Financial Year 2020-21

LA and school expenditure

Data guidance



This document describes the data included in the School Finance in England National Statistics release’s underlying data files. This data is released under the terms of the Open Government License and is intended to meet at least 3 stars for Open Data.

The methodology document should be referenced alongside this data. It provides information on the data sources, their coverage and quality as well as explaining methodology used in producing the data.


The Statistical Publication: ‘School Finance in England’ provides the latest information at national, regional and local level on the expenditure on schools, education and children's and young people's services by local authorities. Alongside the local authority spending, the release also provides a detailed breakdown of income and expenditure by schools, with aggregations to the local authority, regional and national level. The publication summarises the information that was collected via the summer 2021 Consistent Financial Reporting (CFR) and S251 Outturn collections . It supersedes the January 2021 data release. 

The CFR data will also be available at an individual school level via the Schools Financial Benchmarking website. 

This publication includes information on:

  • Local authority spending on schools and other education - time-series giving the detailed breakdown of spending split by school-phase and overall spending area (e.g. individual schools budget, expenditure on free school meals, SEN support etc).
  • Local authority spending on children's and young people's services - time-series giving the detailed breakdown of spending split by provision sector (e.g. own, private, voluntary) and spending area (e.g. sure start centres, family services, youth justice etc).
  • Schools' income and expenditure - time-series giving the detailed breakdown of schools income and expenditure by school phase and financial area (e.g. staff, estates and buildings, etc)
  • Schools' revenue balances - time-series giving the overall financial balance data for schools and overall numbers of schools in surplus and deficit.

File formats and conventions

The data files are provided in comma-separated values format, which is compatible with standard spreadsheet software such as Excel.

The following symbols are used in the underlying data files as follows:

: Not available - this information has not been collected or there are no estimates available at this level of aggregation.

N/A  Not available - this is normally where a statistic cannot be produced. For example where a denominator is not available to produce a percentage. 

z = not applicable. The 'z' symbol is only to be used when an observation is not applicable (e.g. in tables of employment where people under 16 cannot legally be employed).

Data files

All data files associated with this releases are listed below with guidance on their content. To download any of these files, please visit our data catalogue.