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Tory donor complains of misuse of public funds for free school

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Morninglover, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Wonder how many similar scandals are simmering away under the surface?


    The government has been accused by a Tory donor of a “massive misuse of public funds” after spending £11.75m buying land for a free school in west London without having obtained planning permission to build it.

    A deal signed in February between Eric Pickles, then local government secretary, and the Jersey-based company that owns the site in Osterley, Hounslow, in west London, also seems to include clauses that would see the firm, run by the Earl of Jersey, receiving half of any increase in the site’s value should it be resold in the next 50 years.

    drek likes this.
  2. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Careful, FF - my use of of the word 'dodgy' to describe West London Free Primary School's financial accounts got deleted by the TES mods!
    drek and FolkFan like this.
  3. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter


    Flagship West London Free School didn’t comply with Academies’ financial rules, says auditor
    The West London Free School Academy Trust, which opened one of the first free schools, West London Free School (WLFS) in September 2011, did not comply with terms and conditions of funding, says the auditor of the Trust’s accounts for the year ending 31 August 2014. Neither did it comply with the Academies Financial Handbook 2013.

    The auditor found breaches concerning:

    1 Procurement. The auditor reviewed 25 purchase orders and found eight didn’t comply with the ‘Academy’s financial procedures’. The auditor couldn’t trace one of these 25 transactions and couldn’t therefore verify whether it had been authorised. The auditor found other instances where the Academy hadn’t followed tendering requirements for purchases over £10,000.
    2 Bank reconciliations. The Academies Financial Handbook 2013 requires bank accounts to be reconciled regularly. The auditor found West London Free School Primary (WLFS Primary), which opened in September 2013, hadn’t produced bank reconciliations between September 2013 and January 2014. WLFS also did not produce bank reconciliations during the same period.
    3 Management accounts. The auditor found WLFS Primary hadn’t prepared monthly management accounts during the period September 2013 to January 2014 as required by the Academies Financial Handbook 2013. WLFS didn’t produce management accounts in February or April 2014.
    drek and snowyhead like this.
  4. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Thanks Scint.
    The mods only deleted one word ('dodgy'); they allowed the rest of my post and the report. o_O
    drek likes this.
  5. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Planning permission. Pah! That's just a minor inconvenience - who needs to go through that process when you are the government.
    drek likes this.

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