Decision Maker: The Executive
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The report of the Director of Function (Resources) providing an update on progress in restructuring the Anglesey Further Education Trust was presented for the Executive’s consideration.
Following the presentation of the 2017/18 Anglesey Further Education Trust accounts to the Executive at its 29 April, 2019 meeting, the Executive requested that the structure of the Trust be reviewed with the aim of ensuring that more of the funds are used to fulfil the charitable purposes of the Trust i.e. to assist current and former pupils of the Council’s five secondary schools in maintaining their education or to undertake vocational or professional qualifications. Following on from the meeting of the Executive, discussions took place with the Head teachers of the 5 secondary schools to identify potential methods by which the Trust funds could be used to benefit current and former pupils and how the funding would be allocated to the 5 schools it being reasoned that that the schools themselves are in the best position to identify the pupils who could so benefit. The resulting proposals are set out in the report. An external solicitor was also contracted to advise on possible options with regard to revising and updating the schemes which govern the Further Education Trust and to improve the utilisation of the Fund. Whilst there is a need to update the governing documents which will require further work and agreement of the Charity Commission, there is scope to use the fund in a different way within the compass of the current schemes.
The 2018/19 Annual Report and accounts (as presented under item 7 on the agenda) show that the value of the overall Fund stands at £3.237m and is comprised of 2 specific funds – the Endowment Fund (£2.78m) made up mainly from the value of investment properties with the remainder being traded investments, debtors and creditors and cash in the bank making it unsuitable for distribution to meet the Trust’s charitable objectives; and the Restricted Fund (£455k) made up of traded investments and cash held in the bank which can be distributed to meet the Trust’s charitable objectives. The report sets out how the surplus generated by the Trust each year is distributed between the David Hughes Charity for the Poor (a separate charity not under the Council’s control) and two sub-funds under the Restricted Fund which are for the benefit of current and former pupils of the Island’s five secondary schools. As the Executive does not at present set a budget it is not possible to determine the potential surplus the Fund will make each year and how much will be available for each fund after expenditure on the repair and maintenance of the properties on the estate. The report proposes an annual allotted budget for repairs and maintenance to be inflated each year in line with the inflationary increase applied to the rents received.
The Executive was advised that there are significant funds available to provide support for current and former pupils and that the Trust is capable of generating sufficient surplus to enable a level of support to be maintained into the future. The wording of the Scheme needs to be updated to clarify the document but this can be done without the need to make major changes to the charitable purposes of the Trust. The five secondary schools are willing to administer the awarding of funding to pupils and former pupils on behalf of the Trust and the proposed grant schemes can be undertaken within the current wording of the Schemes.
It was resolved -
• To approve the following proposals to utilise the Anglesey Further Education Trust funding –
• That £55,000 be allocated to each secondary school to fund the cost of Learning Coaches within each school. It will be for each school to determine over what period the funding is used.
• That £8,000 be initially allocated to each secondary school to enable the schools to provide grants to assist financially disadvantaged students to obtain places at colleges and universities and/or to help with the purchase of books and equipment required to attend the courses in the first year. It will be for each school to asses each application and award grants based on their assessment criteria.
• That the Education Service requests Coleg Cymraeg Cymru to administer scholarships to students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds to undertake university and college courses through the medium of Welsh.
• That the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer be delegated the authority to determine how much is allocated to the 3 schemes in future years. The sum allocated will be dependent on the surplus made by the Fund.
• That the budget for repairs and maintenance is set at £50,000 for 2020/21 and that the sum is inflated each year in line with the inflationary increase applied to the rents received. Any additional sum above this budget must be approved by the Executive.
• That the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer and the Director of Function (Council Business)/Monitoring Officer be delegated the power to conclude the work required in order to update the wording of the Scheme. If the Charity Commission consider the proposed changes as a material change to the operation of the Fund, the matter will be referred back to the Executive for further discussion.
Publication date: 28/10/2019
Date of decision: 28/10/2019
Decided at meeting: 28/10/2019 - The Executive