The Education Funding Agency (EFA) is reminding academies that the Department for Education (DfE) is seeking views on how they and local authorities can achieve savings to the education services grant (ESG) in the 2015 to 2016 financial year.
The DfE would like to know how local authorities and academies use the education services grant currently, how they can make savings to the services funding by the ESG and how the DfE can help local authorities and academies to make savings.
The ESG, which is a simple, per-pupil grant, was introduced last year with the aim of giving academies greater freedom and flexibility in teaching children in a way that enables them to reach their full potential.
However, the 2013 spending round announced that the Government will reduce the ESG by around £200m, or 20 per cent of the budget, in the 2015 to 2016 financial year, so ways to save money need to be found.
The DfE is also interested in whether there is any further clarification or guidance it could provide in order to help recipients deliver the savings, as well as whether there are any functions that academies or local authorities should stop doing completely.
In its guidance notes, the DfE stresses that respondents should pay particular attention to any potential impacts from their answers on the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010. These include sex, race, disability, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment.
Stakeholders such as academies, parents, local authorities and school forums are invited to fill in a consultation form, which they can download from the GOV.UK site, and return it via email or by post. Responses are required by June 19.