Decision details

Consideration of setting a licensed deficit budget in 2023/24 for certain schools in the Borough

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes




That the Cabinet:


1)    Approves the application for a licensed deficit from Bishop Winnington-Ingram CE Primary School for 2023/24.

2)    Approves the application for a licensed deficit from Holy Trinity CE Primary School for 2023/24.

3)    Approves the application for a licensed deficit from Oak Wood School for 2023/24.

4)    Approves the application for a licensed deficit from St Bernadette Catholic Primary School for 2023/24.

5)    Approves the application for a licensed deficit from St Swithun Wells Catholic Primary School for 2023/24.


Reasons for decision


Councillor O'Brien, Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education, introduced a report on licensed deficits for specific schools within the Borough, noting this had increased from three to five schools posting deficits in the 2023-24 financial year. She noted that maintained schools, as part of their duty, are obligated to provide a balanced budget to their governing body. In exceptional circumstances, where alternative solutions have been explored and a deficit budget is imminent, schools, with the agreement of their governors, must notify the local authority to request a license deficit budget for a specified period, typically one year.


It was explained that the purpose of the license deficit budget was to enable schools to function and reposition themselves for the future, and that the Council was committed to working with the schools to monitor, and support their financial planning and to identify areas for improvement.


The Cabinet Member explained the factors contributing to this challenge, which included under-subscription of pupil numbers, a reduction in pupil place funding, or the need for guidance on expenditure rebalancing. It was emphasised that in agreeing a licensed deficit, it had no bearing on the Council's General Fund.


Alternative options considered and rejected


Cabinet could have decided to write-off the deficits, which would have needed to be agreed by the Schools Forum or withdrawn the School Governors’ delegated powers over the schools’ budgets.


Relevant Select Committee

Children, Families & Education

Expiry date for any scrutiny call-in / date decision can be implemented (if no call-in)

These decisions can be called-in by a majority of councillors on the above select committee by 5pm, 17 November 2023.

Officer(s) to action

Sheilender Pathak




Public - The report and any background papers relating to this decision by the Cabinet are available to view on the Council's website or by visiting the Civic Centre, Uxbridge.



Publication date: 10/11/2023

Date of decision: 09/11/2023

Decided at meeting: 09/11/2023 - CABINET

Effective from: 18/11/2023

Accompanying Documents: