publication of a consultation document presenting options for
changing the system of grant support for local authorities by the
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. The consultation includes
current Education Standard Spending Assessment.
Commenting on the education options, Mr Miliband said:
'The four options for change in education funding in the consultation
document result from discussions held over the last year between the
Department for Education and Skills and a wide range of interested
groups. The aim is to support schools and local education
authorities in their drive to raise standards by ensuring that the
distribution of funds matches the distribution of extra needs and
'Since 1997/98 the average level of funding for school pupils in
England has risen by£670 - nearly 25 per cent in real terms.
National average funding per pupil will rise by at least a further 5
per cent in 2003-04 when the new funding distribution is to be
'The costs of education vary between areas. Some areas have more
pupils from less advantaged backgrounds; some have more pupils with
English as an additional language and some rural authorities have
higher home to school transport costs. We want to make sure that the
funding formula fairly reflects this range of circumstances.'
The new formula will be phased in so that all local authority areas
will be guaranteed year-on-year increases that will ensure they can
at least maintain schools funding in real terms. The government is
also taking steps to ensure that all the funding available for
schools will be passed through to them. Ministers will take final
decisions on the way forward in the autumn in the light of the
consultation, the latest available data, for example on pupil
numbers, and the outcome of the spending review.
This Press Notice applies to England.
1. The government originally set out its proposals for reforming
funding for LEAs and schools in the September 2000 'Modernising Local
Government Finance' Green Paper. The Local Government Finance Reform
Consultation document can be found at:
2. Key features of the new system are separate assessments for
schools provision and for LEA functions such as transport; a basic
per pupil funding allowance or entitlement in the schools block, with
top-ups for significant deprivation (or Additional Educational Need)
and for areas where it costs more to recruit and retain school staff.
The weights attached to these factors are to be based on up to date
evidence, rather than on historical patterns of spending as in the
3. The consultation document presents four options for the treatment
of the deprivation and area cost top-ups. The options are consistent
with the evidence available, but reflect scope for judgement about
4. The consultation options draw on work in the Education Funding
Strategy Group (EFSG) over the last year. The group draws together
central and local government and education interests. The papers
discussed in EFSG and its final report can be found on the internet
5. The consultation period ends on 30 September. During the
consultation period the EFSG will discuss the technical basis of the
options and other issues.
6. The consultation options are exemplified using 2002-03 funding
levels. The overall amount of funding available for LEAs and schools
from 2003-04 will reflect the outcome of the current spending