World-class schools are a vital part of the government’s long-term economic plan, and are one of the key drivers of the productive economy of the future.
We are therefore committed to making school funding fairer, to maintaining the amount of money that follows children into schools and to confirming the extra £390 million fairer funding uplift from 2015 to 2016 in budgets for 2016 to 2017 and beyond. This will help every child, everywhere, to have the best possible chance to reach their potential.
Today, we are taking the first steps towards meeting these commitments by publishing the per-pupil funding rates for each local authority’s schools budget for 2016 to 2017. This protects the per-pupil funding in each authority from 2015 to 2016, meeting the commitment to protect the national schools budget and to baselining the £390 million extra funding.
We are also publishing the Education Funding Agency’s operational guide, to allow local authorities to start the process of consulting with their schools on how the funding should be distributed in their area.
The forthcoming spending review will set out the government’s plans for the delivery and funding of public services for this Parliament. It will set out further detail on key delivery priorities for schools and local authorities and confirm funding levels for other grants and programmes. In light of the spending review and any consequent changes to the School Finance Regulations (which would of course be consulted on), the operational guide may have to be updated and local authorities may have to review the planning and modelling they have undertaken.
Final funding allocations to each authority will be made in December, in line with the latest data on their pupil numbers.
Baselining the 2015 to 2016 minimum funding levels in 2016 to 2017 is an important step towards making funding fairer. However it remains the case that a school in one part of the country can receive over 50% more funding than an identical school in another part of the country.
I am therefore committed to making schools and early education funding fairer and will put forward proposals in due course.
We recognise the links between funding for early education, schools and pupils with high-cost special educational needs. These are complex issues to consider, and we will consult extensively with the sector and the public on them.