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Kent County Council Briefing on Funding of Academy and Maintained Schools

October 16, 2014 12:49 PM
By Keith Abbott, Director, School Resources, Kent County Council

As a School Governor, I received a useful briefing this morning from Kent County Council about the funding that Kent schools receive as either a maintained school or academy.

Very often, an argument that is made for converting a school to Academy status is the additional funding it brings: as this briefing now shows, that is increasingly not the case.

The briefing from Keith Abbott, Director of School Resources, Kent County Council said:

"A number of schools have queried the level of 'top slice' and the amount of additional funding a school receives when it converts [to an Academy]. We are aware of some Trusts publishing inaccurate information on their websites. In fact the whole 'top slice' mechanism was scrapped by the DfE in March 2013, and no longer exists.

"The position since April 2013 is much clearer. When a school converts its annual revenue budget will comprise of two elements:

  • Its formula budget as per the KCC formula. This does not change and remains the same for a school regardless of whether it is maintained or academy.
  • Additional funding via the Education Support Grant (ESG) which in 2014/15 is £140 per pupil. This rate is set nationally by the DfE and will fall to £87 in 2015/16.

"The ESG funding which academies receive direct from Government must cover:

  • Redundancy/early retirement costs
  • Maternity cover funding (additional costs)
  • School improvement activity
  • Statutory and regulatory returns/responsibilities/additional costs of administration
  • Pupil support
  • Education Welfare Service
  • Asset management
  • Music services
  • Outdoor Education
  • Monitoring national curriculum assessment

"This means, for example, that on top of its existing formula budget a 1FE [One Form Entry] academy will receive an additional ESG funding of £18k to meet these costs. The LA continues to cover these costs for maintained schools from its ESG allocation."