To approve changes to the Kent County Council local funding formula for schools that is used to calculate school budgets from 1 April 2021.
Delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Children, Young People and Education to make any necessary changes to the Local Funding Formula rates once final affordability is known in January 2021 after provisional school budgets have been calculated
Reason for the decision
· In response to the Government confirming the additional funding for schools, Kent County Council is set to receive approximately £36m additional funding in 2021-22 for primary and secondary school budgets and approximately £20m for high needs related services. Funding for Early years providers is yet to be confirmed. This decision will confirm how this additional funding will be distributed in line with Government guidelines.
· Background: The Government has confirmed the Council continues to be responsible for operating a local funding formula for Kent maintained schools (and this formula is also used by the Education and Skills Funding Agency for calculating Kent academy budgets) during 2021-22 and legislation dictates that any changes to that formula is subject to an all school consultation. The consultation will focus on how we allocate any additional funding and a request to transfer a further 1% from the schools to the high needs block to support inclusive practices in schools (the latter is also subject to Secretary of State approval).
· Options: the options considered are outlined in the consultation document to schools. Proposed changes to the primary and secondary schools funding formula have been limited to avoid any excessive deviation from the National Funding Formula (NFF) used by Government to allocate school funding to local authorities for distribution to schools. This is in line with previous recommendations from both schools & the Schools Funding Forum who have supported the general principle that “our Local Funding Formula should move towards the NFF, but at the same time continue to utilise local flexibility to address areas of local concern”. Mandatory factors and rates prescribed by Government have also limited proposed options.
· The decision is linked to achieving the objective “the Children and young people in Kent get the best start in life” within the ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: (All Division);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 24/11/2020
Decision due: Not before 23rd Dec 2020 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be publish for a minimum of 28 days, to meet statutory requirement
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Lead director: Matt Dunkley CBE
Department: Education & Young People's Services
Contact: Karen Stone, Revenue Finance Manager (0-25 Services) 03000 416733 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial implications: The costs of the new funding formula will be fully met from the Dedicated Schools Grant and will not be a cost to Council funding.
Legal implications: N/A.
Equalities implications: An equalities impact assessment has been completed and is included as part of the consultation documentation. There were no adverse impacts identified. The EQIA will be reviewed in light of consultation response and final proposals to both the Schools Funding Forum and Cabinet Member for decision.