Financial Year 2020-21

School funding statistics

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  1. The replacement "Revenue funding to state-funded schools, 2020-21" data file removes a hidden sheet

This publication provides statistics on school revenue funding from financial year 2010 to 2011 through to 2021 to 2022.

The aim is to provide an overview of trends in school funding over recent years, as well as detailed information about funding allocations for individual schools for 2020 to 2021.


Headline facts and figures - 2020-21

Headline facts and figures for school funding in England, 2010-11 to 2021-22

The total amount of funding allocated to English schools for 5-16 year old pupils has grown since 2010-11 as the total pupil population has grown.

In cash terms, the total funding allocated to schools through the grants covered in this report was £47.6 billion in 2020-21, an increase of 36.1% compared to the £35.0 billion allocated in 2010-11, and is increasing to £49.6 billion in 2021-22.

On a per-pupil basis the total funding allocated to schools for 5-16 year old pupils, in cash terms, in 2020-21 was £6,280, a 21.3% increase compared to £5,180 allocated per pupil in 2010-11. 

In real terms, funding per pupil was broadly flat between 2010-11 and 2015-16 at just over £6,500 in 2020-21 prices. It then fell by 4.3% over 2016-17 and 2017-18, but subsequently increased by 1.0% over 2018-19 and 2019-20 (in part because of the additional funding for increased teacher pension employer contribution costs) and is expected to increase by 5.7% over 2020-21 and 2021-22 to £6,680 (in 2020-21 prices) in 2021-22.

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About this release

In this publication

Throughout this release, the time periods referred to are financial years unless otherwise stated. The shorthand “2020-21” is used to denote the 2020 to 2021 financial year (i.e. the period from April 2020 to March 2021), and similarly for other years. The shorthand “2020/21” is used to denote the 2020 to 2021 academic year (i.e. the period from September 2020 to August 2021), and similarly for other years.

This publication contains two sets of data:

  1. School revenue funding for 5-16 year olds for 2010-11 to 2021-22. This time series data shows national levels of revenue funding for primary and secondary pupils aged 5-16 in schools in England in state-funded schools, including mainstream schools, special schools, pupil referral units, local authority alternative provision and non-maintained special schools. Revenue funding is that which is provided to ensure schools have the money needed to deliver their day-to-day functions over the course of each year, and does not include capital funding provided to enable schools to maintain and improve the condition of their buildings and grounds. The data is presented in both cash terms and real terms. Most of this data is compiled from funding allocation information previously published on the gov.uk website.
  2. School funding allocations for 2020-21. This data shows the total funding that has been allocated to each individual mainstream school through several different funding streams, including the schools block of the dedicated schools grant and several other grants. This data has not previously been published.

All this data relates to the funding that is allocated to local authorities and state-funded schools by the Department for Education (DfE) in each year. This is not the same as the amount of money that is spent in a year by schools and local authorities. Other official statistics reports published by the department provide information on local authority and school spending on education, including academies and children and young people's services. These can be found on gov.uk at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-local-authority-school-finance-data.

The Methodology section provides much more detailed information about each of the datasets.

Feedback

This is the second edition of this annual statistics report and we are keen to receive feedback on the data presented. If you have any feedback or comments on this publication please contact us at: schoolfunding.statistics@education.gov.uk.

School revenue funding for 5-16 year olds for 2010-11 to 2021-22

Introduction

This section presents time series data on revenue funding for primary and secondary pupils aged 5-16 in England. The funding covers all state-funded schools: that is, primary and secondary maintained schools and academies; special schools; pupil referral units (including alternative provision academies and free schools); local authority alternative provision; and non-maintained special schools. For mainstream schools, funding covers pupils in reception through to year 11.

Important note on GDP deflators

To calculate real terms school funding figures in this report, we use the GDP deflator, for which the most recent figures were published in January 2021 by HM Treasury (HMT). The GDP deflator is the broadest measure of inflation in the domestic economy. While price inflation experienced by individual schools may be different, the GDP deflator is commonly used to indicate price changes in public sector expenditure and is the most suitable for this national-level time series.

