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Herts for Learning: Working for Hertfordshire Schools

De-delegation Proposal 18/19 – 19/20 (Primary)

Herts for Learning Ltd (HfL) is an education company providing and trading a wide range school improvement and business services to schools and educational settings. The company also has a core contract with Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) to deliver some of its statutory education functions, which include school improvement services. These services are at the heart of HCC’s offer to maintained schools. HfL is 80% owned by the schools it serves and operates on a not-for-profit ethos, the aim of which is that all surplus above the required reserves level is reinvested back into products and services delivered to schools.

Since its inception in 2013, HfL has partnered and worked with HCC, schools and head-teachers to raise the overall attainment scores across the county, in order that the children of Hertfordshire have access to a great education – regardless of where they are born or their circumstances. From 2013 to 2017 the percentage of Good/Outstanding schools in Hertfordshire has risen year-on-year.

Head-teachers and their schools operate in a sector that is changing rapidly and one in which changes in government policy radically impact the way funding is distributed. Following the withdrawal of the Education Services Grant (ESG), HCC can no longer directly fund school improvement services. It is during this turbulent period that HCC and HfL, through de-delegation, intend to offer schools a degree of stability by continuing to provide a complete range of core contract services for 2018/19 & 2019/20. Support for this proposal is essential for HfL to offer the full range of core contract services and for HCC to continue to support schools to remain as Maintained if they wish to do so.

The following primary school de-delegation proposal covers, in detail, the services which HfL will provide. You will also find frequently asked questions and an email address for any additional questions you may have. It is the intention of HCC and HfL to make this de-delegation proposal and process as transparent as possible, you will therefore also find a number of background documents that include all proposed de-delegated budgets for 2018/19.

In addition there is a further and separate proposal for HCC’s Senior Education Manager role for which supporting background documentation is also provided.

Vote here

The following link will take you three questions to vote on:

 

Supporting Documentation

 

Primary De-delegation for HfL Services (pdf/375kb)

De-delegation for HCC Senior Education Manager (pdf/327kb)

Illustration of Primary De-Delegated Budgets (pdf/589kb)

Typical MAT Top Slices Primary (pdf/105kb)

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What services will I receive from de-delegation?

Please refer to the first of the supporting documents that sets out the services HfL will be providing under the core contract; the second document sets out the role and purpose of the LA Senior Education Manager.

De-delegation is really only for schools that are under performing, ‘good’ schools have to pay for those whom aren’t run as well?

It is true that schools that are underperforming receive additional support through the core contract. However, all schools receive a wide range of valuable services, irrespective of their performance, to support them and to continue to improve the quality of education delivered. De-delegation therefore acts both as a tool for improvement and as an insurance policy in the event of difficulty. These services are set out in detail in the accompanying document.

What happens if we don ’t vote for the de-delegation of £25 per pupil?

Support for this proposal is essential for HfL to offer the full range of core contract services and for the Council to continue to support schools to remain as Maintained if they wish to do so. If schools were to choose, as a group, not to accept de-delegation, the Council would have to review the future of Maintained schools in Hertfordshire. For HfL, offering the full breadth of services at this price is only possibly with collective de-delegation. If this is not the case, we would have to slim down the offer, move to a fully traded basis and review pricing of all services.

£25 per pupil is a considerable amount of money, what could we get for a smaller amount, say £15 per pupil?

We recognise the financial pressures that schools are under and have sought to minimise the costs of de-delegation. HfL will be making an 8% saving, equivalent to £2.50 per pupil, but will ring-fence the services provided. HCC is also reducing the general contingency contribution by £1.20. Given the number of schools across Hertfordshire and the range of services provided, all of which have been discussed with your representatives, it is not possible to reduce further the amount requested. HCC and HfL believe that this amount represents good value for the services provided.

Do academies gain anything from de-delegation?

No, academies do not gain anything from de-delegation that they do not pay for. All services provided under the core contract are to maintained schools only. Academies may choose to access those services but must pay for them separately.

If I convert to an academy half-way through the year, do I have to pay the full £25 per pupil?

2018 to 2019 de-delegation arrangements for schools converting to academy status are shown in the following table:

 

Academy conversion date

De-delegation arrangements

On, or before, 1 April 2018

No de-delegation

 

2 April 2018 to 1 September 2018

Local authority retains any de-delegated funding until 1 September 2018

2 September 2018 to 31 March 2019

Local authority retains any de-delegated funding until 31 March 2019

So, if a school becomes an academy prior to 2nd September it will not be required to de-delegate 7/12th of the relevant amount.

There are many more maintained primary schools than maintained secondary schools; do they not then end up subsidising secondary schools?

No, there is no cross-subsidisation of services between phases; we ensure that the de-delegated sums generated by phase, are reinvested in services delivered to schools in those phases.

Does this decision need to be made by the Board of Governors?

Since this is a consultation and not a decision matter, there is no requirement for a formal position to be adopted by the Governing Body. It is clearly of importance in terms of the future position of your school, so we would suggest that it is discussed and agreed by the Head-teacher and the Chair of Governors.

What is the deadline for consultation?

Please respond by 17th November 2017 at the latest.

What happens next?

The results of the consultation exercise will be taken back to Schools’ Forum at the end of November, who will then make a final decision on de-delegation. The result of that decision will be communicated to all schools.

Why is there a large increase from the current year?

In the current year, 14.65 covered the 7 months from September to March (10 de-delegated for core educational services, 3.65 for primary schools causing concern and 1 for Herts Grid for Learning). The 25 per pupil proposal is effectively a grossing up of this amount for the full 12 months next year.

How do I know there won’t be another large increase next year?

HfL and HCC are committed to continuing to control and manage the costs of services provided to schools. The consultation is therefore for similar amounts to be de-delegated in 18/19 and 19/20. Schools’ Forum will however need to ratify the decision for 19/20 in twelve months’ time.

How is the quality of the work of HfL monitored?

HCC has a rigorous monitoring process in place. Key metrics and targets are agreed at the beginning of the year and an improvement plan agreed. Progress is monitored at three Strategic Development Group (SDG) meetings through the year and in an end of year Joint Annual Performance Review (JAPR) meeting held in November once all assessment results are available. HCC and HfL Executives remain in close touch throughout the year to resolve any issues that arise to address emerging concerns in a timely manner. 

 

Ask us a Question

If you still have a question regarding de-delegation, please email:  De-delegation@hertsforlearning.co.uk

We will endeavour to answer your question and respond as quickly as possible.