The report was discussed and it was explained that the DfE had introduced a fourth block to the DSG for 2018/19, the Central Services Schools Block (CSSB) which comprised historical and ongoing commitments to support LA functions including the retained elements of the ESG. It was explained that due to inaccuracies in the 2017/18 baseline return, the DfE allocation was short by £276,370. The report recommended the following actions as a way to remedy the allocation between blocks:
• Transfer £124,325 for licences from the SB into the CSSB.
• Transfer £52,000 for the variance on historical items from the SB to the CSSB
• Reduce remaining budgets within the CSSB by £100,045
Cate Duffy made an alternative proposal that the full balance of £276,370 be transferred to the CSSB.
After lengthy discussion Schools Forum agreed the following:
• that £124,325 for copyright licences and £52,000 for historical items (£176,325 total), should be transferred from SB to CSSB for 2018/19 (a one-year commitment);
• although sympathetic to SBC’s position, Schools Forum agreed there was insufficient evidence to justify the transfer of a further £100,045, in particular, no modelling had been provided to illustrate the impact of this on schools’ budgets, as had been done for the £176,325;
• that the shortfall of budget in the CSSB, £100,045 would be reviewed taken from areas within the ongoing commitments budgets. Details of the proposed budget reductions would be presented to Schools Forum at their next meeting.
It was requested that a report should be made to Schools Forum the following year, giving more detail for clarity.
It was requested that the references to the Virtual Head be amended to read ‘Virtual School’. It was noted that this was a statutory duty.
9.05am: Cate Duffy left the meeting
The meeting returned to the running order of the agenda: