School Funding Allocations:Written statement - HLWS1

WS
Department for Education
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

School Funding Allocations

My right honourable friend the Minister of State for School Standards (Nick Gibb) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today informing you of the details of an announcement made by the Department for Education on Friday 11th October of the further details of school revenue funding for 2020-21. At the Spending Round we announced a total additional investment of £14 billion in schools over the next three years - the biggest funding boost for a decade. This includes £2.6 billion for 2020-21, £4.8 billion for 2021-22, and £7.1 billion for 2022-23 compared to 2019-20. On top of this we are providing £1.5 billion each year to fund additional pensions costs for teachers, bringing the total schools budget to £52.2 billion in 2022-23.

This funding will give every school more money for every child – with the biggest boost going to schools that need it most. It means all secondary schools will receive a minimum of £5,000 per pupil next year while all primary schools will get a minimum of £3,750 next year and £4,000 per pupil from 2021-22.

On Friday we published the details of provisional allocations for local authorities in 2020-21 through three of the four blocks of the Dedicated Schools Grant: the schools block, the high needs block, and the central school services block. As usual, allocations through the early years block will be published later in the year.

The per pupil units of funding for local authorities that we have published will be used to set final allocations when updated pupil numbers are available later in the autumn. As in previous years, there will be further data updates in relation to the high needs block.

We have also published notional school level allocations for 5-16 funding, so that schools can understand the amount they attract under the national funding formula. Details of these arrangements have been published on GOV.UK.

The figures reflect the features of the national funding formula that we announced on 30 August 2019.

For the schools national funding formula, these include:

  • increasing the total funding in the schools block by 5%;
  • increasing the formula funding floor so that all schools will attract at least a 1.84% per pupil gain against their 2019-20 national funding formula baselines. This is in line with the forecast GDP deflator, to protect per pupil allocations for all schools in real terms;
  • removing the gains cap so that underfunded schools attract the full gains they are due under the formula;
  • increasing the core factors in the National Funding Formula by 4%; and
  • updating the underpinning data used in the calculation of the national funding formula, where more recent data is available.

For the high needs national funding formula, these include:

  • increasing the total funding in the high needs block by 12%;
  • increasing the funding floor to 8% per head of population, compared to 2019-20 allocations, to ensure that all areas see substantial gains;
  • setting a limit on the gains under the formula of 17% per head of population; and
  • updating underpinning data, as for the schools block.

We have also published local authority allocations for the central school services block in 2020-21. We have protected the total funding allocated for the ongoing responsibilities that local authorities have a statutory duty to deliver for all pupils in maintained schools and academies. These allocations will continue to be calculated for all authorities using a per pupil formula, the structure of which is unchanged. Local authorities will continue to be protected so that the maximum per pupil reduction in this funding is 2.5% compared to their 2019-20 allocation; and the maximum per pupil gain will be set at 1.94%.

As we have stated previously, from 2020-21 we will start to reduce the other element of central school services funding, that some local authorities receive for historic commitments made prior to 2013-14. This is in line with our reforms to move to a fairer funding system. In 2020-21, for those authorities that receive it, historic commitments funding will be reduced by 20%, with a protection so that no authority loses an amount equivalent to more than 0.5% of its 2019-20 schools block allocation. We will continue to unwind this funding in future years, and will provide further detail in due course.

The detail of the changes above, and some further technical changes to the national funding formula, are outlined in the accompanying policy document. To note, these changes relate to the 2020-21 NFF. We have not confirmed the details of the NFF for future years.

As we have previously confirmed, local authorities will continue to set a local formula to determine individual primary and secondary school budgets in 2020-21. However, we have set out the government's intention to move to a ‘hard’ national funding formula for schools as soon as possible, where every school’s budget will be set on the basis of a single, national formula. We recognise that this will represent a significant change and we will work closely with local authorities, schools and others to make this transition as smoothly as possible. As a first step towards hardening the formula, from 2020-21 we will make it compulsory for local authorities to use the national minimum per pupil funding levels in their own funding formulae, and are currently consulting on our proposals for introducing this change.

Last week’s announcements underline how the significant funding boost we have announced will benefit every area in the country and support our continued move towards a fairer funding system – helping every child to achieve their potential, no matter what their background or where they happen to live. This comes as research in the Teacher Workload Survey shows that teachers’ working hours have fallen by five hours per week over the past three years. The findings, taken from a representative survey of over 7,000 teachers, middle leaders and senior leaders, also show that actual teaching hours remain broadly stable. Our continuing investment in education, coupled with a bold reform agenda and the work of Ofsted will bolster the ongoing rise in school standards.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1

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