This section provides more detailed information about the school revenue funding data for 2010-11 to 2023-24 presented in this report. This information relates to the edition of the report published in January 2023. 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 2023-24. 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 2023-24, the figures are based on a combination of published funding allocations, the budget settlement agreed at the 2021 Spending Review and 2022 Autumn Statement, 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 figures for 2023-24 reflect the additional £2.0 billion of funding for schools that was announced at the Autumn Statement in November 2022.
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 previous Spending Review period (2020-21 to 2022-23) and in the current 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.
Because of the definitional differences explained above, funding totals may not match exactly figures the DfE has stated in the past regarding core schools funding.
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 educational 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.
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 £35 million in 2023-24) 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. It was removed from the DSG again from 2016-17 and is added separately to the data; it is worth around £30 million in 2023-24.
Pupil premium funding (which is expected to be worth over £2.8 billion in 2023-24) has been published in every year since its introduction in 2011-12 and is included in the data.
Schools supplementary grant for 2022-23
The schools supplementary grant was introduced for 2022-23 and provided 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 gave 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.
This funding was only paid in the form of a separate grant for 2022-23; from 2023-24 this funding will be incorporated into core schools budget allocations.
Mainstream schools additional grant for 2023-24
An additional grant for mainstream schools was also introduced for 2023-24. This aimed to allocate out to schools £1.45 billion of additional funding following the announcement at the Autumn Statement in November 2022.
The Autumn Statement also provided additional funding of £400 million for high needs and £150 million for the pupil premium, but that funding was added to existing grants for 2023-24 rather than allocated as a separate grant.
Like the schools supplementary grant, it is envisaged that this funding will be incorporated into core school budget allocations after one year, i.e. from 2024-25 onwards.
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. We also include a small amount of funding (less than £3 million in 2023-24) for non-maintained special schools that is not part of the DSG.
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.
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 around £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 £19 million in 2023-24, has been included in the time series data.
The pupil counts used to derive the per-pupil funding figures in the time series up to 2023-24 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 2023-24, we have principally used published national pupil projections (NPP) data.
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 2021-22 funding figures, we used the numbers of pupils counted in January 2021, which is just before the start of the 2021-22 financial year. This is because in most cases, school funding for one year is derived based on 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 funding.
For some of their analysis, the IFS also omit the teachers’ pension employer contribution grant and the additional funding for the National Insurance rate uplift in 2022-23 provided under the schools’ supplementary grant, although they do show in other analysis the impact on schools’ funding when these grants are included.
The IFS’s analysis also includes the use of school spending data whereas the figures here are based on funding allocations.
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 individual capital allocations on GOV.UK.
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.
As far as possible, the figures in the time series have been compiled from published allocations, including the following.
Dedicated schools grant:
- https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20120109204844/https://www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/financialmanagement/schoolsrevenuefunding/settlement2012pupilpremium/a0070267/dsg-and-pupil-premium-allocations-for-2011-12 (for 2010-11 & 2011-12);
Mainstream schools additional grant:
Pre-16 high needs funding that is not part of the high needs block:
- https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium-2013-to-2014-final-allocation-tables (for 2012-13 & 2013-14);
Schools supplementary grant:
Supplementary free school meals funding:
Teachers’ pay grant:
Teachers’ pension employer contribution grant:
Education services grant retained duties: