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The report provides an analysis of financial reserves held by schools as at 31 March 2019.

Main points

The overall level of reserves held by schools in Wales was £46 million at 31 March 2019, the equivalent of £102 per pupil. The overall level of reserves decreased by 7.9% compared with the previous year.  Reserves in primary schools accounted for £47 million.

The decrease in overall reserves is driven by secondary schools where reserves decreased in the latest year, as they have done in recent years, and are now in deficit by £4.4 million. Overall there was a decrease of £4.0 million in total reserves.

Swansea had the highest level of reserves per pupil at £251 while Monmouthshire had the lowest with a deficit of £22 per pupil.

Since the economic downturn and the introduction of austerity measures there has been an increasing number of schools with negative or lower level of reserves. 10% of schools now have reserves over 10% of expenditure, half of the percentage a decade ago.

151 primary, 77 secondary, 8 special, 1 nursery and 10 middle schools in Wales had negative reserves totalling £29 million. The remaining 1,287 schools had positive reserves, 150 of which had reserves in excess of 10% of their total delegated expenditure.


Reserves held by schools, at 31 March 2019 (Revised) , file type: PDF, file size: 478 KB

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Frank Kelly

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