More than half of the secondary schools in Caerphilly are failing to maintain their reserves, a report has said.
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s education scrutiny committee will consider a report on schools’ balances.
The report says that school balances across the county borough have fallen since last year by more than £500,000. It fell from £3.1 million to £2.5 million.
In Caerphilly, 18 schools (21%) reported a deficit reserve position at the end of the last financial year (March 31).
Six of the 13 secondary schools (55%) reported a deficit. The remaining 12 reporting a deficit reserve position were primary schools.
A school’s reserves are made up of unspent funds from previous years. When schools overspend, these reserves go down.
Of the six secondary schools reporting a deficit reserve position, two set a balanced budget in 2019/20, while four requested approval to set a deficit budget. All four requests were supported.
Among primary schools, seven of the 12 reporting a deficit set a balanced budget for the year, while five have set deficits. Each of these schools have provided a plan demonstrating that they are working to an action plan to meet the necessary financial requirements.
Schools in Caerphilly are required to deliver a balanced budget by year three (the current financial year plus two).
The report says: “In November 2018 schools were advised that they would be supported to work towards delivering a “balanced” budget by year three but with a 3% flexible margin based on each school’s individual level of formula funding.
“This means that the value of the 3% will vary from school to school.”
The report will be considered by the council’s education scrutiny committee on Monday, January 13.