Memorandum by the Department for Education and Employment
EDUCATION (GRANT-MAINTAINED AND GRANT-MAINTAINED
SPECIAL SCHOOLS) (FINANCE) REGULATIONS 1997 (S.I. 1997/996)
The Joint Committee have requested a memorandum on the following
(1) Given that a comparison of the relevant characteristics
of schools is required by regulation 6 for calculating a school's
grant under regulation 4 or 5, explain how characteristics are
determined where (as acknowledged by regulation 6(12)) there is
in fact no actual school with which to make the comparison.
Under regulation 6(3) the funding authority have, in determining
the amount of annual maintenance grant for a grant-maintained
school, to take into account the budget share that a comparable
LEA maintained school would receive from the LEA. It does not
matter whether or not there is a comparable maintained school
because there does not have to be an actual school in existence
with which to make the comparison.
It may assist the Committee to give an example. Assume that
the funding authority have to determine the amount of annual maintenance
grant for a primary grant-maintained school. A comparable maintained
school would, having regard to regulation 6(10), be a maintained
county primary school which had the same relevant characteristics
as the grant-maintained school. A characteristic is relevant for
these purposes, having regard to regulation 6(10), if it is relevant
for the purposes of the allocation formula in the LEA's scheme.
The grant-maintained primary school in question is situated
near to London and has 50 pupils and a swimming pool. The funding
authority must look at what a comparable maintained school would
have received as its budget share. There is in fact no LEA maintained
school in the area with exactly the same characteristics but that
does not matter. The funding authority look at the LEA's scheme
and work out what the budget share of a primary school with 50
pupils would be. By far the greater part of the budget share will
be based on pupil numbers and so the number of pupils in each
age group is a relevant characteristic. Indeed the Regulations
say specifically that this is so at regulation 6(10)(a)(i). In
addition the scheme in question may also include in the budget
share additional funds for small schools. If a comparable maintained
school would fall within the definition of a small school in the
LEA's scheme then the small size of the grant-maintained school
will be a relevant characteristic.
The school is situated near London and some LEAs near London
make provision in their schemes for London Weighting. However,
if the scheme of the LEA in question makes no such provision (and
never has done) then this will not be a relevant characteristic.
The school has a swimming pool unlike any LEA maintained school
in the area. When this school acquired grant-maintained status
the LEA varied its scheme so as to remove that factor. Regulation
6(4) provides that, where a scheme used to include a particular
factor and it has subsequently been revised, varied or replaced,
then it is deemed, for the purposes of determining a comparable
maintained school's budget share, still to include it. The fact
that the school has a swimming pool is therefore a relevant characteristic
even though the scheme no longer contains such a factor.
In short therefore relevant characteristics are determined
in accordance with the Regulations by reference to the allocation
formula in the LEA's scheme and it does not matter that there
is no LEA maintained school with those exact same characteristics.
(2) Regulation 48(7) requires an aggregate amount
to be calculated in the case of certain primary and secondary
schools. Indicate what is represented by the aggregate amount.
Is it the CFF floor for the schools described in the paragraph?
The aggregate amount is indeed the CFF floor for the schools
described in the paragraph. Regulation 48 provides for the determination
of CFF floors. Paragraph (2) provides that in the case of certain
schools the CFF floor shall be the amount determined by the funding
authority in accordance with the following provisions of that
Because paragraph (2) already states that the amount determined
by the funding authority is the school's CFF floor, the Department
thought that it was unnecessary to say in paragraphs (3), (5)
and (7) that the amount so determined is the CFF floor.
However the wording is no doubt not as clear as it might
be and the Department will take this into account in next year's
Regulation 51 allows for further revisions
of certain determinations. Explain why, in doing so, regulation
51 refers to determinations revised in accordance with its own
terms as well as those of regulations 50 and 53.
The reference to regulation 51 is an error. Regulation 51
states that a determination which has been revised in accordance
with regulation 50, 51 or 53 may be further revised. This should
have been a reference to regulation 50, 52 or 53. Fortunately
it is unlikely that the funding authority will need to further
revise an amount of maintenance grant which has already been revised
in accordance with regulation 52. In this financial year the funding
authority have not yet revised a determination in accordance with
1st July 1997