ESFA publishes latest funding guidelines
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has published its latest guidance on funding allocations for academies in existence on or before 1 April 2021.
Allocation statements for academies that opened before or on 1 January 2021 are expected to be available by the end of March 2021 and for new academies that opened in February and March 2021, by the end of April 2021.
Multi-academy trusts are being made aware that allocation statements for all academies in the trust might not be uploaded at the same time.
Pupil premium allocations – guidance on the move to using the October census
On 17 December 2020, the Department for Education (DfE) announced that pupil premium rates will remain unchanged for the financial year 2021 to 2022 and that, from 2022 onwards, pupil premium allocations for mainstream and special schools will be based on the October census.
Pupil premium funding for the financial year starting on 1 April 2021 will therefore be based on the October 2020 census instead of the January census as would have previously been the case.
This administrative change brings the pupil premium in line with how the rest of the core schools’ budget is calculated.
Total pupil premium funding is expected to increase to more than £2.5 billion in 2021 to 2022 as more children have become eligible for free school meals as a result of the impact of the pandemic.
- £95,000 cap restriction on exit payments and the waiver process
The restriction of public sector exit payments regulations 2020 impose a cap of £95,000 on payments which specified public sector bodies, including academies and free schools, can make in relation to employee exits. The regulations apply to exits that take effect on or after 4 November 2020.
Ministers have the power to relax this cap in relation to particular payments in accordance with the waiver process as set out in HM Treasury directions.
- Exceptional in-year growth for 2020 to 2021
Each year, in-year growth funding is awarded to those grant-funded institutions which have recruited significantly more students than allocated.
In recognition of the funding pressures that many institutions are facing this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ESFA has introduced a new methodology for allocating these funds.
Institutions with significant levels of growth will receive the same level of growth funding this year as they would have under last year’s process but this year institutions with more modest levels of over-delivery will also receive some growth funds.
Independent learning providers that exceed their allocation will continue to receive growth funding through the published reconciliation process. Contact us for assistance.