Local authorities are under a statutory duty to ensure that there is a school place available for every child. The Department provides local authorities with basic need funding for every new place that is needed, based on local authorities’ own data on pupil forecasts. They can use this funding to provide places in new schools or through expansions of existing schools, and can work with any school in their local area, including academies and free schools. Liverpool has been allocated £56.6 million to provide new school places from 2011-21, and Knowsley has been allocated £3 million.
The Department trusts schools to manage their own budgets and the vast majority are operating with a cumulative surplus, with only a small percentage having a deficit. The Department will be publishing data on maintained school reserves in 2018-19 in October, following the introduction of the national funding formulae. 2018-19 data on academy reserves will be published next spring.
On Friday 30 August, the Department announced a three-year settlement which will provide a total increase in funding of over £14 billion over the next three years, including an additional £7.1 billion in 2022-23, bringing the core schools’ budget in that year to £52.2 billion. This means we can ‘level up’ school funding by raising the minimum per pupil funding for secondary schools to £5,000 next year, and the minimum per pupil funding for primary schools to £3,750 in 2020-21 and £4,000 in 2021-22.
Overall, school funding is increasing significantly by 5% and the Department is increasing funding for the lowest-funded schools even faster. In addition, the Department are providing for an increase in per pupil funding at least in line with inflation for every school in England next year, with most schools attracting real terms increases.
This funding announcement means further increases for every school in Garston and Halewood over the next three years. The Department will be publishing school-level details in October.