School warned it must improve financial position

As reported by the BBC, a Sheffield school has been warned that it must improve its finances – or face intervention

A school in Sheffield has been informed that it must improve its finances.

Amidst a continuing row over plans to close its sixth form, Bradfield School has been told by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) that its finances are ‘poor and worsening’.

The school responded by stating that it hopes to balance its budget soon.

Currently, the school is in breach of its funding agreement and the Academies Financial Handbook after failing to submit audited financial statements for 2017/18.

The ESFA letter also states that the school has failed to prove that it can balance its budget at all, saying it “continues to operate in both in-year and cumulative deficit positions”.

It adds: “This letter serves as a written notice to improve financial management, control and governance at the trust.

“It reflects the weak financial position of the trust and continued concerns on governance and oversight of financial management by the board.”

ESFA added that it will monitor the school and explore intervention options if necessary.

Chair of governors, Tony Moody said: “Governors at Bradfield School are working very closely with the Education and Skills Funding Agency to ensure that the budget becomes balanced in the very near future and we have financial stability moving forward.

“The formal Financial Notice to Improve supports our on-going work to ensure that rigorous financial controls and procedures are in place so that we can return to a balanced budget from September 2019.”

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