Financial support for schools
We support schools and budget managers in setting their budgets according to the priorities included in the school and children and young people’s plans.
We work to promote best financial practice and aim to ensure that schools and budget managers implement best value guidelines when procuring services.
Tower Hamlets is required under section 251 previously know as section 52) of the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998 to prepare an annual Section 251 (previously know as section 52) Budget Statement.
Regulatory provisions directly affecting the education content of these budget statements are also made in the School Finance (England) Regulations 2010.
It is a statutory duty that Local Authorities (LA) must publish their budget statements as and when prescribed by the section 251 and section 230 regulations. The size of the schools budget (ISB), and the amounts to be allocated to each factor depend on budget decisions taken by the LA before the prescribed period, so budget statements are the means of informing schools and the public in general about the funding plans of the LA.
The copy of the statement that schools receive for that period is intended to provide a clear picture of the authority's planned spending:
- how much the LA intends to spend on the LA budget outside the SB
- how much the LA is proposing to retain centrally within the SB for school services
- how the local formula is working to produce budget shares for each school in the LA's area.
It is important that school forums and others can compare funding and methodology between different LAs, so as to inform debate about budget levels and such issues as the balance of funding between nursery, primary, secondary and special schools. It is therefore essential that all statements are prepared to a common format.
The Section 251 Budget statement 2013-14
Section 251 Outturn statement 2012-13
Tower Hamlets is required under section 251 of the schools standards and framework Act 1998 to prepare an annual section 251 budget statement before the beginning of the financial year. After the end of that financial year they are required to prepare an outturn statement. Separate regulations and guidance apply to budget statements.
Regulatory provisions directly affecting the content of the section 251 outturn statements are also made in the school finance (England) regulations 2008.
The statement is intended to:
- provide schools, parents and others with an interest in education with details about schools and LEA funding and expenditure
- provide data for the Departmental Annual Report (DAR)
- inform policy making
- inform the treasury for monitoring purposes
- inform parliament in its role of monitoring the department’s accountability for public funds. MPs ask about school and authority expenditure via the mechanisms of parliamentary questions or through the education select committee.
It is important that schools forums and others have finance data available to them to inform debate about differing levels of expenditure between LEAs and between schools. It is therefore essential that all statements are prepared to a common format.
2012-13 Section 251 outturn statements comprises of three parts:
Table A: Spending by schools and LA information
- the first part of this Table is the ‘Spending by Schools’ section
- the second part is the ‘Spending by LA within the Schools Budget
- the third part is the section for LA central functions
- the fourth part is the Youth and Community element of the table.
Table A1: Expenditure on Children’s and Young People’s Services
Table B: School Level information
- provides a summary of individual schools’ expenditure in respect of the 2012-13 financial year.
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