Implementing mandatory minimum per pupil funding levels

The September 2019 spending round increased the minimum per pupil levels that schools achieve under the national funding formula (NFF). The policy intention is that these levels will be mandatory in local authority (LA) factors. This means that every local authority will have to use the factor in their local formula in 2020/21.
The consultation considers
  • the methodology that should be used in local formulae
  • circumstances in which LAs can request to disapply the use of minimum per pupil levels
How did we respond?
We agree that the NFF and local formulae calculation methodology should be the same. To vary the current national approach would undermine the principles of transparency and predictability that must exist within a national formula.

We can neither agree nor disagree with the circumstances for disapplication, which are
essentially about affordability and sufficiency of funding. Distribution and sufficiency are different and must not be conflated.  

Why have we taken this view?
The October 2019 Queen’s Speech did not include provision for the changes in primary legislation that are required to fully implement a hard national funding formula, however the proposal is a step closer to a more transparent and predictable distribution.

ASCL welcomes the increased investment in schools and high needs announced in September. We acknowledge that this proposal is a consequence of the additional investment. A properly funded education system should be able to deliver at least adequately on both schools and high needs provision.

Full response to consultation