Common funding scheme documents including budgets for schools, the legislative basis for the scheme, and the Independent review of the scheme (2012)

Common funding scheme

Under the provisions of the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 2003, a Common Funding Scheme (Scheme) has been drawn up to apply to all grant-aided schools funded under the Local Management of Schools (LMS) arrangements.

From 1st April 2005, all grant-aided schools have been funded under the common funding formula arrangements set out in the Common Funding Scheme.

Scheme documents are available to view for the following financial years:

Budgets for schools

The Education Authority as funding authority for schools issues formal budget notification letters to schools to confirm details of their budget shares each year.

The following publications provide summary totals of the indicative delegated budget allocations for all grant-aided schools for each of the respective years calculated under the Common Funding Formula (CFF) arrangements.


The basis for Local Management of Schools (LMS), with delegated responsibilities and delegated budgets, is the Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (Part V as amended by the 2003 Order).

As a result of the exit from the European Union, a change is required to the definitions applied to a small number of fee-paying pupils in post-primary Boarding departments of certain Voluntary Grammar Schools.  The proposed changes are subject to necessary amendments being made to the Education Reform (Norther Ireland) Order 1989).  

Further information on the proposed changes can be accessed below:
Changes to the Fee-paying arrangements for students in post-primary Boarding Departments of certain Voluntary Grammar Schools 

The Common Funding Scheme (CFS) did not alter the principles of LMS, but established a single system for the funding of all grant-aided schools on a consistent and equitable basis, irrespective of location or sector, and was first implemented in April 2005.

Independent review of the common funding scheme

In June 2012, Education Minister, John O’Dowd MLA, appointed an independent panel, chaired by Sir Robert Salisbury, to review the Common Funding Scheme which determines how funds are allocated to schools.

Launch of the review

The panel was asked to examine if the Scheme was fit for purpose, sufficiently targeted social need and was consistent with, and supported, the Department of Education’s policy objectives.

The review panel submitted its findings and recommendations to the Minister for Education in January 2013. The report, including the original terms of reference, can be accessed using the link below.

Way forward

The Minister took time to consider the recommendations in the report and set out his position on the proposed way forward for the Common Funding Scheme in a statement to the Assembly on 11 June 2013. 

The Department of Education’s formal response to each of the 29 recommendations in the report is available below.

Consultation on the proposed changes

A consultation on the proposed changes to the Common Funding Scheme ended on 25th October 2013. For more information on the consultation and associated documentation, please use the link below:-

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