Guidance

Section 251: 2015 to 2016

Information for local authorities (LAs), schools and the general public about LA education funding and expenditure plans for 2015 to 2016.

Introduction

Section 251 is part of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 that requires local authorities (LAs) to submit statements about their planned and actual expenditure on education and children’s social care.

LAs submit their statements to the Secretary of State for Education. The Department for Education (DfE) uses the data for publishing statistics, constructing benchmarking tables, answering parliamentary questions and responding to other requests for data.

Comparing information supplied through Section 251 is also important for schools forums and others in their discussions about budget levels and use of funds.

Section 251 budget guidance for LAs

LAs were required to submit their budget statements by 31 March 2015.

The S251 budget guide for local authorities 2015 to 2016 (PDF, 598KB, 54 pages) explains how LAs record their total dedicated schools grant (DSG) planned expenditure and any other non-statutory DSG planned expenditure.

In the S251 budget tables 2015 to 2016 (ODS, 47.9KB) , LAs provide details of planned expenditure for their schools. This includes early years, high needs and post-16 providers. They also provide details of their children and young people’s services budget.

S251 budget mapping 2015 to 2016 (ODS, 17.8KB) shows the key changes that have been made to the tables from the previous year.

LAs submit their budget statements using COLLECT, DfE’s data collection and management system for education. S251 COLLECT instructions (PDF, 2.2MB, 28 pages) are also provided.

The Administrative direction (MS Word Document, 83.3KB) is the formal request prepared on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education.

Section 251 budget data

The section 251 budget data statements are the primary means of informing schools and the public in general about LA funding and expenditure plans. They are intended to give detailed information on each LAs planned expenditure on their education and children’s social care functions in a form that allows benchmarking, by schools forums and authorities.

Budget summary level: 2015 to 2016

This file is in an OpenDocument format

This is a summary of the section 251 schools budget data at a national level, split by sector and budget line.

This is a detailed view of the section 251 schools budget data submitted by local authorities, split by LA and budget line.

This is a detailed view of the section 251 high needs and alternative provision data submitted by local authorities, split by LA and budget line.

This is a detailed view of the section 251 early years data submitted by local authorities, split by LA and budget line.

This is a detailed view of the section 251 data split into individual LA tables.

Section 251 benchmarking data

The benchmarking tables of planned expenditure are drawn from the published Section 251 budget statements for the 2015-16 financial year and are primarily aimed at schools forums and local authorities (LAs).

The following tables give detailed information on each LA’s planned expenditure on education in a form which enables comparison between LAs:

Local authority planned expenditure benchmarking tables: 2015 to 2016 - Explanatory note (PDF, 291KB, 13 pages) and Local authority planned expenditure benchmarking tables: 2015-16 - additional information (PDF, 130KB, 4 pages) provide information on how to use the LA benchmark data.

Section 251 outturn guidance for LAs

LAs are required to submit their outturn statements by 25 August 2016.

The S251 outturn guide for local authorities 2015 to 2016 (PDF, 575KB, 43 pages) explains how LAs record their total dedicated schools grant (DSG) actual expenditure and any other non-statutory DSG actual expenditure.

In the S251 outturn tables 2015 to 2016 (ODS, 26.3KB) , LAs provide details of actual expenditure for their schools. This includes early years, high needs and post-16 providers. They also provide details of their children and young people’s services expenditure.

The Administrative direction (PDF, 161KB, 2 pages) is the formal request prepared on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education.

LAs submit their outturn statements using COLLECT, DfE’s data collection and management system for education. Instruction on how to submit returns are provided in the S251 Outturn 2015 to 2016 COLLECT Guide (PDF, 1.12MB, 14 pages) .

Section 251 outturn data

The outturn statements are the primary means of informing schools and the public in general about local authority (LA) funding and expenditure. This data is intended to give detailed information on each LA’s actual expenditure on their education and children and young people’s services functions in a form that allows benchmarking, by schools forums and authorities. The individual LA expenditure data workbook provides data for 152 local authorities in England detailing their expenditure for the financial year 2015 to 2016.

This is a summary of the section 251 outturn data at a national level, split by sector and outturn line.

S251 outturn 2015 to 2016: table A detailed data

This file is in an OpenDocument format

This is a detailed view of the section 251 outturn data submitted by LAs, split by LA and outturn line.

This is a detailed view of the section 251 children and young people’s outturn data submitted by LAs, split by LA and outturn line.

This is a detailed view of the section 251 data split into individual LA tables.

Contact EFA

If you have any questions or need further information about Section 251, please contact:

ESFA enquiries

For all enquiries for the Education and Skills Funding Agency

Published 13 March 2015
Last updated 22 December 2016 + show all updates
  1. Publication of the section 251 outturn data for the financial year 2015 to 2016.
  2. The S251 outturn 2015 to 2016 COLLECT guidance is now available.
  3. Updated to add Section 251 outturn guidance, sample tables and the administrative direction for 2015 to 2016.
  4. Updated with budget and benchmarking data for 2015 to 2016.
  5. First published.