After the recent Guardian story about academies paying millions of pounds to private firms for educational services there has been a surge of interest in the way schools are spending taxpayer money. It is important to remember that academies are not alone in spending tax-cash with private firms. Every school will buy items from private companies – whether stationery, or textbooks, or computers. What matters much more in the case of academies is who the money goes to and whether or not there is a dodgy link between the people operating the school and the people they are paying out to.
For example, as the Guardian article notes:
Grace Academy, which runs three schools in the Midlands and was set up by the Tory donor Lord Edmiston, has paid more than £1m either directly to or through companies owned or controlled by Edmiston, trustees’ relatives and to members of the…
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