Troubled Baverstock Academy at centre of police fraud investigation

News comes after government confirms the secondary school will close in August

News article image

A troubled academy that is being shut because its financial problems scared off potential sponsors is at the centre of a police fraud investigation, it has emerged.

West Midlands Police arrested a 48-year-old man on suspicion of fraud connected to Baverstock Academy in Birmingham, and voluntarily interviewed two other people.

The school was put into special measures last year after an Ofsted inspection highlighted concerns about academic results and leadership, and found it was “not financially sustainable”.

Its current sponsor, the Leap Academy Trust, asked the government for permission to close it in June.

Instead, the government sought to find a new sponsor, but in January regional schools commissioner Christine Quinn told parents: “A number of high-profile sponsors considered taking over the academy but thought the financial and educational issues affecting it were too complex to guarantee the improvements needed.”

She said the DfE was “minded” to close the school, a confirmed in a letter to parents at the end of last month, with a closure date of 31 August 2017.

Now, in a new blow to the academy, the Birmingham Mail has reported that police are investigating alleged fraud.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police confirmed its involvement, and said: “We continue to investigate an allegation of fraud in connection with Baverstock School.

“A 48-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of fraud; a 71-year-old woman and a 57-year-old man have also been voluntarily interviewed in connection with the inquiry.

“All three have been released while investigations continue.”

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow Tes on Twitter and like Tes on Facebook

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you