Holding answer received on 12 July 2018
The Department trusts schools to manage their own budgets. The vast majority of schools are operating with a cumulative surplus, with only a small percentage in cumulative deficit. An academy trust may contain a mixture of primary and secondary academies. Trusts are the legal entities responsible for academies, including their finances and are accountable at trust level.
The most recent figures show that 9% of maintained schools are in cumulative deficit, compared to 6% of academy trusts. The proportion of all schools in cumulative deficit or in trusts with a cumulative deficit was lower in 2017 than it was in 2010 (7.6% versus 9.1%). Published data for 2010 covers local authority maintained schools only, reflecting the fact that almost all schools were local authority maintained at this point.
The table shows the proportion of maintained schools and academy trusts with a cumulative deficit each year from 2014/15 to 2016/17, the latest year for which data is available:
Percentage of maintained schools and trusts in cumulative deficit
All maintained schools (including special and PRU schools)
Nursery maintained schools
Primary maintained schools
Secondary maintained schools
Percentage of schools in cumulative deficit or in trusts with a cumulative deficit