Debts being run up by some schools has led to a £910,000 deficit in education funding in Powys.

The secondary school sector in the county slipped to an overspend of £3.43 million in 2019/20, Powys Council's learning and skills scrutiny committee heard today (Monday, July 6).

But that was partially offset by a £2.65 million surplus among primary schools – leading to an overall deficit of £910,000. The previous year saw the education department achieve a surplus of £78,000.

The audit committee's chairman, Councillor John Morris (Liberal Democrat – Crickhowell), said: “When the funding formula was brought in, it was seen as all singing, all dancing, and was going to cure the problems.

“It’s apparent that the formula failed secondary schools in particular. One thing it has done is put a huge financial burden onto the schools that already had overdrafts.

“It will be difficult for these schools to repay historic overdrafts.”

The finance portfolio holder, Councillor Aled Davies (Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant & Llansilin – Conservative), said “The funding formula change brought more clarity where the money was going.

“But it didn’t change the overall size of the the pot.”

And education portfolio holder, Councillor Phyl Davies, (Blaen Hafren – Conservative) added: “We unfortunately found ourselves in a position where we were stretching the funding over far too many schools.”

Cllr Davies added that the funding formula that had been created would not be suitable for the future, but it was a position to “grow from”.

On June 16, the cabinet noted the schools' financial position as part of the overall  budget report for 2019/20.

  • Brecon High School  – £1,618,678 deficit – warning notice
  • Gwernyfed High School – £280,513 surplus
  • Ysgol Maesydderwen (Ystradgynlais) – 309,720 deficit – warning notice
  • Crickhowell High School –  £1,002,764 deficit – warning notice
  • Ysgol Uwchradd Caereinion (Llannfair Caereinion) – £6,123 deficit
  • Llanfyllin High School – £87,784 deficit
  • Llanidloes High School – £62,745 deficit
  • Ysgol Bro Hyddgen – £162,071 deficit – warning notice
  • Newtown (inculding John Beddoes campus Presteigne)-  £396,501 surplus
  • Welshpool High School –  £728,216 deficit – warning notice
  • Ysgol Calon Cymru (Builth Wells and Llandrindod Wells) – £131,302 deficit, warning notice

Other schools that received warning notices

  • Brynhafren County Primaru School  (Crew Green) – £144,431 deficit
  • Carreghofa County Primary School (Llanymynech) –  £17,895 now in surplus
  • Llandrindod Wells C P School Cefnllys – £24,811 now in surplus
  • Llanerfyl Church in Wales Foundation School – £14,098 deficit
  • Presteigne County Primary School – £25,042 now in surplus
  • Ysgol Gymaeg Dyffryn Y Glowyr (Cwm-Twrch) – £84,702 deficit
  • Ysgol-Y- Bannau  (Brecon) –  £17,735 now in surplus
  • Ysgol Cedewain Special School (Newtown) – £297,296 deficit