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Section 251: 2021 to 2022

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Section 251 is part of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009.

Local authorities submit statements of planned and actual expenditure on education and children’s social care.

The Department for Education uses the data for publishing statistics, constructing benchmarking tables, answering parliamentary questions and responding to other data requests.

Comparing information is important for schools forums and others in discussions about budget levels and use of funds.

Section 251 budget guidance

Read the section 251 budget guidance to find out how local authorities record their budget statements.

Use the section 251 XML generator to provide details of actual expenditure for your schools.

The administrative direction is a formal request for the collection of section 251 data. It’s prepared on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education.

Budget data

The section 251 budget statements are the primary means of informing schools and the public about local authority spending plans.

The budget data is published on Explore education statistics, the Department for Education’s official statistics dissemination platform.

You can download all of the underlying data used in the publication in the ‘explore data and files’ section, by selecting ‘download all files’.

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You can download individual files by selecting ‘Browse data files’.

Benchmarking data

The benchmarking tables of planned expenditure are drawn from the published section 251 budget statements for the 2021 to 2022 financial year and are primarily aimed at schools forums and local authorities.

The following tables give detailed information on each local authority’s planned expenditure on education in a form which enables comparison between local authorities.

Section 251 local authority table (net) information: per capita (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 2.91MB) shows section 251 net budget data on a per capita (per pupil or per head of population) basis, to enable easy comparison between local authorities

Section 251 local authority table (gross) information: per capita (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 2.92MB) shows section 251 gross budget data on a per capita (per pupil or per head of population) basis, to enable easy comparison between local authorities

Section 251 Pupil numbers 2021 to 2022 (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 26KB) shows the pupil and population numbers used to calculate the “per capita” figures used in the other tables

Changes in local authority planned expenditure between 2019 to 2020 and 2021 to 2022 (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 724KB) shows year on year changes in selected items of planned spending to enable easy comparison across financial years

Section 251 local authority benchmarking tables 2021-22 – additional information table (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 738KB) shows additional information on planned expenditure, including dedicated schools grant allocations and the percentages of schools with minimum funding guarantee

Local authority planned expenditure (section 251 budget) benchmarking tables: 2021 to 2022 financial year – explanatory note (HTML) and Local authority planned expenditure benchmarking tables 2021 to 2022: additional information (HTML) provide information on how to use the local authority benchmarking data.

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