The Tory plan to turn education into a tax avoidance scam


This is embarrassing for David Cameron, Nicky Morgan and the Conservative Government in general, isn’t it?

It seems a company running a state-funded academy trust responsible for free schools in London and the Southeast of England is based in a tax haven, according to the so-called “Panama papers”.

Bellevue Education, one of two firms behind Bellevue Place Education Trust (BPET), is part-owned by a company registered to the British Virgin Islands, set up by the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The Department for Education and BPET have denied that Bellevue Education has any power over the way the schools are run, but does that really matter?

Shouldn’t the issue be what happens to the public money that is given to this firm to educate our children? What’s it doing in the British Virgin Islands?

A dossier on the matter, compiled by the National Union of Teachers, states:

“It has now emerged that Bellevue Education is part owned via a company registered to the British Virgin Islands which was set up by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The name of the company is Maplehill Investments (BVI) and its owner is Tarek Obaid, the founder of Anglo-Saudi oil company PetroSaudi. Through a complex ownership structure he is in fact the biggest shareholder in Bellevue Education. The details of Bellevue’s ownership are as follows:

  • Since 2010 Bellevue Education Group has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Bellevue Education International Limited.
  • Bellevue Education International’s shares are held by three parties. The company’s most recent annual return shows that Bellevue founder Mark Malley owns 1,000 shares but the majority of the company is owned by two Hong Kong registered subsidiaries: Plato One Ltd (18,576 shares) and Plato Two Ltd (29,096 shares).1
  • The anti-corruption group the Sarawak Report has revealed that both Plato One and Plato Two are owned by Maplehill Property Limited and Patrick Mahony, who is also a director of Bellevue Education Group and Bellevue Education International (see below).

The Sarawak Report alleges that Bellevue chairman Marwan Naja set up this complex ownership structure in 2010 for tax avoidance purposes.

From there it gets complicated. Download the full dossier here.

So now we know that not only has David Cameron (and who knows how many other MPs?) enjoyed the benefits of shares in tax-avoiding firms, but so do the shareholders in academy schools.

And here’s the important part:

Nicky Morgan wants all English schools to become academies.

So, logically, we can only come to one conclusion:

David Cameron, Nicky Morgan and the Conservative Government want the new – private – owners of all English schools to be able to turn them into tax avoidance schemes.
Now we’ve found that out, what are we going to do?

They’ll press ahead with it if we let them.

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15 thoughts on “The Tory plan to turn education into a tax avoidance scam

  1. Brian

    The credibility of this government is shot. Hand in glove with every crony, it’s time they packed their bags and went. Lying cheating scum, every Tory should hang their heads in shame. Just how much more has to be revealed before they understand any sane honest person does not want them as their representatives. Britain is becoming the laughing stock of the world. In as little as 12 months they have brought devastation to us, they are destroyers, not builders, they are crooks, not citizens. They do not deserve any respect from any profession. Go now Cameron, and take your parasites with you.

  2. Mr.Angry.

    Well what a surprise, it has actually made me laugh, the pure audacity of them all is stunning.

    One wonders how much more will be revealed over the coming months.

  3. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    It seems to me that this Conservative lot care only about making profit and that quality, integrity and decency are foreign words to them. The general feeling in this country now is one of greed and discontent and I long for the day when we have a government with the qualities required to lead with dignity and fairness once more.

  4. casalealex

    Academy Schools

    In March 2016 the Perry Beeches The Academy Trust deleted financial records for £2.5 million of free school meal funding, chief executive was being paid by sub-contractors as well as by the trust.

    The Select Committee was concerned that promising results achieved by some academies may be due to increased exclusions of harder-to-teach pupils. They noted that two Middlesbrough academies had expelled 61 pupils, compared to just 15 from all other secondary schools in the borough.

    Neil Kinnock criticised academies scheme saying that they were a “distortion of choice” and risked creating a “seller’s market” with “schools selecting parents and children instead of parents selecting schools”.

    Ofsted has placed two academies under special measures, heavily criticised another and condemned standards at the another.

    Even after several years of operation and with a number of academies open and reporting successes, the programme continues to come under attack for creating schools that are said to be, among other things, a waste of money, selective, damaging to the schools and communities around them, forced on parents who do not want them, and a move towards privatisation of education “by the back door”.

    edited from Wikipaedia

  5. John Gaines

    It is already a done deal, Pearson Education own all rights to TESTING Kids at least 4X times a year, they sell the TEST then sell the TESTING and then sell the marking….got their thieving asses kicked out of USA Educ. now we get the swindling swine’s.

  6. John

    There is more information at
    Very big questions about the original source of the funding for acquiring many private and public schools in the UK and elsewhere are raised at
    It seems that the Tories educational policies are working hand-in-glove with some very dodgy individuals and that poor children in Sarawak are paying the price for it.
    So much for Britain having an enviable reputation for international development!

    1. David Barry

      Interestingly if you look the the edit history for the wikipedia article you will see someone has just deleted information relevant to this story, (info about the connection between Bellevue and the Off shore stuff) and put a rather threatening warning against anyone who reinstates it.

      A challenge to Wikipedians everywhere I think!

  7. Chris Bergin.

    As they have already practised this on the NHS with no real rebellion by the uninformed public, why would they want to change such a useful way of ensuring that ‘ there is no money left’ for any future government to use to rebuild their depredations.

  8. Dez

    The webs those Cons weave and conceal is truly amazing no wonder they want to get their greedy hands on all the public services and explains the apparent lunacy of the Cons acadamies plot. What a load of low lives they are.

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