Skip to main content

National Funding Formula and School Improvement Consultation

Volume 711: debated on Monday 28 March 2022

Alongside the Schools White Paper, which will enable every child to fulfil their potential by ensuring that they receive the right support, in the right place, at the right time, I am providing an update on two related elements of the Government’s work: the national funding formula and school improvement.

National funding formula

The Department for Education will today publish the Government’s response to the public consultation on moving to a “direct” schools national funding formula (NFF), where the Department would determine funding allocations for schools directly, without adjustment through local authorities’ funding formulae.

The Government response summarises views raised by respondents to the consultation, and confirms that the Government will bring forward the relevant legislation, to move to allocating funding for all mainstream schools according to a single, national formula, when parliamentary time allows. In addition, the process of transition to the direct NFF will commence in 2023-24, through bringing local authorities’ funding formulae closer to the NFF; this provision will be included in the annual School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations. The Department will publish a second stage consultation with more detailed proposals on implementation in spring 2022.

The introduction in 2018-19 of the national funding formula for mainstream schools was a crucial step towards a fairer funding system and replacing the postcode lottery of the past. The changes set out in the Government’s response to the consultation will make the system fairer still, by ensuring that each mainstream school is allocated funding on the same basis, wherever it is in the country, and every child is given the same opportunities, based on a consistent assessment of their needs.

School improvement consultation

The Government’s 2019 manifesto set out a commitment to intervene in schools where there is entrenched underperformance. Building on this commitment, the Department for Education will today launch a public consultation seeking views on the introduction of a new measure to support schools that are not making necessary improvements. This will make schools that are currently rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ by Ofsted and were also rated less than ‘Good’ at their previous inspection eligible for intervention.

This new measure will enable the Department to support these schools, particularly those in new education investment areas, by moving them into strong academy trusts who can facilitate better collaboration, direct resources where most needed and enable our best leaders to support a greater number of schools.

The consultation will run for a period of eight weeks and will close on Monday 23 May 2022.

I will place copies of both the Government response on NFF and the consultation on school improvement measures in the Libraries of both Houses.