Enfield Council has stepped in to support schools in the borough which are struggling to meet Department of Education financial assessments.
A recent audit by the Council found some schools in Enfield are struggling to meet the requirements of the Schools Financial Value Standard, issued by the DfE, which helps schools to meet basic standards for good financial health and resource management.
Enfield Council is now writing to these schools to confirm the standards required of all Enfield’s schools, offer to work with them to tackle risk areas and identify where improvements can be made and to invite headteachers and chairs of governors to an Assurance Board to advise the Council of the action they will be taking to address the findings of the audit.
Schools in Enfield have seen their budgets cut by 8 per cent since 2010. During the same period budgets for school improvement works have been slashed and the last decade has also seen significant increases in pupil numbers across the borough.
In 2016 the government also removed the Education Services Grant from local authorities and this resulted in £3 million reduction in services that support schools in Enfield.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Rick Jewell, said: “I have enormous sympathy for schools. Like the Council they have suffered the devastating impact of 10 years of budget reductions at the same time as rising pupil numbers.
“Despite this they offer a first rate education for our young people – with 97 per cent of schools in our borough being rated good or better by Ofsted. But some are obviously struggling to meet the government’s financial targets.
“We will continue to lobby the government so Enfield, and Enfield’s schools get the fair funding they need to provide the children of our borough with the education they deserve.
“However, we must ensure that our schools are performing to a good standard, whatever the circumstances, to maximise opportunities for our young people. Consequently, we are stepping in and working with Leadership teams in schools struggling to meet the Schools Financial Value Standard to identify potential risk areas and opportunities to make improvements.
“We are absolutely committed to working with all our schools to ensure our children can achieve their aspirations and get a first rate education.”