Furloughing in Schools

Government Job Retention Scheme

On Friday 17th April the DfE issued a clarification on Furlough for state-funded schools, read it here

General Furlough rules and claiming guidance can be found here


The guidance confirms that Schools cannot Furlough staff who are paid from the school budget, including from High Needs, and other special funding streams, but can Furlough some staff where they are paid from alternative income streams and after all other potential options have been fully considered, including seeking to make the necessary savings from their existing budget and considering options to redeploy these staff. Those staff that may be considered for Furlough include the following groups if they are fully or partly funded from external (primarily parental) contributions:

  • Catering staff
  • Breakfast and after school provision
  • Music and swimming tutors (directly employed)
  • Sport coaches

Conditions for Furlough

The following conditions need to be met:

  • the employee works in an area of business where services are temporarily not required and whose salary is not covered by public funding
  • the employee would otherwise be made redundant or laid off
  • the employee is not involved in delivering provision that has already been funded
  • the employee is not required to deliver provision for a child of a critical worker and/or vulnerable child
  • the grant from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would not duplicate other public grants received and would not lead to financial reserves being created

Schools are expected to determine the number of staff they could Furlough on the basis of income lost. So, schools should look at the total income from all external funding and Furlough staff from relevant groups up to that amount – having first considered whether staff can be re-deployed and/or whether other funding can be used to support these costs.

For example: if the school has parent-paid school meals income and after school provision income – they should total these amounts and could then choose to Furlough either catering staff or after school staff or both up to that amount.

Who to Furlough

  • The employee must have been on the school’s PAYE payroll on or before Thursday 19th March 2020 and notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before Thursday 19th March 2020.
  • The individual can be engaged on a contract or “casual” basis.
  • The employee must work only in the area which is funded externally. We interpret this as meaning that for example, an LSA who also works in after school provision cannot be Furloughed as they are still working for the employer (as an LSA) and involved in delivering provision that has already been funded. However, a person who works only for after school provision or catering (where at least part-funding is from external sources) may be Furloughed.

How to Furlough

  • Employers continue to pay staff, and claim back 80% of salary
  • Furloughing is a change to an employee’s contract and requires their agreement. This is more likely to be achieved if the school agrees to maintain full pay
  • The minimum period for Furlough is 3 weeks and the scheme currently runs to the end of June 2020
  • Claims are made through the Government Website here.