Funding 2: Broadband Update 2014/15

As you are aware South West Grid for Learning (SWGFL) are leading, managing and co-ordinating the “Transformation Project” and all questions regarding the set up and technical aspects of the project should be directed to the Grid.

As agreed and confirmed, for 2014/15 the 80% broadband subsidy will continue.  All schools will be reimbursed at 80% of actual costs incurred, or at the same rate received for 2013/14 (capped at the pro-rated share of the overall £2m budget), whichever is the lower.

SWGFL have now confirmed that schools will migrate to the new arrangements at different times during the year, and although the majority of schools are expected to realise lower costs as a result, in a very few cases there are some cost increases.  Therefore our proposal is that the subsidy will be released in 2 parts, April – August 14 (5/12ths) and September – March 15 (7/12ths) based on actual costs incurred, capped at the level of subsidy in 2013/14 (pro-rated to the overall budget of £2m).

In this way, schools that migrate onto a more cost effective broadband arrangement will not be inappropriately funded, and schools migrating at a later date will not be disadvantaged.

The existence of the broadband subsidy budget is subject to annual consultation with schools as part of the overall schools funding consultation.  For this reason it is not possible to guarantee the funding for periods of more than one year at a time.

We have now been advised that the “set up” costs will be subsidised by the remaining Harnessing Technology Fund.  SWGFL are managing this aspect of the funding, and any questions regarding set up costs should be directed to the Grid.

Therefore to summarise based on the information received from the Grid we can now confirm that the first part of the broadband subsidy allowance will be processed in early July and all schools should received 5/12ths of the current rate received for 2013/14.  The 7/12ths broadband subsidy allowance will be released based are actual costs and any necessary adjustments once SWGFL have confirmed that all schools have successfully migrated over to the new contract.

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