The Confederation of School Trusts (CST) and The Trust Network have been advocating hard on behalf of school trusts and are offering guidance and advice on operational issues surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Some key items are highlighted below.
Contingency framework and Schools Covid-19 Operational Guidance
On 17 August, the government published an updated contingency framework for education and childcare settings and an updated schools COVID-19 operational guidance.
The updated contingency framework describes the principles of managing local outbreaks of Covid-19 (including responding to variants of concern) in education and childcare settings, covering:
The updated schools Covid operational guidance contains changes to the previous version, including:
School resource management self-assessment checklist – new guidance
The checklist for 2021/22 has been published. All academy trusts which have an open academy on 31 December 2021 must complete the self-assessment checklist (which you do each year).
The checklist is intended to help trust boards to:
This is an update to the school resource management self-assessment tool (SRMSAT), which previously consisted of the self-assessment checklist and dashboard. The self-assessment dashboard has been moved to the benchmarking website.
The deadline for submission of the checklist will be in Spring 2022 but a specific date is not yet given.
National funding formula (NFF) for 2022/23
The DfE has published a policy document setting out the schools and high needs NFF for 2022/23. This is the final year of the three-year settlement for schools and high needs pledged in September 2019. Tables showing provisional allocations for the schools, high needs and central school services blocks from 2022 to 2023 can be found here.
The consultation on Fair school funding for all: completing our reforms to the National Funding Formula sets out the government’s proposal for progression to a hard NFF. This means that school final budget allocation will continue to be determined by local authority formula in funding year 2022/23.
The DfE has also published the outcome of the consultation on changes to sparsity funding from 2022-23. This document presents analysis of responses to the consultation and confirms changes to the sparsity factor and funding for small, remote schools. Funding for small and remote schools is also being boosted by £53 million in 2022-23.
Changes to the sparsity factor:
School building programme
The DfE has announced the second set of 50 new schools in the Prime Minister’s ten-year School Rebuilding Programme . The first 50 schools in the programme were announced in February 2021.
The DfE has launched a consultation to gather views on how to prioritise schools for the remainder of the School Rebuilding programme. The consultation will close at 11:59pm on 8 October 2021.
Academy conversion – important dates in the Autumn term 2021
The DfE has published information about key dates for schools converting to academy status in the Autumn term 2021.