Mainstream schools additional grant 2023 to 2024: methodology – GOV.UK

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Updated 12 January 2023

© Crown copyright 2023
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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mainstream-schools-additional-grant-2023-to-2024/mainstream-schools-additional-grant-2023-to-2024-methodology
The 2022 Autumn Statement announced that the core schools budget will increase by £2 billion in the 2023 to 2024 financial year, over and above totals announced at the Spending Review 2021.
In the 2023 to 2024 financial year, mainstream schools will be allocated additional funding through the mainstream schools additional grant (MSAG) 2023 to 2024. This is in addition to schools’ allocations through the schools national funding formula.
This methodology will help schools and local authorities understand how the MSAG is calculated for 2023 to 2024. We have also published indicative local authority-level initial allocations. We will publish school-level allocations of this funding in spring 2023.
The MSAG will allocate funding to state-funded mainstream schools only. In addition to the MSAG, local authorities have been allocated £400 million additional high needs funding for 2023 to 2024, on top of their high needs national funding formula allocations.
We have published the additional high needs funding allocations, along with conditions of grant requiring local authorities to pass on proportionate funding to special schools and alternative provision settings, equivalent to the average funding increase that mainstream schools will receive through the MSAG.
The MSAG will fund the following providers, for the 5 to 16-year-old age range:
primary and secondary maintained schools
primary and secondary academies and free schools
all-through maintained schools
all-through academies
city technology colleges
Local authority-maintained mainstream schools and mainstream academies will receive allocations under the MSAG, covering the 2023 to 2024 financial year.
School-level allocations of the MSAG for the full 2023 to 2024 financial year will be published in May 2023.
We will pay the funding for maintained mainstream schools to local authorities, who will be required to pay it to individual schools at the published rates.
We will pay funding at the published rates directly to mainstream academies.
Local authorities and academies will receive their payments for 2023 to 2024 in 2 tranches. Payments will be made in May 2023 for local authorities, and June 2023 for academies, to cover April 2023 to August 2023; and in October 2023 for local authorities, and November 2023 for academies, to cover September 2023 to March 2024.
Our intention is that payment of this additional funding in the form of a separate grant will be for 2023 to 2024 only. The funding will be incorporated into core budget allocations for 2024 to 2025. So, for primary, secondary and all-through schools, this will mean the funding being rolled into the schools national funding formula for 2024 to 2025.
In recognition of the funding cycle for academies, which follows the academic year (rather than the financial year used for local authority-maintained schools), academies will receive an additional allocation of the MSAG to cover April to August 2024. This is the period in advance of the funding being rolled into academies’ core budget allocations through the national funding formula. This will be allocated using the same rates and pupil numbers as the 2023 to 2024 grant and will, therefore, represent five-twelfths of their 2023 to 2024 allocations.
Schools will have the flexibility to prioritise their spending of the MSAG to best support the needs of their pupils and staff and address cost pressures.
The funding rates consist of the following 3 elements, which are based on factors already in the schools national funding formula:
a basic per-pupil rate (with different rates for primary, key stage 3 and key stage 4)
a lump sum paid to all schools, regardless of pupil numbers
a per-pupil rate for pupils who are recorded as having been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years (FSM6), with different rates for primary and secondary pupils
When confirming the school-level allocations of the MSAG we will apply an area cost adjustment (ACA) to the funding rates below to take into account geographical variation in labour costs. The ACAs will be those used for the schools national funding formula for 2023 to 2024.
The ACAs used in the schools NFF are published here: area cost adjustment for national funding formula: technical note. The base funding rates provided below will be multiplied by the relevant ACA to determine the school-level allocations.
The base funding rates will be:
a basic per-pupil rate of £119 for primary pupils, including pupils in reception
a basic per-pupil rate of £168 for key stage 3 pupils
a basic per-pupil rate of £190 for key stage 4 pupils
a lump sum of £4,510
an FSM6 per-pupil rate of £104 per eligible primary pupil
an FSM6 per-pupil rate of £152 per eligible secondary pupil
Below we provide some illustrative examples of how the MSAG funding allocations will be calculated:
We will publish school-level allocations in May 2023 and will show the total funding allocated for the 2023 to 2024 financial year for each applicable phase of provision. We will publish conditions of grant alongside the school-level allocations.
We will calculate allocations by multiplying the relevant funding rates (with the ACA applied) by the pupil count, and FSM6 pupil count, using data from the October 2022 school census. The allocations will also include the lump sum amount.
Schools which are closing in the 2023 to 2024 financial year will have their allocations pro-rata for the portion of the year that they are open.
Schools that have opened in the past 7 years and are still adding year groups in the 2023 to 2024 academic year, and schools that opened between September 2022 and August 2023 (and are not recorded on the October 2022 census) will be funded based on the estimated pupil numbers as recorded in their respective local authority’s 2023 to 2024 authority proforma tool (APT). This data is used for their first payment of the MSAG in spring 2023.
These schools’ funding allocations will be subject to adjustment to reflect actual pupil numbers in 2023 to 2024. For these ‘new and growing’ schools the second payment of the MSAG will determine whether a retrospective adjustment is required to bring the initial funding allocations into line with the actual pupil numbers that the schools record in the autumn 2023 (October) school census. These schools will receive this second payment of MSAG by February 2024, to allow sufficient time to process the autumn 2023 census data. If the ‘new and growing’ school is an academy, the third and final payment of the MSAG (to cover the period April 2024 to August 2024) will also include this adjustment, again based on autumn 2023 (October) pupil numbers.
Schools that opened in September 2023 will receive their first payment of the MSAG in February 2024, and this will be calculated using pupil number data from the autumn 2023 (October) census. For academies that opened in September 2023, a further payment will be made to cover April 2024 to August 2024, again using data from the October 2023 census.
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