Four North Tyneside schools facing £11.5m deficits as council chiefs look at 'efficiencies and saving' opportunities

Monkseaton High School, Seatonville Rd, Whitley Bay is running on a deficit in excess of £5m.
-Credit: (Image: ChronicleLive)

Four schools in North Tyneside are in a “significant deficit” amounting to almost £11.5m in total.

Council documents show the four schools in North Tyneside which make up 88% of the local school deficit. The total deficit currently stands at £13.061m across 19 schools.

The highest deficits stand at:

  • Monkseaton High School: £5.285m

  • Norham High School: £3.850m

  • Beacon Hill: £1.340m

  • Longbenton High School: £1.006m

The total deficit has fallen slightly from last year’s total of £12.459m, with each school apart from Beacon Hill, seeing a slight improvement. The council’s finance report also shows that the remaining 40 schools in the area are running at a financial surplus totalling just over £10m.

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Julie Firth, director of Children's services at North Tyneside Council, said: “In line with the national picture, a number of schools in North Tyneside are currently running with a deficit due to a variety of factors. We’re working closely with all of these schools, including the four with the currently largest deficits.

“We provide help to those schools who require assistance, and our teams are working closely with school leaders to identify opportunities for efficiencies and savings to reduce the deficit each year."

An education report in September 2023 stated Monkseaton High School first fell into deficit in the 2015/16 financial year. The report stated: “Cabinet will note that over the last seven years, the Authority has continued to work alongside the school to try to reduce the overall deficit position, but Monkseaton High School continues to operate as a structural deficit school, in that it continues to forecast an in-year deficit for the 3-year budget plan submitted to the Authority.”

According to an earlier report, Monkseaton High School has attempted to manage its finances through a staff “restructure process, and reviewing building and maintenance costs, among others. In addition, concerns were also raised about the number of pupils at the schools. Government statistics indicate there are around 490 pupils, whilst the school has a capacity for 955.