Full national funding formula roll-out delayed until 2021

The government’s new national funding formula will not be rolled out fully until 2021 after ministers delayed its implementation by a year to “support a smooth transition”.

The news was buried in analysis of local authorities’ schools block funding formulae, published this evening.

The national funding formula officially came into being last September, aimed at addressing historic disparities in funding between local areas.

Officials initially introduced a transition period of two years, in which councils are to continue to allocate funding based on local formulae. The intention was that the full national formula would be rolled out from September 2020.

However, in the document released today, the government confirmed that LAs will get an extra year to set their own funding.

The move has been made after 73 of the 152 council areas moved their funding plans “closer” to what is proposed nationally this year. A further 41 councils have brought in funding settlements “mirroring the NFF factor values almost exactly”.

Many of the councils have also allocated minimum cash-terms funding increases or minimum per-pupil funding rates in line with what was announced by the government last year.

“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,” the government said.