Historic and projected GDP deflator figures are frequently revised, and the figures published in January 2021 include the revisions made to the forecasts in November 2020. The series displays atypical year-on-year movement in the data for 2020-21 and 2021-22 particularly, which has arisen as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the 2019 Spending Round, school funding in 2020-21 increased on a per-pupil basis by more than the level of inflation, based on the GDP deflator data available at the time. This was presented in the previous edition of these school funding statistics. However, the latest revisions to the GDP deflator data include an upward revision in 2020-21. We have used HMT’s GDP deflator series published in January 2021, and continue to show year-on-year real terms changes using the deflator in the underlying tables and data. However, given the atypical movement of the GDP deflator in the individual years for 2020-21 and 2021-22, we have considered real terms changes over that period as a whole, and the commentary in this publication is written from that standpoint. The deflator series indicates like-for-like price increases of 3.79% over the two year-period overall, equivalent to increases of 1.88% in each year.

Coverage of the figures

The following funding elements are included in the figures:

  • Dedicated schools grant (including the schools block, most of the high needs block and the central school services block (CSSB); but excluding the early years block and post-16 funding in the high needs block);
  • Pre-16 high needs place funding in non-maintained special schools, special and alternative provision free schools;
  • Pupil premium;
  • Supplementary free school meals grant;
  • Teachers' pay grant (TPG);
  • Teachers' pension employer contribution grant (TPECG).

The data excludes some smaller elements of revenue funding that schools have been given in recent years for specific additional purposes, such as funding for universal infant free school meals, and the PE and sport premium. This also excludes specific elements of revenue funding relating to schools’ response to COVID-19 outbreak received since March 2020, as this short-term funding would cause inconsistencies in the time series. The data also excludes funding for pupils in early years and sixth forms settings.

This coverage has been chosen both to capture core funding for schools and to ensure the series is as comparable over time as possible, despite changes to the specific grants allocated to schools over the years shown. 

The starting point for the time series is 2010-11, as it was the baseline for the 2010 Spending Review, and because comparable statistics for earlier years cannot readily be produced due to the very different grant arrangements that were in place at that time (for more explanation, see Technical information).

This revenue funding is provided to ensure schools have the money needed to deliver their day-to-day functions over the course of each year. In addition to revenue funding, schools also benefit from capital funding. Capital funding provided directly to schools and responsible bodies helps them maintain and improve the condition of their buildings and grounds, while capital funding provided to local authorities helps them fulfil their duty to make sure there are enough school places for children in their local area. This report provides data on revenue funding only and does not include capital. The DfE does however separately publish full details of capital allocations on GOV.UK.

More information on the funding covered by the figures in this section can be found in the Methodology section.

Please note that the figures presented here are not directly comparable with figures presented by HM Treasury in their Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis (PESA) reports. PESA presents data on government spending, whereas the data shown here relates to funding allocated through the above grants specifically.

Data on trends in school spending is also published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) as part of their annual report on all education spending (see details in the Further Information chapter). The IFS data is not directly comparable with the figures presented here. Their figures for primary and secondary schools cover not just 5-16 year old pupils as presented here, but also include, for example, school sixth forms for part of the series. Their figures also omit TPECG funding. The IFS’s analysis includes the use of school spending data whereas the figures here are based on funding allocations. The latest IFS publication also uses GDP deflator data from July 2020, which rules out simple comparisons of real terms funding for the most recent years. For the years up to 2017-18, their data indicates similar overall high-level trends as presented here.

In this publication, the figures for 2010-11 to 2020-21 are based on final funding allocations that have been issued to schools and local authorities. The figures for 2021-22 are based on the budget that was agreed and announced as part of the 2019 Spending Round and are denoted with dashed lines on the charts in this chapter; these figures will be updated with final allocations data in next year’s edition of this report.

Total funding 2010-11 to 2020-21

The total amount of funding allocated to English schools for 5-16 year olds is closely linked to the number of pupils in attendance, and has grown over the last ten years as the total pupil population has grown. In cash terms, the total funding allocated to schools through the grants listed above was £47.6 billion in 2020-21, an increase of 36.1% compared to the £35.0 billion allocated in 2010-11. These figures include TPECG allocations to school-age children.

Per-pupil funding 2010-11 to 2020-21

On a per-pupil basis the total funding allocated to schools for 5-16 year olds, in cash terms, in 2020-21 was £6,280, a 21.3% increase compared to £5,180 allocated per pupil in 2010-11.

