West Berkshire Council

Agenda item

De-delegations 2021/22 (Ian Pearson/Melanie Ellis)

Minutes:

Ian Pearson introduced the report (Agenda Item 8) which set out the details, cost, and charges to schools of the services on which maintained school representatives are required to vote (on an annual basis) whether or not they should be de-delegated. The report came to the Schools’ Forum on an annual basis.

Ian Pearson highlighted section two of the report, which detailed each of the recommendations that would need to be considered by maintained school representatives. A summary of each proposal was shown within Table A on page 22 of the agenda. The third column of the table showed that the Heads Funding Group (HFG) had supported each of the de-delegation proposals. The HFG had supported one of the two options available for health and safety and this had been the enhanced support option. Fluctuations in price for each service was normally due to efficiency savings or inflation. 

The area that had historically required further discussion was health and safety. Ian Pearson suggested Mike Lindenburn provide further detail on this area, particularly on the enhanced level of service, which had been supported by the HFG.

Mike Lindenburn explained that the report provided a great deal of detail on the area under Appendix G. In the past, schools had been offered two levels of service. Level One had been provided through the de-delegation of the service and then Level Two, a higher level of service, was offered through an optional buy back by schools. The aim of the proposal was to have a unified service across all maintained schools. If all schools bought into this unified service then it reduced the overall cost of the service. 

Mike Lindenburn drew attention to Table 1 under Appendix G, which showed the 2020/21 cost to schools for the Level 2 Service, compared to the cost of the unified service for 2021/22 if all schools agreed to it.

Ian Pearson highlighted that although the discussion related to services for maintained schools, the services were also available to academy schools if they wished to purchase them.

Keith Harvey commented that the Health and Safety Service had provided an enhanced level of service to all maintained schools throughout the pandemic and therefore in his view, it seemed the right time to increase the level of service to enhanced for all schools.

The Chairman invited the relevant members of the Forum to vote on each of the recommendations as follows.

Recommendation 2.1:

That representatives of maintained primary schools should agree to de-delegate funds in the 2021/22 financial year for:

·         Behaviour Support Services

·         Ethnic Minority Support

·         Trade Union Representation

·         Schools in Financial Difficulty

·         CLEAPSS

·         Statutory and Regulatory Duties comprising:

- Statutory accounting functions in respect of schools

- Internal Audit of schools

- Administration of pensions for school staff

- Health and Safety (enhanced support – level one plus a top up level two)

Jonathan Chishick proposed that the recommendation be approved by maintained primary school representatives and this was seconded by Ian Nichol. At the vote the motion was carried.

Recommendation 2.2:

That representatives of maintained secondary schools should agree to de-delegate funds in the 2021/22 financial year for:

·         Behaviour Support Services

·         Ethnic Minority Support

·         Trade Union Representation

·         CLEAPSS

·         Statutory and Regulatory Duties comprising:

- Statutory accounting functions in respect of schools

- Internal Audit of schools

- Administration of pensions for school staff

- Health and Safety (enhanced support – level one plus a top up level two)

 

(It was proposed that the vote go ahead with one of the two maintained secondary representatives present. This was in line with the constitution where at least 40% need to be present from a phase to be quorate. There were no objections raised to this proposal by members of the Forum.)

Chris Prosser proposed that the recommendation be approved and at the vote the motion was carried.

Recommendation 2.3:

That representatives of maintained special, nursery and PRU heads should agree to de-delegate funds in the 2021/22 financial year for:

·         Statutory and Regulatory Duties comprising:

- Statutory accounting functions in respect of schools

- Internal Audit of schools

- Administration of pensions for school staff

- Health and Safety (enhanced support – level one plus a top up level two)

Jon Hewitt proposed that the recommendation be approved by maintained special, nursery and PRU representatives and this was seconded by Maria Morgan. At the vote the motion was carried.

RESOLVED that each of the recommendations set out under section two of the report were agreed.   

Supporting documents: