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Funding for Purbeck Schools

Volume 685: debated on Monday 7 December 2020

The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that schools in Purbeck are currently facing significant funding cuts leaving numerous schools underfunded; notes that over three thousand residents of Dorset signed a petition to save Purbeck schools from funding cuts; and further that every child in Dorset has the right to a good, well-funded education.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reverse all funding cuts to Dorset Schools, and support the reallocation of funding to ensure schools in Dorset are well-funded and able to perform effectively.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Richard Drax, Official Report, 6 October 2020; Vol. 681, c. 875.]


Observations from the Minister for School Standards (Nick Gibb):

At the 2019 spending round the Government announced that we are increasing core schools funding by £2.6 billion this year, and £4.8 billion and £7.1 billion by 2021-22 and 2022-23 respectively, compared to 2019-20, including significant additional funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities. This is in addition to the £1.5 billion per year we will continue to provide to fund additional pension costs for teachers over three years. The table below shows the funding settlement, as set out at the 2019 spending round. The 2020 spending review last week reiterated the Governments’ commitment to this funding settlement.





Schools RDEL excluding depreciation

£44.4 billion

£47.6 billion

£49.8 billion

£52.3 billion

Of which pensions funding

£0.9 billion

£1.5 billion

£1.5 billion

£1.5 billion

Of which SR19 cash uplift compared to 2019-20


£2.6 billion

£4.8 billion

£7.1 billion

This investment means we are giving schools the largest cash increase in a decade, which will give every school more money for every child and has enabled us to increase school funding by 5% in 2020-21 alone. We have continued to distribute this funding through the National Funding Formula (NFF), which ensures that funding is based on schools’ and pupils’ needs and characteristics, not accidents of location or past spending. On average, schools are attracting 4.2% more per pupil in 2020-21 compared to 2019-20. Schools in Dorset are attracting 5.5% more per pupil this year, or a total of £9.4 million more, taking their total cash funding to £203.4 million.

In July 2020, we published provisional school and high needs funding allocations for 2021-22 to give schools certainty of future funding. Next year, mainstream school funding will increase by 4% overall and, on average, schools are attracting 3.1% more per pupil in 2021-22 compared to in 2020-21. Dorset is attracting an extra £7.3 million for schools next year (2021-22) through the NFF—a like-for-like increase of 4.1% per pupil, taking their total funding to £220.2 million, based on current pupil numbers. This includes funding previously distributed through separate teachers’ pay and pension grants which have been brought into the NFF to simplify their allocation. More information on 2021-22 NFF allocations can be found here: DfE external document template (

In 2021-22 we have specifically increased the extra support the NFF provides for small and remote schools, primarily serving rural communities. Primary schools attracting this funding will be allocated up to £45,000 through the NFF’s sparsity factor- a significant increase from £26,000 this year. This will be the first step towards further expanding the support the NFF offers small and remote schools from 2022-23.

As part of this investment, we have announced an additional £730 million into high needs next year, coming on top of the additional £780 million in 2020-21, which means high needs budgets will have grown by over £1.5 billion, nearly a quarter, in just two years. Dorset’s provisional high needs allocation for 2021-22 will be £42.2 million, an 8% per head increase on the amount of high needs funding allocated in 2020-21. This will support children and young people with the most complex needs, helping schools and local authorities ensure that they can provide an excellent education for every child.

As we deliver the biggest funding increase for schools in a decade, our school resource management programme has a crucial role to play in ensuring the additional investment is being used as effectively and efficiently as possible. This includes practical support and guidance for schools and academies to help reduce costs on regular purchases and recruitment, so they can invest their resources into areas that improve pupil outcomes.