Letters extra: Audits should protect schools from fraudsters

19th September 2003 at 01:00

I read with incredulity your report on the activities of the former headteacher, Colleen McCabe at St John Rigby College in West Wickham ( TES , 12 September). This states that: "The school's grant-maintained status helped perpetuate McCabe's fraud."

There should be an important safeguard for schools with that status - namely, that an annual independent audit is carried out, and that audited accounts are submitted to the Funding Agency. While not absolving them from their responsibilities, the results of the annual audit would have been taken into account by governors in assessing whether all was well with the financial control systems in the school.

Perhaps the firm concerned could be asked to comment on the results of their audits - which seem less than effective in discovering and preventing what was happening, and to justify the fees they charged for their work?

Tony Hine FCA
Parent Governor, Helena Romanes School, Essex

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