A third secondary school in Conwy has been forced to ask for financial help from the council as it struggles with cash woes.

Abergele’s Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan has written to the council to say it will fall short by just over £400,000 in setting a balanced budget.

Schools in Conwy must set balanced budgets according to council rules, they can however ask to be let out of this requirement in extreme circumstances.

Emrys ap Iwan has become the third secondary school in the county to ask for this type of help from the council following on from Ysgol y Creuddyn and Ysgol Aberconwy.

Members of a special joint meeting of the education and finance scrutiny committees meeting next Monday will discuss the schools request for the school to run a deficit of £420,000.

A report to members of the committees pointed out that the school served some of the most deprived areas in North Wales.

It said: “Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan has the highest level of challenge in terms of socio-economic factors of any Conwy secondary school. The school takes very seriously its responsibility to all the learners attending the school. The school serves some of the most deprived communities in the local area and almost 50% of learners who attend the school come from the areas of highest deprivation in Wales. The schools catchment area includes Rhyl, Towyn and Kimnel Bay which have higher than average levels of disadvantage. The school experiences high levels of transience which is a characteristic of the area it serves. The school is highly inclusive and this has been recognised in all the external reviews of the school.”

The school has a recovery plan for 2019-20 which includes savings of £601,774.63 to deal with its money problems.

In 2018-19 the school accounts show a deficit of £411,640.

By the end of this financial year the school is projecting a deficit of £403,608.00.

The report added: “This shortfall is created by four smaller year groups working through the school, along with a 3.6% real term cut in the schools allocation for 2019-20 and a previous budget reduction in 2018 19.”

Leader of the council Cllr Sam Rowlands, whose ward is the home of the school as well as being a governor there, said: “Emrys ap Iwan has shown massive improvement over years and is now one of the best schools in the area. It’s clear that funding to schools needs to be increased from Welsh Government if we want to continue to see the improvements that we have seen already.”