Decision details

High Needs Funding for Oldham College

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member - Children and Young People (Councillor Eddie Moores)

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

Decision Part 1: The reason for this decision is to secure agreement to re-calibrate the number of High Needs places commissioned at Oldham College, so it more accurately reflects the number of high needs students placed in the college. This commitment of funding is taken from the LAs DSG/High Needs Block and passed straight to providers from the ESFA. This role is part of the LA statutory duties.
Decision Part 2: Oldham college has seen a 40% increase in the number of high needs students from other local authorities accessing their programmes. Funding for these students is passed to the local authority on a lagged model which we in turn pass to the college. In order to support the financial position of the college, and in the spirit of partnership, the proposal is for this session to transfer the lagged funding (equivalent £228k) in advance to ensure that the college can ensure sufficient funds are in place for the place funding (E2). In addition to this sum the college will receive £90k lagged funding for students they taught last session. It is important to note this is funding which comes into the LA from government to ensure home LA’s/colleges are not disadvantaged financially by students from out of borough.

Decision:

RESOLVED - That:
Decision Part 1:
Option 1: Agree to placement numbers 143 (this accounts for students placed by Oldham and other authorities). This would be in place for the 2020/2021 academic year and reflects the 10% differential in actual numbers taken by the college.
Option 2: Do nothing, keep the allocation at 100. There is a risk that the college will refuse to accept students above this number on the basis that attendance is a significant pressure on college resources and exceeds the 10% guideline. This option could result in even more expensive cost as the students with EHC plans not placed at the college request a specialist (and expensive) provision elsewhere.
Decision Part 2:
Option 1: Transfer the equivalent £228k to the college (which is ultimately ESFA funding) to support the additional E2 costs incurred as a result of the 40% increase in out of borough students, as per the ESFA funding model. If, in the unlikely event of the out of borough students’ numbers changing through the course of the session, the LA could reduce the differential from the funding allocated in the following session to cover any reduction in passported funding, so there is no risk to the council resources.
Option 2: Maintain the funding on a lagged basis. This weakens the financial position of the college during a period of increased demand from high need students and does not reflect a spirit of partnership which both parties have fostered.

Reasons for the decision:

Decision Part 1 Conclusion:
The preferred decision is option 1. This acknowledges the growth in places for high needs students in preparation for the 2020/21 academic year and provides the college with some financial stability in supporting the growth in high needs students in their establishment.
Decision Part 2 Conclusion:
The preferred decision is option 1. This acknowledges the growth in places for high needs students in preparation for the 2020/21 academic year and provides the college with some financial stability in supporting this year’s growth in high needs students.

Alternative options considered:

Decision part 1:
Option 2: Do nothing, keep the allocation at 100. There is a risk that the college will refuse to accept students above this number on the basis that attendance is a significant pressure on college resources and exceeds the 10% guideline. This option could result in even more expensive cost as the students with EHC plans not placed at the college request a specialist (and expensive) provision elsewhere.
Decision part 2:
Option 2: Maintain the funding on a lagged basis. This weakens the financial position of the college during a period of increased demand from high need students and does not reflect a spirit of partnership which both parties have fostered.

Publication date: 04/12/2019

Date of decision: 02/12/2019

Effective from: 12/12/2019

Accompanying Documents: