Below are the budget proposals for Children’s Services that have been approved.

Education

Additional Support Needs Service Review - Review of Service Level Agreements (SLA) / Commissioning

Estimated savings

2019/20
£000's
Full-time equivalent
100 0

Commentary

Linked to the Closer to Home Strategy, which will engage in transformational activity across Children's Services over the next 5 years to review strategic commissioning to ensure that we realign programmes of work to deliver the overall strategic outcomes.

Key actions which will contribute to the development of the financial position above:

  • Engage with stakeholders and 3rd sector services to review their current activity.
  • Realign the activity identified to that of the revised strategic plan.
  • Engage with the procurement team to prepare specifications to go out to tender for the revised services.
  • Engage with colleagues from across the Forth Valley area to review our approach to delivering Speech and Language Services.
  • Review and renegotiate our service level agreements with NHS to align our service needs and our strategic goals.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

A full EPIA is being drafted – not complete.

Primary Savings Target

Estimated savings

2019/20
£000's
Full-time equivalent
698 27 (Initial Estimate)

Commentary

Primary Savings Target of £1.8m (Year1) as per Education Executive on 6/11/18. Estimated staff savings of 36FTE.

Schools budget savings options:

Option £ FTE
(i) Re-design of teaching support in nursery classes aligned with use of graduate childcare professionals. 0.519 20
(ii) Removal of discretionary support provided for schools (i.e. for additional classes). 0.179 7
Total 0.698 27

Option (i) has no impact on current National PTR

Option (ii) can be delivered within the national PTR.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

A full EPIA has been completed and assessed as low.

Redesign of Additional Support Needs (ASN) Service (Closer to Home)

Estimated savings

2019/20
£000's
Full-time equivalent
220 4

Commentary

Returning Pupils to the local schools rather than external special provisions. This service review will be linked to the Closer to Home Strategy. A list of projects will be identified through the review designed to develop sustainable Additional Support Needs (ASN) services with an outcome focused approach. Key elements of the Closer to Home strategy which will be taken forward within this review are as follows:

Key ambitions for the ASN service:

  • local children attending their local school
  • the right help in the right place at the right time
  • working with partners to develop our local capacity to meet the changing needs of our children and young people in Falkirk.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

An Equality and Poverty Impact Assessment (EPIA) was undertaken. The assessment identified impacts on groups with protected characteristics however assessed as low due to mitigation.

Secondary Savings Target

Estimated savings

2019/20
£000's
Full-time equivalent
684 26.7 (Initial Estimate)

Commentary

Secondary Savings Target of £2.5m (Year1) as per Education Executive on 6/11/18. Estimated staff savings of 50FTE.

Schools budget Savings options:

Option £ FTE
(i) Re-provision of school registration process 0.433 16.7
(ii) Adjusting demographic growth provision 0.251 10
Total 0.684 26.7

Option (i) means a 50 minute reduction per week. This doesn't however impact on curricular delivery.

Options (i) and (ii) Can be delivered within the current national PTR.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

A full EPIA has been completed and assessed as low due to the mitigation in the EPIA.


Planning & Resources

Community Learning and Development (CLD) Review

Estimated savings

2019/20
£000's
Full-time equivalent
150 4

Commentary

Redesign of CLD service to a Community Development Approach

Staffing Savings – will affect:

2 CLD Operational Leader posts.
2 further CLD posts.

The Services will be restructured in light of the above staff leaving the Council under voluntary severance.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

Service will be reduced. An Equality and Poverty Impact Assessment (EPIA) was undertaken which identified an impact on groups with protected characteristics however assessed as low due to mitigation.

ELC - Realignment of Early Years Team

Estimated savings

2019/20
£000's
Full-time equivalent
125 2

Commentary

Staff savings (2fte). 2 peripatetic vacant posts deleted.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

An Equality and Poverty Impact Assessment (EPIA), the assessment found no identified impacts on any of the groups with protected characteristics.

ELC - Staffing realignments & review of assets

Estimated savings

2019/20
£000's
Full-time equivalent
125 0

Commentary

Efficiencies derived from Staffing Realignments & Review of Assets (linked to Strategic Property Review).

Early Years estate to move to a model of best value to assist with the delivery of the Early Learning and Childcare Expansion. Savings will be delivered through reviewing existing day nursery sites and where possible rationalising the existing asset base or relocating nurseries to more suitable properties identified through the council's Strategic Service Review.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

An Equality and Poverty Impact Assessment (EPIA) was undertaken. The assessment identified no impacts on groups with protected characteristics.

Fees & Charges

Estimated savings

2019/20
£000's
Full-time equivalent
75 0

Commentary

Council undertook a review of Fees and Charges (which included Childcare / Meals / Breakfast Clubs / Lets) to ensure there was consistency over set charges, % increases and discounts.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

A full EPIA has been completed and assessed as low.

Re-provisioning of the School Estate - Phase 1: School Estate Mothballing

Estimated savings

2019/20
£000's
Full-time equivalent
101 0

Commentary

Review schools with <10 catchment pupils on school roll.

Re-provisioning the school estate to a best value model. There are a number of schools with a low school roll which have high property costs. Property costs relates to energy, ground maintenance, catering, cleaning, water and rates and charges. Staff costs are not included.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

An Equality and Poverty Impact Assessment (EPIA) was undertaken. The assessment identified no impacts on groups with protected characteristics.

Reduce Music Instruction

Estimated savings

2019/20
£000's
Full-time equivalent
75 2

Commentary

Decrease staffing by up to 2FTE, review temporary contracts and reduction of staffing. Reduction in the number of instrument tuition choices available.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

An Equality and Poverty Impact Assessment (EPIA) was undertaken. The assessment found no identified impacts on any of the groups with protected characteristics.

Replace cartons of milk & fruit juice with water

Estimated savings

2019/20
£000's
Full-time equivalent
125 0

Commentary

School Meal Offer change – Remove bottled aqua juice/milk cartons from the Primary School lunch offer. Tap water will be available as an alternative.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

An Initial EPIA was completed. As the nutritional content of the food offered will have to increase by 100 calories to negate the impact of the withdrawal of the aqua juice/ milk. There will be no negative impact on the pupils who take a school meal.

Review and reduction of Central Support staff

Estimated savings

2019/20
£000's
Full-time equivalent
282 4.5

Commentary

Review and reduction of Central Support staff (Sealock House & Camelon Education Centre):

  • Quality Improvement Manager reduction of (1 FTE)
  • Curriculum Support Team reduction of (1 FTE)
  • Policy Officer (1 FTE)
  • Depute Principal Psychologist (1FTE) and Psychologist (0.5FTE)

All of the above posts are vacant posts which have been vacant for longer than 6 months.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

An Equality and Poverty Impact Assessment (EPIA), the assessment found no identified impacts on any of the groups with protected characteristics as these posts are vacant.


Social Work

Closer to Home – Social Work Children’s Services

Estimated savings

2019/20
£000's
Full-time equivalent
837 0

Commentary

The Closer to Home Strategy outlines transformational activity planned within the Children & Families service over the next 5 years.

Financial Year 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 2022/23 20203/24 Total
Cost £000's 837 1,238 1,367 -40 70 3472
Gross Savings £000's 837 1,879 1,418 1,390 1,389 6913
Net Savings £000's 0 641 51 1,430 1319 3441

Savings will be delivered by shifting the balance of care within our looked after children population. This will involve increasing the number of children in community placements and reducing the number in residential placements.

Key actions which contribute to the development of the financial position above:

Recruiting an additional 30 foster carers (additional capacity of 45)

  • 75% of additional capacity to be filled from residential placements
  • 25% of additional capacity to be filled from external (agency) foster care placements

A 10% reduction in the number of children looked after away from home (19) Total savings to the placement budget = £6.913m Children & Families also have significant financial pressures due to new continuing care and aftercare legislation and current service overspend. There is a recognised need to invest in the service in order to achieve these savings. A summary of costs is below:

  • 65% uptake of continuing care
  • Investment within the service
    • Additional 10.5 FTE
    • Procurement of external fostering agency for marketing
    • Ringfenced funding for preventative spend

Total Costs to the Service = £3.472m Agreed total savings position =£3.441m

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

An Equality and Poverty Impact Assessment (EPIA) will be undertaken.

Review of Children’s & Families Social Work staff

Estimated savings

2019/20
£000's
Full-time equivalent
290 7

Commentary

Staff savings reduction of staff.

Cut Total Staff by 5% £290k (equivalent to 7 FTE qualified Social Work staff).

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

An Equality and Poverty Impact Assessment (EPIA) was undertaken and assessed as low impact.