One in eight North East schools are spending more than they have coming in, figures have revealed.

A total of 105 local-authority maintained schools (13%) reported a revenue deficit in 2018/19, down from 109 in 2017/18.

The figures include primary and secondary schools, as well as special schools, nurseries and pupil referral units.

There were 31 schools in Northumberland in deficit last year (19.3%), 24 in Durham (10.3%), 14 in North Tyneside (18.9%), and six in Newcastle (9.7%).

Overall, the 105 schools reported a total deficit of £24.4 million in 2018/19.

The total was up from £23.0 million in 2017/18, and from £3.0 million in 2012/13, according to the Department for Education figures.

The average deficit per school in 2018/19 was £233,000.

Across the North East, 71 primary schools were in deficit in 2018/19, with a total deficit of £3.9 million. There were 19 secondary schools in deficit in 2018/19. They had a total deficit of £19.2 million.

Across England, there were 1,376 local-authority maintained schools in deficit in 2018/19. That was down from 1,532 in 2017/18.

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However, one in 10 (9.9%) schools was still running a deficit last year.

The size of the total schools deficit is growing.

It stood at £233.2 million in 2017/18 - an average of £152,000 per school - but rose to £233.3 million (£170,000 per school) in 2018/19.

That is the highest level since records began in 2002/03.

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.

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Richard Crane, Durham County Council’s head of education and skills, said: “Our number of schools in deficit needs to be considered in the context of us having more than 240, as the largest council in the region and one of the biggest in the country. Our percentage is broadly in line with the national average and less than that of other North East councils.

“While schools control their own spending, we do support them with advice on their financial position, and how to manage expenditure.

“We consider requests to set deficit budgets although some schools will go into the red in the course of the year through additional unplanned expenditure. In most cases, the school will make up the deficit the following year.

“We have expressed concern with the Department for Education previously on funding for our schools not keeping pace with inflation, and the impact this has on them. We will do so again with the new government should it prove necessary, in the interests of ensuring the best possible education for our children.”

The North East primary and secondary schools running a deficit in 2018/19


Monkseaton High School: (North Tyneside) -£3,484,563

Wellfield School (Durham): -£3,365,433

Boldon School (South Tyneside): -£2,243,531

St Hild's Church of England Voluntary Aided School (Hartlepool) -£1,711,561

Wolsingham School (Durham): -£1,559,159

Longbenton High School (North Tyneside): -£1,543,856

Norham High School (North Tyneside): -£1,462,120

Haydon Bridge Community High School and Sports College (Northumberland): -£1,406,302

Marden High School (North Tyneside): -£533,436

The Duchess's Community High School (Northumberland): -£531,015

Tanfield School, Specialist College of Science and Engineering (Durham): -£512,528

St Bede's Catholic Comprehensive School and Byron College (Durham): -£480,761

Fellgate Primary School (South Tyneside): -£477,941

Stamfordham Primary School (Northumberland) -£380,711

Wingate Primary School (Durham): -£360,630

Ivy Road Primary School (North Tyneside): -£223,135

Acklington Church of England Controlled First School (Northumberland): -£159,360

Cramlington Shanklea Primary School (Northumberland): -£155,984

Ravensworth Terrace Primary School (Gateshead): -£138,554

Rowlands Gill Community Primary School (Gateshead): -£137,903

Greenhead Church of England Primary School (Northumberland): -£125,581

Bothal Primary School (Northumberland): -£120,780

Durham Community Business College for Technology and Enterprise (Durham): -£112,452

St Matthew's RC Voluntary Aided Primary School (South Tyneside): -£111,314

White Mere Community Primary School (Gateshead): -£110,461

Rossmere Primary School (Hartlepool): -£100,427

Ward Jackson Church of England VA Primary School (Hartlepool): -£83,297

Ovingham Middle School (Northumberland): -£81,932

Cramlington Eastlea Primary School (Northumberland): -£72,520

James Calvert Spence College (Northumberland): -£65,347

Ashley Primary School (South Tyneside): -£59,323

Hunwick Primary School (Durham): -£59,295

St Anne's CofE Primary School (Durham): -£57,745

Percy Main Primary School (North Tyneside): -£55,009

Hexham First School (Northumberland): -£53,441

Errington Primary School (Redcar and Cleveland): -£52,990

Bishop Barrington School A Sports with Mathematics College (Durham) -£52,142

Ayresome Primary School (Middlesbrough): -£48,360

Berwick Middle School (Northumberland) -£46,713

Bloemfontein Primary School (Durham): -£42,152

St Helen Auckland Community Primary School (Durham): -£42,097

Fordley Primary School (North Tyneside): -£38,214

Archbishop Runcie CofE First School (Newcastle upon Tyne): -£35,387

St Joseph's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School, Blackhall (Durham): -£34,051

Holystone Primary School (North Tyneside): -£33,851

Bill Quay Primary School (Gateshead): -£32,360

Stakeford Primary School (Northumberland) -£28,074

Bernard Gilpin Primary School (Sunderland): -£26,356

Woodham Burn Community Primary School (Durham): -£24,819

St Aidan's Roman Catholic Primary School (North Tyneside): -£22,445

Beaufront First School (Northumberland): -£22,163

Chilton Academy (Durham): -£21,901

New Brancepeth Primary School (Durham) -£20,486

Knop Law Primary School (Newcastle upon Tyne): -£18,425

Pegswood Primary School (Northumberland): -£16,466

Morpeth Stobhillgate First School (Northumberland): -£16,330

Stanhope Barrington CofE Primary School (Durham): -£15,270

Ox Close Primary School (Durham): -£13,836

Backworth Park Primary School (North Tyneside): -£13,097

Mortimer Community College (South Tyneside): -£13,020

Wylam First School (Northumberland): -£12,635

Linton Primary School (Northumberland): -£12,400

Longhoughton Church of England Primary School (Northumberland): -£12,110

Witton-le-Wear Primary School (Durham): -£11,934

Henshaw Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School (Northumberland): -£11,796

St Stephen's Church of England Primary School (Durham): -£11,454

Cramlington Northburn Primary School (Northumberland): -£11,165

Rothbury First School (Northumberland): -£10,285

Heddon-On-the-Wall, St Andrew's Church of England Primary School (Northumberland): -£10,191

Our Lady and St Thomas Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary (Durham): -£9,272

Crook Primary School (Durham): -£8,497

Captain Cook Primary School (Middlesbrough): -£8,486

Allendale Primary School (Northumberland): -£8,423

Waverley Primary School (Newcastle upon Tyne): -£6,664

Barley Mow Primary School (Gateshead): -£6,412

St Aloysius' RC Voluntary Aided Junior School (South Tyneside): -£5,690

St Bartholomew's Church of England Primary School (Aided) (North Tyneside): -£5,216

Tritlington Church of England First School (Northumberland) -£4,848

Esh CofE (Aided) Primary School (Durham): -£4,073

High Tunstall College of Science (Hartlepool): -£4,002

St Mary's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided First School (Northumberland): -£3,985

Shilbottle Primary School (Northumberland): -£3,592

Whitburn Village Primary School (South Tyneside): -£3,561

Stanhope Primary School (South Tyneside): -£2,897

Hugh Joicey Church of England First School, Ford (Northumberland): -£2,421

St Thomas More Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary (Durham): -£1,909

Acomb First School (Northumberland): -£1,109

Seghill First School (Northumberland) -£382

St Catherine's RC Primary School (Newcastle upon Tyne) -£171

Forest Hall Primary School (North Tyneside): -£82