Under current funding arrangements, local authorities devise funding formulae through which to distribute funding to schools in their localities. One of the factors local authorities can include is an English as an additional language (EAL) factor. EAL funding is determined on the basis of census data which records whether or not a pupil’s first language is English. In 2015-16, a total of £267 million was allocated through this factor to school budgets. This figure does not represent the cost of supporting pupils with EAL; instead, it forms part of the school’s core budget. It is then for school leaders to determine how best to use their whole budget so that all pupils can reach their full potential.
We will introduce a national funding formula from 2017-18 so that funding is fair and matched to need. Our first consultation, which closed on 17 April, proposed that the formula should include an EAL factor. We are reviewing all the responses and will set out the precise detail of the formula in our second consultation, to be published later this year.