ON MAY 1 Welshpool High School will be handing in its debt recovery plan to Powys County Council (PCC).

The school, one of the best in the county and one of only four Powys Secondary School’s in the Welsh Government’s Green Band, was just under £900,000 in deficit by the end of 2018.

Other secondary schools in the county have had meetings with Education and Finance Department officers to discuss their recovery plan.

Many schools had hoped that the deficit would be wiped away or parked for future repayments after former director of education, Ian Budd, said that this was possible at a meeting in January.

But since PCC then has rejected his comments and schools now understand the need to repay the deficit from the funding they receive under the new formula.

Welshpool High School headteacher, Jim Toal, said: “I can confirm that the school has held several budget meetings with officers from Powys Local Authority, with our most recent meeting held in March, 2019.

“Our budget and budget recovery plan will be submitted to the Local Authority by May 1st, 2019.”

PCC’s head of learning, Dr Alec Clark, said: “All schools in the county operate under the Powys Scheme for Financing Schools 2017-18 and receive professional support for the county council’s finance officers.”

Education portfolio holder, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander (Independent – Banwy), said: “The recently agreed funding formula, 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.

“There is 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.”

As of December 31, 2018, secondary schools were £4,161,951 in the red.

And the schools causing most concern were:

  • Brecon High school – £1,564,878
  • Crickhowell High School – £1,024,708
  • Welshpool High School – £886,757