Frequently asked questions


The UK Government allocates money to Wales using the Barnett formula. 

Welsh Government then provides c.80% of local authority funding through the Revenue Support Grant. The other 20% comes from locally raised council taxes. 

There are different factors taken into account to determine how much a particular local authority service gets from Welsh government. In the case of school education, the factors are learner numbers and measures of deprivation and sparsity. 

Local authorities determine how much money a school gets using a funding formula. There are 22 local authorities and there are 22 funding formulae.


A funding formula is the method a local authority uses to determine how much money a school gets in its budget. It takes into account all sorts of factors from number of students, number on free school meals, number with special needs, to the physical size of the school, its age, what language is used, the rates, cleaning costs and staff salaries. 


Yes, there are the The School Funding (Wales) Regulations 2010 which set how a funding formula should be agreed and to some extent how it should work. 70% of a school's funding should be based on its pupil numbers. The other 30% is at the local authority's discretion, allowing the LA to take into account individual school factors. 


Simply put, a school's budget outturn is the money left over at the end of the financial year. If the number is negative then the school is in deficit. Welsh Government sets limits on how much surplus can be left—£50,000 for a primary school and £100,000 for a secondary school. If these limits are breached then a process is triggered by which a school should provide a plan to spend the money, or the local authority may claw it back.


Every year, schools in Wales are allocated a support category. 

The National School Categorisation System aims to provide a clear structure to review how well a school is performing. It takes into consideration how effectively the school is led and managed, the quality of learning and teaching, and the level of support and challenge it needs to do better. The system helps identify the schools that need the most help, support and guidance to improve. It also identifies those that are doing well but could be doing better and those that are highly effective and could help and support others to do better. Each primary and secondary school is placed into one of four colour-coded support categories which trigger a tailored support package. [National School Categorisation System: a guide for parents and carers.]

The colour of the category indicates the level of support a school needs from its consortia and local authority so the school can improve. Green = up to 4 days. Yellow = up to 10 days. Amber = up to 15 days. Red = up to 25 days.


All our data is publicly available. The majority comes from Welsh government sites.

The Stats Wales site gave us financial information for individual schools such as the budget, the per pupil funding, and the budget outturn (surplus or deficit), as well as providing pupil numbers for schools. 

My Local School gave us information on language medium and free school meal rate for each school. 

Support categories were downloaded from the Welsh Government website.

Individual local authorities supplied us with different types of information, from detailed descriptions of their funding formula to budget allocations for each school to the complete Section 52s for a series of years. This came in a huge variety of layouts and in different formats. You can find links to the Freedom of Information requests for each LA on the Data Sources pages in the LA subsections.