Multi-academy Trusts - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:14 pm on 10th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Storey Lord Storey Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Education) 3:14 pm, 10th July 2019

I wonder how robust these procedures are. The Minister may recall that, a few months ago, the newspaper headlines were saying that an academy leader had established a love nest in his office and had spent £100,000, I think, on various gifts and pleasures. This went on for a number of years but was not picked up by any audit or inspection—it was a whistleblower who shone a light on what was happening. The Minister will also be aware of the large number of transactions by chief executives of academies to companies that they own or are owned by family members. For example, in 2016 £120 million was spent on contracts with companies owned by chief executives or their family members. Surely, we need systems that stop this happening, because this is money that should be spent on schools and their pupils.