A BRACKNELL school is to be paid £26,000 by the council after an “oversight” meant it was out of pocket.

College Town Junior School was forced to take on a new class of students last year after experiencing a surge in its number of pupils.

The school did not receive enough money as it did not qualify for the relevant criteria needed to receive in-year funds.

Rachel Morgan, chief officer for education and learning at Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) said: “The funding policy for significant in-year growth gives more money to schools that see their numbers increase by at least 25 pupils at the start of an academic year, as this is considered a trigger point at which a school is likely to need to open a new class and employ another teacher. 

“In a primary school, there are seven year groups of pupils to count when factoring in the 25 increase, which equates to an average increase of 3.6 per year group. 

“However, in an infant school, there are only three year groups, and a junior school has four, so they have to experience much bigger average increases in pupil numbers by year group - of 8.3 and 6.3 respectively - before they reach the threshold.

“September 2017 was the first time an infant or junior school experienced a large in-year increase in numbers, and this is when it became apparent that the current policy was geared towards primary schools. 

“College Town Junior School needed to open a new class and as the policy did not allow for extra money to be allocated, the report proposed retrospective funding allocations.”

At a meeting of BFC’s Schools Forum on Thursday, June 21, officer Paul Clark suggested the school’s circumstances reflected an “inconsistency in policy”.

However, councillor Gareth Barnard warned this action could set a precedent for future retrospective payment requests at a meeting of headteachers and governors in June.