Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham Al-Hijrah faith school has £3m budget deficit

Al-Hijrah School Image copyright Google
Image caption The annual budget for running the Al-Hijrah school is £3m, given by the government via the council

A Birmingham faith school is almost £3m in the red, the city council has said.

The headteacher at Al-Hijrah school was sacked last year and new governors were appointed amid claims of financial irregularities and poor standards.

The authority said repaying the deficit is the school's responsibility, but it is included in the council's accounts.

A separate inquiry is continuing into allegations £1m of public money from the school went to the construction of a school in Pakistan.

The council say the deficit is "due to the financial situation we inherited".

It has also warned the figure is likely to grow because the council has "a duty to improve the school environment and ensure the children have access to the resources they deserve".

The BBC has so far been unable to contact the school for a comment.

Al-Hijrah financial problems

  • The old school governors renegotiated the site lease from a peppercorn rate of £1 up to £300,000
  • £500,000 to repair a leaking roof
  • £170,000 a year for temporary on-site classrooms
  • £32,177 on security, including secure external doors and working CCTV
  • £16,000 to remedy an electrical fault
  • £15,000 towards new curriculum materials and training, including the hire of a consultant
  • £12,000 for dining tables and chairs after pupils had been eating meals while sitting on the floor

The annual budget for running the school is £3m, which is government money passed on to Al-Hijrah through the council.

The school, which has almost 800 pupils aged from 4-16, has been in special measures after an Ofsted inspection in December 2013.

In May last year, a government-backed interim executive board (IEB) took over running the school, after Ofsted highlighted "a number of financial irregularities" left by the previous regime.

A council spokesman said further discussions will be taking place to determine "cost implications for next year's budget".

"It will effectively add to the deficit but we obviously have a duty to improve the school environment and ensure the children have access to the resources they deserve," the council said.

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