If there’s no reverse gear on academisation, can we expect more scandals like this, Thicky Nicky?

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‘Thicky’ Nicky Morgan must think we’re as stupid as she is if she expects us to let her forced-academisation of all English schools go ahead – especially in the light of scandals like this.

We could crack all the usual jokes about her being a dunce and needing to go to the back of the class, but that would be softening the issue here.

The issue is that academies are wide open to corruption while failing to provide anything like a decent education for our children.

Considering all the evidence, Morgan should walk away from her plan and her cabinet position. She is worse than useless to the United Kingdom – she is a hindrance.

On Thursday afternoon, just as most people were getting ready for the long Easter weekend, the government quietly published the findings of an inquiry into a chain of Academy schools in Birmingham.

The investigation found that a Birmingham academy trust, which runs five secondary schools in the area, paid nearly £1.3 million to a business which then paid a “second salary” to one of its headteachers.

It revealed that the Trust made payments of £1.297 million over two years to a business called Nexus Schools Ltd, which itself sub-contracted another company called Liam Nolan Ltd, whose sole director is Liam Nolan.

Liam Nolan is also one of three executive headteachers at Perry Beeches The Academy Trust, and its Accounting Officer and Chief Executive.

A letter published yesterday stated:

there have been serious breaches of the Academies Financial Handbook including serious concerns about financial management, control and governance.

This letter and its annex consequently serve as a written notice to improve financial management and governance at the Trust.

The investigation also found, according to Schools Week:

– The trust had spent nearly £1.3m with Nexus over two years, “without a written contract or formal procurement”.

– Payments were not detailed in the trust’s 2013/14 financial statements.

– The trust’s chair of governors had “joint business interests” with a director of Nexus – which were not disclosed in a register of interests.

– The trust’s 2013/14 financial statements did not disclose the Nexus payments.

And yet, the Trust is due to open another free school next year.

Perry Beeches The Academy Trust had earlier been praised by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and David Cameron as model schools.

But it turned out that regulations from the Academies Financial Handbook, Charity Commission and academies accounting rules, and trustee guidelines had been broken. But the issue only came to light after a whistleblower made claims that Nolan had been receiving a second salary.

Tell us again Prime Minister how turning all schools to Academies will improve accountability?

Source: Why The Government Quietly Buried News Of A Big Academy Schools Scandal Yesterday | Political Scrapbook

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8 thoughts on “If there’s no reverse gear on academisation, can we expect more scandals like this, Thicky Nicky?

  1. John

    LOL. So there’s no reverse gear is there? This is of course, coming from the very same woman who, during a recent QT appearance stated that the chancellors PIP cuts were just a ‘suggestion’, and then shortly afterwards the Treasury issued a statement along the lines of ‘we don’t know why Nicky said this, they’re not suggestions but fixed policy’. Blah, blah, blah. I mean, I’m no school/academy expert, but…… WHAT A JOKE !!!!

  2. Malcolm MacINTYRE-READ

    Does anyone else see a mirror image of Thicky Nicky in Liz Truss, Environ Sec, in that one is dark, the other blonde, but both are apparently equally non-existent?

    Have you seen the latter’s announcement on visiting Chinese pork markets?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRhlRM6rYck

    And then there are the numerous incidents of biased opinions being peddled by private faith schools. We are, and have been for some time, a non-religious culture, and should not use public funds to prop up such self-serving institutions.

    Self-serving??? OOOPS… I forget about the House of Commons.

  3. billkruse

    The point of academification would appear to be making what would normally be considered theft and illegal, lawful. This can’t be stopped by calling the rozzers, as while it’s outright looting, it’s within the law. The Tories are making it legal and lawful for their buddies to enrich themselves at the expense of other people. It’s often suggested the point of law is to legitimise theft, well, here’s a classic example of why, soon to be routinely repeated, no doubt.

  4. Neilth

    I have to say that I think this is excellent news. Wales and Scotland will have the pick of all the best teachers as they leave the deteriorating English Education system in their droves and the Tories achieve their ambition of only properly educating the wealthy elite. After all education is wasted on the working class. If you educate them the ungrateful sods realise that their best interests lie with Labour and instead of being apathetic they may even vote.

    Ignorance and stupidity means they’ll keep voting for their natural masters.

  5. Jonathan Wilson

    You can also add a new problem emerging… that of sixth forms being jettisoned by Academies.

    (local school, no warning, no consultation, and no ability to get information post jettison)
    http://www.ilkestonadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/update-students-abandoned-as-ilkeston-sixth-form-to-close-1-7501667

    My impression from talking to parents was that even the school didn’t know it was going to happen and the decision was with the MAT (Multi Academy Trust) and was handed down from on high, with the school told to only give the official statement.

    The result was that the kids were told, you can stay on for the rest of the year and we’ll try to get some form of qualification, or sod off – your choice. (The kids were told before the parents had been informed, in an assembly!) To make matters worse, the teachers who would have taught the kids were jumping ship, so kids that stayed would have no one to actually, you know, teach, and the school was offering no help to the pupils as it was outside of their remit!

    The school just repeats its official statement.
    The MAT refuses to answer any questions.
    The LA says “nothing to do with us”
    The DfE says, its down to the trust.
    Ofsted says… Who knows, everyone had given up by this point.

    (Liverpool, no warning, no… well you know the rest)
    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/academies-accountability-schools-halewood-knowsley-11100105

    I can see more and more of this happening as central government reduce the funding for sixth form, probably to balance the books as its spending millions on conversions and extra funding to academies.

  6. Jonathan Wilson

    It seems this is not the only trust pulling financial, and other, sleights of hand and irregularities.

    http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2015/02/efa-takes-action-at-high-profile-cuckoo-hall-academies-trust-but-questions-still-remain

    http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2015/02/what-links-school-admissions-pixies-and-a-semi-nude

    http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2014/03/1-million-for-non-existent-students-at-barnfield-and-the-out-going-ceo-got-golden-handshake

    Well this whole “academy trust” thing is looking better and better; all hunky-dory; a wonderful example of how private enterprise can do better than the state(1); soooooperrr-dooooper, jolly good show, what what, spiffing. *snark*

    (1) at ripping the customers off, left, right, centre, top, and bottom.

    And then there is AET.

    http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2016/02/academy-chain-aet-still-causing-concern-ofsted-letter-reveals

    Which seems to have “improved” only by dumping the failing schools… not by actually, you know, improving or anything. (And, as an added bonus, it only cost the “hard-working tax payer” a calculated 1.5 million; based on the 8 schools it dumped, against a previous “transfer” of other schools)

    And it has improved [reduced] the gap between “disadvantaged” pupils and not…. not by improving the chances of the disadvantaged children, that would be far to troublesome and expensive, but by reducing the attainment of the non-disadvantaged pupils to such a point that the poor kids look better – on a spreadsheet. Bazinga!

    Its just one farce after another!

    1. Malcolm MacINTYRE-READ

      Please, please, please… could EVERYONE who includes a reference to “tax payer/ taxpayer” CAPITALISE the important part… PAYER… in solidarity of the vast majority of US and a finger to THEM.

      All THANKS and ever so many TAS.

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