Last reviewed 1 November 2021

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a consultation seeking views on proposals to reform how local authorities' school improvement functions are funded.

It points out that the local authority role in school improvement has changed significantly in recent years, with the growth of school-led approaches, such as Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs), putting school improvement in the hands of the strongest schools and school leaders.

Given these changes in the respective roles and responsibilities of different actors in the school system, it has decided to consult on these proposals, with full details available here. The deadline for submitting comments is 26 November 2021.

The proposals

The DfE has put forward two proposals in this document:

  • to remove the School Improvement Monitoring and Brokering Grant which is currently allocated to local authorities to support school improvement activities

  • to make provisions within the School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations for the financial year (FY) 2022–23 to allow local authorities to fund all of their school improvement activity (including all core school improvement activities) via de-delegation from schools’ budget shares.

“The current funding arrangements for council school improvement activity presume that there is a clear distinction between core improvement activities, for which the Grant is provided, and additional activity, which councils fund through de-delegation or as a traded service,” the DfE explains. “We believe this distinction no longer reflects the reality of how effective councils operate”.