Wednesday 04 May 2022


The British Council is pleased to confirm we have received the outcome of the UK Government’s 2021 Spending Review, through which they set the budget for government departments for the next three years. As an Arms-Length Body of the FCDO, we receive our settlement from the Foreign Secretary. 

Before inflation, the non-ODA settlement will remain roughly in line with the annual funding from our previous settlement. Considering the ongoing impact of the pandemic and the increasingly challenging economic situation, both in the UK and globally, this is a successful outcome for us.

Importantly, this means we won’t need to make further country closures, beyond those previously agreed with the FCDO. It also means we can continue to implement our global programmes, grow our partnerships and continue to deliver the savings we need.

The Foreign Secretary has also agreed to retain our operations in Australia and New Zealand, meaning our teams there will continue to do their brilliant and valuable work. 

There have been ODA reductions across government departments following the 2021 decision to reduce temporarily spending on development. Our ODA settlement averages to roughly an 11 per cent reduction on annual funding compared to our previous settlement but this is workable, and means we can continue to grow our partnerships, implement our global programmes and continue to deliver the savings we need.

The British Council would like to assure all our partners, stakeholders and customers that we remain committed to our mission.  This three-year settlement provides stability, ensuring the British Council continues to support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. 


  • Prior to the pandemic, and its consequential impact on commercial revenues, the British Council received 15% core funding grant from the UK Government and generated 85% of its income through its commercial activity in teaching and examinations.
  • The UK Government divides where money can be spent between Official Development Assistance (ODA), to be used in developing countries deemed eligible for assistance by the OECD’s Development Assistant Committee (DAC), and ‘non-ODA,’ to be used in other countries.