National funding formula delays
A key aspect of the DfE's analysis is that it's "allowing for the area cost adjustments" which means that effectively, it's saying that if we ignore local variation, most LAs (73) have moved "closer" to the NFF, with 62 LAs having "set their minimum funding guarantee at 0.5% or above, meaning all schools in that area will gain in cash terms compared to 2017-18". It goes on to say that "in light of this significant progressin the first year of the NFF... local authorities will continue to determine local formulae in 2020-21". That's to say that since LAs are moving towards the NFF anyway, we may as well delay its introduction.
The block funding also influences how much academies receive.
2018-19 saw the introduction of the national funding formula (NFF). This reform means that for the first time, school funding is being distributed according to a formula based on the individual needs and characteristics of every school in the country. In order to provide stability for schools during the transition to the NFF, we have previously confirmed that local authorities continue to be responsible for distributing money between schools in their area in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Detailed information about the NFF can be found in the national funding formula for schools and high needs: executive summary, which was published in September 2017.
For 2018-19, each local authorities’ schools block DSG allocation was calculated based on the notional NFF allocations for schools in their area. Local authorities then set their own funding formula in order to distribute their schools block allocation. This document provides an overview of the 2018-19 formula factor values chosen by local authorities as at 23 March 2018. For 2018-19, schools are funded using a maximum of 14 clearly defined factors.
The data in this document shows that many authorities have moved towards the values in the NFF when setting their 2018-19 funding formula. When allowing for the area cost adjustments (ACA)1 which are applied to each of the factors in the NFF it shows, 73 LAs have moved every one of their factor values in their local formulae closer to the NFF, with 41 mirroring the NFF factor values almost exactly. Sixty two LAs have set their minimum funding guarantee at 0.5% or above, meaning all schools in that area will gain in cash terms compared to 2017-18, and 112 LAs have brought in a minimum per pupil funding factor, mirroring its introduction in the NFF. In light of this significant progress in the first year of the NFF, and to continue to support a smooth transition , local authorities will continue to determine local formulae in 2020-21.
This document provides charts and brief commentary on the ranges of unit funding amounts authorities have selected in 2018-19, and the proportions of schools block funding distributed under each of the permitted factors.