Section 251: 2018 to 2019

Information for local authorities, schools and the general public about local authority education funding and expenditure plans for 2018 to 2019.


Section 251 (S251) is part of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009. Local authorities submit statements on 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 data requests.

Comparing information is important for schools forums and others in discussions about budget levels and use of funds.

S251 budget guidance for local authorities

Local authorities must submit their budget statements by 30 April 2018.

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 2018 to 2019 (ODT, 162KB) explains how local authorities record their budget statements.

We’ve published 2 videos relating to the section 251 budget:

Budget statements should be submitted in the S251 budget tables 2018 to 2019 (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 107KB) using COLLECT (DfE’s data collection and management system for education).

You can read our S251 COLLECT instructions for more information.

The administrative direction (MS Word Document, 69.1KB) is a formal request for the collection of S251 data. It’s prepared on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education.

Published 21 February 2018
Last updated 1 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. We've added the links to our 2 new videos relating to section 251 budget.
  2. First published.