BOTH Machynlleth and Llanidloes schools are two of only a handful in Powys to be predicted to run a budget surplus as a council report warns that “school finances could fall off a cliff edge” by 2024/25.

At a meeting of Powys County Council’s cabinet, councillors went through a report that looked at the state of school finances at the end of the 2021/22 and also their predicted positions by the end of the 2024/25 financial year.

There are still seven of the 90 schools in Powys showing budgets in the red and are in a combined cumulative deficit of £2.7 million.

The number of schools in deficit is down from 14 in the previous year, the report outlines.

The report says that projections for 2024/25 for secondary school budgets is a predicted deficit of £4,574,418 with only Llanidloes High School showing a surplus of £209,980.

Llanidloes High School
Llanidloes High School (Cambrian News)

Both Powys’ all through schools have a surplus predicted for the end of the cycle including Ysgol Bro Hyddgen in Machynlleth, with a predicted surplus of £53,814.

The meeting heard that for future years “the secondary sector is looking quite concerning.”

The position as of the end of March saw primary schools reporting a healthy surplus of £7.966 million with secondary schools cumulatively showing a surplus of just over £1 million.

The extra money is due to a glut of grants to deal with Covid-19,

but will now have to use it to deal with the cost-of-living crisis which includes paying energy bills.