The Department for Education (DfE) has published Education services grant 2015 to 2016. The Education Services Grant (ESG) is paid to Local Authorities and to Academies to fund education support services (e.g. welfare services) which local authorities provide centrally to maintained schools but for the most part academies must secure independently.

In June 2013, the Chancellor announced a £200 million reduction in ESG in 2015-16; DfE consulted in March this year on how this reduction could be achieved. See Related briefing.

The ESG general funding rate will be £87 per pupil. That is a reduction of 23% from the £113 paid in 2014-15. The multipliers for Pupil Referral Units and Special Schools will remain at 3.75 and 4.25 respectively. The ‘retained duty’ rate of ESG which is paid to local authorities for the duties they retain for all pupils including those attending Academies will remain at £15 per pupil.

Academies will receive the same reduced general funding rate and multipliers for special and alternative provision academies. In previous years they received a ‘top up’ to their ESG (£27 per pupil) as a transitional measure to limited any losses when ESG was established from the previous grant regime. This will not be paid in 2015-16. But they will protected from sharp falls in the total budgets so that most will lose no more than 1.5% of their total budget through these changes; though some will lose up to 3%.

DfE received a considerable number of representations to the consultation concerning the provision of music services to schools. In tandem, DfE has announced an £18m increase in 2015-16 for music education programmes.

This briefing will be of particular interest to cabinet portfolio members and senior offices with responsibilities for children’s services and education generally and those with specific responsibility for finance.

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