Shamed ‘super head’ and bonus scandal colleagues face hefty bill after High Court ruling
A FORMER head teacher, who arranged to pay himself a whopping £400,000 in one year, and former colleagues face paying back thousands of pounds they received unlawfully as part of a school bonuses scandal.
Alan Davies, the former Head teacher of Copland Community School in Wembley, alongside former Deputy Head, Dr Richard Evans, former HR Manager Michele McKenzie and former School Bursar Columbus Udokoro were found to have benefitted from the “vast sums” they received in illicit bonuses over several years before Mr Davies was suspended in May 2009.
Davies, who had previously been knighted for services to education, took home more than £400,000 in one year, three times the going rate for the job, and was convicted of false accounting in 2013. He was stripped of his knighthood in 2014 following his conviction. The High Court today (17 August) found that his justifications for the excessive payments were “patently untrue” and “false”.
The purported bonuses to Davies and the others were sanctioned by former Chair of Governors Dr Indravadan Patel and former Vice Chair of Governors, Martin Day, both of whom were criticised by the Judge for “dishonest breach of fiduciary duty”, “wholesale failures” and “reckless indifference”.
Mr Davies, Dr Patel and Mr Day were today found by the High Court to have breached their fiduciary duties to the Council, leading to losses of more than £1million. Dr Evans, Mr Udokoro and Ms McKenzie were found to have been in knowing receipt of payments arising from those breaches of duties. The exact sums that each of the six must now pay back will be decided at a further Court Hearing in October.
Cllr Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader of Brent Council, said: “We are delighted with the verdict as it means the money, which had been swindled, will be returned and can now be used for the benefit of local people.
“Davies and his chums were arrogantly paying themselves ridiculously high and unjustified bonuses, including Davies pocketing a whopping £400,000 in one year – which is around three times the going rate for the job.
“It has taken years of stamina and determination to win this victory but justice has finally been done.”
The verdict comes five years after a criminal conviction was secured against Mr Davies at Southwark Crown Court, who pleaded guilty to false accounting at the school. Copland Community School closed on 31 August 2014. A new school, the Ark Elvin Academy, opened on the same site on 1 September 2014.