Sunday 18 August 2013

The true cost of Michaela's failures in South London

The DfE spent £168,000 on the Michaela Free School before its move to Wembley and after it had failed to set up first in Lambeth and then in Wandsworth.  It has taken the DfE 18 months to answer the Anti Academies Alliance's Freedom of Information request.

The following is an extract from the DfE letter:
The Michaela Community School free school trust announced its decision to defer opening of the school on 24 February 2012. Prior to this decision, the school was aiming to open in South London. The Department for Education’s expenditure on the Michaela Community School project up to that point was £168,339.64. Michaela Community School is now on course to open in Brent in September 2014. Expenditure up to February 2012 includes much work that has on-going utility to the project. This includes the development of marketing and consultation materials which could be used as the basis for their current marketing and consultation in Brent as well as educational and staffing plans, governance arrangements, policies and procedures and other material which can be used by the school when it opens in Brent. It would be therefore be unreasonable to say that this money had been wasted.
I think I would take issue with that last sentence. No wonder Michaela has such glossy brochures to distribute as well as that huge poster they were forced to take down because they didn't have planning permission.  It would be interesting to know how much money they have had since  24th February 2012, including of course the cost of purchase of the Wembley Park building and its refurbishment (no sign of that happening by the way).

No comments: