NATIONAL FUNDING FORMULA FOR ENGLAND

The Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, announced on 21 July that the Government will not be progressing to complete the review of the National Funding Formula until 2018-19 at the earliest.

As a result of Ministerial changes following the EU Referendum, the Government has decided to postpone the publication of its response to the stage one consultation on the national funding formula for schools and to launch the stage two consultation on the formula factors and weightings in the Autumn. It is expected that the Government will commit to a full consultation on the stage two proposals, probably lasting 12 weeks.

However, it should be noted that the Government’s manifesto commitment to a new national fair funding formula remains in place.

The statement to Parliament from the Secretary of State confirmed:

  • in 2017 to 2018, no local authority will see a reduction from their 2016 to 2017 funding (adjusted to reflect authorities’ most recent spending patterns) on the schools block of the dedicated schools grant (per pupil funding) or the high-needs block (cash amount);

  • the publication of detailed funding tables to enable local authorities to see the basis for funding allocations;

  • final allocations for schools and high-needs blocks will follow in December on the basis of pupil numbers recorded in the October census;

  • for 2017 to 2018, the Government will retain the current minimum funding guarantee for schools, so that no school can face a funding reduction of more than 1.5% per pupil next year in what it receives through the local authority funding formula.

The Government expects that these commitments will enable local authorities to begin the process of setting the budgets of schools in their area in time for the start of the coming financial year.

The Ministerial statement makes clear that the Government does not intend to proceed, for 2017 to 2018, with proposals to create a new central schools block, allow local flexibility on the minimum funding guarantee or to ring-fence the schools block within the dedicated schools grant. These matters will be covered, for 2018 to 2019 and beyond, in my response to the stage one of the consultation in the Autumn.

Detailed funding tables showing local authorities exactly how the funding has been calculated are available from:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/schools-funding-arrangements-2017-to-2018

Further details of the announcement can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/schools-funding


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