School budget: expenditure on staffing

Get advice on which staffing costs you should include in your calculations and what percentage of your budget should be spent on staffing.

Last reviewed on 6 February 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 13244
  1. How to calculate your staffing costs
  2. Work out staffing costs as a percentage of your total budget
  3. There's no one size fits all approach – especially with the SLT

How to calculate your staffing costs

There’s no standard method for calculating expenditure on staffing. It’s up to schools to decide which costs to include in this figure, although local authorities (LAs) may have requirements or advice for their schools. 

What to include

When calculating this figure, only include direct employee costs for staff employed directly by your school. Costs will include:

  • Salaries and allowances
  • Pension contributions
  • National Insurance contributions

Remember, salaries are not just the basic amount awarded. Make sure you’re accounting for all on-costs and additional costs, including:

  • Pay awards
  • National Insurance
  • Superannuation (pension)
  • Increments
  • Pay protection
  • Special or extra allowances, for example planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) cover
  • Maternity cover
  • Secondments
  • Overtime

What not to include

It’s also best to keep costs for short-term agency or supply staff (who