Schools national funding formula: changes to the sparsity factor in 2022-23

Closed 9 Apr 2021

Opened 2 Mar 2021


The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on how we propose to provide greater support to small, remote schools through changes to the national funding formula's (NFF) sparsity factor in 2022-23.

Why your views matter

We recognise the challenges faced by small schools in rural areas due to limited opportunities to attract more pupils or to achieve efficiencies, and that such schools often play a significant role in the rural communities they serve. This is why the schools NFF allocates additional funding to this group of schools through the ‘sparsity factor’. Eligibility for funding through the sparsity factor is determined by a school’s size and remoteness.

We made a public commitment to do more to support this group of schools in 2019 and we increased the level of funding through the NFF's sparsity factor in 2021-22. In this consultation, we are seeking views on our proposals to continue to improve how the funding system supports such schools through further changes to the sparsity factor from 2022-23.

Please use the main consultation document (accessible below), which contains the full information on our proposals, as well as the online survey to respond to questions.

What happens next

The results of the consultation and the Department's response will be published on GOV.UK in summer 2021.


  • Headteachers
  • Governors
  • Local authorities
  • School business managers
  • Unions and representative organisations


  • Education
  • School and academy funding