Budget planning: how-to and templates

Get to grips with your budget planning. Use our template 5-year budget plan spreadsheets to help you model a range of scenarios and then cost your chosen one in detail.

Last reviewed on 7 February 2024See updates
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  1. Think at least 3 years ahead
  2. How to forecast your budget effectively
  3. Know your income
  4. Calculate your expenditure
  5. Download our budget projection and planning spreadsheets

Think at least 3 years ahead

Maintained schools 

In addition to submitting your annual budget to your local authority (LA), you'll also need to submit a separate 3-year budget forecast (as explained in section 4.3 of the DfE's guidance on schemes for financing local authority maintained schools).

Check with your LA to find out:

  • When you have to submit your annual budget. It should be between 1 May and 30 June, but your LA might expect to see a provisional plan earlier than this
  • When you have to submit your 3-year budget forecast (this should also be between 1 May and 30 June)

You should also check and agree with your LA:

You also have to submit your Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS), confirming that you have a well-informed and balanced 3-year budget (see question 9