Schools: Finance

Department for Education written question – answered on 23rd July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what effect they expect the COVID catch-up fund to have on the ability of schools to attract additional funding under the National Funding Formula for pupils in Years 7 to 11 with lower attainment who need support to catch up.

Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what sources of funding will be available to secondary schools to support low attainment pupils following the decision to end the Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Schools will continue to attract funding via the national funding formula (NFF) for pupils with low prior attainment. The NFF contains a low prior attainment factor which is allocated on a similar basis to the year 7 catch-up premium, but provides funding for all five years that a pupil is in secondary school. NFF allocations do not directly determine schools’ budgets, which are set through formula determined by local authorities in consultation with local schools. Local authorities are free to use a low prior attainment factor in their local formula, and for 2020-21, all are doing so.

In 2020-21, the amount allocated through the secondary low prior attainment factor in the schools NFF has increased by £49 million from £924 million to £973 million.

In addition, the £1 billion catch up package that the government announced on 19 June includes £650 million to help all pupils make up for the lost teaching time and £350 million for a new National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged pupils.

NFF allocations for 2020-21 were published in October 2019; allocations for 2021-22 will be published shortly. The additional funding schools will receive through the COVID-19 catch-up plan will not have any effect on the funding allocated through the NFF.

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