In real terms, funding per pupil was broadly flat between 2010-11 and 2015-16 at just over £6,500 in 2020-21 prices. It then fell by 4.3% over 2016-17 and 2017-18, but subsequently increased by 1.0% over 2018-19 and 2019-20 (in part as a result of the additional funding for increased teacher pension employer contribution costs).

Funding for 2020-21 to 2022-23

Taking account of differences in coverage, these figures are comparable to the three-year school funding settlement announced in the 2019 Spending Round, which covers the financial years 2020-21 to 2022-23. Including additional funding to cover higher employer contribution rates to the teachers’ pension scheme, core schools funding is £47.6 billion in 2020-21, and will reach £49.8 billion in 2021-22 and £52.2 billion in 2022-23, compared with £44.4 billion in 2019-20 (note that the time series figure for 2021-22 is slightly lower than the £49.8 billion announced at Spending Round 2019, as we have excluded TPG and TPECG funding for early years and post-16 provision). This commitment to a three-year increase of £7.1 billion by 2022-23, compared to 2019-20 levels was reaffirmed in the 2020 Spending Round.

In real terms, overall funding in 2021-22 is expected to be 15.9% higher than in 2010-11, and 10.5% higher compared to 2015-16. This funding is expected to increase by 7.6% over 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Real terms per-pupil funding is expected to be 2.6% higher in 2021-22 compared to 2010-11, and 2.1% higher compared to 2015-16. Per-pupil funding is expected to rise by 5.7% over 2020-21 and 2021-22.

School funding allocations for 2020-21

Introduction

This data shows the total funding that has been allocated to each individual mainstream school through several different funding streams for 2020-21. This covers funding allocated to mainstream schools for their running costs for pupils aged 5-16, that was provided through some of the funding streams covered in the previous section of this report, “School revenue funding for 5-16 year olds for 2010-11 to 2021-22”:

  • Core funding through the schools block of the dedicated schools grant;
  • Pupil premium;
  • Teachers’ pay grant;
  • TPECG;

The school funding allocations data also includes several other funding streams for schools that are not included in the figures in the previous section. This funding is provided to schools for specific functions and pupils of other ages in attendance. Detailed school allocations through these funding streams have been previously published for 2020-21, but they are included here to show schools’ data in a single place:

  • PE and sport premium;
  • Universal infant free school meals (UIFSM).

For core funding, the data shows financial year 2020-21 allocations for local authority maintained schools, and academic year 2020/21 allocations for academies (including free schools). This is because these are the time periods for which maintained schools and academies receive their budgets. For the other grants, the data primarily shows allocations for financial year 2020-21.

The totals of the figures in this section do not match those for 2020-21 shown in the previous section, for several reasons. First, the figures presented in this section relate to mainstream schools only, whereas the previous section also includes funding for age 5-16 pupils attending other types of institution, such as special schools, non-maintained special schools and alternative provision settings. Second, these school-level figures for 2020-21 include some funding (the PE and sport premium and universal infant free school meals) which are not included in the previous section, for the reasons explained above.

Please note that schools are listed in the data as at 31 March 2020. The figures do not reflect where schools have changed their name, opened, closed, or have been subject to other changes since that date.

For years prior to 2019-20, these data were published by ESFA in a separate annual report ‘Schools block funding allocations’. However, those previous reports presented data for core funding and the teachers’ pay grant only; this report also brings together data on schools’ allocations for the pupil premium, TPECG, PE and sport premium and UIFSM .

The figures presented here are the funding schools received in 2020-21. These are not the same as illustrative allocations under the national funding formula (NFF) in 2020-21 that the DfE has previously published. The NFF is a single, national formula which calculates a notional allocation for all mainstream schools in England based on their pupils’ needs and characteristics. However, schools’ NFF allocations for 2020-21 were in most cases not exactly the same as the funding they actually received. For each local authority in England, the schools NFF calculates overall per-pupil amounts at primary and secondary level, which are then multiplied by the latest pupil numbers to give a total allocation to the authority. Each local authority then determined schools’ final allocations for the year through setting a local funding formula. It is schools’ final funding as indicated by their authority’s local formula which is shown in this report.

Types of schools

The data shows figures for 20,168 mainstream schools in England. Of these, 11,656 are maintained schools, meaning that they are overseen by the local authority, and 8,512 are academies, meaning they operate independently of local authority control and receive their funding directly from the ESFA.

