Secondary Education: Per Capita Costs

Department for Education written question – answered on 24th July 2019.

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Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Conservative, Wokingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the (a) maximum and (b) average reduction in per pupil funding for a state secondary school was in each of the last five years.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Between 2015-16 and 2019-20 the government has made a significant investment in schools, with core schools funding growing by nearly £4 billion.

The table below shows the average funding per secondary pupil we have allocated to local authorities in England through the schools block of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) for 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Financial year

Average Schools block secondary unit of funding (SUF)





Before 2018-19, the Department did not distinguish between phases when allocating funding to local authorities through the DSG. Each local authority will have set their own funding rates for secondary pupils for each year in this period. The average funding per pupil (schools block unit of funding) for the period between 2014-15 and 2017-18 is available in the table below.

Financial year

Average Schools block unit of funding (SBUF)









The drop in schools block per pupil funding between 2016-17 and 2017-18 is due to local authorities re-baselining funding between the DSG blocks, resulting in funding moving from the schools block into the high needs block.

In addition to schools block funding, schools also receive funding from separate funding streams and additional grants, such as the central schools services, and the high needs blocks of the DSG, as well as the Pupil Premium.

Local authorities continue to be responsible for distributing funding to schools in their local area, which they will have determined through their own local formulae. As a result, the Department does not hold any analysis of this data in order to provide the maximum and average change per secondary pupil at school level as requested. The Department publishes schools block allocations for individual maintained schools and academies online, which can be accessed at:

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