Compare your school's budget: financial benchmarking

Benchmarking allows you to check how your school’s finances compare with other similar schools.

You can compare your school’s budget with other schools in similar circumstances (benchmarking), to see if spending could be more efficient.

You can:

  • identify schools that are similar to yours, or with similar challenges
  • compare your school’s spending with similar schools
  • compare your school’s performance and staffing structures with similar schools
  • find contact details for schools

Benchmarking helps you plan

For school budgets, there are 4 main cost areas:

  • teachers
  • other staff
  • supplies and services
  • buildings and land

Benchmarking helps you:

  • look at spend in these areas overall, as well as sub-categories of spend
  • compare your spend with other similar schools
  • inform your school development process

Benchmarking helps you make changes

Benchmarking helps you to consider how to use your resources to support high-quality teaching and the best education outcomes for your pupils.

Benchmarking helps you to connect with other schools to discuss challenges and successes. This can help you consider whether:

  • your resource allocations are working for you
  • you can improve outcomes by doing things differently

Limitations of benchmarking

Benchmarking is only a guide. Some schools may find themselves at the lower or upper extremes of the data. You should consider other things you know about your school when assessing the data.

To share more data, you can join a benchmarking group through your school, local authority or school business managers’ network.

Published 12 January 2016
Last updated 13 July 2017 + show all updates
  1. Added link to new schools financial benchmarking service.
  2. Updated to add sample benchmarking report card.
  3. First published.