EPI study finds that a third of English Local Authority secondary schools are unable to cover costs

Almost a third of local authority secondary schools in England are unable to cover their costs, a study by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) suggests.

The EPI has also said that its research shows the proportion of such schools with budgets in the red has almost quadrupled in four years, with the average local authority secondary school debt totalling £483,000.

Former Education Minister David Laws, who chairs the Education Policy Institute (EPI), said the latest school budget figures for 2017-18 showed a “marked deterioration”.


The EPI study says that there are particular problems in secondary schools with around one in 10 local authority secondary schools having funding shortfalls of more than 10% of their income.

The Department for Education says that the overall picture across the state school sector is more positive. They said: “The report itself shows 94% of academy trusts and almost 90% of local authority maintained schools are reporting a cumulative surplus or breaking even – and, 45% of maintained schools have even been able to increase the level of their cumulative surplus in 2017-18,” a Department for Education spokesman said.

“While the core schools and high-needs budget is rising from almost £41bn in 2017-18 to £43.5bn by 2019-20, we do recognise the budgeting challenges schools face.

You can read more on the story on the BBC.

The EPI report can be found here.

Schools North East will be launching the #FundOurFuture campaign shortly, and would like your views. A short survey on school funding can be found here


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