Schools run by Sheffield Council can get help with cash flow problems

Schools run by Sheffield Council are “highly unlikely” to become insolvent, says a senior councillor.

By Lucy Ashton
Thursday, 20 June, 2019, 12:38
Coun Abtisam Mohamed. Picture Scott Merrylees

There are a number of measures in place to help maintained schools – those still under local authority control  – navigate through difficult financial times.

But if a school becomes an academy, its financial management then passes to the academy trust and Education and Skills Funding Agency – the council no longer has any responsibility.

Sheffield Council looks after one secondary school and 72 primary schools, while there are 24 secondary and 63 primary schools that are academies.

Coun Abtisam Mohamed, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “The council is aware of the financial position of all maintained schools in Sheffield and works closely with schools, including those in a financial deficit position.

“It is highly unlikely that a maintained school will become insolvent. The council works closely with schools in a challenging financial position to monitor their finances.

“These schools are required to apply for a licenced deficit and submit a three-year recovery plan. They are also required to submit monthly monitoring reports to the council, which would allow action to be taken if the position is deteriorating.

“The council provides a cash flow loan to maintained schools that have cash flow issues, so that they continue to pay staff and suppliers.”

Coun Mohamed was replying to written questions from the Liberal Democrats.