Agenda and minutes
Venue: Virtual Meeting - Online access
Contact: Oran Norris-Browne Email: Oran.Norris-Browne@RBWM.gov.uk
Video Stream: Click here to watch this meeting on YouTube
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Maggie Callaghan and John Fletcher.
To receive any Declarations of Interest.
There were no declarations of interest made.
To confirm the minutes from the previous meeting.
AGREED UNANIMOUSLY – that the minutes of the meeting held on the 15th July 2021, be an accurate record.
The Chairman mentioned two discussion points that were made at the last meeting with regards to Wessex Primary School and a letter that had been sent to government. The Clerk agreed to investigate the letter further offline.
The Director of Children’s Services (Kevin McDaniel) said with regards to Wessex Primary School, that he would discuss this with the Chairman offline.
The Schools Forum considered the report regarding the budget monitoring and forecast for 2021/22.
The Chairman invited the Head of Finance for Achieving for Children (James Norris) to introduce the report to the forum.
The Head of Finance for Achieving for Children said that the report set out the projected variants coming into the financial year and it identified the level of balances and the deficit. He added that this showed the pressures that the authority was facing.
The Head of Finance for Achieving for Children referred to section 2.1 of the report, which showed the financial summary and set out the indicative budget for the current financial year of £133,912,000. He added that the estimated early years block grant claw back from the previous year was still being assessed by the ESFA and should be available in November 2021. He also added that the budget was allocated last year and the majority of it had already been spent in the previous financial year. He reiterated that this result would simply be correcting an error in the early years pupil data from the previous year.
The Head of Finance for Achieving for Children said that the current position for the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) for the current financial year was a £1.755 million overspend. He estimated that there would be more updated forecast presented to the Schools Forum in November 2021, and it would provide a good understanding as to what the finances currently were.
The Head of Finance for Achieving for Children said that there had been one change in accounting treatment, that a previously unearmarked reserve within the Dedicated Schools Grant of £134,000 could no longer be held separately due to the deficit and that the two balances had to be aggregated together.
The Head of Finance for Achieving for Children asked the forum to direct their attention to section 3.1 of the report, which stated an overall projected deficit as of 31st March 2022 as being £3.412 million. He said that this was made up of a brought forward deficit of £1.791 million, the in-year projected deficit of £1.755 million and the release of the previously discussed £134,000. He then added that the £3.412 million represented 2.5% of the total budget allocation 2021/22.
The Head of Finance for Achieving for Children stated that a deficit management plan needed to be drawn up and submitted to the Department for Education (DfE) between the Local Authority and the Schools Forum, with a sign off also required by the RBWM’s Chief Finance Officer.
The Chairman asked if the borough stood reasonably compared to neighbouring authorities. The Head of Finance for Achieving for Children said that he had comparisons for Richmond and Kingston and that Richmond reported a predicted deficit of 4% and Kingston reported 7%. He added that this was favourable, as the borough’s stood at 2.5%.
The Chairman asked the Director of Children’s Services on how this compared to the rest of the South-East.
The Director of Children’s ... view the full minutes text for item 22.