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Ex college principal investigated after claiming £200k in expenses

Tuesday 20th August, 2019

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has released an investigation report into Birmingham based Bournville College.

The investigation found that the college repeatedly broke its own rules around corporate hospitality, marketing services and IT application development. It also found there were conflicts of interest in the appointments of senior staff and insufficient scrutiny of overseas travel expenses incurred by the Principal.

The former principal at the college apparently claimed £200k in expenses and signed off £100k more for his wife. The college bought four Manchester United season tickets, and the former principal promoted his wife and hired his daughter, “repeatedly” committing “significant” breaches of its own financial rules, as reported in Tes.

The investigators also found a series of invoices for marketing activity, for which there was “a persistent absence of evidence of goods or services supplied”.

Bournville College was dissolved in August 2017 to merge with South & City College following changes in leadership and management.

ESFA Chief Executive, Eileen Milner said: “Since 2015, we have implemented a number of changes to help governors deliver their statutory responsibilities; these include updated regularity self-assessment for college corporations, governance codes for college corporations and strengthened guidance for external auditors.”

She added, “We also introduced an early intervention strategy and extended the role of the FE Commissioner, where intervention begins when financial decline is first identified.”