Schools in deficit

Currently waiting for a response from Birmingham City Council, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear Birmingham City Council,

We were hoping to get some more information on an item heard in a city council meeting today (July 23).

Documents to the city council's resources overview and scrutiny committee meeting state:

"There is a growing concern around schools with financial deficits. The number
of schools in deficit has only grown by a small amount (from 38 to 40), but the
total deficit amount has risen substantially from £7.2m to £9.0m; the Local
Authority is working with Governing Bodies on deficit recovery plans to address
this. Where maintained schools convert to Academy status with a sponsor the
licenced deficit will fall to the Council. We have not quantified this risk."

Link -

Would it be possible to from quarter one of 2016/17 to quarter one of 2020/21:

* The total deficit amount relating to Birmingham schools for each quarter
* A breakdown of the amount for each school in deficit, including any deficit falling to the council at the point of academy conversion?

Yours faithfully,

Mark Cardwell

Birmingham City Council

Information request
Our reference: 16554522
Your reference: [FOI #679351 email]

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Tina Danks, Birmingham City Council

Dear Mr Cardwell


Freedom of Information Act 2018 – Request for Information

Thank you for your request seeking information regarding: School Finances.


Unfortunately, this request is too imprecise to allow us to act on it, and
accordingly, we are unable to process your request.

We would be obliged if you could please confirm if your request can be
rephrased to allow us to locate the information that you are seeking.



The City Council does not record the in-year spending balance of all its
schools on a quarterly basis, so this information is not available. 


We can provide the amount that each school was in deficit at year end.  


Deficits falling to the council at the point of academy conversion will
not always be at year end (schools can convert to academy status at any
time during the year).  Also, not all school deficits fall to the Council
when a school becomes an academy.  The deficit remains with the LA only
where a sponsored academy has a deficit. Converter academies take any
deficit with them. 


So, would it make more sense to provide:


 A breakdown of the amount for each school in deficit as at 31 March 2020,
highlighting those schools that are potentially, or in the process of
being, sponsored academies?


As soon as we receive your revised request, we will respond within 20
working days. If we have not received a response after 90 days we will
close the request. In this instance we will close the record on 29^th
October 2020


If you are not satisfied with the decision, you may ask for an internal
review by officers not involved in the handling of this original request.
Please contact Birmingham City Council’s central FOI Team at this address:

Information Governance Team

Performance and Information (WS)

PO Box 16366


B2 2YY

Tel: 0121 303 4876   
email: [1][email address]


After that, if you are not satisfied with the Council’s decision you may
apply to the Information Commissioner for an independent review at this

The Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane




Tel: 01625
Web: [2]




Governance & Compliance

Digital & Customer Services

Birmingham City Council


Telephone 0121 464 0085/0121 303 4720/464 5180

Email: [3][email address]



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3. mailto:[email address]%0d

Dear Tina,

Thanks for this and apologies for phrasing the request imprecisely.

I appreciate the explanation and the chance to reconsider it.

Could I change the request to the following:

Please provide:
* The total deficit amount relating to Birmingham schools at the end: of 2015/16; 2016/17; 2017/18; 2018/19 and 2019/20
* A breakdown of the deficit for each school at the end of each of the above years
* For each of these years, please highlight those schools that are potentially, or in the process of
being, sponsored academies - or became sponsored academies during the year

Hope this is better. Thanks for your time.

All the best,

Mark Cardwell