West Berkshire Council

Agenda item

Central Schools Block Budget Proposals 2019/20 (Amin Hussain)

Minutes:

Amin Hussain introduced the report (Agenda Item 7) that set out the budget proposal for services funded from the Central Schools’ Services (CSSB) Block of the DSG and proposed measures to enable the budget for this block to be balanced.

Amin Hussain drew attention to the recommendations under section 2.1 of the report, which suggested balancing the CSSB by using the 2018/19 underspends of £68,155 and releasing £63,649 of unutilised Education Support Grant (ESG) from Council reserves. For 2020/21 it was anticipated that costs would need to reduce further to bring the block into balance

Keith Harvey queried what the longer term outlook was for the CSSB, which had faced a continuous deficit. Ian Pearson explained that the issues faced by the block were a result of the funding formula. Firstly assumptions were made about the per pupil element and secondly the way the formula was applied to different sized local authorities was unfair. The agreed approach going forward was to lobby Government on the issue, so that a fairer way to fund smaller local authorities be sought. Councillor Lynne Doherty would be supporting this area of work and writing to local MPs..

The Chairman drew the Forum’s attention to the recommendations set out in section two of the report, which proposed that the CSSB be balanced by:

1)    Using the 2018/19 underspends totalling £68,155

2)    Releasing £63,649 of unutilised Education Support Grant for Council reserves.

Graham Spellman proposed that the Schools Forum agree the recommendations set out above and this was seconded by Catie Colston. At the vote the motion was carried.

RESOLVED that the recommendations set out in section two of the report were agreed by the Schools’ Forum.

Supporting documents: