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Last reviewed on 2 February 2021
Ref: 36403
School types: All · School phases: All

Find out how this process works so you're clear on the different steps and how you'll be involved.

Our associate education experts Brendan Hollyer, Graeme Hornsby, Matt Miller, David New and Martin Owen helped us to write this article.

At-a-glance overview

The steps recommended in this article assume you have a finance committee, but your school might do things differently. For example, if you don't have a finance committee your full governing board will carry out step 3 and you'll likely have a designated lead finance governor as the board's 'expert'.

In all cases, check with your local authority (LA) to see when your deadline is for submitting your budget. It should be some time in May or June, but they might expect to see a provisional plan earlier than this too (as explained in section 4.3 of this DfE guidance).

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Steps 1 to 3: what happens before you approve the budget

Step 1: school leaders draft budget

The school business manager (SBM), headteacher and senior

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