Methodology

School funding statistics

Published

Technical information: school revenue funding

This section provides more detailed information about the school revenue funding data for 2010-11 to 2022-23 presented in this report. This information relates to the edition of the report published in January 2022. Copies of the Methodology information for earlier editions are available on request (see ‘Contact Us’ section).

Scope of the figures

The time series of school revenue funding relates to pupils aged 5-16, and covers the financial years 2010-11 to 2022-23. For mainstream schools, this means pupils in reception through to year 11.

The series has been designed to capture core funding for schools and be as consistent and comparable as possible across these years, given that the funding system has changed significantly during that time.

The time series is largely based on funding allocations that have been published previously by the DfE. There are some instances where, because of changes to the grant arrangements over the period shown, data has been imputed to ensure consistency across the years. For 2022-23, the figures are based on a combination of published funding allocations, the budget settlement agreed at the 2021 Spending Review, and some estimates of small-grant and high needs spending.

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.

The department has previously stated that funding for schools has increased in cash terms by £14.4 billion cumulatively over the three years to 2022-23, when each year is individually compared to 2019-20. The figures shown in this report indicate a cumulative increase of £17.5 billion. This difference is because the figures presented here include the teachers’ pension employer contribution grant and additional funding for 2022-23 provided in the 2021 Spending Review, which were, however, not taken into account in the £14.4 billion figure.

Past changes to school funding arrangements

In the years up to 2010-11, education funding was provided through a range of grants: a smaller dedicated schools grant (DSG), the school standards grant, the schools development grant and others. There have been many changes since then.

These earlier grants were incorporated into an expanded DSG in 2011-12, which was split into separate “blocks” for early years (EYB), high needs (HNB) and schools (SB) in 2013-14. Since 2010-11, new types of funding have been introduced, such as the pupil premium.

More recently, in 2018-19, with the introduction of national funding formulae (NFF) for schools and high needs funding, a central school services block (CSSB) was created. The HNB expanded in 2013-14 and 2017-18 with the inclusion of funding for post-16 students.

To reflect core funding and to ensure consistency across years, the figures presented in this report focus on funding for 5-16 year old pupils. This means that we are not including all of the DSG in the figures: for example we exclude the EYB and the post-16 elements of the HNB.

Comparison with the core schools’ budget

The DfE has previously published figures for the ‘core’ or ‘protected’ schools’ budget which are based on a slightly different definition than the time series published here.

While the grants that make up the core schools budget have changed slightly over the past decade, this series is based on a set of grants that are aligned as closely as possible with the scope of the core schools budget in the current Spending Review period (2020-21 to 2022-23) and in the next Spending Review period (2022-23 to 2024-25), but still ensure comparability over time.

As such, the time series includes a small amount of funding that local authorities receive to carry out duties they retained responsibility for after the end of the education services grant (ESG). This funding is now part of the CSSB but has never been part of the core protected budget.

On the other hand, the time series data does not include some funding included in the core schools’ budget. Most notably, this is for early years and post-16 provision, as well as some COVID-19 related and school resource management funding.

In the past we have said that schools’ funding in 2022-23 would be £53.8 billion, but because of the definitional differences explained above, the figure in this report is £53.5 billion.

Dedicated schools grant

The DSG was split into three blocks (for early years, schools and high needs) in 2013-14. Since the time series focuses on funding for pupils aged 5-16, the data here omits the early years block.

The published DSG allocations for 2013-14 showed how the grant was notionally split into the blocks in 2012-13 on a comparable basis, and that notional split of the grant has been used in this analysis. For 2011-12, we have estimated the amount of early years funding in those years by assuming that it represented the same proportion of the total DSG funding, 5.7%, as in the notional split in 2012-13.

To omit the early years funding in 2010-11 from overall DSG allocations, we take into account the fewer hours of entitlement to free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds before September 2010.

Since 2018-19, the DSG has included the central school services block: this is mainly comprised of funding that was previously in the schools block, but also includes education services grant retained duties funding. The time series data therefore includes the retained duties funding that was allocated separately to the DSG in 2016-17 and earlier years, to ensure consistency across the full period shown.

