Agenda item

Any Other Business


Jane Jones (Early Years Rep) read out a letter received from Kevin Foster MP, on behalf of a parent of a child at Puffins Nursery. The letter expressed concerns around a perceived lack of funding for children in their Torbay branch when compared to their nurseries in Devon, and asked for clarification on this.


Rachael read out a technical response to the enquiry, prepared on behalf of forum members:


On the 1st December 2016 the DfE published its response to the consultation for the implementation of the new Early Years Funding Formula. The transition to the new way of funding Early Years children began in April 2017. Torbay Council run an Early Years funding consultation to which a full response was provided. The previous hourly rate of £4.08 per hour was heavily subsidised through our DSG funds, something which was not sustainable on a longer term basis. The new formula ensures the hourly rates are self-sufficient and no longer require the heavy subsidisation from the DSG. Torbay provided a transitional budget for one year to reduce the rate in two steps, from £4.08 to £4.00, and then down to £3.82 from April 2018. The hourly rate that we provide as funding is calculated as an overall 5% that is kept by the LA within our statutory gift to run the Early Years service, minus our SEND and Deprivation budget. We provide £3.82 for three and four year olds, and £4.95 for two year olds, and our children are also in receipt of the Pupil Premium. We also pay deprivation at £200 per eligible child, and an SEND budget that is scaled up to £9.00 per hour based on a threshold criteria that is given to settings that apply for it. We additionally provide £615 per year for children with disability access fund issues. The LA took the decision to adjust the hourly rates of our budgets year on year, and since the introduction of the new funding formula Torbay has not received an increase in funding rate, therefore we have not increased the rate given to children. We are waiting the DSG budget allocations, and we will consult on the impact of any new funding through Schools Forum when appropriate.


The 5% retained budget is the amount that local authorities are permitted to retain and is used for core functions. Devon County Council currently pay £4.02 per hour, which is only supplemented by £0.02 per hour for universal deprivation, and £0.04 per hour as a universal SEND grant. Devon also pay targeted deprivation at only £0.08 per hour for eligible children. Devon has taken the decision to cut down on targeted interventions and increase their hourly rate, therefore their universal base rate is higher than Torbay’s. It is important to note that the money isn’t being retained by the LA, but Schools Forum has elected to give the money to our disadvantaged children and not apply it through the universal base rate.


Members thanked Rachael for the response and agreed that this be sent to Kevin Foster on behalf of the Forum.