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

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

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

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 This has replaced the unfair and outdated previous system, where schools with similar characteristics received very different levels of funding with little or no justification.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).

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

"Every child deserves a superb education - regardless of which school they attend, or where they happened to grow up.

"That is why we are providing additional funding now and for the future for every school - with those historically underfunded receiving the greatest increase.

"I want to again thank teachers, childcare workers and support staff for the brilliant work they have done throughout the pandemic, and for the preparations underway to welcome back all children from September.

"Our £1 billion covid catch-up package, on top of these increases in per pupil funding, will help head teachers support those who have fallen behind while out of school, and deliver a superb education for all children across the country."

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

"This year has been incredibly challenging for schools, teachers, and students due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with everyone working in education going to incredible lengths to support children and ensure they can get back to the classroom.

"Not only are we confirming another year of increased and better targeted funding for our schools, but with our transformative national funding formula we are making sure the money is distributed fairly across the country so all schools can drive up standards. With two thirds of local authorities now having moved towards the national funding formula, it is time for the remainder to follow suit and ensure fairness for every child.

"Our £1 billion Covid catch up fund comes on top of this £14.4 billion three-year school funding boost, meaning that this government is leaving no stone unturned in levelling up opportunities for every young person up and down the country."

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.

Russell Hobby, Chief Executive of Teach First said:

“We’re honoured to join the National Tutoring Programme and kick-off recruitment of the first wave of academic mentors. Their salaries will be funded for schools and evidence shows that by working under the direction of experienced teachers they can be precisely deployed to support the children who need them most.”

Professor Becky Francis, CEO of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), said:

"We are delighted to be working with colleagues at Teach First on the National Tutoring Programme. Their expertise in training and recruitment will complement the work of the programme partners.

"The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vital role of schools at the heart of communities, a role which will only continue as the sector works to mitigate against the impact of school closures in the next school year and beyond. School leaders will need to make difficult decisions about what to prioritise in the coming months, so it is right to recognise the tremendous strain the pandemic has placed on the sector, and on the necessary level of support, through this catch-up package.

"Our short guide aims to provide evidence and signposts to additional resources that schools can use to support those decisions."

Leora Cruddas, CEO of the Confederation of School Trusts, said:

"We are pleased that there will be a rise in per-pupil funding in England in 2021. It is very important that there is also an increase in funding for special education needs where the sector has felt significant cost pressures. It is important that education funding is not left behind during the response to the global pandemic."

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