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Warrington schools are funded principally through the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). This is an annual allocation provided by the Department for Education (DfE) through its funding arm, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), and covers all education activities. The funding operates on a financial year basis i.e April to March.
The total DSG is split into four separate blocks, a schools block which is intended to fund individual school budgets, an early years block which funds pre-school education in all settings (including the private, voluntary and independent sectors), a high needs block which funds special schools and all non-mainstream educational functions (including top ups to schools/Academies for individual pupils with additional or special educational requirements), and a small block for central services. The schools block and early years block funding are based upon student numbers, but the level of funding for each learner varies significantly from authority to authority. Although the DSG covers all schools, Academies receive their basic funding elements direct from the ESFA, so this amount is ‘recouped’, reducing the actual total received by Warrington BC.
The revised DSG allocation for Warrington is £105.87 million for 2019/20 (the corresponding figure for 2018/19 was £107.9m), after a recoupment of £60.9 m for Academy budgets (£55.4m in 2018/19)*. Warrington has traditionally been one of the lowest funded local authorities - its schools block unit of funding for primary schools is 2.7% below the national midpoint of funding, and 5.2% below the average (the equivalent figures are 4.6% and 8% for the secondary sector). Its early years block is also funded at the national minimum rate. Consequently, Warrington BC is a member of the f40 campaign group of LAs, which advocates a fairer national distribution of resources. You can learn more about the f40 group by visiting its website at The f40 campaign for fairer funding in education The current debate on fair funding has been largely driven by the issues highlighted by f40.
Individual school budgets are calculated by a local formula which reflects the National Funding Formula (this approach is not presently mandatory, although this is the longer-term ambition of the DfE), and the formula applies to all primary and secondary schools, irrespective of whether they are maintained or Academy status. Pupil places in special schools or other alternative provision are funded at a national level of £10,000, with individual agreed top-ups depending on specific need and setting. These top-ups are paid by the relevant commissioning body (in most cases, individual local authorities).
In addition to the DSG funding, a school receives Pupil Premium of £1,320 for each of its primary age free school meal-entitled students, £935 for those in the secondary sector, £300 for children in service families or £2,300 for students in care or adoption. There is funding for post-16 students at Green Lane and Fox Wood special schools, on a national learner standard rate.
*Figures correct as of March 2019