Changes from April 2011:
This funding, approximately £450 million in 2010-11, was not removed from the schools system, it will continue to be routed to schools through the Dedicated Schools Grant.
The specialist schools programme dates from 1994. Over 95 per cent of secondary schools are specialist.
Now that specialism is so firmly established within schools the time has come to give school leaders greater freedom to make use of the opportunities offered by specialism and the associated funding.
This is part of a wider commitment to school leaders to take decisions in the best interests of the pupils and parents they serve.
It means the end of the prescription that built up around the programme.
School leaders will continue to be able to use specialism as a means of raising standards and developing a distinct character and ethos for their schools.
Funding currently associated with the specialist schools programme will continue to go to schools.
Funding for schools is distributed by their local authority (LA) via a formula. We cannot say what individual school allocations will be in 2011-12.
LAs were allowed to take into account previous levels of grant as a factor in their local funding formulae.
LAs will have the flexibility to decide, in discussion with their schools forums, how to take account of previous levels of grant.
The specialist schools and academies trust (SSAT) and the youth sport trust (YST) are independent membership organisations. As such they receive income from a range of sources, other than from the Department.
Letters dated October 2010 - sent from the Secretary of State for Education to SSAT and YST - are available to download in the associated resources on this page.