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What all schools and academies need to know about the new national funding formula


The Department for Education (DfE) announced their final proposals for the national funding formula on the 14 September and set out that:

  • They would be calculating what each mainstream school and academy should get from April 2018 at a national level based on the number of pupils, the characteristics of that school's intake of pupils and a few school-level factors
  • Every school would be calculated to be at least 0.5% better off in 2018/19
  • And each primary school would be calculated to get at least £3,300 per pupil and every secondary school £4,800 per pupil in the first year.

But it's not that clear-cut because although this will be calculated at a national level on a school or academy basis, for at least the first two years of the formula, the funding calculated this way will then be passed through to the local authority for all the schools in their area and the Schools Forum will then set the formula for the local authority, that will also apply to the allocations from the ESFA for academies.

This means that the guarantees that the government set out may not apply to your school or academy: you may not gain 0.5% or receive at least your minimum threshold of funding depending on the formula in your local authority.


  1. You can see for yourself what the DfE's calculation for your school was ( based on latest pupil numbers)  and this can help you make the case to the local authority, your governors or your school's forum that you should receive something similar to this. Just follow this link and go to the document entitled 'Impact of the Schools NFF' and the TAB "Look Up a School' to find your local authority and your school
  2. The local authority will HAVE to pass through 99.5% of the Schools Block Funding they receive to schools ( and through the ESFA to academies, except for any dedelegated amounts agreed for non-statutory services. For their statutory duties, local authorities will be funded separately by the DfE.

In some cases, NAHT members have been reporting that their governors are confused as to why the 0.5% increase doesn't seem to apply to their school. Share this news item with them to ensure they understand the issues.

Below head of policy, Valentine Mulholland, outlines the key things you need to know about the national funding formula in three minutes. 

First published 03 January 2018