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Only three per cent of the schools HCSS Education surveyed were feeling positive about the future.

Nine in 10 schools concerned about financial future

Majority of schools and academies are worried about their future finances in the face of decreasing funding, new research reveals

Posted by Stephanie Broad | August 05, 2016 | Law, finance, HR

Nine in 10 school leaders reported being ‘concerned’ about the financial future of their organisations in a study of 265 school leaders by education finance specialist  HCSS Education. Just three per cent reported feeling ‘positive’.

Eight in 10 schools and academies stated funding pressures as the main reason they are struggling to balance the books, while half said their funding had ‘decreased significantly’.  

The report also revealed that almost half of schools and academies (48%) are being forced to dip into reserves to stay afloat.  

The survey was conducted as part of HCSS Education’s Balancing the Books report, which highlights the budgeting issues faced by schools and the effect of a funding drop. It explores whether school leaders are effectively forecasting, the risk of going into the red and how they can protect against financial crisis.  

It comes just days after the new Education Secretary, Justine Greening, announced a year-long delay to the implementation of the new national funding formula, prompting schools to warn of potential redundancies due to further uncertainty.  

The report also reveals that over three quarters of schools and academies (78%) said balancing the budget is becoming ‘significantly more difficult’ and many stated that they are expected to deliver more with less, which has a worrying knock on effect on staff morale.  

Howard Jackson, head of education and founder of HCSS Education, said: “Unfortunately the results of our research weren’t entirely unsurprising with schools facing increasing uncertainty about their future funding. 

“The number one priority for school leaders is to protect their pupils and teachers, which in many cases means they are forced to make difficult decisions and plan for further cuts.  

“At this time of insecurity, long term financial planning is key to ensuring future cuts are factored in so that schools aren’t left in financial crisis.”   

HCSS Education has released the report to mark the launch of its innovative new accounting software which is currently being piloted in more than 40 educational establishments in the UK.  

HCSS Accounting will officially launch in September and it will be the first completely online accounting package designed solely for the education sector.

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