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Forest Hill School falls £1m into debt

Forest Hill School in Mayow Road reported a £615,000 loss last year and the school expects to lose a further £557,000 this year. This startling news was given to Lewisham Mayor and Cabinet at their meeting on the 1st December. 

The school was recently rebuilt under a PFI budget and the school had overestimated the income they would receive under the terms of that budget. The school  also found that the arrangement where they managed the shared sports facilities on behalf of the council unsustainable, and Lewisham has now assumed direct management of these facilities.

 The M&C agreed that Forest Hill School should have a licensed deficit budget of £557,000 this year on condition that the school brings the budget back into a surplus position within a three year period. The maximum period in law allowed for a secondary school to be in deficit is 5 years. 

The school aims bring its finances back into line by making the following cuts: 

  • The Senior Leadership Team by one post
  • The teaching staff by 1.4 FTE
  • 2.6 FTE Learning Support Assistants
  • A Learning Mentor has been identified for redundancy.
  • Several experienced teachers have been replaced with teachers on lower points, while Recruitment and Retention Incentives have been withdrawn
  • Lunchtime Supervisors have been reduced in number by 4.
  • Following a resignation, two posts have been amalgamated while one administrative post (0.6) has been identified for redundancy.
  • Reducing the working week to 25 periods.

Forest Hill School has a high reputation locally and a strong academic record. Last year, 50% of pupils achieved five or more GCSEs Grade C or above including English and Maths – results which are above the national average.


For details of the report to Mayor& Cabinet see: