On Friday, Political Scrapbook reported on a huge scandal at a Birmingham Academy school chain that was quietly revealed by the Tories on Thursday afternoon, just before Easter.
But while the government is hoping the story has slipped under the radar, others aren’t letting them off the hook.
It’s worth recounting this scandal. On Thursday the investigation revealed that a Birmingham academy trust, which runs five secondary schools, paid a “second salary” to one of its headteachers.
Perry Beeches The Academy Trust had serious lapses in its oversight and accountability and the payments were made without a written contract or a formal procurement.
Today, Birmingham City Council’s education chief likened it to the Kids Company scandal, who’s head Camila Batmanghelidjh was also feted by David Cameron
The scale of the issues uncovered in this report is staggering, and raises very serious questions about both the leadership at Perry Beeches and about ministers’ oversight of academies.
The leadership at Perry Beeches were allowed to expand into unsuitable places, allowed to open new free schools when a third of their existing ones were inadequate, was allowed to take public funds from children on free school meals to give to children who weren’t, and got away with paying its head a second salary.
Whilst they did all this, ministers smiled at their ribbon cuttings, invited its head to their party conferences and declared them the best schools in the city.
The Tories were as blind to this scandal as they were at Kids Company and yet they want to take this model around the country.
To further drive home the point, the Liverpool Echo has been asking questions for months from a different local Academy and simply faced a “wall of silence”.
So much for accountability and standards in education