General Chat Thread, Financial irregularities at the Priory, Lincoln in General; Kind of surprised this hasn't appeared on here yet.
BBC News - Lincolnshire academies trust criticised over financial affairs...
30th April 2012, 12:00 PM #1
Financial irregularities at the Priory, Lincoln
30th April 2012, 12:02 PM #2
Just reading the full DfE report now...
Very interesting reading. And very interesting timing just as our school starts looking to head that way.
EDIT: some salient points, out of interest
* £45k spent on refurbishing a flat for the CEO that he then didn't move into because of tax reasons
* those tax reasons uncovered by an accountant paid for by the Federation
* CEO's daughter employed as consultant at £55k pa
* CEO's son getting equine training paid for by the Federation, invoices doctored by CEO to try and disguise this
* CEO purchasing "sex games" from Amazon on his Academy procurement card and having them delivered to the Academy
and all this from a man already being remunerated to the tune of £200k p.a.
Here's to taking education further away from public scrutiny. Hip hip hooray.
Last edited by sonofsanta; 30th April 2012 at 12:05 PM.
30th April 2012, 12:09 PM #3
The more serious practice of deliberately evading procurement/tender regulations is also in there, though it doesn't make for catchy headlines.
I've worked in a school with a headteacher like this; someone who doesn't think the rules should apply because they know best. It's unfortunately not limited to academies either, though its prevalence is unsurprisingly linked to greater freedom from outside scrutiny.
Last edited by AngryTechnician; 30th April 2012 at 12:11 PM.
30th April 2012, 12:22 PM #4
I reckon this kind of thing goes on a lot more than people realise.
With the advent of Academies it can only get worse, in my opinion.
Some schools are like family clubs, employing relatives, friends, sons and daughters and nothing is said or questioned and with the Academy scheme they have even more autonomy to do as they like.
Heads and their teams are getting a lot more paid for from the public purse than they should, in my opinion (I have heard of Heads funding their own and family iPhone contracts from school funds, Sky TV, holidays, family computers etc...etc...).
The Government needs to wake up and get this sorted out. It is simple corruption and theft and shouldn't be tolerated!
30th April 2012, 12:23 PM #5
There's also duplicate claims being made by the CEO and Trustees, payments sent twice to companies not being chased up, cash advances being taken out on procurement cards, Christmas lunches in France being paid for on Academy funds... it basically sounds like every business-expenses-fraud story you read about, but with public money at the expense of students' education.
30th April 2012, 12:53 PM #6
Police investigate riding lessons and sex games at academies' expense - Education News - Education - The Independent
Comedy unobtainium. Viagra purchases on school credit card?
* He had "personal items of an inappropriate nature (eg sex games and supplements)" paid for on his federation credit card and delivered to the federation offices;"
Grapevine suggests this is merely the tip of the iceberg and the only surprising thing it it's taken this long.
30th April 2012, 01:07 PM #7
The thing is, the auditing requirements for academies are stricter than non-academies...
So, the question is - is this a symptom of the academy process, or is it a presentation of something that exists anyway, just that the stricter audit managed to highlight it?
30th April 2012, 01:12 PM #8
All this is all the more galling when you're aware of their policy for dealing with support staff, which in general seems to be "knock a third off their pay by playing the job title game". When they took over one of the schools in Grantham in September '10, the NM position was being advertised at ~£16k. That's less than any of my techies get in the same town. Apparently their entire IT system is run by junior technicians with nary a senior nor manager in sight. Incredible!
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