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High schools’ deficits under scrutiny

Created on 12/07/2017 @ 13:35
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Welshpool and Llanfyllin high schools are among those that have not had their budgets licensed after it was revealed a total of 34 schools are running a deficit of nearly £2.5m. 

Nine out of the county’s 12 secondary schools have a cumulative deficit of £2.6m with the remaining three reporting a cumulative surplus of £288k. The position is healthier in the county’s primary sector with 58 schools recording a cumulative surplus of £1.44m and the remaining 23 primary schools a combined deficit of £340k.

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

Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Myfanwy Alexander said: “We see a considerable number of schools facing considerable difficulty and as an authority we must provide challenges 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 to bottom out if our schools are properly resourced. We must regard this issue as our highest priority.”

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Aled Davies said: “We have to take urgent action together with the schools to address the current unsustainable provision. Any action taken must be evidence based and must deliver a sustainable schools system for the next 10 to 20 years. Financial sustainability has to go hand in hand educational excellence, I want to see Powys schools deliver consistently high standards of education for our young learners across Powys.” 

Of the 34 schools with deficit budgets 17, had submitted plans that show they would return to surplus within two years and had their deficits licensed by the cabinet.

The schools were: Abermule CP School, Berriew C P School, Clyro C in W Controlled School, Franksbridge C P School, Leighton C P School, Llanbister C P School, Llandrindod Wells C P School Cefnllys, Llanfechain C in W School, Llanfyllin C P School, Llangedwyn C in W Voluntary Controlled School, Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant C P School, Llansantffraid C in W Aided School, Ysgol Dolafon, Ysgol Dyffryn Trannon, Ysgol Gymaeg Dyffryn Y Glowyr, Ysgol Meifod and Ysgol Bro Hyddgen.

Seventeen (17) schools did not meet the requirements to have their budgets licensed with projected deficit balances remaining at 31 March 2018 and not projected to be back into balance within three years, or the deficit in 2017/18 being above the threshold to license.

The budgets of the following schools were not licensed by the cabinet.

Primary Schools Bronllys C P School, Brynhafren C P School, Irfon Valley C P School, Llanfihangel Rhydithon C P School, Llangynidr C P School, Talgarth C P School, Ysgol Maesydre

High Schools: Brecon, Builth Wells, Ysgol Maesydderwen, Crickhowell, Llanfyllin, Llanidloes, Welshpool and Llandrindod Wells.

Special schools: Brynllywarch Hall Residential School and Ysgol Cedewain Special School.

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