Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 11:42 UK

Bonus secondary head suspended

Sir Alan Davies
Governors said Sir Alan Davies was worth the salary

A London head teacher has been suspended following "serious" allegations about pay and bonuses.

Sir Alan Davies, head of the Copland School in Wembley, picked up £80,000 in bonuses last year, taking his annual salary to more than £160,000.

Two other senior members of staff at the school have also been suspended.

In a statement, Brent Council said the suspensions were a "neutral act" and were often undertaken when allegations of this nature had been made.

The other two members of staff suspended from the specialist science community college are deputy head Dr Richard Evans and bursar Columbus Udokoro.

The suspensions come after a union representative, Hank Roberts, claimed last month that almost £1m had been paid in bonuses to the senior management team at the school over the past seven years.

'Areas of concern'

The council's statement said: "Brent Council has today suspended the head teacher, deputy head teacher and bursar (accountant) from Copland Community School.

"This follows allegations of serious financial mismanagement at the school.

"The council is investigating the allegations and in the meantime has suspended the school's delegated budget and has taken over responsibility for the day-to-day financial management of the school.

"A letter has been sent to the school governors highlighting the areas of concern and seeking their comments and support.

"Suspension is a neutral act and is often undertaken where allegations of this nature have been made."

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, welcomed the investigation.

"The bonus culture, which has blighted our banks, must not be allowed to infect state schools as well," said Dr Bousted.

"If public funds have been misappropriated then justice demands the whistleblowers are not penalized for having uncovered these abuses, and we would expect them to be reinstated."


Children's Secretary Ed Balls wrote to Brent Council last week to express "grave concerns" about the allegations and said he was pleased officials had acted "swiftly and decisively".

"Any serious financial mismanagement at a school is extremely worrying for parents, staff and local communities.

"There is no excuse for any school failing to comply with the law or to be completely transparent and accountable over all pay.

"These are challenging financial times so it is more important than ever for all schools to be responsible for every penny of public funding."

He added: "I have always been clear that I support additional salary payments where they are appropriate and justified to retain and reward heads and teachers who take on additional responsibilities."

Speaking about the allegations last month, Copland's chair of governors, Dr IP Patel, said Sir Alan was paid a bonus of £50,000 two years ago and a bonus of £80,000 last year.

He said he would receive no bonus this year because of the credit crunch.

He said the money had been paid for the extra work Sir Alan carried out "above and beyond what would be the normal duties of any head".

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Public Service Headteacher suspended over bonus - 18 hrs ago
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