High Needs Funding in 2017-18 – Government Annoucement
The Government has announced arrangements for school and high needs funding in 2017-18. The announcement<https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/schools-funding> confirms the Government’s commitment to introduce fairer funding, and the need to do so at a manageable pace following careful consultation. In that context the government will not be making any significant changes for the coming year and arrangements will remain broadly the same.
In 2017-18 no local authority will receive less funding on their schools and high needs blocks than they did in 2016-17 (adjusted to reflect updated baselines), and the minimum funding guarantee for schools will remain at -1.5%. DfE will not ring-fence the schools block, or create a central schools block. The government has published tables to show local authorities’ funding levels in 2017-18 <https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/schools-funding-arrangements-2017-to-2018>, and, as usual, will finalise allocations in December, based on data from the October census, and provide an uplift to the high needs block. Operational guidance on schools funding for 2017-18 will be published today, and on high needs funding in September.
A full consultation on the next stage of proposals for a national funding formula will be launched after Parliament returns in the autumn, and the new system will apply from 2018-19.
You will also wish to be aware of a recent update to Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs) and high needs funding for 2016 to 2017 academic year. LDAs will cease to have any statutory basis in September 2016. In order to avoid any disruption to 19-25 year old students who have a LDA and are currently funded as high needs students, however, a High needs funding: operational guide 2016 to 2017<https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-needs-funding-arrangements-2016-to-2017/high-needs-funding-2016-to-2017> has been updated to describe the specific circumstances where they will continue to be eligible for high needs funding.