Venue: Virtual Meeting via Microsoft Teams
Contact: Debbie Pons , Governance Adviser
Welcome and Introductions
Welcome by the Chair and introductions by all Forum Members present.
The Chair welcomed everyone to today’s virtual meeting and introductions were made.
Declarations of Interest
To invite Forum Members to declare any interests they may have on agenda items to be considered at this meeting, to confirm the nature of those interests and whether they intend to leave the meeting for the consideration of the item.
There were no Declarations of Interest reported.
Aileen Chambers, Head of Early Years and Childcare, to report.
Recommendation:- (1) Note the proposals on the Early Years formula and hourly rates for 2023/24
(2) Approve the retention of 5% to contribute towards Early Years Centrally funded services.
Further to Minute No. 93 of the meeting of the Rotherham Schools Forum held on 13th January, 2023 consideration was given to the report presented by Aileen Chambers and Neil Hardwick which detailed the statutory guidance in place for the allocation of early education funding; the current position and proposals for the 2023/24 allocation.
The Forum were advised that Local Authorities were required to allocate the funding to early education providers based on a local funding formula made up of a single base rate and a mandatory deprivation supplement (for 3/4 year old early education). The Authority could retain 5% of the 3/4 year old early years funding allocation to fund central services.
On this basis Authorities were required to consult providers on annual changes to their local formula and also this Forum must also be consulted on changes to local early years funding formulas, including agreeing central spend by 28th February, although the final decision lay with the Local Authority itself.
The DfE National Funding Formula was published on 16th December and the rate changes were set out in detail as part of the report showing the 2022/23 rate, the 2023/24 rate and the increase.
It was also noted that the DfE had ‘mainstreamed’ the Teachers Pay and Pension Grant that schools previously received directly (to cover the cost of the increase in the employer contribution rate of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme in September 2019) within the Early Years Block. Determination of how to distribute this lay with the Authority through the local Single Funding Formula. The DfE acknowledged that some Authorities might chose different approaches to distribute this funding.
The current local funding formulas set out in the report was consulted on prior to introduction in 2017/18 and the deprivation supplement was reviewed again in January 2018.
In terms of the funding proposals for 2023/24 the Authority undertook a period of consultation between 13th and 27th January, 2023 on two options with all early education providers.
A response rate of 34% was achieved with 87% of respondents choosing Option 1 with full details of the breakdown of the consultation results being included within the appendix to the report. Option 1 sought to retain the current local funding formula in 2023/24 as detailed with the Teachers Pay and Pension Grant added to the base rate to be distributed to all providers.
No questions were raised when invited by the Chair.
Agreed:- (1) That the proposals on the Early Years formula and hourly rates for 2023/24 be noted.
(2) That the retention of 5% to contribute towards Early Years Centrally funded services be approved.
Any Other Business
Recommendation:- To receive any other items of urgent business.
There were no urgent business items to consider.
Date of Next Meeting
Recommendation:- To note the date and time of the next meeting on Friday, 28th April, 2023 at 8.30 a.m. at Rockingham Professional Development Centre.
Agreed:- That the next meeting of the Schools’ Forum take place on Friday, 28th April, 2023 at 8.30 a.m. at Rockingham Professional Development Centre.