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The report provides an analysis of financial reserves held by schools as at 31 March 2023.

Main points

  • The overall level of reserves held by schools in Wales was £208 million at 31 March 2023, the equivalent of £456 per pupil.  The overall level of reserves decreased by £93 million compared with the previous year.  Reserves in primary schools accounted for £117 million.
  • During 2020-21 and 2021-22, school reserves increased significantly due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and extra core funding announced late in the year. During 22-23, school reserves decreased significantly partly due to extra costs linked to high inflation, supporting learners through the ongoing effects of the pandemic and increased additional learning needs costs.
  • Primary schools reserves decreased by £58 million in the latest year and secondary school reserves decreased by £31 million.
  • Gwynedd had the highest level of reserves per pupil at £725 while Vale of Glamorgan had the lowest with £298 per pupil.
  • 93 primary, 19 secondary, 2 special, 0 nursery and 3 middle schools in Wales had negative reserves totalling £15 million. The remaining 1,359 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 2023 , file type: PDF, file size: 450 KB

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Anthony Newby

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