AN extension of a month is proposed so that a consultation on tweaks to the schools funding formula in Powys can take place.
The proposal for the extension will be discussed by Powys County Council’s Cabinet at their meeting on Tuesday, November 22.
The report explains that the extension is needed as due to “unforeseen circumstances” a meeting of the schools budget forum in September was cancelled.
Delays to the process were also caused by staff being diverted to work on the pressure caused to this year’s school budgets due to the cost-of-living crisis and rocketing energy prices.
Usually, the consultation period on any proposals to change the formula ends before the October half-term
The report said: “The schools finance team and school service are requesting an extension to allow for an appropriate length of time to consult with schools and governing bodies regarding the proposed amendments to the secondary and all age funding formula.
“Moving the decision date from December 31 to January 31, would allow sufficient time for a meaningful consultation with all schools to run between mid-November and mid-December.”
This would then give education department staff time to “reflect” on the consultation responses and then form the final changes to the formula, which would then be put forward to the schools forum and cabinet for discussion in January.
“This request has already been considered and agreed by the schools forum at the rescheduled meeting in October,” said the report.
Head of finance, Jane Thomas said: “The resource implications of the final proposals for decision will need to be considered as part of the budget setting process.
“It is important that the authority fulfils its obligations for consultation with schools on proposed changes to the school funding formula.”
The formula allocates funding to schools based on a number of factors, including the number of pupils and how many children with additional learning needs attend a school.This year the schools budget was £79.491 million from a council budget of £301.870 million.