Schools £2.48million cash deficit under review

Published date: 15 July 2017 |
Published by: Owain Farrington 
Read more articles by Owain Farrington  Email reporter


 

POWYS schools are being financially reviewed with half of their budgets not licensed and a cumulative deficit of £2.48 million.

Powys County Council (PCC) is carrying out the review as nine of the county’s 12 secondary schools have a total deficit of £2.6 million with the remaining three secondary schools reporting a cumulative surplus of £288,000.

The county’s primary sector is fairing better with 58 schools on a cumulative surplus of £1.44 million and the remaining 23 a combined deficit of £340,000.

Two of the county’s special schools have a combined deficit of £367k with the third recording a surplus of £150k.

A joint working group has been set up to review the way schools are financed.

Chairman of the Audit Committee, Councillor John Morris, said: “The way schools are funded presently shows an unsustainable financial cost.

“A joint working group will look at the present financial viability within schools and projections for the next three years. This is a very serious financial issue for the authority which if not addressed has the potential to put both schools and the authority at severe financial risk.”

A report has recently been carried out by the Wales Audit Office into Education Finance in Powys.

This has highlighted that the council faces challenges to deliver an affordable and sustainable education service and halt the projected decline in schools’ finances.

The working group will firstly focus on secondary schools’ budgets.

The group will interview officers, portfolio holders and school heads and chairmen of governors to get a full picture of the reasons behind the present position.

Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, said: “We see a considerable number of schools facing considerable difficulty and as an authority we must provide challenge to them but also provide them with support. It is clear that medium of delivery and size are not crucial factors and we have to find out what are the crucial factors.

“We have to ask, are our schools correctly configured, are they correctly managed and are they correctly resourced. We are undertaking a funding formula review.

“We must regard this issue as our highest priority.”

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Cllr Aled Davies, added: “Financial sustainability has to go hand in hand with educational excellence, I want to see Powys schools deliver consistently high standard of education for our young learners across Powys.”

  • See full story in the County Times

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