As part of the Council’s open and transparent decision making processes, a recent decision by Cabinet Member for Children & Young People (made on 23rd December 2017) was reviewed by the Children & Young People Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel held at a public meeting on the 16th January 2017.
The Call-In follows a single member decision by the Cabinet Member for Children & Young People to decide on the funding formula to be utilised to set schools’ budgets for the 2018-19 financial year.
Subsequently 10 councillors formally asked for the cabinet member’s decision to be reviewed - or Called-In. For the following reason:
- Insufficient consideration has been given to alternative options beyond the National Funding Formula and the Local Funding Formula. The report acknowledges that there are many options which could be modelled, but that only one was considered and then dismissed.
The call in process means that an Executive decision, which has been made but not yet implemented, can be scrutinised to check that it was made following the correct evidence and procedures.
The original decision resolved the following:-
- agree that the implementation of the new National Funding Formula (NFF) methodology is adopted from the 2018-19 financial year.
- agree to ensure that all schools receive a 0.5% increase per pupil as a minimum.
To assist in their deliberations, the panel received a range of written and verbal evidence, interviewed Cllr Paul May, the Cabinet Member for Children & Young People, senior council officers, and a representative, Councillor Tim Ball, on behalf of those councillors who signed the request to review the decision for the call-in request. They also heard from head teachers from local schools, including the head teacher who chairs the Schools Forum, which recommended this option to the cabinet member.
Having considered the evidence, the panel voted to dismiss the call-in and allow the decision to be implemented as set out.
Cllr Alison Millar, the panel chair, said:
“The call in meeting was very constructive, with a very comprehensive submission by Cllr Ball for the call in signatories and answers from the Cabinet Member. Several head teachers gave their views which were welcomed by the panel. Whilst some members of the panel were disappointed that the call-in was dismissed, the majority view of the panel was that the Cabinet Member’s decision needs to be implemented.”
This means that the original decision made by Cllr Paul May can take place with immediate effect.