Dedicated schools grant – high needs

The high needs block of the DSG includes funding for all young people aged up to 25 years old with special education needs. Most post-16 high needs funding was added to the DSG over 2013-14 and 2014-15, which was broadened to include place funding for further education and independent learning providers in 2017-18 and for special free schools in 2019-20.

Since the focus of the data in this report is on pupils in reception to year 11 (and those of equivalent ages in institutions without year groups), we have removed the post-16 elements of the funding in the time series. For 2013-14 and 2014-15, the total amount of post-16 high needs funding was shown separately in the published allocations.

From 2015-16 onwards, high needs place funding continued to be shown separately, but we have imputed the amount of top-up funding for post-16 students that is contained within the high needs block. This was done by looking at the amount of top-up funding for post-16 students in 2014-15, and then assuming this funding grew at the same rate as place funding in subsequent years. As part of this, we have also imputed the post-16 place funding going to maintained mainstream and special schools, since that funding stopped being separately identified in the published allocations in September 2020.

Induction of newly qualified teachers

Since 2013-14, funding for monitoring and quality assurance of induction of newly qualified teachers has been included in the DSG at a fixed rate of £10 million per year. The figures include a similar amount of funding in the previous years of the series, which was paid out of local authority budgets.

Non-recoupment academies

Schools block funding for mainstream academies (including free schools) is included in the DSG that the DfE gives to each local authority to fund its schools. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funds academies and recoups their share of the DSG from each local authority.

However, prior to 2015-16, some academies were “non-recoupment” academies. This means funding for these academies was not given to the local authority in its DSG allocations and therefore ESFA did not need to recoup that funding.

The amount of funding included in the DSG for former non-recoupment academies was included in the published allocations from 2015-16 onwards. The funding totals in 2013-14 and 2014-15 were calculated from the published individual school budgets for the non-recoupment academies funded in 2015-16, where these schools were open in earlier years.

For 2010-11 to 2012-13 figures, the 2013-14 funding has been scaled by the general growth in the number of pupils, again only for those non-recoupment academies that were open in the earliest years.

Pre-16 high needs funding that is not part of the high needs block

A substantial part of the place funding that is allocated to support pupils in special free schools and AP free schools (worth about £81 million in total in 2021-22) has not been part of the high needs block of the DSG.

We have estimated the amount of this non-DSG funding that supports pupils aged 5-16 and included this in the time series. This has mostly been done using published high needs place allocations, although in earlier years of the series place numbers have been estimated.

A £7 million grant that was paid directly to non-maintained special schools prior to 2013-14 has been included for consistency as that funding was added to the DSG in 2014-15.

Pupil premium

Pupil premium funding (which is worth a total of £2.5 billion in 2021-22) has been published in every year since its introduction in 2011-12 and is included in the data.

Schools supplementary grant

The schools supplementary grant was introduced for 2022-23 and provides schools with £1.2 billion in funding for that year. In addition to the schools supplementary grant, local authorities were allocated £325 million additional high needs funding for 2022-23, on top of the high needs funding block of the DSG.

This provides funding to schools and other public sector education providers for the cost of increased national insurance contributions due to the health and social care levy, and to support schools with pupils aged 5-16 to meet wider inflationary pressures.

For the time series, we do not include the entirety of this funding: we exclude funding provided through the grant that relates to early years and post-16 pupils who are outside the 5-16 scope of this report.

While additional funding will be provided in each year of the 2021 Spending Review period, the intention is that the additional funding will only be paid in the form of a separate grant for 2022-23, after which the funding will be incorporated into core school budget allocations from 2023-24 where possible.

Supplementary free school meals (FSM) funding

Supplementary FSM funding was a temporary grant that was introduced in 2018-19, with published allocations of £59 million. Funding increased to £78 million in 2019-20 and £116 million in 2020-21, the final year of the grant.

Teachers’ pay grant (TPG) and teachers’ pension employer contribution grant (TPECG)

The TPG was introduced in September 2018 to support the implementation of the 2018 teachers’ pay award. It was extended to support schools’ implementation of the 2019 pay award.

The TPECG was introduced to cover the additional costs to schools due to the increase in teachers’ pension scheme employer contribution rates from 16.4% to 23.6% from September 2019.

These grants were paid from 2018-19 (for the TPG) and 2019-20 (for the TPECG) through to 2020-21. Schools have continued to receive additional funding to cover the additional expenditure caused by changes to teachers’ pay and pension contributions. 

From 2021-22, the relevant DSG blocks covered the elements of TPG and TPECG allocated to schools for school aged children. To ensure consistency across the time series, the funding that was allocated through those separate grants in 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 has been included in the figures for those years.

For the time series, we do not include the entirety of these grants. Since the focus of the data is funding for pupils aged 5-16, we exclude payments under these grants made on the basis of early years and post-16 pupil numbers.

Education services grant retained duties

Funding for duties that local authorities retained after the end of the education services grant has been included in the DSG since 2017-18 when it was added to the schools block initially.

The following year this funding was made part of the new central school services block.

Allocations of retained duties funding were published from 2013-14 when the education services grant was introduced, and have been included in the time series for consistency across the years shown.

Prior to 2013-14, the functions were funded from local government sources and we have estimated these figures for the purposes of this data.

Other grants 

Since their low pupil populations make it impracticable to fund through a pupil-led formula, the City of London and Isles of Scilly do not receive DSG funding in the same way as other authorities and instead are funded through single funding streams, each worth about £4 million per year. This funding has been included in the time series data.

Funding for two city technology colleges is not shown in the published DSG allocations due to their unique funding structure. Their total funding, worth £18 million in 2021-22, has been included in the time series data.

Pupil numbers

The pupil counts used to derive the per-pupil funding figures in the time series up to 2022-23 use the number of full-time-equivalent pupils in reception and aged 5 to 15 years (as at 31 August) indicated by published January school census figures. The counts include pupil numbers in mainstream schools, special schools, pupil referral units (including free school and academy alternative provision), local authority alternative provision settings and non-maintained special schools.

For the per-pupil funding figures for 2022-23, we have principally used published national pupil projections (NPP).

To derive the per-pupil funding figures, we have aligned funding in any financial year with the pupil numbers preceding the start of that financial year.

For example, for 2020-21 funding figures, we used the numbers of pupils counted in January 2020, which is just before the start of the 2020-21 financial year. This is because in most cases, school funding for one year is derived based on their pupil counts in the previous year.

Funding not included in the figures

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.

The data also excludes revenue funding allocated to schools to support them with their response to COVID-19. This is because the inclusion of this short-term funding would cause inconsistencies in the time series. More information about the funding provided to schools relating to COVID-19 can be found in the Annex.

Also not included in this data is funding for pupils in early years and sixth forms settings. The coverage is very similar, but not identical, to the definition of the “core schools budget” at the 2021 Spending Review.

Related data – HM Treasury

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.

Related data – Institute for Fiscal Studies

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.

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, early years and school sixth form funding.

The IFS’s headline figures also omit the teachers’ pension employer contribution grant and the additional funding for the health and social care levy, although they do go on to show in their analysis the impact on schools’ funding if they were included.

The IFS’s analysis also includes the use of school spending data whereas the figures here are based on funding allocations.

Capital funding

The revenue funding presented in this report 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.

GDP deflators

Information about the GDP deflator series used to calculate the inflation-adjusted funding figures in this report can be found in the commentary at the start of the school revenue funding section.

Sources

As far as possible, the figures in the time series have been compiled from published allocations, including the following.

Dedicated schools grant:

Non-recoupment academies:

Pre-16 high needs funding that is not part of the high needs block:

Pupil premium:

 Schools supplementary grant:

Supplementary free school meals funding:

Teachers’ pay grant and teachers’ pension employer contribution grant:

Education services grant retained duties:

Pupil numbers:

GDP deflators:

Technical information: school funding allocations for 2021-22

This section provides more detailed information about the funding data presented in the data file associated with this release entitled “Revenue funding to state-funded schools, 2021-22”. This information relates to the edition of the report published in January 2022. Copies of the Methodology information for earlier editions are available on request (see ‘Contact Us’ section).

