Funding allocation for the academic year 2014 to 2015: minimum funding levels I am writing to tell you about the funding arrangements for schools which convert to academy status between 1 August 2014 and 31March 2015 and which are also included in the 69 local authorities whose per pupil school funding will rise in 2015 to 2016. As your school [converted to academy status after 1 August 2014]/[is planning to convert to academy status before 31 March 2015] and is in one of these authorities, it may be affected.
The Department for Education (DfE) announced on 17 July 2014 that in 2015 to 2016 we would increase per pupil schools funding in 69 of the least fairly funded local authorities. Schools will receive any resulting increase in their funding at the start of their funding year – April 2015 for maintained schools and September 2015 for academies. Full details are in chapter one of Fairer Schools Funding: Arrangements for 2015 to 2016, with the list of the 69 local authorities whose per pupil funding will increase in 2015 to 2016 included in annex B.
An important principle of the academies programme is that schools should not have a financial incentive either to convert or not to convert to academy status. The size of the possible increases for some schools’ funding (as a result of the funding increase for their local authorities) means that they might have an incentive not to convert to academy status between now and the end of March 2015. The schools would then receive an increase in funding in April 2015 as a maintained school, rather than waiting until September 2015 as an academy.
To remove this financial incentive to delay conversion, schools which convert to academy status between 1 August 2014 and 31 March 2015 and which are in one of the 69 local authorities with increased funding will receive a one-off exceptional payment. This will reflect the difference between the funding the school would have received for April to August 2015 if it were still a maintained school on 1 April 2015 and the amount it will receive as an academy for April to August 2015.
It is important to note that there is no guarantee of any institution seeing an increase in their funding for 2015 to 2016 as a result of the additional funding paid to their local authority. The level of increase, if any, will depend on how the local authority, working with the local schools forum, agrees to distribute the funding. For example, it might be used to increase the rate in a funding factor for which all schools might not be eligible.
We will contact you again with details of how we will calculate and make the payment. In the meantime if you have any questions, please contact the Academies Enquiry Servicequoting ‘Academy 2014 to 2015 funding – MFL exceptional payment’ and including the name of your school/academy.