One third of state schools are in deficit, figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.
Figures provided in response to a written parliamentary question show that over 9,438 schools were in deficit in 2015-16, over a third of the total.
Almost 4,000 schools have been in deficit in each of the last two years, while almost 1,600 have been in deficit three years in a row.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary Layla Moran, who tabled the question, commented:
“It is shocking to see thousands of schools across the country reporting budget deficits year after year.
“Perhaps more shocking still is the fact the minister has played down the issue by claiming these deficits are not a cause for concern.
“It should be seriously concerning to this government that 4,000 schools have now reported deficits for two years in a row.
“We know parents are being asked to contribute to school funds out of their own pockets, that schools are considering closing early and that subjects are being dropped from the curriculum.
“The government must urgently address these funding pressures that are impacting on children’s education and leaving schools struggling to make ends meet.”
See written question by Layla Moran MP and full government figures here.