More than one in four secondary schools running at a loss, study finds

The Independent reports that the number of local authority secondaries across England in deficit has nearly trebled – from 8.8 per cent to 26.1 per cent – in four years, the think tank Education Policy Institute (EPI) found.

And more than two in three council-run secondary schools spent more money than they had coming in in 2016-17, the report reveals.

It finds that the South-west had the highest proportion of council-run secondaries in deficit – with more than a third running at a loss, while the lowest was the East of England at 17.5 per cent.

The report, which analysed council-run secondary and primary schools in England over seven years, also found that the number of primaries running at a loss increased to 7.1 per cent last year.

And three in five local authority primary schools spent more money that they had coming in in 2016-17. 

David Laws, EPI executive chairman and former Lib Dem schools minister, said: “This analysis highlights the nature and scale of cost pressures facing England’s schools. 

“After 15 years in which school funding has either been growing healthily or has at least been protected from inflationary pressures, school budgets are clearly now being squeezed.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “This report shows that many schools are so cash-strapped they are unable to afford even a meagre pay rise of 1 per cent for their staff next year without having to make further cuts.”

Read more   More than one in four secondary schools running at a loss, study finds

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