Section 251: 2016 to 2017
Information for local authorities (LAs), schools and the general public about LA education funding and expenditure plans for 2016 to 2017
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 must submit their budget statements by 31 March 2016.
LAs record their total dedicated schools grant (DSG) planned expenditure and other non-statutory spending. They must provide details of planned expenditure for their schools, including spending on early years, high needs and post-16. They must also provide details of their children and young people’s services budget.
The S251 budget guide for local authorities 2016 to 2017 (PDF, 605KB, 53 pages) explains how LAs record their budget statements.
Budget statements should be submitted in the S251 budget tables 2016 to 2017 (ODS, 41.8KB) using COLLECT; DfE’s data collection and management system for education.
S251 COLLECT instructions (PDF, 1.69MB, 25 pages) are also provided.
The Administrative direction (PDF, 155KB, 2 pages) is a formal request for the collection of section 251 data. It is 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.
MS Excel Spreadsheet, 31.8KB
This is a summary of the section 251 budget data at a national level, split by sector and budget line.
MS Excel Spreadsheet, 918KB
This is a detailed view of the section 251 schools budget data submitted by LAs, split by LA and budget line.
MS Excel Spreadsheet, 72.4KB
This is a detailed view of the section 251 high needs and alternative provision data submitted by LAs, split by LA and budget line
MS Excel Spreadsheet, 224KB
This is a detailed view of the section 251 early years data submitted by LAs, split by LA and budget line.
MS Excel Spreadsheet, 4.05MB
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 2016 to 2017 financial year and are primarily aimed at schools forums and LAs.
The following tables give detailed information on each LA’s planned expenditure on education in a form which enables comparison between LAs:
MS Excel Spreadsheet, 2.22MB
This shows section 251 net budget data on a per capita (per pupil per head of population) basis, to enable easy comparison between LAs
MS Excel Spreadsheet, 2.23MB
This shows section 251 gross budget data on a per capita (per pupil or per head of population) basis, to enable easy comparison between LAs
MS Excel Spreadsheet, 22.7KB
This shows the pupil and population numbers used to calculate the per capita figures used in the other tables
MS Excel Spreadsheet, 588KB
This shows year on year change in selected items of planned spending, to enable easy comparison across financial years
MS Excel Spreadsheet, 563KB
This shows additional information on planned expenditure, including dedicated schools grant allocations and the percentages of schools with minimum funding guarantee
Local authority planned expenditure benchmarking tables: 2016 to 2017 - additional information (PDF, 106KB, 3 pages) and Local authority planned expenditure benchmarking tables: 2016 to 2017 financial year - explanatory note (PDF, 205KB, 12 pages) provide information on how to use the LA benchmarking data
If you have any questions or need further information about section 251, please contact:
Contact form https://form.education...
For schools, local authorities, other education institutions and providers, accountants, auditors and other professional advisers with queries for the Education Funding Agency
Published: 29 February 2016
Updated: 1 December 2016
- Updated page to include the pupil number table and the changes in local authority planned expenditure table.
- The benchmarking tables have been re-issued to correct a misalignment of data columns in the original release affecting columns 3.1.1 to 3.1.11.
- Updated with budget and benchmarking data for 2016 to 2017.
- A minor update has been added to the Section 251 financial data collection 2016 to 2017 document.
- First published.