LA and school expenditure: 2018 to 2019 financial year

The Department for Education have released a report detailing the LA and school expenditure for the 2018 to 2019 financial year

The main findings of the report include:

  • Spending on children and young people’s services, and other education and community, has increased. School expenditure continues to account for over two-thirds of expenditure.
  • Total spend on education, children’s and young people’s services has increased for the first time in recent years. The number of maintained schools continues to decrease.
  • The percentage of maintained schools in deficit decreased, and the percentage in surplus increased, for the first time in recent years; for both primary and secondary schools.

Children’s and Young People’s Services

Between 2017-18 and 2018-19, local authority expenditure has increased for children looked after (+9.0%), safeguarding children’s and young people’s services (+4.0%), family support services (+6.1%), youth justice (+1.3%) and other children and family services (+18.1%). Expenditure has decreased for Sure Start centres and under 5s provision (-11.0%) and services for young people (-4.3%)

School income and expenditure

The total self-generated income of maintained schools was £1.6bn, of which £1.1bn (67%) was generated by primary schools and £0.3bn (20%) was generated by secondary schools, with the remaining £0.2bn (13%) generated by special schools, nursery schools and PRUs. The gross expenditure of maintained schools has decreased every year since 2011-12 driven primarily by academisation of LA maintained schools.

Of gross expenditure, £10.9bn (46%) was spent on permanent and supply teaching staff, £4.3bn (18%) on education support staff; £2.8bn (12%) on other employee costs; and £5.8bn (24%) on running expenses. Education support staff include teaching assistants, who are more widely employed in primary schools.

School revenue balances

In 2018-19, the total revenue balance across all local authority maintained schools was £1.5bn, a decrease of £19m since 2017-18. This amounts to 6.5% of local authority maintained schools’ total revenue income, and equates to an average revenue balance of £111,000 in each local authority maintained school. The percentage of schools with a surplus has increased from 88.6% in 2017-18 to 89.4% in 2018-19. The percentage of schools with a deficit has decreased from 10.2% in 2017-18 to 9.9% in 2018-19, however the average deficit per school in deficit has increased.

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