The amount of money held by Shropshire Council’s schools has dropped by 30 per cent in the last 12 months.

The authority said the schools it maintains have seen their balances drop by an accumulated £1,481,292 in the last year.

While individual school performance has not been revealed, the council said schools are now holding £3,519,698 in accounts.

But four primary schools have fallen into a deficit position and will now be monitored by the council’s school funding officer.

It comes just days after Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting called for the government to increase school funding in the county by £22 million.

He said the government is paying £600 per pupil less than it should and is working with Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski to pressure the government into upping its funding levels.

Shropshire Council maintains 92 schools as of March this year, down from 107 last year, with 15 transferring to academy status.

Gwyneth Evans, responsible officer at the council, said: “The overall level of school balances held by maintained schools in Shropshire has reduced over the last financial year by £1,481,292 (30 per cent) to a total balance of £3,519,698.

“This overall reduction reflects reduced balances of £1,067,257 relating to academy convertors and £414,035 relating to maintained schools as at March 31, 2019.

“Primary school surplus balances reduced by £852,617 (19 per cent) and secondary school surplus balances reduced by £719,183 (93 per cent) over the year.

“Conversely, special school surplus balances (relating to one school) have increased by £163,874 over the year.”

She added: “Of the four primary schools in deficit at March 2019, one remained in deficit from the previous year and the others all moved into a deficit position during the year.

“None of the schools had a licensed deficit agreement with the local authority.

“Appropriate support and challenge is being taken with these schools to ensure the unlicensed deficit positions are fully addressed in 2019-20.

“Termly monitoring meetings will be held between the local authority’s school funding policy officer and the schools with year end deficit balances where appropriate.

“As and when necessary, headteachers, school business managers and chairs of governors/chairs of finance will be called in to meetings with the principal education improvement adviser to discuss the budget position at the school.”

Councillor Nutting said the authority received £4,467 per pupil each year from the government.

But he said they should get £5,101 per pupil according to council calculations.

Shropshire currently has 35,723 children of school age.

He added: “The way the funding is set  out across the board, the London boroughs are getting far more funding than the shire county’s, despite a similar number of residents.

“I am grateful to Daniel for his help on this matter in government.”