A former headteacher who went on a spending spree of more than
£17,000 using school credit cards has been banned from teaching for
Elizabeth Hart was head at Field Court Church of England Infants Academy, in Gloucester until 2014.
A report from the professional conduct panel of the Teaching Regulation Agency saysshe
spent some £17,855 on school cards on flowers, goods from supermarkets,
garden equipment, clothes from major chain stores and music from
iTunes, among other purchases.
It decided she was responsible for irregularities in the financial management of the school, using school funds for things that were not solely for the benefit of the school and/or were poor value.
After the free-school movement first began, the Kings Science Academy
in Bradford became one of the most celebrated schools in the country.
Back in 2010, the incoming education secretary, Michael Gove, warned
that the poorest children were being left to the worst education while
richer families were buying their way to quality education through
private schools or expensive houses in catchment areas.
Free schools, he promised, would change this.
“By allowing new schools, we will give all children access to the kind of education only the rich can afford,” Mr Gove said
Nothing represented this ambition better than the Kings Science Academy.
The academies minister Lord Agnew has appealed to leading city business professionals to become school governors and trustees.
During a meeting at auditors KPMG today, the minister urged senior
staff to join the 250,000 people already running England’s schools.
The meeting was co-hosted by Academy Ambassadors, a programme run by
the New Schools Network which has linked 1,200 businesspeople with
schools since 2013.
According to the government, the “big four” professional services firm is just the latest company to meet with Agnew to discuss “opportunities for its top executives”.
Freedom is the stated aim of academisation. It is a policy designed to
give schools more autonomy in spending, teaching and organisation.
Brought into law by the Academies Act 2010, academisation is the process
by which publicly funded schools are moved out of the control of local
education authorities and into the control of private organisations
called charitable trusts. These trusts can run multiple schools, and are
free to choose what they teach (without having to follow the National
Curriculum), who they appoint as board members or teachers, and how they
spend their budget, which comes directly from the Department for
Education. They are not allowed to make a profit.
Are schools made more free by academisation, and does freedom lead to a better education for children?
Auditors raised concerns that financial issues could threaten the
future of more than 90 academy trusts, new data from the Department for
Education has shown.
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) today published a note
outlining “key assurance findings” from work it carried out in 2017-18,
which included a review of academy trust financial statements, funding
audits and financial management and governance returns.
It breaks down the reasons auditors gave for raising concerns about 2016-17 academy trust accounts.