Print pagePrint page

< Back to Budget Pressures Toolkit for Schools

For governors - funding

The funding received by the school provides the resource for educational provision and outcomes for pupils.

The way in which funding arrives in each school is either via the local authority (for maintained schools) or via the Education Funding Agency (for academies). Even though there are two routes for funding to arrive in schools, the overall funding available – the Designated Schools Grant – for all schools in Hertfordshire is subject to a schools funding formula which comprises a number of factors. These are discussed and agreed at the Schools Forum. The most significant factor is the Age-Weighted Pupil Unit, which is based on the notional educational needs of pupils of different ages and then multiplied by the number of pupils in the school. Amongst the factors that influence the budget share are the pupil premium, deprivation, small schools allowance, split site allowance and special educational needs. Special Schools are the exception and are funded for the number of places they have and through the high needs block.

The DfE will consult during 2016 on the national distribution of funding to schools.

The shape of individual schools spend can be very different for all sorts of reasons but very broadly 55% of the budget is likely to be spent on teachers, 25% on other staff such as learning support, site managers, business manager etc and 20% on other costs such as utilities, learning resources etc. There are all sorts of entirely legitimate reasons why the percentages will be different from school to school.

Bench marking can be very useful in enabling schools to look at others that are similar to see where their funding is targeted and how it compares. What is evident is that schools can spend very differently and achieve excellent outcomes. Two web sites are available to all schools and contain historical information. Both sites allow the drawdown of a variety of reports e.g. similar size, special educational needs, English as an additional language.

Schools Financial Benchmarking - www.education.gov.uk/sfb

The information compiled here is from maintained schools, and is collated from the annual Consistent Financial Reporting (CFR).  Individual maintained schools each have a login plus it is possible as a guest to access the information. The information gathered reflects a financial year running from April to March. In the spring this will become an open access site.

Academy Financial Benchmarking – www.education.gov.uk/afb/

The information on this site is compiled on an academic year basis using information contained in Accounting Returns and is an open access site. Each set of governors is required on an ongoing basis to ask a range of questions and engage in debate with the headteacher, the senior team, relevant post holders and, when necessary, external experts to ensure that the way in which the funding is spent supports the best possible educational outcomes, provides value for money and is processed in a legal and secure manner.

The governing/accountable body signs off the budget on an annual basis.

> Review and evaluation

Contact

Herts for Learning
01438 843263