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Agenda item

School Revenue Funding 2023-24 - Funding Settlement and Budget Setting Process

The report of Grant Davis (Schools Strategic Financial Support Manager) seeks to update Schools Forum on the revenue funding settlement and the budget setting process for 2023-24.


Grant Davis (Schools Strategic Financial Support Manager) referred to the report which sought to update Schools Forum on the revenue funding settlement and the budget setting process for 2023-24 and highlighted the following:


·                The DfE had issued the revenue funding settlement for schools on 16 December 2022.   2022-23 was the final year of the ‘Boris Billions’ which had pledged a cash increase of £14.5 billion over 3 years from 2020-21.  There had also been a further pledge for high needs over the 3 years;


·                For the 2023-24 year there and been increase of £2.3 billion in to overall Schools Block and a further £400 million had been pledged for the High Needs for the year;


·                The Schools Block of funding had now incorporated the 2022-23 Schools Supplementary Grant funding rates and these were now baselined into the NFF rates.  It was another ‘soft’ year with local Schools Forum still retaining its role in determining the school funding allocation methodology.  The DfE have indicated their intention to move to ‘hard’ NFF by 2027-28.  In the meantime there would be a tightening towards the full NFF but this would not impact Wiltshire who were already following the NFF funding factors;


·                The Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) had been adjusted to ensure all schools gain through the per pupil allocations and must be set between 0.0% and 0.5%.  For the 2023-24 year the overall funding through the NFF had increased by 1.9%.  Core pupil led factors and the lump sum increased by 2.4% and disadvantaged funding, FSM6 and IDACI factors increased by 4.3%.  The minimum per pupil funding level increased by 3.3% and the FSM factor had increased by 2%;


·                A transfer of up to 0.5% of Schools block funding to the High Needs block was permitted subject to Schools Forum approval;


·                The Local Authority Monitoring and Brokering (LAMB) grant would be phased out completely and LA’s were able to de-delegate funding from maintained schools to support school improvement;


·                The DfE would continue to pay Business rates on behalf of all schools liaising with the LA directly around this;


·                The Pupil Premium rates for 2023-24 were being uplifted by 5%;


·                The provisional DSG allocation was £452.297 million which was increase of £29.887 million from 2022-23;


·                Due to previous prudent decision making Wiltshire was able to fully fund their schools, but Officers were aware of colleagues in other LA’s who were not able to fully fund their schools this financial year;


·                There had been a drop in the numbers of primary school pupils but it was marginal at 1.5% bearing in mind the birth rate drops of 10%.  There had been an increase in secondary school pupils and overall for the 2023-24 the increase was 109 pupils;


·                Included within the Schools Block funding of £346.293 million is the amount of £1.964 allocated on the basis of pupil growth within Wiltshire;


·                The uplifted funding for the High Needs block reflected and included Wiltshire’s share of the £400 million additional funding announced for High Needs in 2023-24 and the additional High Needs allocation of £2.942 million;


·                The indicative hourly rates for 2023-24 had been announced but it should be noted that the Early Years block would ordinarily be updated during the financial year to reflect the January 2023 and January 2024 early years census data;


·                The funding regulations do allow for a transfer of funding between the Schools’ block and other blocks within the DSG of up to 0.5% with the agreement of Schools Forum (which has been previously agreed in principle);


·                Local Authorities are required to submit their proposed delegated budget for schools in their areas by 20 January 2023 to the DfE who would then confirm the formula is compliant with the funding regulations.  The DfE will then confirm the budgets to academies with the LA also needing to notify maintained schools of their budget shares by the end of February 2023;


·                At the December 2022 Schools Forum meeting, it was agreed by the maintained schools voting members that the de-delegation of services would continue in 2023-24, as in 2022-23. The amount of each de-delegated service budget is based upon the relevant formula factors for maintained schools and would be voted on later in the meeting; and


·                It had also been previously agreed that maintained schools would de-delegate funding to support school improvement services, previously funded from the LAMB grant which would be phased out from April 2023.


The Chair commented that the early indicative allocations given and the provisional decisions made by Schools Forum had paid dividends to put us in a position to know where we are. 


The Salisbury Diocesan representative reported that the Dorset Schools Forum had made the decision to reduce the funding available for Primary Schools.  Grant Davis commented that Wiltshire were in a privileged position to be able to afford to fully fund their schools and but that down to good collaborative work and collective decisions of Wiltshire Schools Forum.




That Schools Forum note the report.

Supporting documents:




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