Almost one in three council-run secondary schools in deficit, study finds

Independent is reporting that the number of local authority secondary schools running at a loss has nearly quadrupled – from 8.1 per cent to 30.3 per cent – in four years, according to the think tank Education Policy Institute.

The findings come as parents say they are having to fork out hundreds of pounds a year for core resources, such as books and stationery, and basic items amid funding pressures facing schools across England.  

In light of increasing financial pressures on schools, the think tank has called on the government to consider whether higher per-pupil funding is needed ahead of the Spending Review.

A recent survey found that more than two in five parents have been asked to make voluntary financial donations to schools, with some parents paying up to £30 a month to plug the funding gap.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the “dramatic” rise in secondary schools in deficit was evidence that many schools have “hit the financial cliff edge”.

“This is a direct result of government under-funding and the current situation is simply unsustainable,” he said.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Whilst the core schools and high needs budget is rising from almost £41bn in 2017-18 to £43.5bn by 2019-20, we do recognise the budgeting challenges schools face.

Read more here Almost one in three council-run secondary schools in deficit, study finds

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Categories: Budgets, Free Schools, Local authorities and Secondary.


  1. Anonymous

    Community schools are overseen by councils. Although they may not “run” the day to day activities but they have oversight and can intervene. They also run all sorts of aspects of schools which affect allocation of places, administration, solving problems, finances………..

    One of the reasons that the Government talks about the overall amount of money going into schools is because this amount also includes all the academy debts which are written off when one trust collapses or offloads a school and another trust is bribed to take on the academy. The waste caused by the academy (and “free” school) programme is huge and does not improve education. Unfortunately, this Government has invested too much of its reputation on it to be able to retreat.

  2. Anonymous

    The DfE has been referred to a Parliamentary watchdog about its continued refusal to publish academy ‘bail out’ costs for last financial year.

    Correct … councils have oversight of schools. That why I challenged the headline ‘council run schools.’ Oversight isn’t running.

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