Friday, 27 May 2011

Understanding LACSEG

Introduction & Posting Guidelines - Please Read First

Local Authority Central Spend Equivalent Grant (LACSEG) is paid to academies in recognition of the fact that as independent schools they no longer receive a number of services from local authorities (LAs), and must make appropriate provision for themselves.

This can cover, but is not limited, to such things as:

Behaviour support services
Maternity cover, long-term sickness, supply cover
Establishing eligibility for Free School Meals
Repair and maintenance
Museum and library services
School admissions
Termination of employment costs
Health-related services
Parent partnership guidance and information
Monitoring of SEN provision
Pupil support
Eucation welfare service
School improvement
Asset management
music services, visual and performing arts, outdoor education
Premature retirement and redundancy
Monitoring national curriculum assessment

THIS DOCUMENT gives a full description of how LACSEG is calculated.

The following comments courtesy of commentator Peter Downes

Which schools gain most?
The real ‘winners’ are larger schools, with relatively few pupils who
will need extra help, few social problems requiring EWS input, with recently refurbished buildings with low maintenance, in areas which are not facing demographic decline, with staff who are male or beyond child-bearing age.

BUT.....the consultation on school funding 2011-2012 states in paragraph 73:
 "The Government is clear that becoming an Academy should not bring about a financialadvantage or disadvantage to a school."

What will Academies spend their extra money on?
Clearly, an Academy takes on many extra responsibilities and will need to recruit extra administrative staff to handle these. If the Academy does not have many pupils who will need to draw on the extra help previously available from the LAA, or if the academy chooses not to do so, and if the Academy decides it does not need to buy in school support or school improvement advice (as it is already deemed ‘outstanding’), it will undoubtedly have a net financial bonus..

According to local circumstances, the Academy will, for example, spend its extra money on:
Extra teaching staff for smaller class sizes
Better equipment and teaching materials
Higher salaries for the Head and for senior teachers (Academies no longer have to follow the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document)

The effect of this could be to
Enable it to attract the best teaching staff from other schools with the offer of better pay

Introduce an inflationary effect into the senior salary structure (with long-term knock-on effect on the Teacher Pension system)

Enable it to attract more pupils, thereby increasing its net extra income further and reducing the cost-effectiveness of neighbouring schools.

Make this already successful school even more successful

The ethical issue: is it right to condone a development that will inevitably widen the gap between the most and least successful, improve opportunities for the most fortunate and reduce support for those who need it most?

The financial issue: in a time of austerity is it right that there should be double-funding? In due course the LACSEG component will surely be fully recouped from the LA, or alternatively, the national amount available through the Dedicated Schools Grant formula will be reduced.

And what about central costs? All this will be administered on a school-by-school basis by the Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA). Where will the extra money for this come from?

Conclusion?: The Academies development is costly, unethical, divisive and inequitable.

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