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Last reviewed on 18 May 2017
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School types: All · School phases: All

What percentage of the budget should be spent on staffing? We relay advice from our associate experts on how much of the school budget should be spent on staff costs. We also answer some FAQs about budgeting for staff expenditure and point to financial benchmarking data.

Typical percentages

We spoke to a representative from the Department for Education (DfE), who explained that there is no statutory guidance on the percentage of the school budget that should be spent on salaries or other costs. It is up to each school to decide how its budget is spent.

Contact DfE, GOV.UK – DfE

Mainstream schools

In the absence of statutory guidance we contacted Martin Owen, one of our associate education experts who has extensive experience of supporting schools with their financial management.

He told us that 75% is a ‘normal’ benchmark for expenditure on staffing.

However, he added that it is sensible to build a margin into the percentage to avoid overspending. For this reason, he advised that schools aim to spend no more than 70% of the budget on staffing costs.

In special schools, the proportion of the school budget spent on staff costs is

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