teaching children and young people. The remaining five days are non-teaching days when teachers may be asked to undertake other duties related to their role as a teacher. These are often known as in-service training (INSET) days.


The school term dates for Kent community, voluntary-controlled, community special or maintained nursery schools are determined by KCC and the local authority is the employer.


For the academic year 2021/22, in acknowledgement of the additional Bank Holiday for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the DfE has agreed the following position to assist schools and local authorities in their planning:


         ‘The Spring Bank Holiday in 2022 will be moved to Thursday 2 June and an additional bank holiday on Friday 3 June will see a four-day weekend to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.


         ‘Many schools will already be on their half-term breaks in the week commencing 31 May, but where the additional bank holiday falls in term time, schools and local authorities (LAs) should observe the bank holidays on 2/3 June and may therefore need to prepare and make any amendments to their published term dates for the academic year 2021/22.


         ‘We [the DfE] have laid regulations to reduce the minimum number of sessions schools are required to meet in the academic year 2021/2022 and enable everyone to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen on 3 June 2022.


         ‘The Department will review the necessary legislation and, as far as the STPCD is concerned, make an amendment for the September 21 version that reduces the number of days that teachers need to be available to work from 190 (+5 INSET days) to 189 (+5 INSET days) and will also reduce the number of directed hours by 6.5. The total school year will therefore be 194 days.’


In essence, teachers will teach one less day for the academic year 2021/22, down from 195 to 194 (including INSET days), or down from 190 to 189 (excluding INSET days) across 1,258.5 hours as opposed to 1,265 hours of directed time. An extra day of holiday will therefore need to be allocated by KCC as the employer.



Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 18/11/2021

Effective from: 26/11/2021


As Cabinet Member forEducation and Skills, I agree to:

I)               End the Summer term 2022 a day early so that term finishes on Thursday 21 July 2022 instead of Friday 22 July 2022.


Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Ian Watts