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Changes to the way the Early Years (EY) funding for maintained schools is to be shown in SAP for 2017-2018.

Schools’ budget allocations for 2017/2018 have been added to your SAP on 29 March 2017. This includes allocations for the main schools block formula, post 16 allocations and high needs places.

There will be a change for 2017/2018 in the way that provision of early years universal entitlement of up to 15 hours is funded for maintained schools.

In previous years, this has been added to SAP as part of a school’s start of year budget allocation. For 2017/2018, this will instead become an income stream to a school in the same way as top-ups for children with high and additional needs are an income stream to a school. Income due to a school based on the census data will be transferred by journal periodically during the year. When working on preparing the school budget for 2017/2018, each school should use the early years allocation provided on their budget sheet as indicative income.

If you have already started to split your budget on SAP based on a governor approval then you do not need a separate governor approval to set up the budget for the income you expect to receive for EY provision. If you have not yet obtained governor approval for your proposed budget split, then please ensure that the proposal submitted to governors reflects the change to how you will receive your allocated resources for EY provision.

If you have already submitted your annex one to us, then you do not need to resubmit this.

The budget monitoring spreadsheet provided by school support finance will be amended to reflect this change in approach.

The reason for this change is to bring the treatment of high needs budgets top-ups and EY provision into line and reflect the fact that allocations for EY provision are changed during the year to reflect actual provision in each school, unlike mainstream school budget allocations which are based solely on the previous October census data. Further information about how the income will be transferred during the year will be provided in due course. I appreciate that the timing of this change is very close to the start of the new financial year but believe it is manageable and avoids the complications of a mid-year change.

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