Top-slicing academy budgets

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

Last reviewed on 8 August 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 44147
  1. The rules for top-slicing
  2. See case studies on setting a fixed top-slicing strategy
  3. Some trusts set a variable top-slice

The rules for top-slicing

As a trust with multiple academies, 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.

This excludes private finance initiative (PFI) funding, which you must not top-slice or pool in line with your funding agreement. 

When pooling GAG, you must:

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

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

Academy headteachers should appeal to the trust first. If the appeal to the trust is unsuccessful, they can escalate the appeal to

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.