Statutory guidance

Schemes for financing schools

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

Applies to England



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.

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Updates to this page

Published 26 March 2013
Last updated 28 March 2024 + show all updates
  1. We have updated the schemes for financing schools for the 2024 to 2025 financial year. In particular, we have updated section 5.8: Borrowing by schools - where we have updated guidance on borrowing to reflect the introduction of International Financial Reporting Standard 16 (IFRS16). The introduction of IFRS16 for local authorities from 1 April 2024 ends the distinction between operating and finance leases at maintained schools and in effect, all leases will be classified as finance leases for accounting purposes.

  2. We've updated the scheme for financing schools for the 2023 to 2024 financial year.

  3. We've updated the scheme for financing schools for the 2022 to 2023 financial year.

  4. We have updated the schemes for financing schools document.

  5. We have updated the guidance to include changes following the publication of the 'Financial transparency of LA maintained schools and academy trusts' consultation response. The scheme now includes the provision for schools to submit a 3-year budget forecast each year, and a recovery plan if their deficit rises above 5%.

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

  7. New version of 'schemes for financing schools' added.

  8. 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.

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

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

  11. Updated guidance document.

  12. First published.

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