MP Rosie has received challenges from local parents and residents about the use of Ormskirk School Trust funds to pay for a legal challenge against the academisation of Ormskirk School.
The concerns raised with Rosie centre around the fit and proper use of the funds in line with the charitable and stated aims and objectives of the Trust, and whether agreeing to such spending on legal fees or media relations meets with the Charity Commission’s regulatory regime.
Rosie Cooper MP commented:
“Throughout the protracted academisation process for Ormskirk School I have had parents and local residents write to me expressing their views both in favour of and against the school being academised following its Ofsted inspection last year, rating the school as Inadequate.
“I have supported the school and the Ormskirk School Trust in seeking assurances that the process has been followed correctly. I also wrote to Ofsted to request a further inspection, which has been refused.
“I am now receiving very concerning reports about the use of the Ormskirk School Trust’s charitable funds and the Trustees’ decision to spend charitable money on a legal challenge to the academisation of the school, and why the Foundation Governors don’t themselves raise the money or use their own funds and not those intended to support the children of Ormskirk.
“I have written to the Charity Commission Chief Executive to seek absolute clarification and a definitive ruling to ensure that the Trustees are acting appropriately in relation to this matter and ensure that monies which should properly be spent on the children of Ormskirk are not diverted to other purposes.
“The Trust and the Governors have centred their campaign against academisation on the Headmaster, yet they know it’s an open secret that the Headteacher has been applying for jobs. What happens to the campaign if he gets a job elsewhere?
“It’s time for openness and transparency with the parents, pupils and staff. I would ask all parties to sit down and work this out, not waste money better spent on Ormskirk pupils’ education and life chances which should be paramount in the Trust’s and Governors’ minds, should they wish to continue a turf war.”