The data collected each year is added to the existing time series data and used to create the latest data files. No further data is expected to be received from schools and local authorities. The area of spend in the tables is based on the definitions currently used, earlier years have been mapped accordingly.
Wherever possible, statistics are provided showing planned spending per capita (planned spend per person). This makes figures more comparable over time. Per capita figures are derived using the Section 251 Budget data with pupil numbers and/or population estimates, depending on the sub-category of the planned expenditure.
For funding lines that are only targeted at LA maintained school and academy pupils, spending per capita is based on the number of pupils in the relevant school types as reported in the School Census in the January prior to the start of the relevant financial year. This method is consistent with financial benchmarking tables.
For funding lines that cover all children within the LA (regardless of school attended) spending per capita is based on ONS population estimates for children of school age. Where the funding line covers children and young people in a specific age group, e.g. transport provision, the population estimate used relates directly to that age group.
Recoupment is a method of adjusting a dedicated schools grant to take account of the conversion of a LA maintained school into an academy. Since the 2017-18 financial year, this also included new provision academies and free schools from their date of opening. Further information is in the Academies and dedicated schools grant: recoupment guide.
Early years education
The figures shown under the early years table include funding for base rate, supplements and maintained nursery school lump sums for delivering the Government's entitlement hours only. It includes only the planned total funded hours for the Government's entitlement hours: universal 15 hours and additional 15 hours.
The SEN inclusion fund budget only includes funding paid directly to providers.
The average funding rate per hour for 3 and 4 year olds is derived by i) adding the total EYSFF budgets for: base rate; supplements; maintained nursery school lump sums; and SEN inclusion fund (grant to providers element only), and dividing this by ii) the total number of hours reported for: the universal 15 hours and additional 15 hours only. The average funding rate per hour for 2 year olds is derived by i) adding the total 2 year old EYSFF budgets for: base rate; supplements; and SEN inclusion fund (grant to providers element only), and dividing this by ii) the total number of hours reported for 2 year olds.
A handful of local authorities choose to provide extra hours over and above the government-funded entitlement hours for 3-4 year olds. This column shows the budget for extra hours in maintained settings. For PVIs, the budget for extra hours are recorded within central spend category. When the early years national funding formula (EYNFF), was introduced, the change for funding these hours was transitioned from 2019-20. As LAs are adjusting to the new formula the figures in this category show an expected decline.
High needs places
High needs funding is intended to provide the most appropriate support package for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities in a range of settings. This includes SEN units, special schools, pupil referral units and hospital schools. Special school places are funded at £10,000 per place, apart from hospital schools. Special units and resourced provision in mainstream schools are funded at £6,000 and £10,000 per place respectively. Pupil referral unit places are funded at £10,000. However, it is possible for PRUs to have post-16 places and these may have been funded at different rates. Therefore the total funding may not be exactly divisible by £10,000.
Planned expenditure on high needs places (in addition to the planned spend on high needs from budgets
retained centrally by local authorities) is affected by the number of schools converting to academy
status. Since 2015-16 around 4,000 schools have converted to academies (further information can be found here). High needs places funding for academies comes through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and not via the local authority. The lower numbers of LA maintained schools therefore result in lower high needs planned expenditure from LAs.
Only a few local authorities have maintained hospital schools, but maintained special schools and PRUs can have hospital education places as well, normally in addition to special school and PRU places respectively. Hospital education places are funded at a local rate per place, rather than a national standard rate.