Future of financially-crippled school is saved after SOS call answered
HEADTEACHERS have answered an SOS call for a £1m donation to secure the future of a school stung by an IT scam.
Governors at St Joseph's Catholic School, in Shaggy Calf Lane, pleaded for financial help after being hit by a national IT equipment scam that allegedly dupes staff into signing up to mis-sold lease agreements.
The Observer revealed two weeks ago the school faces losing £1.4m - more than a quarter of its annual budget - casting doubt over its future 'viability'.
However the Slough School Forum, made up of headteachers and governors in the town, agreed to bail the school out with cash from a £4.4m pot of left over government funds from last year.
Maggie Waller, chairwoman of the Slough Schools Forum, said: "This is a large amount of money, but it is a one-off opportunity."
The decision was made at a forum meeting at Beechwood School, in Long Readings Lane, Slough, on Wednesday morning.
The money will be used to sustain a three-year development plan to sort out the school's finances.
John Constable, head of Langley Grammar School, added: "It's a pragmatic agreement to help the school out. It's by no way a comment on the background to that."
A special investigation was launched by Slough Borough Council into the financial management at the school after Kevin Jones, headteacher, Victor Crewes, bursar, and Hannah O'Toole, head of IT, were suspended in March.
They remain suspended while an internal investigation is ongoing.
Father Kevin O'Driscoll, chairman of governors at the school, said: "Our priority remains the teaching of our pupils and helping them reach their educational goals. We are extremely grateful for any help offered by our colleagues in other schools and we can continue to protect our pupils from the financial situation the school finds itself in."
A Slough Borough Council special investigation into the incident revealed a string of financial mismanagement and breaking of council and government rules.
However Clair Pyper, the council's director for education and children's services, added: "It's about supporting the school's pupils, not a financial matter. The background to it isn't for discussion at the moment."
This article appeared in Slough Observer 06 Jul 12
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Jul 6, 17:16
Now the schools are being bailed out because of incompetence, surely teachers educate, maybe they're the ones who need educating.
Do tell me where this money comes from? Don't tell me from some old pot with 4.4 million in it left over from whatever, i mean WHERE? Taxpayers?
SO WHO THE HELL IS US PAYING US BACK? :-)
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Aug 13, 21:23
Um, hey Mr.'Judge1066' but this is a school we're talking about here, where the education of myself and others are at risk. So try and think about how it affects over 600 pupils aged 11-18 and dozens of teaching staff rather than taxpayers money, it's better off here than a benefit scrounger :-)
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