Core funding

The basic entitlement factor in authorities’ local formula gives every school a basic amount of funding for every pupil, and authorities could specify different per-pupil amounts for primary age pupils, for pupils in key stage 3 (years 7 to 9), and for pupils in key stage 4 (years 10 and 11). Differences in schools’ basic entitlement funding reflect where they had different numbers of pupils and where their respective local authorities decided to set different per-pupil rates in their 2020-21 local formulae.

In their local formula, authorities could also choose to use several other ‘pupil-led factors’ – these are factors where the amount of funding a school received depends on the number of pupils with appropriate characteristics that attended the school. Descriptions of each factor can be found in the Methodology section.

Figure 2 shows the percentage of schools receiving funding in 2020-21 through each of these other pupil-led factors. For low prior attainment, all local authorities used this factor in their local formula, but a very small number of schools did not have any pupils eligible to attract this funding.

Differences in the amount of funding that schools received through the pupil-led factors in 2020-21 were due to several reasons: such as where schools had different numbers of pupils who were eligible to attract funding through the factor, and where the local authority set different per-pupil rates in their local formula (or chose not to use the factor in their formula at all).

Experimental statistics

This is an experimental official statistics report, and has been produced in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

This can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

  • meet identified user needs;
  • are well explained and readily accessible;
  • are produced according to sound methods; and
  • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

The Department already publishes a great deal of detailed information on school funding, including full details of individual grant funding allocations issued to schools and local authorities. We recognise, however, that this information can be hard to understand and navigate, and it can be difficult to identify a reliable picture of overall trends in school revenue funding over time. It is hoped that this official statistics report provides such an overview and will help users’ understanding of this issue. Like the previous edition of this report, these are statistics are published as ‘experimental statistics’. We are keen to receive feedback on any aspect of these statistics, and contact details can be found at the end of this report. We aim to remove the ‘experimental statistics’ label in future editions of the report.

The Department has a set of statistical policies in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

Further information is available

The DfE already publishes a large amount of information about funding allocated to schools. This section indicates where some of this further information can be found.

National funding formula for schools

Since 2018-19, school funding has been distributed according to a formula based on the individual needs and characteristics of every school in England. In 2020-21, the national funding formula (NFF) was used to determine the total schools block funding for each local authority, but local authorities continued to be responsible for distributing that money between the schools in their area using a locally-agreed formula. The school-level figures presented in this report are schools’ final funding allocations, calculated using their respective local formulae. More information about the schools NFF in 2020-21 can be found on gov.uk. In many cases the final allocations presented here will differ slightly from the NFF figures for 2020-21, including because the latter are based on schools’ pupil counts and characteristics from an earlier period (as explained in more detail in the previous chapter).

Pupil premium

Details of pupil premium funding to schools in 2020-21 can be found here.

Teachers’ pay grant

Details of teachers’ pay grant funding to schools in 2020-21 can be found here.

Teachers’ pension employer contribution grant

Further information about the funding allocated to schools under this grant in 2020-21 is available here.

PE and sport premium

Details of PE and sport premium funding allocated in 2020-21 can be found here.

Universal infant free school meals

More information about universal infant free school meals funding for academic year 2020 to 2021 can be found here.

Data on school spending

While this report focuses on funding provided for schools, the department already publishes official statistics reports on how schools and local authorities spent their funding on education, children's services and social care. These can be found here.

Other data

Data on trends in school spending is published by the IFS as part of their annual report on all education spending. Their 2020 report can be found here.

PESA data is published by HM Treasury and can be found here.

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Methodology

Find out how and why we collect, process and publish these statistics

Official statistics

These are Official Statistics and have been produced in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

This can be broadly interpreted to mean that these statistics are:

  • managed impartially and objectively in the public interest
  • meet identified user needs
  • produced according to sound methods
  • well explained and readily accessible

Find out more about the standards we follow to produce these statistics through our Standards for official statistics published by DfE guidance.

Contact us

Ask questions and provide feedback

If you have a specific enquiry about School funding statistics statistics and data:

Infrastructure and Funding Analysis Division

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schoolfunding.statistics@education.gov.uk

Telephone: Paul Lucas
0370 000 2288

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