This post follows my attempts to learn more about where ICT funding fits in to the new arrangements for school funding from April 2006. It is not intended to be definitive, detailed or authoritative. I have included references I found for your information.
From April 2006 the main school income source is the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), based on a single pupil count. This means that there is a set amount for each pupil, although there are complicated rules to allow for schools that may be growing, shrinking, opening or closing etc. There is now a statutory body that represents schools, called the Schools Forum (In Kent it is called the Schools Funding Forum), and it is this forum that determines the amount retained by the local authority for core services, amongst other duties.
There are two other significant annual sources of funding for schools.
· Devolved Formula Capital Grant (DFC) for capital purchases.
· Grant 101: Schools Development Grant (SDG) for revenue purchases.
Neither of these grants is for ICT exclusively, and how much is actually spent on ICT is up to the school. These grants bring together a range of standards funds previously separately administered, including what used to be known as the NGfL funding (called 31a for this year).
There are two other grants which are exclusively for ICT:
Grant 121: ICT in Schools - Connectivity and Learning Systems
Grant 122: ICT in Schools – eLearning Credits
Grant 121 is ring fenced grant for the Local Authority to provide broadband and national education network connectivity, and also, new for 2006, to start to provide a core learning platform service for schools.
Grant 122 is fully distributed to schools through a formula, and can only be spent with suppliers of software registered with Curriculum Online.
There are some potential allocations planned for Strategic Technologies and Home Access, but I have found no clear details on these, nor is it clear if available how they would be distributed.
There is a DfES guidance document for LA’s and Schools on ICT funding which lays out clearly the priorities for school development of ICT.
ICT Funding Guidance v1