FINANCE and education department teams have been going into schools to discuss financial plans in place to manage debt.

This has surprised some, who believed that schools would be starting the new financial year in a neutral position.

From April 1, a new funding formula will be used  and it had been believed that the deficit, which would stay with the school, would be “parked” for payment at a future date.

Education director, Ian Budd, who is leaving PCC soon to take up a role at Warwickshire said that this was the case in a scrutiny meeting last month.

But education portfolio holder, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander (Independent – Banwy), has stressed this is not the position now.

“The funding formula recently agreed by cabinet, provides for the distribution of funds to individual schools and is a separate issue to the management of deficits under the Powys Scheme for Financing of Schools 2017/18.

“The finance scheme has no provision to write off a deficit, unless a school is closing, and stipulates that a deficit must be paid off within three years or five years with approval from the appropriate finance officer.”

At the moment secondary schools are £4, 161,951 in the red.

And the schools causing most concern are:

Brecon High school – £1,564,878

Crickhowell High School – £1,024,708

Welshpool High School £886,757

Schools in an unlicensed position have been asked to submit a recovery plan over three to five years,

An unauthorised deficit is addressed through statutory compliance with the Governing body.

At a meeting of the Learning Skills and Economy Scrutiny Committee, on January 4, Mr Budd was asked to clarify the position for school with deficit budgets.

Director of Education, Ian Budd, answered:  “Any historic deficit stays with the school unless it closes, that’s the statutory position.

“The will be no excess in the allocation to pay back deficits, so there’s a pressure that school live within their means. Their ability to pay back will realistically be limited.”