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Section 8: The provision of services and facilities by the authority

8.1 Provision of services from centrally retained budgets

8.2 Provision of services bought back from the Authority using delegated budgets

8.3 Packaging

8.4 Service level agreements

8.1 Provision of services from centrally retained budgets

The Authority will determine the basis upon which services from centrally retained funds (including existing premature retirement costs and redundancy payments) are provided to schools. The Authority will, wherever possible endeavour to do this in consultation with schools. The Authority will not discriminate in its provision of services on the basis of categories of schools except where such discrimination is justified by differences in statutory duties.

8.2 Provision of services bought back from the Authority using delegated budgets

The Authority may require a minimum period of up to 3 years where it is necessary to ensure an economic service provision.

When a service is provided for which expenditure is not retainable centrally by the Authority under the Regulations made under section 46 of the Act, it will be offered at prices which are intended to generate income which is no less than the cost of providing those services. The total cost of the service will be met by the total income, even if schools are charged differentially.

8.3 Packaging

The Authority will ensure that in providing any service on a buy-back basis that such services will be offered in a way which does not unreasonably restrict schools freedom of choice among the services available, and where practicable, this will include provision on a service-by-service basis as well as in packages of services. Services available to be purchased with delegated funds will be outlined in guidance from time to time (Reading Borough Council support services for schools).

8.4 Service level agreements

Service level agreements must normally be in place by no later than 31st March to be effective for the following financial year and schools must normally have at least a month to consider the terms of agreements.

With the exception of centrally funded premises and liability insurances, if services or facilities are provided under a Service Level Agreement (SLA) (whether free or on a buy-back basis), the terms of any such agreement starting on or after the inception of the scheme will be reviewed at least every three years if the agreement lasts longer than that.

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