Spending £638,000 on improving education standards agreed

Spending £638,000 on improving education standards agreed

Philip Dewey

Spending £638,000 on improving education standards agreed

Proposals to spend £638,000 on improving education standards in the Royal Borough have been passed.

The Schools Forum met on Wednesday, October 16, to discuss the proposals put forward by council officers using funds from the accumulated under-spend of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) surplus.

A proposal to spend £291,000 from the surplus to upgrade internet systems and circuits by replacing the existing BT network, at a speed of 2Mbits, to a new system provided by BT at a speed of 100Mbits, was rejected.

Speaking after the meeting, forum chairman and Charters School co-headteacher Richard Pilgrim said: "Many schools had already made their own provisions and the arguments were that bringing all schools up to a standard of this infrastructure would happen without funds from the DSG surplus.

"We didn’t think it was good value for money as these higher internet speeds are not yet needed by primary schools, but will be welcome in due course."

Of the £638,000 approved, a total of £88,000 will go towards providing free early education to two-year-olds for looked after children and children whose families are on an income below £16,190 and are receiving benefits.

Specifically, the money will be used to increase staff resource within the Early Years Team and cover costs including promoting and marketing, expanding and quality of provision.

An allocation of £100,000 will be made to enhance the educational outcomes of children in care and to narrow the achievement gap between these children and their peers.

Schools will be provided with £900 per child in care for 2014/15.

A further £200,000 will be earmarked for funding of a three-year school to school support programme which would see headteachers of schools rated outstanding by Ofsted released to support other schools and help to improve their Ofsted rating.

The remaining £250,000 will be used to supplement the 2013-14 DSG allocation in support of central expenditure and schools' delegated budgets.

The meeting took place at Maidenhead Town Hall.

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