Children, Families & Culture Cabinet Member – Minutes – 6 February 2020

15 SCHOOLS FUNDING FORMULA 2020-21 – The Director: Governance and Partnerships submitted a report updating the Cabinet Member regarding the 2020-21 funding allocations for the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) and the amount available for individual school budgets, and seeking approval to move to reflecting the National Funding Formula in North Lincolnshire’s Local Funding Formula as far as possible.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) published an operational guide annually outlining the arrangements to help councils and their school forums plan the local implementation, calculation and allocation of school funding formulas for the forthcoming financial year.

On 19 December 2019, the ESFA published the 2020-21 DSG allocations. This was based on the October 2019 School Census data. The allocation for North Lincolnshire was £142.236m, an increase of £9.575m from last year.

The report set out information on the element of the DSG which was available for the Schools Budget for all mainstream school funding, along with details of factors which would benefit schools for 2020/21. The operational guide set out how individual school budget shares could be allocated.

The Department for Education had confirmed its commitment to moving to a National Funding Formula as soon as possible and in the meantime councils would continue to determine local formulae.

Final proposals for the North Lincolnshire schools funding formula were detailed in the report.

Resolved – (a) That the formula factor values outlined in Option 2 of the report, to ensure that all available funding was allocated to schools, be approved, and (b) that the factors outlined in Option 2 in the appendix to the report be used to calculate the individual schools budget shares for mainstream schools within North Lincolnshire for 2020/21.

16 SCHOOL ADMISSION ARRANGEMENTS FOR 2021/22 COMMUNITY AND VOLUNTARY CONTROLLED SCHOOLS – The Director: Learning, Skills and Culture submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member of the outcome of the consultation with schools in respect of admission arrangements for 2021/22, and seeking approval to implement the proposed arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year.

The council was required to determine by 28 February 2020 its admission arrangements for the academic year 2021/22, including admission numbers, for each community and voluntary controlled school.

Admission arrangements were to describe how school places were allocated, particularly with reference to oversubscription criteria. This confirmed how applications were prioritised when the number of applications exceeded the number of available places. The admission number referred to the number of school places that the admission authority must offer in the relevant age group of the school.

The School Admissions Code 2014 required that oversubscription criteria must be reasonable, clear, objective, procedurally fair and comply with all relevant legislation.

Changes were made to the arrangements for 2019/20 after a full public consultation. No changes had been suggested for 2021/22. Having consulted publicly for the 2019/20 arrangements, the council was not required to consult again for seven years unless it made changes to its arrangements such as changing the oversubscription criteria or seeking to reduce a school’s admission number.

Resolved – That the proposed admissions arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, be approved.