The Department for Education (DfE) allocates funding to local authorities (LAs) on an annual basis through the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). The DSG is distributed based on a four block model for funding schools and pre-education including early years.
Each block covers different elements of education funding. Allocations are based on specific underlying formulae and data sets.
- Schools Block - the schools funding formula which funds individual school budgets and the growth fund for new and growing schools subject to certain criteria
- Central Schools Services Block - funds historic commitments agreed between the Schools Forum and the authority and ongoing responsibilities that the authority has in respect of education
- High Needs Block - provides funding to support pupils with high needs in various settings such as special schools, out of county placements, alternative provision, special educational needs units and top-up funding for pupils in mainstream schools that need additional support
- Early Years Block - funds all settings providing early years place in respect of two year olds and three to four year olds with a further element centrally retained with the annual agreement of Schools Forum
Individual school budgets are calculated based on local formulae for primary and secondary schools, high needs and early years. Maintained schools will receive funding directly from the local authority, whereas academies will receive the majority of their funding allocations from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
Further details of the national funding arrangements can be accessed on the Gov.uk website.
Further details of the local funding for schools, including the latest budgets and accompanying guidance, can be found on our Learn Together website.
Financial statements (Section 251)
Local authorities (LAs) are required under Section 251 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 to provide information on the amount of funding individual schools receive and details of how this funding is made up and how it was spent. LAs must prepare a budget statement before the beginning of each year i.e. by 31 March and an outturn statement after the end of that financial year.
The Department for Education uses the data for publishing statistics, constructing benchmarking tables, answering parliamentary questions and responding to other data requests.
Comparing information is important for schools forums and others in discussion about budget levels and use of funds.
Section 251 materials can be found on the Gov.uk website.
Section 251 budget statements
The latest published Cambridgeshire Section 251 budget statement is available to view, along with statements from previous years. The budget statement provides information on planned DSG expenditure for the coming year.
Section 251 outturn statements
The latest published Cambridgeshire Section 251 outturn statement is available to view, along with statements from previous years. The outturn statement details how the DSG has been spent during the financial year.
Questions about individual schools should be directed to the headteacher or governors in the first instance.
For enquiries about the overall funding position of Cambridgeshire local authority in relation to schools, policy or regulations concerning the funding of schools, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.