Council faces £241k bill for defunct academy

Birmingham has unbudgeted cost for securing former Baverstock Academy site

Birmingham council house

Birmingham City Council faces an unbudgeted cost of £241,000 to secure the site of the defunct Baverstock Academy.

A report for the council’s resources overview and scrutiny committee said these costs related to business rates and security “for which there is no budget in 2019-20”.


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The government decided in January 2017 to close Baverstock Academy after it failed to find a new sponsor to replace Leap Academy Trust.

Baverstock was rated “inadequate” by Ofsted in September 2014, and again in October 2016, when the inspection report said: “The school is not financially sustainable. The lack of a sponsor and a significant fall in the number of pupils on roll mean the school has no capacity to continue in its current state.”

After the academy closed the property reverted to the council and funding remained with it on the assumption that Birmingham would fund the costs of the displaced pupils and meet the costs relating to the property.

This funding proved sufficient for this in 2017-19, the report said, but there was no provision for the £241,000 needed this year.

The council had assumed the site would pass to some other use but “due to issues with the DfE over the status of the property it was not possible to action this transfer [and] alternative means of funding are being considered though this remains a financial risk”, it said.

Baverstock’s former head Thomas Marshall was in March banned by the Teaching Regulation Agency from teaching for at least two years for improperly awarding contracts, including to firm a run by his mother.

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