BBC News reports that a sharp rise in schools’ business rates could push some budgets beyond breaking point, say head teachers’ leaders.
Business rates, charged on property in England, are due to change in April for the first time in seven years.
Calculations by consultancy Gerald Eve suggest changes to the rateable value of schools mean some will face 40% bill increases.
The government said its own figures suggested state schools overall would see a 2% fall in rates.
Andrew Altman, a specialist schools partner at Gerald Eve, said the firm estimates that the total rates bill for schools in England is about £791m.
But it estimates that this could rise by £131m to about £922m by 2021-22 as the revaluation changes work through.
The figures amount to a rise of about 17% by 2021, said Mr Altman, but this “hides the fact that about a quarter of schools could see actual rate increases of about 40% in the first year”.
Mr Altman said he feared that council-run schools would be particularly badly hit as academies have their costs, including rates, met fully, directly from Whitehall.
He said that he expected many schools to appeal against their new business rate rises and questioned why public sector properties were subjected to business rates at all.
“It’s circular. It’s all public money. It’s a very expensive tax to collect and appeal,” he added.