17,000 pupils risk being in schools that can't pay their energy bills as reserves are 'sacrificed to energy companies'

7 September 2022, 17:48 | Updated: 7 September 2022, 17:54

CEO of GLF Schools speaks to Tom Swarbrick

By Sophie Barnett

More than 17,000 pupils risk being in schools that are unable to afford their energy bills as school reserves are being "sacrificed to energy companies", it has been warned.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Jon Chaloner, CEO of GLF schools - the ninth largest multi-academy trust in the country which provides education for 17,000 students - warned schools face going bankrupt as energy bills spiral.

Speaking to LBC's Tom Swarbrick, Mr Chaloner said that one of the primary schools' energy bills is now five times higher - having soared from £40,000 a year to £231,000.

"For the trust as a whole, across the 42 schools, we are looking at significant increases," he told Tom.

"We've budgeted £1.7m extra for this year and two weeks ago, the middle of the summer holidays, we managed to then get told by our consultants that we ought to set aside an extra £1.4m for this year as well."

"Hang on, so you're going to have to set aside over £3m on the face of it?" Tom asked.

"From £1.5m to £4.5m, yes - across all the schools just to have energy function. It's critical."

Read more: Liz Truss promises 'immediate action' on energy bills in first PMQs with announcement due tomorrow

Govt should hold onto energy companies' excess profit, says caller

GLF Schools runs 37 primary and seven secondary schools in the UK, but is struggling to pay their bills and keep the lights on.

Mr Chaloner warned that without any help from the Government, more and more schools across the country will go bankrupt.

"We have to pay for it somehow, so we have to cut elsewhere," he told Tom.

"We've been watching it coming for the last 12 months, but it's really hit us hard."

Mr Chaloner, who has written to the Department for Education and constituency MPs, said they have been left to deal with the critical situation themselves.

Read more: Bus journeys in England to be capped at £2 amid fears of soaring costs this winter

Keir Starmer challenges Truss over windfall tax refusal

He warned that vital reserves schools have set aside for projects for children are being "sacrificed to energy companies".

"We will keep going until the lights are switched off, and that's not us switching the lights off - that's when it's done to us," he told Tom.

"We will keep on going and stay open, and do the best for our children, but the reserves that we have in order to spend on projects for our children are being sacrificed to energy companies."

Tomorrow, Liz Truss will outline her plans to tackle the energy crisis.

In her first Prime Minister's Questions as Prime Minister, Ms Truss said she understood people were struggling with high costs and said she "will be making an announcement to this house on that tomorrow".

Mr Chaloner said he is "hopeful" that there will be some help for school's in tomorrow's announcement.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

JD Vance joked UK could become 'Islamist' under Labour

Trump's vice-president pick JD Vance joked UK could be 'first Islamist country to have nuclear weapons' under Labour

Britain's Prime Minister Keir Starmer hosts the first roundtable with regional UK mayors, along with Angela Rayner

Ministers pledge to give more powers to local areas, in 'devolution revolution'

Starmer has launched a defence review

Keir Starmer launches review of armed forces as he warns of 'dangerous and volatile world'

Annabel Croft and Graziano di Prima   at Strictly Come Dancing - The Live Tour. Utilita Arena. 18th January 2024.  Ref:LMK11-180124-001 Steve Bealing/Landmark Media

Strictly Come Dancing pro Graziano Di Prima 'flees the country' after being fired following claims of misconduct

Joe Biden has admitted that calling for Democrats to put Trump in a 'bullseye' was a mistake

Joe Biden admits it was a 'mistake' to urge Democrats to 'put Donald Trump in a bullseye' after assassination attempt

Jay Slater's mother Debbie Duncan is said to be 'demanding answers'

Jay Slater's mother 'demands answers' after human remains found just yards from teen's last known location

Trump has selected Vance as his running mate

Who is JD Vance, Donald Trump's pick for vice-president?

Donald Trump has selected JD Vance (right) as his running mate and would-be vice president

Donald Trump chooses senator JD Vance as running mate, as he is officially nominated as Republican candidate

Ralf Schumacher and David Schumacher at Hockenheimring on April 05, 2022

'I'm 100% behind you': Ralf Schumacher's son congratulates his father after he comes out as gay

David Lammy has called for a ceasefire on a trip to Israel

Foreign Secretary David Lammy reiterates call for Israel-Hamas ceasefire and hostage deal in Gaza

Hamza Alam

East Londoner who 'disguised himself as a librarian' while urging TikTok followers to kill Jewish people jailed for 4 years

The England fan is confident England can bring football home in the next four years.

England fan has ‘no regrets’ over doomed Euro ‘winners’ tattoo

Queen Camilla left in histerics as Jersey cows get frisky during royal visit while bemused King watches on

Queen Camilla left in hysterics as Jersey cows get frisky during royal visit while bemused King watches on

Home Secretary Yvette Cooper during a visit to Lewisham Police Station in south London.

Home Secretary to probe 'disgraceful' election intimidation, as Jo Cox's sister says UK politics 'not in a good place'

An FBI investigation discovered the influencer had forced women to work for her in poor conditions with no pay

Instagram influencer jailed for human trafficking and slavery

People shelter under umbrellas as the rain pounds down last week.

Return of the summer washout: UK braces for flooding and travel chaos as Met Office issues weather warnings