The Salford school made famous by Channel 4 documentary ‘Educating Greater Manchester’ ran the biggest deficit in the region during the last financial year.
Harrop Fold school in Little Hulton spent £1,340,995 more than it had coming in during 2018/19, according to figures revealed by the Department of Education - the highest deficit in Greater Manchester.
The school did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Local Democracy Reporting Scheme.
The Salford secondary gained national attention in 2017 when it was featured in the Channel 4 series, ‘Educating Greater Manchester’.
It painted a picture of a school that former head Drew Povey had transformed after being named one of the worst in the country.
He started as headteacher in 2010, and inherited a debt worth £3.2m.
But Mr Povey left in September last year. He had been suspended over allegations that some children were removed from the school register, alongside three other staff members.
He claimed he was the victim of a ‘personal vendetta’, which Salford council has denied.
Last year, the school was put in special measures by education watchdog Ofsted after it was deemed inadequate in five areas. But by April this year, inspectors found that it had improved.
Salford council's deputy city mayor, councillor John Merry, said: “The school has worked hard, in partnership with the council, to reduce their debt to the local authority from over £3 million to £1.3 million despite challenging financial circumstances and cuts in budgets to all council services.
"The council has written off £300,000 of the debt to help the school. We will continue to support the school to deliver high quality education.”
Another Salford school - St Ambrose Barlow RC High School - had the second-highest deficit in Greater Manchester last year, at £1.067m.
A total of 53 local-authority maintained schools in the region (6.2 percent) reported a revenue deficit in 2018/19 - totalling £8.6 million in 2018/19.
The total was down from £12.7 million in 2017/18, but up from £4.4 million in 2012/13, according to the Department for Education figures.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “This government has announced the biggest funding boost for schools in a decade, giving every school more money for every child. This means that every school in the country can see per pupil funding rise in line with inflation next year, with all secondary schools receiving a minimum of £5,000 per pupil.”
Across England, the planned spend per pupil in 2019/20 is £4,556, nominally up from £4,521 in 2018/19.
However, if the 2018/19 figure was adjusted for inflation, it would be £4,602 per pupil, meaning schools are £46 per pupil worse off.
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Schools have suffered several years of real-terms cuts to the funding they receive from the government which has plunged many into deficit.
“They will be implementing cost-reduction plans to balance their books but this is not a quick fix because it entails reducing staffing costs while trying to minimise the impact on the provision for children.
“Schools which have seen their deficit position worsen are likely to be those which face the greatest financial pressures.
“The government has allocated increased funding to schools over the next three years. However, we do not think this funding will be sufficient to reverse all the cuts that have taken place to school budgets and the likelihood is the financial position will continue to be challenging.
“Schools have had no alternative other than to cut staffing which means they are less able to provide support and a full range of courses and extra-curricular activities, and it has also led to larger class sizes. We are continuing to campaign for improved funding on behalf of schools, parents and pupils.”