Today I am confirming provisional funding allocations for 2024-25 through the schools, high needs and central school services national funding formulae (NFFs). Core schools funding includes funding for both mainstream schools and high needs. This is increasing by over £1.8bn in 2024-25 – from over £57.7 bn in 2023-24 to over £59.6bn in 2024-25. This is on top of the over £3.9 billion increase in the core schools budget in 2023-24.
The core schools funding increase for both this year and next year includes the additional funding for schools’ teacher pay costs, through the Teachers’ Pay Additional Grant (TPAG). On 13 July, we announced this funding to support schools with the September 2023 teachers’ pay award. The funding is being split between mainstream schools, special schools and alternative provision (AP), early years, and 16 to 19 provision. The part of the additional funding that goes to mainstream schools, special schools and alternative provision is worth £482.5m in 2023-24 and £827.5m in 2024-25. This funding will be paid on top of NFF funding in both 2023-24 and 2024-25. Further information on the TPAG is published here:
Funding for mainstream schools through the schools NFF is increasing by 2.7% per pupil compared to 2023-24. Taken together with the funding increases seen in 2023-24, this means that funding through the schools NFF will be 8.5% higher per pupil in 2024-25, compared to 2022-23.
The minimum per pupil funding levels (MPPLs) will increase by 2.4% compared to 2023-24. This will mean that, next year, every primary school will receive at least £4,655 per pupil, and every secondary school at least £6,050. Academy trusts continue to have flexibilities over how they allocate funding across academies in their trust. This means, in some cases, an individual academy could receive a lower or higher per-pupil funding amount than the MPPL value. This may reflect, for example, activities that are paid for by the trust centrally, rather than by individual academies.
The NFF will distribute this funding based on schools’ and pupils’ needs and characteristics. The main features in 2024-25 are:
- We are introducing a formulaic approach to allocating split sites funding. This ensures that funding for schools which operate across more than one site will be provided on a consistent basis across the country.
- The core factors in the schools NFF (such as basic per-pupil funding, and the lump sum that all schools attract) will increase by 2.4%.
- The funding floor will ensure that every school attracts at least 0.5% more pupil-led funding per pupil compared to its 2023-24 allocation.
- The 2023-24 mainstream schools additional grant (MSAG) has been rolled into the schools NFF for 2024-25. This is to ensure that the additional funding schools attract through the NFF is as close as possible to the funding they would have received if the funding was continuing as a separate grant in 2024-25, without adding significant complexity to the formula. Adding the grant funding to the NFF provides reassurance to schools that this funding forms part of schools’ core budgets and will continue to be provided.
- For the first time, in 2024-25 we will allocate funding to local authorities on the basis of falling rolls, as well as growth. Local authorities can use this funding to support schools which see a short-term fall in the number of pupils on roll.
2023-24 was the first year of transition to the direct schools NFF, with our end point being a system in which, to ensure full fairness and consistency in funding, every mainstream school in England is funded through a single national formula without adjustment through local funding formulae. Following a successful first year of transition, we will continue with the same approach to transition in 2024‑25. As in 2023-24, local authorities will only be allowed to use NFF factors in their local formulae, and must use all NFF factors, except any locally determined premises factors. Local authorities will also be required to move their local formulae factors a further 10% closer to the NFF values, compared to where they were in 2023-24, unless they are classed as already “mirroring” the NFF.
Today we are also publishing local authority funding formula data for 2023-24. Following the first year of transition, the number of local authorities that mirror the schools NFF increased significantly from just over half in 2022-23, to just over two-thirds in 2023-24. Of the 72 local authorities that were not mirroring the NFF in 2022-23, 61 chose to move their local formula closer to the NFF than required.
In 2024-25, high needs funding through the NFF is increasing by a further £440m, or 4.3% – following the £970 million increase in 2023-24 and £1 billion increase in 2022-23. This brings the total high needs budget to over £10.5 billion. All local authorities will receive at least a 3% increase per head of their aged 2-18 population, compared to their 2023-24 allocations, with some authorities seeing gains of up to 5%.
The £10.5 billion funding includes the continuation of the £400m high needs funding allocated to local authorities following the 2022 autumn statement, and the £440m increase is provided on top of that. All special and alternative provision schools will continue to receive their share of that funding in 2024-25.
Central school services funding is provided to local authorities for the ongoing responsibilities they have for all schools. The total provisional funding for ongoing responsibilities is £304 million in 2024-25. In line with the process introduced for 2020-21, to withdraw funding over time for the historic commitments local authorities entered into before 2013-14, funding for historic commitments will decrease by a further 20% in 2024-25.
Updated allocations of schools, high needs and central schools services funding for 2024-25 will be published in December, taking account of the latest pupil data at that point.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords