Agenda item

2020/21 Dedicated Schools Grant - Outturn Report

Joint report of the Corporate Director for People and the Chief Finance Officer


Julia Holmes, Senior Commercial Business Partner, introduced the report setting out the 2020/21 Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) outturn position and the updated reserve balance, and highlighted the following:


(a)  the overall budget allocation for 2020/21 was £289.578m. There was an underspend of £3.789m, representing 1.3% of the total budget. The underspend will be allocated to the Statutory School Reserve (SSR) leaving an uncommitted balance of £3.738m;

(b)  within the Schools Block there was an underspend of £0.733m within the Pupil Growth fund, mainly because the remaining balance that could not be equitably allocated to all schools during the budget setting process was allocated to this fund;

(c)   within the Central Schools Services Block there was an underspend of £0.243m mainly due to Virtual School funding being substituted by funding from the Pupil Premium Plus Grant;

(d)  Within the Early Years Block there was an underspend of £0.341m on funding for providers mainly due to the lower number of children accessing provision during the pandemic compared to the previous year. There were also underspends on Early Years Disability Access Funding and the Early Years SEN Inclusion Fund;

(e)  Within the High Needs Block there was an underspend on High Level Needs support in mainstream schools because implementation was delayed due to the pandemic. There was also an underspend of £0.928m on Behaviour PRUs and devolved Alternative Provision as permanent exclusions were greatly reduced due to the closure of schools, and a small underspend on Support Services due to a combination of reduced mileage costs, staffing underspends and income being over budget;

(f)  There was an overspend on Independent and Non-Maintained Special Schools due to a number of children moving into the City during the year requiring specialist autism places who could not be accommodated at Rosehill as places were not available, tribunal decisions resulting in placements in INMSS settings and fee increases from providers;

(g)  the SSR balance as at 1 April 2020 was £6.999m, but after in year movements during 2020/21 the balance is £9.485m, with an uncommitted balance of £3.738m as of 1 April 2021. Schools Form Sub-Group meetings will be set up to review the usage of this reserve to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 and reduction of exclusions, taking into account risks, grants and ‘bigger’ picture discussions.


The following points were raised during the discussion which followed:


(h)  a possible usage of the reserve could be to support schools with Pupil Premium funding that was affected due to moving of the census date by the government. This will be explored to see if it will be possible under funding regulations;

(i)  the Local Authority is in a good position in having a reserve, as many other Local Authorities do not have one;

(j)  the Sub-Group will need to know how much of the SSR is available and what it can legally fund before making any decisions.

Resolved to


(1)  note that the 2020/21 financial outturn position of the DSG was an under spend of £3.789m (1.3% of the overall budget) against a final budget of £289.578m, as per Table 2 of the report;

(2)  note that this under spend has been allocated back to the Statutory Schools Reserve (SSR) resulting in a closing balance of £9.485m for 2020/21, as per Table 7 of the report;

(3)  note that the uncommitted balance on the SSR balance is £3.738m, as per Table 7 of the report.

Supporting documents: