Compulsory minimum per-pupil funding levels to be introduced from 2020

Compulsory minimum per-pupil funding levels to be introduced from 2020

Local authorities will be forced to pass on new minimum per-pupil funding to schools, as part of the new national funding formula.

Although councils will still be allowed to set their own local funding formulae, the new minimum per-pupil funding levels set by the Department for Education (DfE) will be compulsory.

This means that minimum per-pupil funding rates will rise from £3,500 to £3,750 at primary level and from £4,800 to £5,000 at secondary from September 2020. The primary funding rate is then set to increase again to £4,000 in 2021-22.

In a written ministerial statement, schools minister Nick Gibb confirmed the move is “a first step towards hardening the formula”.

The DfE proposes that any schools that fall below the minimum levels in 2020-21 will receive additional top up funding.

“In 2020-21 local authorities will continue to have discretion over their schools funding formulae and, in consultation with schools, will ultimately determine allocations in their area,” said the minister in a written statement.

“However, as a first step towards hardening the formula, from 2020-21 the Government will make the use of the national minimum per pupil funding levels, at the values in the school NFF, compulsory for local authorities to use in their own funding formulae.”

Addressing Parliament, Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said: “I can reaffirm our intention to move to a hard national funding formula, where schools’ budgets are set on the basis of a single national formula, as soon as possible.

“We recognise that this will represent a significant change and we will work closely with local authorities, schools and others to make the transition as smooth as possible. We are determined that no pupil will be held back from reaching their full potential.”

The DfE is expected to publish illustrative school level allocations and provisional local authority level allocations in the next few weeks.

Compulsory minimum per-pupil funding levels to be introduced from 2020