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The report provides an analysis of financial reserves held by schools as at 31 March 2021.

Main points

  • The overall level of reserves held by schools in Wales was £181 million at 31 March 2021, the equivalent of £393 per pupil. The overall level of reserves increased by £149 million compared with the previous year. Reserves in primary schools accounted for £120 million.
  • During 2020-21 school reserves increased significantly due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and extra core funding announced late in the financial year. Schools have continued to receive their normal core funding plus additional COVID-19 funding whilst having reduced expenditure on elements such as supply teachers, staff training, examinations, educational materials and utility bills due to various periods of school closure during the year.
  • Primary schools reserves increased by £81 million in the latest year and secondary school reserves increased by £57 million.
  • Ceredigion had the highest level of reserves per pupil at £666 while Powys had the lowest with £189 per pupil.
  • 56 primary, 32 secondary, 3 special, 1 nursery and 5 middle schools in Wales had negative reserves totalling £17 million. The remaining 1,385 schools had positive reserves, 616 of which had reserves in excess of 10% of their total delegated expenditure.


Reserves held by schools: as at 31 March 2021 , file type: PDF, file size: 749 KB

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Anthony Newby

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