ONE of Bradford’s largest schools is facing a deficit or more than £4 million by the end of this school year, unless major issues are resolved.

Hanson School, based in Swain House, ended the 2017/18 school year £3 million in the red.

A report which goes before Bradford Council’s Executive today has revealed than the financial problems at the school look set to worsen, and are forecast to go up to £4.1 million by the end of the 2018/19 school year.

It said Bradford Council is “working with the school, the Department for Education, and the Regional Schools Commissioner to identify options to resolve the issues”.

The Telegraph & Argus reported the financial issues in June, when urgent calls were made to try and help stabilise the school’s finances.

The deficit at Hanson, which currently has 1,500 students jumped from £1.86 million in 2016/17 to £3m this summer, with another rise of more than £1 million looking likely this school year.

It is one of very few schools in the district which runs at a deficit, and has underperformed for a number of years, although results have started to improve in recent months, and earlier this year was taken out of special measures after three years.

It has also seen a number of academy chain takeovers fall through in recent years, and is currently working with Leeds-based Gorse Academies Trusts.

Councillor David Ward (Liberal Democrats, Bolton and Undercliffe) said: “When are they going to get a grip of the school?

“Gorse have been involved now for 18 months or so, and there has also been an interim executive board with a paid external chair but nothing has happened.

“We have real major concerns at the school forum about this.

“There is a long term contractual issue we have known about for a long time, which explains the deficit, but it doesn’t explain why it keeps on growing.

“This is public money and Gorse has been paid to provide the leadership, but when are we going to see a difference?

“Because someone will have to pick this up and we know the situation of education funding at the moment.

“The whole issue dates back to the failed academisation seven or eight years ago. It’s then the Council should have grabbed hold of the school, but it failed to take any action when it may have done some good.”

Earlier this year, when the deficit rose to £3 million, Councillor Imran Khan, executive member for education, employment and skills, said the problems at Hanson are complex.

He said: “The financial situation the school is in is difficult and has come about for a number of complex reasons.

“The Council is working closely with the Gorse Academies Trust, the school, the Regional Schools Commission and the Department of Education to address the situation.

“We are currently working constructively with our schools to support and challenge them in the management of their budgets and in the avoidance of deficit.”

Ahead of today’s meeting, a Bradford Council spokesperson said: “The school are continuing to work closely with the local authority and the Department of Education to put forward recommendations on options for a recovery.”