School on hold until Edutrust investigated

30th January 2009 at 00:00

Plans to open an academy have been thrown into doubt following allegations of financial mismanagement by the proposed sponsor.

Richmond Council has announced it is delaying an Edutrust proposal until the Department for Children, Schools and Families has completed an inquiry into the charity's financial arrangements.

It was revealed last year that Edutrust would be investigated after Ian Comfort, its former chief executive, voiced concerns about its financing and governance. Edutrust denies any wrongdoing.

This week, the DCSF said that its inquiry had been delayed by at least six months until an employment tribunal being brought by Mr Comfort has been completed.

Despite the delay, it said it expected the nine academy projects that Edutrust is developing to progress as normal.

But Richmond Council said it was not happy to proceed with an Edutrust school in Sheen, west London. It was originally due to open in September.

"The proposal has been delayed pending the outcome of the DCSF investigation into claims of financial mismanagement on the part of Edutrust," a council spokesman said.

Edutrust, set-up by the Muslim peer Lord Bhatia, said it had not been informed of Richmond's decision. "We understood that the academy would progress as planned towards an opening date this year," a spokesman said. "We are confident that the other academies we are developing will open as scheduled."

The delay is another blow to academies, which have come in for considerable criticism in recent weeks. At the Richard Rose Central Academy in Carlisle staff threatened strike action over proposals for a radical overhaul of the curriculum and staff pay.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now