West Berkshire Council

Agenda item

Actions arising from previous meetings

Minutes:

Melanie Ellis referred to actions Ac1a and Ac1b from the previous meeting, detailed on page nine of the report.

A detailed explanation had been provided to all schools and members of the Schools’ Forum setting out the funding allocations and why errors had been made. The final allocations would be considered by the Schools’ Forum later on the agenda and required agreement.

A detailed explanation of errors that had occurred were also provided to the Heads’ Funding Group (HFG) on the 5th June 2019. The funding allocations had been discussed and the actions that needed to take place to prevent the situation occurring in the future. The HFG were satisfied with the arrangements that had been put in place.

David Ramsden commented that a detailed discussion had taken place at the HFG. A thorough response had been received from Councillor Lynne Doherty following the last Schools’ Forum meeting in March 2019 and Ian Pearson had attended the Secondary Heads Forum. The response that had been provided was considered to be robust and honest. Keith Harvey, on behalf of primary schools, concurred with David Ramsden.

Catie Colston stated that in the past useful finance training had been provided for Governors and schools’ finance staff. It was felt that an introduction to the new system had been overlooked and it had been particularly difficult to get up to date with the new system in the short period of time available. Catie Colston asked if training could be provided going forward. Melanie Ellis agreed to ensure this would be organised

David Ramsden stated that the discussion at the HFG had covered two main areas, firstly the errors that had occurred and secondly the new software that had been used, which had compounded the situation.

Reverend Mark Bennet stated that schools business managers that he had spoken to would be in favour of a live model or an opportunity to view the formula in advance so that feedback could be provided. He added that some schools did not have a full time bursar and there was increased pressure on these schools.

Ian Pearson acknowledged the points that had been raised and suggested that a response regarding finance training be taken to the next HFG for discussion. He also stated that next year there could be a reality check run on the formula before the allocations were distributed to schools.

RESOLVED that a report be taken to the HFG regarding finance training for Governors and schools’ finance staff.

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