DfE to provide additional funds to deal with ‘exceptional’ COVID19 related costs

DfE to provide additional funds to deal with ‘exceptional’ COVID19 related costs

The Department for Education has outlined how it intends to compensate schools for the additional costs associated with coronavirus.

Funding is now available for all primary, secondary and all-through maintained schools, academies and free schools and is designed to cover costs relating to specific items which have supported children attending school during the period of partial closure.

Schools are not eligible to make a claim against this fund if they expect to add to their existing historic surpluses in their current financial year (September 2019 to August 2020 for academies and April 2020 to March 2021 for maintained schools).

This means schools cannot claim if they began their current financial year with an accumulated historic surplus and expect to increase that surplus this year and finish the year with a higher level of reserves than they started.

Schools are eligible for reimbursement where the additional costs associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) would:

  • Result in a school having to use historic surpluses
  • Increase the size of a historic deficit
  • Prevent the planned repayment of a historic deficit

Additional costs covered by the fund

The areas identified by the DfE as being most likely to result in additional costs to schools include:

  • Increased premises related costs (including utilities and resources needed to keep the school open, such as hygiene services) associated with keeping schools open during the Easter and/or summer half term holidays, for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers, over and above the costs that schools would have faced in other circumstances
  • Support for free school meals for eligible children who are not attending school, where those costs are not covered by the national voucher scheme
  • Additional cleaning – required due to confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases

The DfE has also confirmed that schools which have faced other extraordinary costs that cannot be met by existing budgets, will be able to register the details of these through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) enquiry form.

Funding allowances

Where necessary, schools will be eligible to claim up to the limits set out below. Schools will need to provide assurance that costs are legitimate additional costs incurred due to coronavirus:

Mainstream schools

250 pupils or fewer     £25,000

251 to 500 pupils        £30,000

501 to 1000 pupils      £50,000

Over 1000 pupils        £75,000

Special schools and alternative provision

All schools       £50,000

The DfE guidelines concede that there may be some exceptional instances where individual schools will face additional costs that are higher than these limits. In these circumstances, schools will be able to make a case for increasing the limit when they submit a claim for additional funding.

For information on DfE to provide additional funds to deal with ‘exceptional’ COVID19 related costs contact Haslers Accountants Loughton Essex on Advice@Haslers.com.

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DfE to provide additional funds to deal with ‘exceptional’ COVID-19 related costs

DfE to provide additional funds to deal with ‘exceptional’ COVID19 related costs