Rhyl school still struggling financially


Matt Jones

A RHYL school which battled back after being put in special measures still has financial problems.

In October, 2013, Denbighshire County Council issued an internal audit report on the Blessed Edward Jones High School which included an action plan for 13 areas for improvement.

The authority was particularly concerned the Roman Catholic school should address its financial pressures, and in a report to be considered by the council’s corporate governance committee today (Wednesday) the head of internal audit, Ivan Butler, says that “significant improvements” have been made and many of the issues have been addressed.

“However,” he continues, “the school has yet to fully develop its financial recovery plan. It has produced three-year projections and worked to reduce the forecast deficit but will still have a deficit in March, 2015.”

The school has made savings of over £150,000, partly through job cuts, and further reductions of £146,000 are forecast this year.

One of the issues raised in October last year was that not all governors had been checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) but that has since been addressed.

However further checks are still needed for matters such as bankruptcy which could debar them.

Steps have also been taken to improve security in the building, which was a matter of concern.

Mr Butler says that another follow-up review would be carried out during the coming month.

Last year Denbighshire Council's cabinet voted in favour of developing a single new faith school in the north of the county, replacing St Brigid’s, Denbigh, and Blessed Edward Jones.

A spokesman for Denbighshire Council said: “Blessed Edward School in Rhyl has made good progress to recover from a deficit financial position and the authority is working with the governing body and headteacher of the school to fulfil the financial recovery plan.

“With regard to school mergers, the three promoters are developing a proposal which will go to cabinet and the Diocesan Boards in the autumn term asking them for permission to consult.”

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