AN Ascot school finished the current financial year with a deficit of more than £209,000 after undergoing a huge expansion.

Plans to increase the size and capacity of Cheapside Church of England Primary School were unveiled in 2016 and since then four new classrooms have been built, enabling single year-group teaching.

The school could only offer 16 places per year group prior to the enhancements, rising to 30 places per year after expansions were made.

This meant the school had to pay for four new teachers in its first year of expansion and every year after that while classes filled up.

As a result, Cheapside recorded the highest deficit of all primary schools in the Royal Borough.

The authority’s Schools Forum agreed to fund the first year of the expansion via a dedicated ‘growth fund’.

Despite more spaces for children being created, the deficit at the end of the second year improvements comes as the number of pupils in the school have not yet covered the costs of the expansion.

Therefore the Schools Forum has allocated a reserve fund to pay for these costs.

Key schools stakeholders are set to discuss the figures at a meeting of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s (RBWM) Schools Forum on Thursday, April 25.

A report produced for the meeting showed how other primary schools in the borough spent in the 2018/2019 financial year.

South Ascot Village Primary posted a huge surplus of more than £144,000 in this year, and

St Michael’s Church of England Primary School recorded an underspend of £17,429 in 2018/2019.

Holy Trinity Sunningdale Primary School also showed an underspend of £27,254, totalling 3 per cent of the total budget share for 2018/2019.

The greatest underspend was produced by Courthouse Junior school, which had a surplus of £304,000.

However, the report highlighted a total deficit of £1.25 million for the financial year, with five primary schools showing an overspend.