Nearly half of Bolton schools in deficit

As reported by The Bolton News, government figures have shown that almost half of Bolton’s local authority-maintained schools are in deficit

According to the government data, the deficit local-authority maintained schools were running at ­during 2018-19 varied from £90,326 to £736.

Bolton Council stressed the figures should be treated with caution as they do not paint a true reflection of school’s finances, but rather capture a snapshot of one year. This means they do not include balances brought forward from the previous year which could cancel out the deficit or surplus.

St Joseph’s RC High School was recorded as having the largest deficit ­- £90, 326 ­- during 2018/19, followed by Leverhulme Primary School, which was in the red by £72,014. Pikes Lane Primary School was recorded as running at a deficit of £736.

Surpluses, as recorded by department of education ranged from £365,546 to £1,321. The government department recorded a local authority nursery as being in the black by nearly £400,000 ­- a figure Bolton Council say is wrong. Alexandra Nursery School was said to have a surplus of £363,546.

A spokesman for Bolton Council said: “The figures are wrong for Alexandra – staffing costs of £361,751 are not included ­- the original submission to the DfE was correct.

“The figures are the in-year positions for the schools and don’t include the balances brought forward into 2018-19.”

School income ranged from £9,168,865 to £542,177. The funding depends on a number of factors including number of pupils and type of school ­- secondary, primary or nursery. Turton School was the highest funded, receiving £9,168,865.

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