Planned gross expenditure by local authorities in England on schools in 2021-22 is £51.7 billion; £6.9 billion higher, in cash terms, than in 2019-20 - an increase of 15.4%. Although this increase follows the trends seen in recent years, the rate of increase is higher than previously seen.
Expenditure on schools accounts for 79.1% of all planned local authority spending on education and children's and young people's services. This is similar to the proportion in earlier years. Total planned expenditure on schools, education and children's and young peoples services was £65.3 billion in 2021-22.
A full breakdown of all categories within the schools budget and their planned expenditure can be found in Table 1 of the featured tables (under the explore data and files link).
High needs funding has had the largest increases in planned spending, in 2021-22 high needs planned expenditure by local authorities is £6.2 billion, an increase of £1.4 billion since 2019-20. Most categories within high needs funding will see an increase in planned gross expenditure in 2021-22.
A subset of high needs funding, the high needs top up funding and SEN support service planned expenditure is £5.6 billion in 2021-22, an increase of £1.3 billion since 2019-20.
Planned expenditure on other high needs funding categories (not high needs top up funding or SEN support service) is £549 million in 2021-22, an increase of £74 million since 2019-20.
The planned spend on direct payments (SEN and disability) has increased by £6.6 million between 2019-20 and 2021-22. Planned expenditure on support for inclusion has risen by £13.8 million between 2019-20 and 2021-22, reversing the trend seen in previous years.
In other areas of the schools budget there are decreases in planned gross expenditure. Contingencies, behaviour support services, support to under-performing pupils from ethnic minority groups and bilingual learners, museum and library services and school improvement have all seen reductions in the planned gross expenditure for 2021-22.
Contingencies include expenditure in relation to:
- schools in financial difficulty
- the writing-off of deficits of schools which are discontinued, excluding any associated costs and overheads
- new, amalgamating or closing schools
- other expenditure where such circumstances were unforeseen when initially determining the school’s budget share.