School Balances 2019/20 (Melanie Ellis)
Melanie Ellis introduced the report (Agenda Item 8), which set out for information purposes the year end balances for all maintained schools, highlighting those schools with a deficit or significant surplus.
Melanie Ellis confirmed that there had been a small increase in the balances. Table one on page 17 of the report, showed that there were increases in nursery schools, special schools and PRU balances and decreases in primary and secondary schools’ balances. able two on page 18 of the report however, showed that the reductions in balances were largely in the capital funding. This was due to a timing issue because schools were allocated capital funding at the end of the 2019 financial year, which had not provided them with time to spend the money. Melanie Ellis reported that the overall movement in figures was relatively small for 2019/20.
Jonathan Chishick noted that the cumulative surplus exceed the deficit from the previous year and therefore queried if surpluses could be used collectively to cover the deficit meaning that a deficit recovery plan would not need to be submitted to the Department for Education (DfE). Melanie Ellis highlighted that school balances belonged to individual schools and therefore this approach could not be taken.
Catie Colston drew attention to section 4.5 of the report and the additional capital funding that had been provided to schools in February 2020. Catie Colston queried what this money should have been used for. Melanie Ellis stated that she did not have the detail on this to hand however, would report back on this point at the next meeting of the Forum in July 2020.
· Melanie Ellis to provide detail on what capital funding provided to schools in February 2020 should have been used for.
· The Schools’ Forum noted the report.