Local authorities to be cut out of £30bn funding under government plans to empower schools

The Telegraph is reporting that more than £30 billion of education funding will be handed directly to head teachers rather than councils under plans for what they call “a major escalation of David Cameron’s drive to empower schools”. 

Currently the funding formula for schools sees the government give school spending to local authorities who then use their own formulas to determine how the money is divided. 

Under plans announced today in a government consultation funding will instead go straight to the schools themselves, cutting out the council middle man.

The changes are part of a nationwide drive to end the current “postcode lottery” that sees big regional differences between the amount of money spent on each child, according to Tory ministers…

The changes will affect almost every primary and secondary school in England and comprises around three-quarters of the £40 billion schools budget. 

Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, said: “We want every school in England to get the funding it deserves, so that all children – whatever their background and wherever they live in the country – get a great education.

“The introduction of a national funding formula from 2017-18 will see the biggest step towards fairer funding in over a decade – ensuring that pupils get funding that genuinely matches their need. It will also ensure that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds continue to receive significant additional funding to overcome entrenched barriers to their success. 

“This is a key part of our core mission to extend opportunity to all children and provide educational excellence in all parts of the country: rural and urban, shire and metropolitan, north and south.” 

“Local authorities will continue to play a vital role in the distribution of high needs funding as they are best placed to make important local decisions about children with special educational needs and disabilities.”

More at: Councils to be cut out of £30bn funding under government plans to empower schools


See also: London and inner city pupils could lose out over changes to school funding


We are just getting the early indications of the new approach to funding, but what do you make of the idea of funding going directly to schools rather than to local authorities?

Is it a change you would welcome? What concerns might you have?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


More funding going directly to schools rather than via local authorities - good idea?

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London and inner city pupils could lose out over changes to school funding
Categories: Local authorities and Policy.


  1. “Fair” is a good target but is it achievable given many schools raise additional funds through Parent Associations, donations, legacies etc. Will the new formula be able to take into account these additional funds so that schools are on an equal footing? I doubt it and I doubt it would be accepted or adhered to if it were.

  2. TW

    Blatant attempt to kill the support function of local authorities thereby rendering schools, especially smaller ones in the primary sector, unable to fund major works thus becoming easy prey for business parasites looking to suck funds out of the school sector and into their secret bank accounts in the Cayman Islands.

  3. VictoriaJaquiss At the same time, however, LAs still have statutory duties re education eg managing school place supply, special needs, co-ordinating area admissions, School Improvement Services (which are Ofsted inspected).   If, as the DT suggests, money will be removed from the ‘middle man’ then it suggests the money to fund these statutory duties will have to be found by culling other non-statutory services.

  4. clivetaylor915

    Itsdihere SchoolsImprove
    Another massive step to govt control and privatisation of learning.#shameful

  5. Nairb1

    Small school are, as you say, more vulnerable. But I’m sure their future as independent entities is all but over. The governors of a very small school locally to me are actively considering academy status. No takers … and more than half of the potential sponsors they have approached are clear that it is because there is no ‘financial incentive’ to take the school on.

  6. Nairb1 When Lincolnshire County Council advised all its schools to become academies in 2011 preferably with CfBT, CfBT made it clear they would only take on tiny village schools if they could have some of Lincs large schools.  As you say, no financial incentive to do something which was, and is, promoted as altruism.
    Now CfBT’s struggling and is dumping some of its Lincs schools (one RI and one Inadequate academy so far).

  7. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This sounds like a decent idea but there must be a catch; only for FS and academies? I’m sceptical that there is no catch

  8. MadgeJesss

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove weasel words. Last nail in coffin of local education authorities and academisation of all schools

  9. Paul

    We do need to have much more of an idea what, “fair funding” means – will this be the same amount of money per pupil – and then what will happen to wider services that LA still provide for many schools? Insurance, educational psychology, governor services etc… or would the expectation be that these would be “outsourced” … perhaps provided by the local MAT or academy, is this the underlying reason – more transference of public money to private hands?

Let us know what you think...