School Funding Arrangements

Documents updated 6th November 2023

Scheme for financing schools

This scheme, in accordance with the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, outlines the financial framework for funding maintained schools.

It also sets out the relationship between maintained schools and the Local Authority and the principles underpinning the financial controls within which delegation to schools operates.

To view the 2023/2024 Scheme for Financing Schools, the content is available on the right of this page to download.

Section 251 Budget

Local authorities (LAs) are required under Section 251 of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 to prepare and submit an education and children's social care budget statement to the Secretary of State for Education. The prescribed period for this budget statement covers a financial year, from 1 April to 31 March.

Regulatory provisions directly affecting the education content of the budget statement are also made in the School Finance (England) Regulation.


It is a statutory duty for LAs to publish their budget statements in line with the prescribed regulations issued by the Secretary of State for Education. The budget statement provides information on the size of the Schools Budget (SB) and the amount to be allocated to each factor depending on budget decisions. The LA, in discussion with the School Forum, will make these budget decisions before the prescribed period. The budget statement provides the means of informing schools and the general public about the funding plans for the forthcoming year.

The budget statement published for a particular period provides a clear picture of the LA's plans on:

  • how much is intended to be spent on the non-schools Education Budget outside the SB and other children's social care
  • how much is proposed to be retained centrally within the SB for school services
  • how much has been allocated for Early Years, High Needs and Alternative Provision

    Form and content

    All local authorities are required to publish their statements based on a common format, which include: table one (LA level information), tale one (annex - Early Years pro forma) and table three (high needs and alternative provision summary).


Governors Finance Handbook

Available to download is a Handbook for Finance / Resources Committees to support and advise governors of the work of the committees and the associated financial cycle.