Tory MP confronts Education Secretary over ‘appalling’ conditions of academies

A Tory MP has ripped into Education Secretary over the “appalling” state of academies in her northern constituency, saying the nuclear industry had to step in to provide computers. Huffington Post reports.

Trudy Harrison demanded action from Damian Hinds as she revealed the Whitehaven Academy in Copeland, Cumbria, had “rotten window frames” which had to be nailed shut while students were left working in 36C heat because of a faulty heating system. 

The MP fumed at her party colleague, who was appearing before the powerful Commons Education Committee, that “potentially millions” of pounds had been misspent “at one school alone” by the managing multi-academy trust, Bright Tribe.

“Bright Tribe are not transparent and the parents have actually had to become part-time detectives in finding out the amount of money that is spent every month: a 9% top-slice, £10,000-a-month on IT when actually the nuclear industry is stepping in to provide the school with computers because it doesn’t have a suitable IT system, £36,000-a-month on the estate. “

She said Bright Tribe was given £1m to create a ‘northern hub’ but the Commons committee had uncovered that the cash had been spent on senior teachers’ salaries.  

Hinds said Bright Tribe’s handling of Whitehaven Academy had been a “terrible case” and that four northern schools belonging to the trust were to be re-brokered. 

Asked if he knew the salary Bright Tribe’s chief executive was paid, Hinds answered he did not, adding: “But I do know there is legitimate concern over the high salaries.” 

Harrison continued to press the minister, however, saying some misspending by academies should be considered “criminal” and that government should be able to get compensation. 

Read the full article Tory MP confronts Education Secretary over ‘appalling’ conditions of academies

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