Schools hoard surplus cash

MORE than a quarter of Suffolk's schools are hoarding away excessive amounts of cash in their budgets, The Evening Star can reveal today.

MORE than a quarter of Suffolk's schools are hoarding away excessive amounts of cash in their budgets, The Evening Star can reveal today.

New statistics released by the Department for Schools, Children and Families show that 333 of the county's 344 schools have surplus cash, 98 (28.5 per cent) of which have surpluses classed as excessive.

The government defines “excessive” as a surplus of more than 5pc of a revenue budget for a secondary school or more than 8pc for a primary or special school.

The total surplus across Suffolk's schools at the end of the 2007/08 financial year stood at a staggering �19,134,843 - an average of �57,462 per school.


You may also want to watch:


Only 11 schools in the county were classed as being in deficit, the most significant of which were Castle Manor Business and Enterprise College in Haverhill and St Pancras Catholic Primary School in Ipswich.

The overall budget deficit in the county amounted to �348,285, an average of �31,663 per school. Where a school is in deficit, it must agree a recovery plan with the local authority to eliminate this, normally over three years.

Most Read

While schools are encouraged to keep a portion of their cash back for a rainy day, there is concern that too much is being retained - money which could be put to use elsewhere.

Despite the apparently high amount, the percentage puts the county 32nd best of 150 authorities in England for using up its cash in the year it was allocated.

Schools are allowed to keep back some money if it is for nationally-agreed reasons, including staffing and future building projects.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “Suffolk compares very favourably nationally. We are successful in keeping any financial surpluses in schools to a prudent minimum.”

To see balances for your child's school, visit www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway.

Should schools be allowed to hoard cash reserves? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus