Schools financial efficiency: financial benchmarking
Information about school and academy financial benchmarking.
The Department for Education’s (DfE) review of efficiency in the school system in 2013 set out to discover what the best schools do to make the most of their money and how to apply what they do to the sector as a whole. The review recognised financial benchmarking as a key tool in the drive for greater efficiency in schools.
Benchmarking provides information to help schools consider how they use their resources. It aims to encourage school leaders to make informed financial decisions. It can also prompt school leaders to seek information and advice from similar schools.
Schools benchmarking report card
DfE sent individual benchmarking report cards to all schools by email in January 2016. The report card provides highlights of schools’ key financial and performance data compared with a small number of statistical neighbours.
DfE has selected similar schools on the basis of pupil deprivation and special educational needs (SEN) indicators.
You can view a sample benchmarking report card (PDF, 46.1KB, 3 pages) .
The examples and comparisons in the report card aim to help. They do not provide a measure of school efficiency. There may be good reasons why what a school spends in a particular area is greater than that of a similar school. However, benchmarking may lead schools to consider some areas where they are able to improve their efficiency.
You can benchmark your school against any schools you like by using the schools financial benchmarking websites (links below). Schools may also find it useful to contact comparator schools and share best practice.
If you are a school governor or academy trustee, please ask your school for a copy of its benchmarking report card.
If your school has not received a benchmarking report card, please let DfE know.
If you have any feedback about your school’s benchmarking report card or ideas about how DfE could improve it, please let us know by completing this short online questionnaire.
Financial benchmarking websites
DfE also provides academy and maintained schools with online benchmarking tools. These bring together key spending and performance data to allow schools to make their own comparisons with other similar schools.
You can use online benchmarking tools to prepare reports that compare your school’s income and expenditure profile with that of similar schools. You can use a range of factors such as size, type, percentage of SEN pupils or pupils with English as an additional language.
Schools financial benchmarking website
You can view the schools financial benchmarking website for maintained schools.
Financial benchmarking website for academies
The financial benchmarking website for academies contains information about academies that have been open for more than 12 months provided by the annual academies accounts return.
Financial benchmarking demonstration
You can watch a demonstration of the department’s financial benchmarking for maintained schools and academies and how you can generate your own benchmarking reports.
Questions, comments or suggestions?
We’d like to hear from you if you have any questions, comments or suggestions about this page or any of the schools financial efficiency content. This includes how we can improve the content and what other materials you would find helpful.
If you are an academy, local authority or post-16 provider, please use the EFA enquiry form. Please include schools financial efficiency in the subject title.
For all other institutions, including maintained schools, please use the DfE enquiry form Please include schools financial efficiency in the subject title.