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Relatives of staff still on school payroll

PUBLISHED: 17:16 25 March 2010 | UPDATED: 14:58 24 August 2010

A SCHOOL embroiled in a bonus and nepotism scandal still has relatives of former senior staff involved in the controversy on its payroll, the Times can reveal. Almost a year on since the scandal broke, there are claims that several people working at Copl

A SCHOOL embroiled in a bonus and nepotism scandal still has relatives of former senior staff involved in the controversy on its payroll, the Times can reveal.

Almost a year on since the scandal broke, there are claims that several people working at Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley, are related to Sir Alan Davies, the school's head teacher, Dr Richard Evans, deputy headteacher, and other members of senior staff.

Dr Evans was sacked and Sir Alan quit his post after it was revealed bonuses totalling £1.6 million were paid to several senior members of staff during a seven-year period.

Michelle Bishop, the school's accountant and bursar Columbus Odukoro also resigned.

Brent Council launched an investigation into the payments after Hank Roberts, a geography teacher at the school, lifted the lid on the practice. An interim report into the council's findings highlighted the school was riddled with nepotism after Sir Alan's son, son-in-law and sister were all working there, as were Dr Evans' wife and his mother.

The document also stated: 'In some cases the salaries paid to these members of staff appear to be excessive.'

The school is currently governed by an Interim Executive Board (IEB) after Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Education, sacked the governing body last June for rubber-stamping the huge payouts.

Mr Roberts, who was recently elected as National President of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), is calling for the IEB to look into why relatives are still being employed by the school.

He said: "It's been nearly a year since this wrongful situation was exposed and they (the relatives) should not have been appointed, therefore they should not still be employed at the school.

"Our view is that these family members were appointed in a nepotistic way without the proper advertising and interviewing, and no equal opportunities policies have been complied with.

"The IEB and the council should have ceased to employ them many, many months ago or at least looked into why they are being employed.

"It's outrageous."

A spokesman for Copland School was tight-lipped on the claims, saying: "It is our policy not to discuss in public matters relating to individual employment contracts."

lorraine.king@archant.co.uk

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