We say: no more academy sponsors. Hand the schools over to the local authority.
“The Birmingham multi-academy trust once celebrated by David Cameron as among the best in Britain has collapsed, leaving the five schools it runs with mounting debts and an uncertain future.
Nolan resigned as the trust’s chief executive at Easter after a damning report on financial mismanagement by auditors from the Education Funding Agency (EFA), the DfE’s accounting watchdog, was published in March.
Following publication of the first report, EFA investigators have returned to the schools for a second inquiry. The investigators are said to be looking into the school’s hiring practices as well as issues over admissions and exclusions, and allegations of inappropriate use of funds including political donations.” (The Guardian Wednesday 11 May. Read its full report here.)
The EFA report revealed that Nolan had secretly paid himself a secret second salary.
The 5 Perry Beeches schools now have no sponsors, vast debts, and the government is looking for new sponsors to take them over.
The financial mismanagement and outright corruption at Perry Beeches was made possible precisely because they are academies, free from the oversight of the local authority which would have nipped it in the bud at the outset. No maintained school could have got away with the scandalous abuse of public money at Perry Beeches because the local authority’s strict financial procedures would not have allowed it.
The Perry Beeches scandal is not the first case of academy corruption and it certainly won’t be the last as Morgan goes ahead with her academisation agenda – a licence for buccaneering headteachers and governors to line their pockets.
Time to call a halt to academy sponsor takeovers, and let’s start now with the Perry Beeches schools – hand them over to the local authority where they belong.