On 9 September 2019, the Government announced the schools and high needs funding arrangements for 2020/21.
Funding for 2020/21 will be distributed using the ‘soft’ National Funding Formula (NFF), whereby local authorities will allocate funding to individual schools via a local formula which is determined through consultation with schools. However, the Government has committed to implementing the ‘hard’ NFF and, during 2020/21, it will be compulsory for local authorities to make use of NFF minimum per pupil funding levels in their own local funding formulae.
Schools NFF funding levels
The key aspects of the schools NFF for 2020/21 are:
- The minimum per pupil funding levels will be set at £3,750 for primary schools and £5,000 for secondary schools. In 2021/22, the primary minimum level will rise to £4,000.
- The funding floor will be set at 1.84% per pupil. This minimum increase in 2020/21 allocations will be based on the individual school’s NFF allocation in 2019/20.
- There will be an increase of 4% to the NFF’s core factors.
- There will be no gains cap in the NFF, unlike in the previous two years, so that all schools attract their full core allocations under the formula.
- The mobility factor will be allocated on the basis of a formula, rather than through historic funding.
- Growth funding will be based on the same methodology as this year, with the same transitional protection ensuring that no local authority whose growth funding is reducing will lose more than 0.5% of its 2019/20 schools block allocation.
Local authorities must continue to set a Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG), which must be between +0.5% and +1.84%.
As has been the case over the last two years, during 2020/21, local authorities can transfer up to 0.5% of their Schools Block to other DSG blocks, with schools forum approval. To transfer more than this, or any amount without schools forum approval, they will have to make a request to the Department for Education, even if the same amount was agreed in the past two years.
The DfE has published provisional NFF allocations for local authorities and schools. These will be finalised in December 2019 following the completion of the pupil census. The provisional allocations are available on the Government's National funding formula tables for schools and high needs web page.
The Government’s funding allocations for each school and academy are also available on the Government's Dedicated Schools Grant web page. Please be aware that the NASUWT does not regard this funding as sufficient and continues to campaign for a substantial increase in schools, high needs and central school services funding.
High needs funding
The High Needs Block will increase by £700 million in 2020/21, with every local authority receiving an increase of between 8% and 17%, depending on the High Needs NFF for each local authority.
Teachers’ pay and pension grants
The Teachers’ Pay Grant and Teachers’ Pension Employer Contributions Grant (TPECG) will both continue to be paid separately from the NFF in 2020/21. The DfE has published the TPECG allocations for local authorities and details of how the supplementary grant fund will be administered. This is available on the Government's Pension grant allocations and supplementary fund web page.
The NASUWT says:
- The 2020/21 school funding settlement is not a giveaway. Schools will receive an increase to their budgets, although a minimum funding guarantee increase of 0.5% is still too low.
- The increase in the High Needs Block is a recognition of the crisis caused by completely insufficient high needs funding, which has led many local authorities to transfer money from their Schools Block to their High Needs Block during 2018/19 and 2019/20.
- The additional Government funding for schools and high needs has been achieved through NASUWT campaigning and also the resilience of NASUWT activists and members in refusing to accept cuts in terms and conditions and redundancies for funding reasons.