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"Officials knew about transport spend"

Created on 15/06/2016 @ 07:24
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Officials knew that Llanfyllin High School was spending some of its budget subsidising transport for students from outside its catchment area an independent investigation has claimed.

Supporters of Llanfyllin High School say the report vindicates what the school and governors have been saying – that some officers turned a blind eye a report in the Shropshire Star reads.

In April the school was fined £17,000 by Powys County Council for not complying with the county’s financing of schools policy and told it must do so by September.

Governors claimed that the council was aware the school was subsidising buses from its delegated budget.

In his report Jonathan Waters said three council officers were aware of the breach of policy by Llanfyllin High School.

And he said he was also concerned as to the involvement of one councillor who knew of the breach and did nothing to enforce policy and in fact condoned it.

The barrister, who was asked to conduct the review, also expressed concern about the position of the former head of the school and some governors who knew that it was in breach of the policy yet allowed the situation to continue.

He said: “I have found important matters were not openly shared among all governors.”

In his recommendation, Mr Waters said the council must take ownership of policing schools to ensure compliance with its financial policies, adding: “It is simply not acceptable for councillors and officers to take the view that it is solely the responsibility of the governing body to ensure compliance.”

Former governor David Eyres, who was interviewed as part of the inquiry by Mr Walters, said: “The report vindicates what the school and governors have been saying – council officials turned a blind eye because the way Llanfyllin was running its school worked. It’s as simple as that.”

A statement by Councillor Barry Thomas, leader of Powys County Council and Councillor Darren Mayor, chairman of Llanfyllin High School governing body “welcomed” the report. It added: “The report includes conclusions as to who knew what and when at the school and county council, deals with wider failings and provides a number of recommendations.”


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