Information for local authorities, schools and the general public about local authority education funding and expenditure plans for 2017 to 2018.
Section 251 is part of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 that requires local authorities to submit statements about their planned and actual expenditure on education and children’s social care.
Local authorities 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 local authorities
Local authorities must submit their budget statements by 31 March 2017.
Local authorities 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 2017 to 2018 (PDF, 662KB, 69 pages) explains how local authorities record their budget statements.
Budget statements should be submitted in the S251 budget tables 2017 to 2018 (ODS, 53.2KB) using COLLECT; DfE’s data collection and management system for education.
S251 budget mapping 2017 to 2018 (ODS, 16.8KB) shows the key changes that have been made to the tables from the previous year.
S251 COLLECT instructions are available.
The Administrative direction (PDF, 301KB, 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 local authority funding and expenditure plans. They’re intended to give detailed information on each local authority’s planned expenditure on their education and children’s social care functions in a form that allows benchmarking.
This is a summary of the section 251 schools budget data at a national level, split by sector and budget line.
This file is in an OpenDocument format
This is a detailed view of the section 251 schools budget data submitted by local authorities, split by local authority and budget line.
This is a detailed view of the section 251 high needs and alternative provision data submitted by local authorities, split by local authority and budget line.
This file is in an OpenDocument format
This is a detailed view of the section 251 early years data submitted by local authorities, split by local authority and budget line.
MS Excel Spreadsheet, 4.9MB
This is a detailed view of the section 251 data split into individual local authority tables
Section 251 benchmarking data
The benchmarking tables of planned expenditure are drawn from the published Section 251 budget statements for the 2017 to 2018 financial year and are primarily aimed at schools forums and local authorities.
The following tables give detailed information on each local authority’s planned expenditure on education in a form which enables comparison between local authorities:
Section 251 local authority table (net) information: per capita (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 2.37MB) shows section 251 net budget data on a per capita (per pupil or per head of population) basis, to enable easy comparison between local authorities
Section 251 local authority table (gross) information: per capita (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 2.37MB) shows section 251 gross budget data on a per capita (per pupil or per head of population) basis, to enable easy comparison between local authorities
Pupil numbers 2017 to 2018 (ODS, 18.7KB) shows the pupil and population numbers used to calculate the “per capita” figures used in the other tables
Changes in local authority planned expenditure between 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 720KB) shows year on year change in selected items of planned spending to enable easy comparison across financial years
Local authority benchmarking tables 2017 to 2018: additional information (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 679KB) 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: 2017 to 2018: explanatory note (ODT, 64.4KB) and Local authority planned expenditure benchmarking tables: 2017 to 2018: additional information (ODT, 39.1KB) provide information on how to use the local authority benchmarking data.