Top-slicing academy budgets

Learn about the rules of top-slicing and see examples of how other trusts approach central financing.

Last reviewed on 25 March 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
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  1. The rules for top-slicing
  2. Case studies on setting a fixed top-slicing strategy
  3. Setting a variable top-slice

The rules for top-slicing

As the trust, you can collect a proportion of the general annual grant (GAG) funding that each of your schools receives to form a central fund. You can use this fund to meet the costs of running any academy within your trust.

When you do this, you must not pool or top-slice private finance initiative (PFI) funding. 

You must:

  • Consider the funding needs and allocations of each of your academies
  • Have an appeals mechanism in place for academies that feel they've been unfairly treated by your top-slicing or GAG-pooling approach

Academy headteachers should appeal to the trust first. If the appeal to the trust is unsuccessful, they can appeal to the secretary of state, via the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

The rules around top-slicing or GAG-pooling are set out in paragraphs 5.30 and 5.31 of the Academy Trust Handbook.

The handbook