School funding allocations for 2021-22

This section describes the information shown in the individual school funding allocations for 2021-22. Please note that schools and their names are shown as at 31 March 2021.

It should be noted that the core funding elements show the final funding schools received in 2021-22, not their NFF allocations for the year. In most cases, schools’ final funding allocations differed slightly from the NFF figures because they were calculated using different pupil data.

Each local authority’s per-pupil unit of funding for primary and secondary phases were determined by the NFF, as calculated based on pupil numbers from the October 2019 school census. Total school funding allocations for each local authority were determined by multiplying those per-pupil units of funding by pupil numbers taken from the October 2020 school census.

Local authorities then determined schools’ final allocations for the year through their local formulae (which in some cases followed the national NFF but in other cases was different) and using the October 2020 census data.

‘Summary’ sheet

The page in the data file allows the user to view the funding allocated to a chosen maintained school in financial year 2021-22, or academy in the academic year 2021/22. Click on the shaded cell near the top of the page, and then type in the LAEstab number of a school or academy to see its funding data.

‘Table’ sheet

This page in the data file contains a table showing the different elements of funding for each school. The rest of this subsection describes the information in each column.

Basic entitlement (part of core funding): This is a mandatory factor which every local authority must use in their 2021 to 2022 formula for setting schools’ core budgets and gives each school a basic amount of funding for every pupil. Local authorities can choose different per-pupil unit rates for primary pupils, for key stage 3 pupils and for key stage 4 pupils. The data shows the total funding received by each school and academy under the basic entitlement factor.

Deprivation (part of core funding): This is another mandatory factor which every local authority must use in their 2021 to 2022 formula. Any of three deprivation indicators can be used: pupils eligible for free school meals; pupils eligible for free school meals in any of the previous 6 years; Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) scores; or a combination of the three indicators. The funding received for each element is shown along with a total funding amount for deprivation.

LAC (part of core funding): The looked-after children (LAC) factor is optional for local authorities’ school funding formula. The indicator used is the number of children looked after for any period of time as at the March 2020 SSDA903 data collection.

EAL (part of core funding): English as an additional language (EAL) is another optional factor. Local authorities could choose one of three indicators for this factor in 2021 to 2022: the number of pupils with EAL who entered the compulsory school system in either the last one, two or three years.

Mobility (part of core funding): Another optional factor, providing funding to support pupils who join a school other than at the start of an academic year.

Prior attainment (part of core funding): Also an optional factor in local authorities’ 2021 to 2022 funding formulae. For primary pupils, the factor is based on the number of children in years 1 to 6 assessed under the early years foundation stage profile as not achieving a good level of development. For secondary pupils the factor is based on the number of pupils in years 7 to 9 achieving a scaled score of 100 or more in reading and mathematics tests, and a teacher assessment outcome of ‘reaching the expected standard’ or ‘working at a greater depth’ in writing, plus the number of pupils in years 10 and 11 failing to achieve level 4 or above in either English or mathematics at key stage 2.

Lump sum (part of core funding): Local authorities can allocate a lump sum to schools. Separate lump sums could be specified for primary schools and for secondary schools, up to a maximum of £175,000 in each case. Schools which were due to open or close during the year received a proportion of the specified amount commensurate to the proportion of the year for which they were open.

Sparsity (part of core funding): This factor provides funding for schools that are small, and for which pupils who live nearby would have to travel a significant distance to another suitable school. An individual school can receive sparsity funding up to a maximum of £100,000.

London fringe (part of core funding): There are five local authorities (Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and West Sussex) who have some, but not all, of their schools within the London fringe area. This factor gave them flexibility to reflect the higher teacher costs in these schools.

Split sites (part of core funding): Local authorities could specify a means of providing additional funding for schools that operate on split sites, which often face higher running costs as a result of, for example, the cost of travel between sites and the care and maintenance of two (or more) sites.

