This page outlines the revenue funding for mainstream and 16-19 Free Schools. It also sets out the principles of Free Schools funding, and how revenue funding is calculated. It does not cover the funding for special Free Schools or alternative provision Free Schools. More information on funding for these types of schools will follow shortly.

Principle of funding

The core principle is that Free Schools are funded on the basis of equivalence with the funding of maintained schools and Academies in the same local authority area.

How is annual Free School revenue funding calculated?

The annual revenue funding for Free Schools will be based on the average funding received by maintained schools and academies in the same local authority, using a simple and transparent formula. The key elements of funding are:

  • a basic local funding unit for each pupil attending the school
  • an additional local funding unit for each pupil attending the school who qualifies for free school meals
  • the national pupil premium for each pupil attending the school who qualifies for free school meals
  • a grant which compensates for the services that maintained schools receive free of charge from their local authority (known as local authority central spend equivalent grant or LACSEG)
  • funding for sixth-form pupils, for Free Schools providing post-16 education
  • a fixed sum of £95,000 for each primary or all-through school
  • a grant to cover the cost of insurance
  • additional funding, from the local authority, for pupils with statements of special educational needs.

Ready Reckoner

A revised ready reckoner tool for 2012/13 is now available that will allow open mainstream Free Schools, and those preparing to open in September 2012, to work out an indicative funding allocation. The ready reckoner uses the same rates for the basic per pupil funding as 2011/12, but will use the updated local authority central spend equivalent grant (LACSEG) figures common to all academies. You can link to further information on how these rates will be calculated from the 'Articles' section of this page. A ready reckoner tool for 16-19 funding for 2012/13 is also available.

A guide to Free School revenue funding 2012/13 is available in the 'Associated resources' section of this page.