Statutory guidance for local authorities on producing and amending school financing schemes.


Schemes for financing local authority maintained schools



This statutory guidance is for local authorities.

Local authorities are required to publish schemes for financing schools, setting out the financial relationship between them and the schools they maintain.

This guidance explains the provisions a scheme must include.

Statutory guidance sets out what local authorities must do to comply with the law.

We have updated the statutory guidance on schemes for financing local authority maintained schools for the 2020 to 2021 financial year.

In the context of coronavirus (COVID-19), changes have been kept to a minimum. However, the update includes the extension of the risk protection arrangement (RPA), an alternative to commercial insurance for academies, to local authority maintained schools from 1 April 2020. This was confirmed in January.

We wanted to inform you that we have delayed the publication of the Financial transparency of LA maintained schools and academy trusts consultation response due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so there are no changes in the scheme relating to this. We will provide more information on the publication in due course.

Likewise, there are no changes relating to financing and operating leases (IFRS16) that were due to come into effect on the 1st April 2020. This has been delayed for a year, also because of the pandemic.

During this unprecedented time we would fully expect local authorities to exercise discretion on how and when they implement some of the usual requirements within their scheme for financing schools. Examples for such use of discretion are deadlines set out in the scheme such as the completion of the schools financial value standard (SFVS) for the financial year 2019 to 2020, and the submission by schools of budgets for the 2020 to 2021 financial year which is normally set for the end of May. In making such decisions, local authorities should take full account of the current pressures on themselves and their schools.

We thank all local authorities for their continued hard work to support the country and keep people safe during this pandemic.

Please read further guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]

Published 26 March 2013
Last updated 1 April 2020 + show all updates

  1. We have updated the schemes for financing schools guidance for the 2020 to 2021 financial year.

  2. New version of ‘schemes for financing schools’ added.

  3. Updated sections 4.8, 4.10 and Annex B following changes to legislation about balances of closing schools, redundancy and early retirement costs and a directed revision to loan schemes.

  4. Updated to include admissions appeals in the list of services local authorities can charge maintained schools for.

  5. Updated document to directed revisions concerning the publication of a register of governors’ business interests and the categorisation of finance leases.

  6. Updated guidance document.

  7. First published.