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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. Specific underlying formulae and data sets determine the allocations. The four blocks are:

  • Schools Block - the funds for individual school budgets and the growth fund for new and growing schools subject to certain criteria
  • Central Schools Services Block - funds historic commitments between the Schools Forum and the authority and their ongoing responsibilities 
  • High Needs Block - provides funding to support pupils with high needs in various settings. For example:
    • special schools
    • out of county placements
    • alternative provision
    • special educational needs units 
    • top-up funding for pupils in mainstream schools that need additional support.

Early Years Block - funds all settings providing early years place for 2 year olds and 3 to 4 year olds. A further element is 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
  • early years.

Maintained schools will receive funding directly from the local authority. Academies will receive most of their funding allocations from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Find further details of the national funding arrangements on the website.

Learn Together website has more details on the local funding for schools, including the latest budgets and guidance.

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
  • details of what the funding includes
  • how the schools spend it.

LAs must prepare a budget statement before the beginning of each year so by 31 March. They must publish 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
  •  responding to other data requests.

To be able to compare information is important. It helps school forums and others in discussion about budget levels and use of funds.

Find Section 251 materials on the website.

Section 251 budget statements

The latest published Cambridgeshire Section 251 budget statement is available to view. Previous statements are also available below. The budget statement provides information on planned DSG expenditure for the coming year.

Section 251 outturn statements

The latest Cambridgeshire Section 251 outturn statement is available to view. Previous statements are also available below. The outturn statement details the expenditure of the DSG during the financial year.

Further information

Direct questions about individual schools to the headteacher or governors in the first instance.

For general enquiries about the funding of schools email