Local authorities (LAs) are required under section 251 of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 to prepare and submit annually to the Secretary of State separate budget and outturn statements about their planned and actual expenditure for their education and children's social care functions.
Purpose of financial statements
The statements are the primary means of informing schools and the public in general about LA funding and expenditure plans. The statements are intended to give information of each LA's planned expenditure on their education and children's social care functions in a form which allows benchmarking, by schools forums and authorities.
The budget statement for the forthcoming year is intended to provide a clear picture of the authority's planned spending:
- How much of the whole education budget the LEA intends to spend on items outside the Schools Budget;
- How much the LEA is proposing to retain centrally within the Schools Budget for school services;
- How the formula is working to produce budget shares for each school in the LEA's area.
The outturn statement at the end of the year is intended to provide schools, parents and others with an interest in education, with details about school and LEA 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.
It is important that schools and others can compare funding and methodology between different LEAs, so as to inform debate about budget and expenditure levels and such issues as the balance of funding between primary and secondary schools. It is therefore essential that all statements are prepared to a common format.
As of 2013-14 the outturn statements do not have individual schools spend information. This is now published by the Department of Education as part of the schools' performance tables.
S251 2019/20 outturn statement
Should you have any questions about the above information please contact the Head of Children, Schools and Families Finance, by telephoning 020 8545 4129.