EAL Funding – latest information – January 2018

When working with individuals or groups of teachers in schools or in the context of CPD delivery, we at Better Bilingual are often asked about funding sources to support schools to meet the needs of bilingual learners.

Here is the latest available information…..

Schools revenue funding – EAL factor

In England, funding for EAL learners under the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG) ceased in 2012. Since then money given to local authorities through the Schools Block units of funding has been calculated on the basis of a number of pupil characteristics or factors. These include an EAL factor which is designed to support EAL learners for the first three years of their education in the UK.

This minimum funding level which will apply to pupils with English as an Additional Language who entered the English state school system in the past three years can be clarified by your school’s local authority.

In the ‘School revenue funding – current funding arrangements (2016)’ funding for EAL learners is described as an Optional factor – see page 7 of the document below:


As a part of the recent DfE Fairer Schools Funding Consultation ‘The national funding formula for schools and high needs – Executive summary’ was produced in September 2017:


On page 7 of the above document, in a diagram illustrating the ‘National formula for schools’ an EAL factor is built into the ‘Additional Needs Funding’.

Each local authority passes on this funding to individual schools according to a locally determined formula. About 87% of local authorities use an EAL factor in their local formulae although some choose to count EAL pupils who have been enrolled in a UK school for only one or two years, rather than the full three years allowed. The amount of money each EAL pupil attracts is also locally determined and varies from £47 per pupil to £4,500.

Maintained schools in some local authorities choose to return a proportion of their funding to their local authority to finance a central specialist EAL team to support schools.

Unfortunately, this funding is not ‘ring-fenced’ and so schools may not be able to identify the specific amount to which their EAL learners are entitled. For appropriate EAL funding to be made available to schools it is crucial that EAL data within schools’ census returns accurately reflects the number of their EAL learners and that schools’ business managers are informed.

Pupil Premium funding

In addition, pupils with EAL may also be eligible for the Pupil Premium Funding if those families meet the specific criteria for Pupil premium funding. It is entirely appropriate for such additional funding to be used to support the language development needs of these pupils.

Refugee funding

For information on funding to support children in schools and settings of refugee families from Syria see: ‘Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) – January 2018’

For more information contact Stephen Bray at stephen@betterbilingual.co.uk

Categories: EAL


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