Budget planning resource hub

Use our guidance and resources to help you through the whole process of planning your budget and getting it approved by governors.

Use our guidance and resources at every step of your budget planning process

Get to grips with your school's income and different approaches to allocating your budget. Plus, find templates to help you confidently plan and present your budget to governors.


Know your income

Get up to speed on how your school's income is calculated.

How maintained schools are funded

Get to grips with how maintained mainstream schools are funded. Find out about the national funding formula (NFF), as well as the other streams of funding that feed into your school's budget.

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Funding for pupils with SEN

Understand how provision for pupils with special educational needs (SEN) is funded in your school.

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School census: determining funding allocations

Data you submit in census returns is used to determine your school's funding. Read on to see which data is collected on each return. Also, learn how to address errors in census returns.

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Use our budget planning tools

Find guidance and templates to help you get started.

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.

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Integrated curriculum and financial planning (ICFP): checklist and guidance

Find out more about integrated curriculum and financial planning (ICFP), which can help you improve your school's financial efficiency and maximise resources. Download and use our checklist to guide you through the process.

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Allocating departmental budgets

Understand the different ways you can allocate curriculum budgets. Download our curriculum budget formula calculator and see case studies from different types of school.

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Calculate your expenditure

Feel confident working out your school's spending.

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.

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Calculating the cost of your whole-school SEN provision

Understand how to calculate staffing costs for SEN provision so you can better estimate how much money you're spending on your overall SEN provision. Download our tools to help keep track of how much each intervention costs and whether it offers value for money.

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Calculating the cost of lessons and courses

See how to calculate the cost of lessons and courses to help budget for your curriculum. You'll find variables to take into account and suggested methods to use.

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Analyse your benchmarking data

Learn more about how to make the most of the DfE's financial benchmarking service.

Financial benchmarking: how-to guide

See how you can identify schools similar to yours and make comparisons using the financial benchmarking service from the DfE. Understand the benefits and limitations of benchmarking, and see examples of how other schools use it.

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Benchmarking data: questions to generate discussion and analysis

Download our list of questions to help you analyse your benchmarking data, and find guidance from the DfE.

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Report on your budget

Show governors that you're managing resources and finances effectively.

Presenting your budget to governors: templates

Keep your governors fully informed about your budget planning and decision-making with our downloadable templates. You'll find a detailed budget planner, and a planning report that will help you explain your budget planning decisions.

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School budget monitoring: questions to discuss

With finances squeezed, use this guide to help you make the most of your budget monitoring meetings. See what to cover and use our questions to help you spot issues and identify next steps.

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The Key Governance: share resources with your governors

If you're a Whole School member of The Key, or have Leaders+ membership with access to The Key Leaders and The Key Governance, share our resources below with your clerk and chair:

Budget approval process

Approving the budget: questions to ask

Governor training, including finance learning pathway

Consolidate your spend with Whole School membership

The budget planning process is a good opportunity to review your suppliers to check they’re providing the right support for your team.

The Key’s Whole School membership is the most cost-effective way to cover your school’s leadership, governance, safeguarding and CPD needs.

Streamline your suppliers by upgrading to Whole School today.

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