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Secret King Charles school report forced out into the light
6:00am Friday 4th October 2013 in News
Cornwall Council has released to the Packet a 14-page confidential report of its internal audit, following a second investigation into former headteacher Heather Taylor’s use of her husband’s supply teaching company, SupplyNet Ltd.
The audit confirmed that Heather Taylor properly declared her interest in the company – she was also a director - and “was acting with the best interests of the school in mind and that her actions almost certainly did not result in a loss to the school – and may well have resulted in a gain.”
Nevertheless, the document seriously undermines the reassuring message sent by the council to parents, in response to their concerns.
Although heavily redacted (still secret) the report makes a number of stinging criticisms, including · “Governors failed to establish appropriate arrangements for the school to contract with parties where senior officers have a pecuniary interest. The governing body also failed to recognise the inadequacy of the evidence provided to them in their considerations of whether to contract SupplyNet Ltd and as a result, they failed to ensure the best interests of the school were secured.”
· “...there was insufficient evidence to indicate that the contracting represented ‘best value’ as was reported to the governing body by the school management.”
· “The initial investigation carried out by Cornwall Council...was not as robust as that which has now been carried out and failed to identify some of the issues now reported.”
The audit report is concerned only with the probity of the school’s use of SupplyNet and whether or not the company provided value for money, compared with other supply teaching companies. The document makes no mention of teaching standards.
In one passage, the report says: “Based upon the figures provided by SupplyNet and the financial records of the school, it would seem that the vast majority of SupplyNet’s income from schools came from the King Charles Primary School.”
Most of those who were governors at King Charles during the period 2009-2011 are no longer involved with the school.