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Every pupil in England to see another rise in funding in 2021

Monday July 20th, 2020

The increase comes in the second year of a three-year £14.4bn funding settlement for schools.Education Concept

Schools across England are set to receive a £4.8 billion boost in 2021 compared with 2019, in the next step to level up funding across the country.

Funding figures released today (Monday 20th July) show how every pupil is to benefit from the second year of the Government’s school funding settlement worth a total of £14.4 billion over three years – the biggest increase in a decade.

Schools are already benefitting from this year’s increase of £2.6 billion, reflecting the first year of the settlement. The investment will continue to deliver on the Prime Minister’s pledge to level up education funding and give all young people the same opportunities to succeed, regardless of where they grow up or go to school.

Funding is being allocated through the transformative national school funding formula, which ensures schools from the largest city secondaries to the smallest community primaries are allocated funding more fairly to meet their pupils’ needs. This has replaced the unfair and outdated previous system, where schools with similar characteristics received very different levels of funding with little or no justification.

New data published today shows that two thirds of local authorities have now moved towards allocating their funding for schools based on the national funding formula, meaning that funding for schools is fairer.

Schools are also set to receive significant investment from the Government’s £1 billion Covid catch-up package next academic year, with guidance and funding for schools published today (Monday).

Each secondary school will attract a minimum of £5,150 per pupil and each primary a minimum of £4,000 per pupil under the national funding formula from 2021, up from the £5,000 and £3,750 which schools are receiving this year in the first year of the funding settlement.

Extra funding for small and remote schools will increase by over 60 per cent, reflecting the financial challenges that these schools can face, and the unique role they play in local communities. Pupils and families in rural areas from Cumbria to Norfolk will benefit from support for their local schools to remain financially secure.

An additional protection built into the funding formula means every pupil, regardless of the amount of funding they currently receive, will attract a year-on-year increase of at least two per cent.

Most local authorities will see increases of over three per cent in the funding allocated per pupil, with only historically highly funded authorities seeing smaller increases.

Funding to cover increases to teacher pay and pensions worth £2 billion will also be included from 2021 rather than paid separately, reassuring schools that the funding will continue to be provided in their core budgets.

Whilst the number of councils moving closer to the national funding formula is significant progress, there is still more to do, and we will soon put forward plans to deliver funding to schools directly through the national funding formula so that all schools receive the funding they deserve.

Today the Government has also confirmed that allocations from the £650 million catch-up premium, one part of the overall £1 billion Covid catch-up package, will be based on the number of pupils and paid once a term over the 2020/21 academic year. A 1,000 pupil secondary school will receive £80,000 and a 200 pupil primary school will receive £16,000 to tackle the impact of lost teaching time on pupils as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Headteachers can decide how best to use their schools’ premium allocation to tackle the impact of lost teaching time on their pupils, but are encouraged to spend it on evidence-driven approaches including small group or one-to-one tuition, support over the summer, or additional support for great teaching.

Disadvantaged pupils in schools and colleges will also benefit from the second part of the catch-up fund, a £350m tutoring fund.

From the second half of the 2020/21 autumn term, the National Tutoring Programme will provide support to disadvantaged pupils aged 5-16 in two ways: schools in all regions will be able to access heavily subsidised tuition from organisations on a list of approved partners, while some of the most disadvantaged schools will be supported to employ in-house academic mentors to provide intensive support to pupils.

Teach First has joined a coalition of charities with investment from the National Tutoring Programme and today begins recruitment of the first cohort of academic mentors. These recruits will work in schools serving disadvantaged communities to support pupils through one-to-one and small group tuition next academic year.

As part of the tutoring fund, we will also provide a one-off, ring-fenced grant of up to £96M for colleges, sixth forms and all 16-19 providers, to provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged 16-19 students whose studies have been disrupted.

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