Farsley Farfield Primary School

Headteacher’s blog 10th May 2024

It has been a glorious week at school and it is definitely feeling more ‘summery’. The weather and availability of the school fields make playtime and lunchtimes much more enjoyable. The good weather was helpful for Year 5 practising their mountain biking skills at The Chevin this week and for 4Ke on their geography visit to Leeds city centre.

We had our big annual budget-setting meeting on Tuesday. We carried forward a little more balance than expected but will run an in-year deficit this financial year. By the end of this financial year, we will expect to be at zero balance or thereabouts. Nobody could claim that we are hoarding money and not “spending this year’s money on this year’s children.” (This has been a problem in some schools with excess balances, but not here!) We do hope to be able to spend some money refurbishing some areas of the junior building with the support of the council’s Planned Maintenance Programme.

Our income/expenditure excluding capital will be around £2.8million this financial year. As a matter of interest, I looked back 10 years and our income in 2014-15 was about £1.8million: an increase of £1million per annum or 55%. We had basically the same number of children then, but many fewer children funded for SEND. The government has increased aspects of schools’ funding undoubtedly, but it is struggling to keep up with demand, especially around SEND and increases in pay, particularly for the lowest pay grades. Income to support our children with SEND has increased by almost a multiple of 4 over 10 years, and the number of children supported has trebled. (Those that are supported, often have more significant need nowadays.) School capital spending has been cut markedly, although we did get an additional grant for energy efficiency recently. Things are tight but we should just about keep our head above water. Value for money remains a high priority – as it always should be with public money.


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