Schools told 'stop hoarding or we will claw back cash'

Lynn Knapp

Lynn Knapp

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter, also covering West Oxford. Call me on (01865) 425437

SCHOOLS have been warned they should stop hoarding the £18m they have in reserves and “spend on today’s children”.

Figures released show that maintained state schools, both primary and secondary, have not spent up to 24 per cent of their revenue budgets, money set aside for day-to-day running costs.

Councillors called for schools to make sure the money is being spent on current pupils rather than saving for future children.

There are 32 primary schools in the county which have continuously kept at least eight per cent of their revenue budget behind at the end of a school year for the last four years.

Windmill Primary School is one of the 32 schools which has kept surplus money.

Headteacher Lynn Knapp said the main reason was that the school is currently undergoing an expansion which would see it take in 90 children each year rather than the current 60.

She said: “With the expansion coming up we will have to spend on that. We have been preparing for that for the last four years effectively.

“It has always been our reasoning that we could be left with nothing if something big comes up, and we would have to cover that. It isn’t that we are penny pinching. The council is only funding so much and the rest is our responsibility.”

Revenue cash cannot be spent on paying directly for big projects, like expansions. However, it can go on the day-to-day running costs that come from such things, like extra staff, equipment or energy bills.

Mrs Knapp said that if the school was asked to give the money back by council she would fight it.

Councillors at Oxfordshire County Council’s Education Scrutiny committee were unanimously concerned about the high sum being held by schools.

They were told that council officers and the Deputy Director for Education were planning to meet with those schools with the most money left over in the autumn, after the summer holiday, to find out why the money was being kept.

Councillors agreed if the schools were not spending the money then it should be clawed back.

John Howson said: “It is difficult to see why that money is unspent.”

Gill Sanders said: “If I had a child in school I would want them to be benefiting from the money the school has, not knowing that money is going to spent on a swimming pool in five years’ time when little Jonny has moved elsewhere.”

The money does not include an estimated £8m which was taken out of council control when schools in the county became academies.

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
  • Send your Letter to the Editor

    11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

    What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

Novelist books in to join Oxford prep school celebrations

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 18th September 2014

MIDSOMER Murders creator Anthony Horowitz joined an Oxford school to help celebrate its 150th birthday.

Mullins backs O'Dowda to hit the heights

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 18th September 2014

CALLUM O’Dowda has all the attributes to progress and play at a higher level, according to Oxford United teammate Johnny Mullins.

Nearly a third of county five-year-olds have tooth decay

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 18th September 2014

ALMOST one in three Oxfordshire five-year-olds has tooth decay, new figures have revealed.

Pilot error blamed for flipping Tiger Moth

Oxford Mail: CROY: Enthusiast hopes Airport House biplane will fly again

8:30am Thursday 18th September 2014

A VINTAGE aircraft owned by a Oxfordshire man crash-landed because of pilot error.

Mum Ruth makes it a world first in hunt for Ebola vaccine

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 18th September 2014

A MUM-of-two from Oxfordshire was the first person in the world to be injected with an Ebola gene yesterday as part of a city-led battle against the deadly virus.

Dad was found hanged in woods

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 18th September 2014

A father who was missing for six months was found hanged in a Norfolk woods, an inquest in Oxford heard yesterday.

 

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:08pm Mon 28 Jul 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

It's an absolute farce right across the public sector...

Once money is allocated to a "pot" absolutely nothing can be done to switch it to a different "pot". Even if it means spending £1000s out of one "pot" when switching £100 between "pots" would have the same result.

Private sector accountants despair at public sector practice...
It's an absolute farce right across the public sector... Once money is allocated to a "pot" absolutely nothing can be done to switch it to a different "pot". Even if it means spending £1000s out of one "pot" when switching £100 between "pots" would have the same result. Private sector accountants despair at public sector practice... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree