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School and Early Years Funding

Volume 705: debated on Thursday 16 December 2021

Today I am confirming schools, high needs and early years revenue funding allocations for 2022-23. This announcement covers the dedicated schools grant (DSG), the pupil premium, and supplementary funding to allocate an additional £1.6 billion announced at the spending review.

Overall, taking the DSG allocations and the supplementary funding together, core schools funding is increasing by £4 billion in 2022-23—a 5% increase in real terms per pupil from 2021-22. This includes an increase in mainstream school funding, for the five to 16 age group, of £2.5 billion. This is equivalent to a 5.8%, or £300, cash increase in funding per pupil on average. Every local authority area is forecast to see an above-inflation increase in mainstream school funding, with each local authority seeing at least a 4.7% increase per pupil.

Nationally, high needs funding, including the supplementary funding, is increasing by over £1 billion (13%).

In July 2021, the then Minister of State for Schools informed Parliament of the publication of primary and secondary units of funding for the schools block of the DSG, and the provisional allocations for the high needs block and central school services block. These have now been updated with the latest pupil numbers to show how much each local authority will receive in 2022-23.

For early years, we are announcing initial allocations for local authorities of £3.6 billion for 2022-23 based on the early years hourly funding rates that were published on 25 November 2021. These initial allocations will be updated later using census data from January 2022 and January 2023.

The DSG also includes funding for the Department’s safety valve intervention programme, which targets the local authorities with the highest DSG deficits, accumulated where LAs have struggled to manage their high needs systems within their allocated funding. With £150 million of additional funding secured through the spending review, we are expanding this programme in 2022-23 to target more local authorities with the highest deficits, to rapidly secure the sustainable management of their high-needs systems and reduce their deficits. This expansion will sit as part of a new, wider programme of intervention and support for local authorities, including the Delivering Better Value in SEND programme, which will provide some support with attached funding to help more local authorities with less substantial deficits to establish sustainable and effective practice in managing their high needs systems. I will announce further detail about the Delivering Better Value in SEND programme in due course.

In addition to the DSG, mainstream schools will receive a supplementary grant in 2022-23 worth £1.2 billion. For early years and post-16 provision, the grant is being provided in respect of the health and social care levy. For primary and secondary provision, the grant is being provided in respect of both the health and social care levy and other cost pressures, giving schools the resources they need to raise attainment, increase teacher pay and continue to rise to the challenges of covid response and recovery.

Today I am announcing how that supplementary grant will be allocated. Mainstream schools will get:

A lump sum of £3,680 for schools that have primary and/ or secondary provision. (Schools with only early years or post-16 provision will not receive this lump sum.)

£24 per pupil for their early years provision

£35 per pupil for their post-16 provision

£97 per pupil in primary

£137 per pupil in key stage 3

£155 per pupil in key stage 4

Additional funding of £85 per primary pupil and £124 per secondary pupil who are recorded as having been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years (FSM6).

The grant rates will be uplifted with area cost adjustments for schools in areas with higher wage costs.

Special schools and other providers funded from the high needs block of the DSG will benefit from an additional £325 million in 2022-23, through a top up to the DSG allocations referred to above. This is an increase of 4% to the allocations announced in July 2021.

This core schools funding comes alongside the Government’s investment totalling nearly £5 billion, up to 2024-25, to help children and young people recover from the impact of the pandemic, which includes spending £1.5 billion on a national tutoring revolution in schools and colleges.

Funding for disadvantaged pupils: the pupil premium

The pupil premium provides additional funding to schools to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. Today, I am announcing that pupil premium rates in 2022-23 will increase by 2.7%, in line with forecast inflation as published by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) at the 2021 spending review. This will ensure that this targeted investment continues to support the most disadvantaged children in our schools.

With the increased funding rates, total pupil premium funding is forecast to be its highest ever, in cash terms, in 2022-23. Total pupil premium funding is forecast to increase to over £2.6 billion in 2022-23 (up from £2.5 billion in 2021-22, and from £600 million when the pupil premium was introduced in 2011-12). Funding rates in 2022-23 will be the highest ever in cash terms, with primary pupils who have been eligible for FSM at a point over the past six years attracting £1,385, and secondary FSM6 pupils attracting £985. This means that, compared to when the pupil premium was introduced in 2011, funding rates are now almost £900 higher in cash terms for primary FSM6 pupils, and almost £500 higher for secondary pupils. The Department for Education continues to ensure that all schools must have regard to high-quality evidence-based interventions when deciding how best to support eligible pupils.