CEREDIGION County Council officers are to investigate whether Aberystwyth’s Ysgol Penweddig is receiving less funding than other secondary schools in the county because of the PFI scheme which was used to build it.
The Cambrian News reported “Councillors on the authority’s corporate resources scrutiny committee have asked for a detailed report into the allocation of funding for the county’s secondary schools after hearing concerns that the PFI payments for Penweddig were hitting its budget.
While committee members accepted that trying to cut short the PFI contract would not be financially viable, they said they had concerns that the school’s budget was being affected.
That prompted councillors to agree to ask for a report into whether the PFI payments were leaving the school underfunded after hearing from chair of governors Mark Rees that the school was facing dwindling finances and was facing the equivalent of losing a teacher a year as the school itself was expected to meet the inflation increases in the PFI contract.
A report by Ifan Davies, the chair of the corporate resources scrutiny committee, said it was agreed “that the learning overview and scrutiny committee receive a future report with detailed information regarding the financial impact the PFI scheme has on Ysgol Penweddig school in comparison with other secondary Ceredigion County Council schools”.
There had been questions about whether the council could find a way to end the contract early by reaching an agreement with the contractor but, after council officers said that would not lead to the authority saving money, committee members accepted that” here.