Council to play Robin Hood with school bank accounts

SCHOOLS in Weston which are hoarding thousands of pounds in their bank accounts will be ordered to hand the cash over to other schools

SCHOOLS in Weston which are hoarding thousands of pounds in their bank accounts will be ordered to hand the cash over to other schools which really need it.Government ministers say they wanted to stop schools squirreling away unspent money in their bank accounts and either spend it on their pupils or give it back.In some cases tens of thousands of pounds have been stashed away by certain North Somerset schools while others struggle to balance the books.North Somerset Council has said it will 'claw back' any leftover money schools have put away and give it to those which desperately need help.According to Government figures, Priory Community School kept nearly £170,000 in its budget and Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College kept back more than £25,000.The council says much of the money Priory held over is needed to finish off building work already started at the school. Meanwhile, other schools in the district have been appealing for cash to fix rotting classrooms and inadequate facilities.North Somerset councillor Peter Kehoe, who is responsible for children and young people's services, said: "Sometimes it is the case that a school will need to save up or hold over reserves over a period of years to carry out a project or to balance its books."This is partly the case at Priory, where the school started a project last year but needed to keep some money back to spend on finishing off rearranging the school."However, where we deem it unnecessary for schools to be holding over funds we now have a 'claw back' scheme in place."Basically where schools have under spent, we order the surplus to be returned so we can deal it out to schools more in need of the cash."From our point of view it is pointless to have some schools with negatives and some with positives.


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