Rates (part of core funding): Schools are funded for rates based on the actual cost incurred. For maintained schools, this column shows the funding received by each school for the payment of rates. For academies, the amount of funding for rates is not known by ESFA until all have submitted a claim, and so the figures are not shown. If a negative figure is shown, this means a corrective adjustment has been made in relation to the school’s rates funding in previous years.

PFI (part of core funding): Funding for schools with PFI charges.

Exceptional factors (part of core funding): ESFA has discretion to allow local authorities to provide in their formulae funding under exceptional factors relating to premises such as listed buildings, buildings that are rented or boarding provision. They must apply to less than 5% of the schools in the local authority and account for more than 1% of the budget of the school or schools affected.

Minimum per-pupil funding (part of core funding): This is an optional factor in 2021 to 2022 which if used, guaranteed all schools within an authority a minimum level of funding for each pupil depending on their phase of education.

MFG protection or capping/scaling (part of core funding): The minimum funding guarantee (MFG) prevents large changes in the per-pupil funding of schools from one year to the next and for 2021 to 2022 could be set between 0.5% and 1.84%. Some schools required additional funding, over and above the amounts derived through their other core funding factors, to ensure this condition is met. Furthermore, local authorities were allowed to limit the level of gains for schools receiving more funding per pupil than in 2020 to 2021 to ensure that the total amount of funding allocated fits within their total schools block budget. A positive number here indicates the amount of MFG funding received by a school. A negative number indicates the reduction in funding applied to a school, compared to the amount derived through their basic schools block formula factors, as a result of the application of capping and scaling.

Funding per pupil (part of core funding): This shows schools’ core funding per pupil. Those with a high per-pupil amount are small schools with relatively few pupils. For these schools, the lump sum and other school-led factors, which do not depend on the number of pupils attending, constitute a large proportion of their core funding allocation, and so their per-pupil funding level is high as a result.

Notional SEN: Funding for notional special educational needs (notional SEN) is not a separate formula factor. Rather, local authorities must specify how much of the schools block funding a school receives through the formula constitutes its notional SEN budget. These figures show how much of a school’s total schools block allocation is its notional SEN budget.

Other grants shown in this table: Note that for the other grants shown in the table, some schools’ funding is shown as “not available”. This is for two main reasons. In most instances this is because the school is not eligible for this funding: for example, only infants attract UIFSM funding, so schools without infant-age children (such as secondary schools and middle schools) do not receive UIFSM. In a smaller number of instances this is as a result of grant allocations being calculated at different times, and, due to changes in the school estate (such as schools merging or splitting) a grant allocation is not readily available for the school listed in the table. The next section provides links to the published school-level allocations for each of these grants, showing all the schools receiving each one.

Pupil premium: The pupil premium provides funding to schools to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities to reach their potential and to support children and young people with parents in the regular armed forces.

Universal infant free school meals: The UIFSM grant provides funding for all government-funded schools to offer free school meals to pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2. This is allocated on an academic year basis, so the figures shown for each school relate to the twelve months from September 2021 to August 2022. The figures are as at December 2020, and do not reflect updates to schools’ allocations for the year that will be calculated subsequently using pupil counts from the January 2021 school census.

PE and sport premium: The premium must be used by schools to fund additional and sustainable improvements to the provision of PE and sport, for the benefit of primary-aged pupils to encourage the development of healthy, active lifestyles.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery premium funding: The recovery premium provides additional funding for state-funded schools in the 2021 to 2022 academic year. Building on the pupil premium, this funding aims to help schools to deliver evidence-based approaches for supporting disadvantaged pupils. All schools that are eligible for pupil premium are eligible for the recovery premium.

School-led tutoring grant: The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) helps support disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils from year 1 to year 11 to catch-up on missed education due to coronavirus (COVID-19). School-led tutoring is one route of the NTP. State-funded schools and academy trusts, with pupils eligible for pupil premium, receive a ring-fenced grant to source their own tutoring provision to support catch-up.

Data suppression and rounding

Some funding allocation amounts to individual schools are suppressed where the school receives some funding and the number of eligible pupils is small, to protect confidentiality. Suppressed values are shown in the data file by an asterisk, and the figures deducted from the totals so that they cannot be deduced.