Councils are likely to launch a second legal challenge over schools funding should the government fail to announce changes to its planned approach next week, LGC understands.
The Department for Education has proposed using £1.2bn of money collected by councils through business rates to pay for school “central services”. This includes behaviour support and school improvement.
The DfE would distribute the £1.2bn to councils and academies based on the number of pupils for whom they were responsible. The draft formula would give councils between £8 and £15 for every pupil in their area who attended an academy.
Senior local government figures have said a legal challenge is likely if the department sticks to its final proposal, details of which are expected alongside the local government finance settlement next week.
Authorities have called for the department to reduce the amount it plans to take from business rates from £1.2bn to £1bn, LGC understands.
They have also argued that council funding for each pupil at an academy should be much higher. Some calculations put the true cost at £30 per pupil; others put it higher.
Last year 29 councils successfully challenged the DfE’s plan for funding central services, after which it agreed to refund £58m.
A DfE spokeswoman said it had listened to and considered all responses to its consultation on the proposals. She said she could not pre-empt the final announcement by discussing whether councils’ concerns would be addressed.