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Reserves held by schools

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  • Release date: 17 October 2018
  • Period covered: At 31 March 2018
An annual report which includes information by school sector and local authority.

Key points

  • The overall level of reserves held by schools in Wales was £50 million at 31 March 2018, the equivalent of £111 per pupil. The overall level of reserves increased by 10% compared with the previous year. Reserves in primary schools accounted for £49 million or 97% of the total reserves.
  • The increase in overall reserves is driven by primary schools where reserves increased in the latest year. Reserves in secondary schools decreased, as they have done in recent years, and are now in deficit (by £2.4 million) for the first time since the series began. Together, this results in an overall increase of £4.4 million in total reserves.
  • Gwynedd had the highest level of reserves per pupil at £244 while Powys had the lowest with a deficit of £49 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 and a decline in the number of schools with reserves over 10% of expenditure.
  • 146 primary, 79 secondary, 8 special, 1 nursery and 7 middle schools in Wales had negative reserves totalling £25 million. The remaining 1,328 schools had positive reserves, 171 of which had reserves in excess of 10% of their total delegated expenditure.


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