The Review of the Common Funding Scheme (CFS) Project

The Review of the Common Funding Scheme (CFS) Project is a key project in delivering the outcomes of the Transformation Programme. The Department’s budget allocation for each school is distributed through the Common Funding Formula (CFF), which is the primary funding mechanism set out in the CFS.

Due to the constrained budget outcomes for education, the Aggregated School Budget (ASB) has not kept pace with pay and price pressures over the last decade, resulting in schools facing unprecedented financial pressures. In addition, the Department is in the process of undertaking a number of policy reviews and refreshes, including the Sustainable Schools Policy, Special Educational Needs, Newcomer Policy, Review of 14-19 provision, etc.  In this context, it is necessary to revisit how schools are funded and to update the CFF, as needed, with a view to ensuring that both the Formula and Scheme underpin and support DE Policy.

The Review of the CFS Project aims to provide a suite of evidence-based options/potential changes to the Scheme for consideration by an incoming Education Minister.  The Project seeks to review the current funding mechanisms and propose potential improvements to the CFS, as well as to other aspects of schools’ funding, including potential update to current CFF factors to reflect and support relevant DE policy changes; and increase the extent to which funding is targeted to where it is needed, within the current budgets.

The timescale for this project is short to medium term.  Any resulting changes to the CFS must align with DE Policy reviews, be informed by stakeholder engagement to inform co-designed options, and importantly, will be subject to wider formal consultation under the direction of an Education Minister.

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