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Education Funding - key documents

Local authorities (LAs) are required to publish key financial documents relating to schools on a public website.

Key documents:

Consultation with Mainstream Schools on De-delegation for 2014-15

This  consultation (pdf, 566kb) (opens in a new window) takes place annually and deals with items which may be removed from mainstream schools' delegated budgets in 2014-15 with Schools' Forum approval.  Forum members will be considering schools' responses to this consultation before they vote on whether funding should be de-delegated (returned to the LA to provide a central fund for spending on mainstream schools) when it meets on 25th October 2013, and:
 - primary representatives will vote on behalf of the primary phase;
 - middle and secondary representatives will vote on behalf of the secondary phase.

This consultation enables schools to register their preference and/or comment in order that their Schools' Forum representatives can understand their views and act in the best interest of all schools.  All schools in the phase will be bound by the decisions made by the Schools' Forum representatives for that phase.

The deadline for consultation responses is the close of business on Tuesday 22 October 2013.  We have provided a  response form (word, 123kb) (opens in a new window) however, if you need to expand anything, or would prefer to reply in a different format please feel free to do so.  Please return your response form to Lucy Cropp ( or LSI Funding & Efficiency Team, Children's Services, County Hall, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1XJ as soon as possible.

Consultation on the Mainstream Schools Funding Formula for 2014-15

For 2013-14, the Local Authority took the first move to the new funding system for schools, but did so in a way that kept budgets similar to the previous year (on a per pupil basis).  It was agreed that the funding formula would be reviewed for 2014-15 to better reflect the needs of Dorset schools today, and for the foreseeable future.  Attached is a  timetable of next steps (pdf, 14kb) (opens in a new window) for the review.

The  consultation document (pdf, 764kb) (opens in a new window)  outlines the Local Authority's proposals for changes to the formula for funding schools in 2014-15.  These  exemplifications (excel, 1Mb) (opens in a new window)  show how your school would be affected in various scenarios.  The implementation of the new formula may well impact on the level of funding for your school and so we are seeking your views on these proposals before taking recommendations to the Schools' Forum on 25 October 2013. 

To support you in making your response to these proposals, we are holding a number of consultation meetings around Dorset, and we do hope you will be able to attend one of these events:

  • Tuesday 1st October, 4:30-6:30pm, The Blandford School
  • Thursday 3rd October, 4:30-6:30pm, St Mary's Primary School, Bridport
  • Monday 7th October, 4:30-6:30pm, Westfield Arts College, Weymouth
  • Tuesday 8th October, 4:30-6:30pm, The Gryphon School, Sherborne
  • Wednesday 9th October, 4:30-6:30pm, Ferndown First School
  • Tuesday 15th October, 6:00-8:00pm, Bovington Park (formerly Bovington Middle School)

Places can be booked through CPD online,

The deadline for consultation responses is Friday 18 October 2013. As always we have provided a  response form (word, 78kb) (opens in a new window) however, if you need to expand on a specific proposal, or would prefer to reply in a different format please feel free to do so.  Please send your responses to Lucy Cropp by Wednesday 31 July 2013.

Scheme of Financial Management - Information and Consultation

LAs are required to publish schemes for financing schools, setting out the financial relationship between them and the schools they maintain.  Any amendments to schemes must be consulted on with all schools and be approved by the Schools' Forum.  The latest version of Dorset's  Scheme of Financial Management (pdf, 197kb) (opens in a new window) was approved by Schools' Forum on 17 May 2013 and came into force on that date.

This latest version incorporates a number of changes in comparison with the previous version published in December 2011:

  • directed revisions and amendments relating to changes to school funding regulations where we had no option but to amend

  • amendments which reflected current practice

  • changes which signified a change in either practice or principle

The  Scheme Changes 2013 Rationale (pdf, 15kb) (opens in a new window)  will help you identify why each change was made, and your attention is drawn in particular to:

  • clarification on the use of credit facilities by schools (paragraph 3.6) to confirm that although schools may not use credit cards because this is regarded as borrowing, they may use credit arrangements on the local authority account which must be settled in full each month by direct debit

  • the withdrawal of the option to receive payment of the budget share by instalment for new applicants (paragraph 3.1), to avoid the situation where monthly centrally paid charges regularly exceed instalments

  • simplification of the process of charging fully cash-funded schools for internally traded services by deducting ad hoc and SLA charges for support services requested by the governors from the school's budget share before it is paid to the school, the phasing of deductions being subject to agreement between each school and the LA (paragraph's 6.2.23 and 6.2.24)

Section 251

Under Section 251 (formerly Section 52) of the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998, LAs are required to prepare and publish a budget statement at the beginning of each financial year.

The budget statements are the prescribed means of informing schools, early years settings and the public in general about the funding plans of the LA and the latest versions for Dorset are attached.

The statements are intended to provide a clear picture, in a common format, of:

  • The authority's planned spending
  • How much of the whole education budget the LA intends to spend on items outside the Schools' Budget
  • How much the LA is proposing to retain centrally within the Schools' Budget for school services
  • How the funding formula is working to produce budget shares for each school in the LA's area 

For further information about Section 251 and access to information regarding other Local Authorities please visit the Department for Education website (opens in a new window) .

Section 251 budget statement 2013/14 (pdf, 32kb) (opens in a new window)

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