School Funding Formula 2021-22

Closed 13 Nov 2020

Opened 22 Oct 2020


National Funding Formula

A national funding formula was introduced for schools from 2018-19 and as in previous years in 2021-22 local authorities will continue to decide, following consultation with their schools and Schools Forum, whether this formula is applied or a locally determined formula is used.

In July 2020 the DfE announced that local authorities will continue to have flexibility to set a local funding formula in 2021-22.  It is a DfE requirement that all schools are consulted annually on any proposed changes to the schools funding formula.

This is a consultation with all Cumbria Schools Forum and Cumbrian maintained schools and academies to seek views on the proposed changes to the schools funding formula in 2021-22.  The consultation also considers some of the continuing challenges around the high needs budget.

All schools are encouraged to respond to this consultation using the online survey.  The deadline for responding to the consultation is 13th November 2020.

Schools can find further detailed information on the national funding formula at:


Why we are consulting

On 4th September 2019 the Chancellor announced a three year settlement stating that the schools budget would increase by £14bn nationally by 2022-23 compared to 2019-20 levels.  The schools settlement will allow central government to continue to implement the national funding formula and move towards at ‘hard’ formula and, although the government have not yet confirmed when this will happen, they have announced changes to the national formula which indicate that it is moving closer to a hard formula. 

In addition to announcing that local authorities will continue to have flexibility to set a local funding formula in 2021-22, the DfE also announced the following changes to the national funding formula in 2021-22:

  • The minimum per-pupil funding level will increase from £3,750 to £4,180 for primary schools and from £5,000 to £5,415 for secondary schools and will be mandatory;
  • The basic per pupil amount will increase by 3% plus an additional £180 for primary and £265 for secondary schools reflecting the roll in of the former Teachers Pay and Pension Grants;
  • The maximum values for the sparsity factor, which supports small and remote schools, have increased from £26,000 to £45,000 for primary schools and from £67,700 to £70,000 for secondary schools;
  • Increases across all other formula factors averaging 4.5%;
  • The funding floor will be set at +2% per pupil although local authorities can continue to set a Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) of which must be between +0.5% and +2% in their local formula;
  • There will be no gains cap, all schools will attract their full core funding allocations under the formula, however, local authorities can continue to set a gains cap in their local formula:
  • Local authorities are allowed, as in previous years, to transfer up to 0.5% of the Schools Block funding to support the High Needs Block budget.

The full consultation document and apendix illustrating the impact of the funding formula 2021-22 is available to download from the below links. Please read these before answering the two survey questions. Thank you.

What happens next

Schools are invited to respond to the 2 questions in this consultation using the online survey by Friday 13th November 2020.   Returns submitted after this date will not be included.

We encourage every school to respond. We kindly ask that there is only one response per school.


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