To consider a report on the Schools Funding Formula and Early Years Funding Formula for 2023/24.
The committee received the report on the Schools Funding Formula and Early Years Funding Formula 2023/24.
The Director of Education offered to hold a briefing to go through the formula in further detail for information if required. The committee agreed that this would be beneficial.
A query was raised as to whether more information had been provided in previous reports. Officers advised that there was no intention to provide less detail than previously but that this would be checked following the meeting to ensure there was no difference in the level of detail being provided.
A concern was raised that representation on the Schools Forum may not be robust enough as this matter had been approved unanimously although there had been some challenge from some schools. The Director of Education advised that in addition to the Schools Forum, all schools were invited to respond to the consultation and were invited to a briefing but that not all schools took that offer up; however it would be fed back to the representatives on the Schools Forum that there had been some challenge.
RESOLVED (by majority):
That the committee approves the following for the adoption of the Schools Funding Formula 2023/24:
1. The use of a local funding formula that uses the Department for Education (DfE) national funding formula factors, uplifted for the Cheshire East area cost adjustment, and with any additional funding being allocated via the basic entitlement factor. The formula factors are set out at Appendix 2.
2. The use of +0.5% as the minimum funding guarantee percentage.
3. The creation of a local Growth Fund at a value of £0.8m.
4. Provides delegated authority to the Executive Director of Children’s Services to use the schools block grant and the mainstream schools additional grant in accordance with relevant guidance.
Early Years Block
That the committee approves the following for the adoption of the Early Years
Funding Formula for 2023/24:
5. The continued use of the current funding formula and an increase in the hourly rates by the same percentage increase as the increased funding from the DfE.
6. The new funding rates. The rates for 2022/23 and the proposed rates for 2023/24 are set out at Appendix 4.
7. Approves funding to support children learning English as an additional language with effect from 1 April 2023. Westminster Nursery School, Crewe, would currently qualify for this funding.
8. Provides delegated authority to the Executive Director of Children’s Services to use the early years grant in accordance with relevant guidance.
9. That the committee delegates authority to the Director of Strong Start, Family Help and Integration to enter into revised contracts with providers in accordance with the DfE funding increase.
High Needs Block
10.That the committee approves the provisional budget allocations of the high needs block and additional high needs funding as set out in Appendix 5.
11.Provides delegated authority to the Executive Director of Children’s Services to use the high needs block and additional high needs funding in accordance with relevant guidance.
Central Schools Services Block
12.That the committee approves the provisional budget allocations and use of the Central Schools Services Block as per Appendix 6.
13.Provides delegated authority to the Executive Director of Children’s Services to use the Central Schools Services grant in accordance with relevant guidance.