Council calls for police inquiry over WCAT finances

The BBC reports that councillors have called for a police investigation into the financial running of a collapsed academy chain. Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) announced in September it was giving up its 21 schools because it could not rapidly improve them.

During a Wakefield Council meeting it was claimed the trust moved millions of pounds of school reserves into its centralised accounts prior to collapse.

Leader Peter Box said he would be talking to police about his concerns.

The meeting of the full council heard how three schools in the district, which were run by the trust, face losing a total of £1.5m.

Councillors said Hemsworth Arts and Community Academy could lose £436,000 of its reserves while Wakefield City Academy could lose up to £800,000 and Heath View primary school, £300,000.

A motion, approved at the meeting, is now calling for the Department for Education (DfE) to ensure “full restitution” of money transferred from schools into the trust’s accounts.

Councillors also agreed the trust should not dissolve until its affairs had been fully investigated and the results made public.

The authority also called for the DfE to “accept its responsibilities” and put financial and educational expertise into the trust in the meantime.

Read more Council calls for police inquiry over WCAT finances

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