Muslim free school in spotlight over £95,000 payments

Britain’s first Muslim free  school – Al-Madinah in Derby – paid almost £95,000 to an organisation that employs relatives of some of its governors, The Sunday Times has learnt…

The sum is understood to have been paid by al-Madinah School in Derby, which is funded by the taxpayer, to All Services Management Solutions (ASMS), a management services company, despite cheaper quotes from at least one other firm.

An investigation last month by the Department for Education (DfE) into the school’s financial affairs coincided with claims that non-Muslim staff were forced to wear hijabs and children were forbidden from singing and reading fairy tales.

A subsequent report, seen by Michael Gove, the education secretary, is understood to have raised concerns about potential financial irregularities and the “perception” of conflicts of interest.

Officials from the DfE are believed to have found evidence of more than £8,000 of duplicate payments made by al-Madinah to a company that provides it with educational supplies, and that more than £11,000 was wrongly used to fund bids to set up a further three free schools in Nottingham, Birmingham and Bradford.

While the school is understood to have denied any impropriety and pointed out that the two governors with relatives working at ASMS declared a potential conflict of interest and took no part in the decision to award the contract, the report’s findings are likely to heap pressure on Gove to shut al-Madinah…

More at:  Muslim free school in spotlight over £95,000 payments (subscription required)

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Categories: Free Schools.

Comments

  1. 5N_Afzal

    We must wait till all facts are known and investigations completed. Conflicts if interest arise all the time. It’s how you deal with them that counts.

  2. gogwit

    SchoolsImprove and this is the sort of thing UKLabour has decided it will support now? Good grief, it beggars belief!

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