Increased Pressure On School Budget ‘Inevitable’

school 2 2014The Council’s Children’s Officer has warned that there will be increased pressure on the Five Islands School budget next year.

Keith Grossett told members of the Children and Young People Committee that the special Isles of Scilly Education Grant, which supports the school and children’s social care on the islands, will not be increased next year.

It will remain at £3.14m.

He said this “will inevitably” bring more pressure due to increased staff numbers, salary rises and inflation.

Keith said an accompanying letter from the Education Funding Agency warned the Council that other local authorities in the UK had seen a 20% cut in their budgets, which would have meant just over £56,000 in Scilly.

They said they’d decided not to reduce our funding next year, due to rising pupil numbers, but would review whether we should be brought in line with the main UK schools funding system after 2016.

Keith said this was “a clear shot across the bows” and could have implications, depending on the outcome of the elections in May.

Earlier this year, the school Board of Governors agreed a plan to reduce a £50,000 shortfall in the school budget, which meant redundancies could be avoided.

Committee Chairman Cllr Christine Savill said there “might be time where we have to fight for the Isles of Scilly Education Grant again.” And she said that we’d been treated favourably compared to other authorities over recent years.

Funding per pupil in Scilly is currently almost twice the UK average.