Bail extended for seven arrested in Copland Community School fraud probe in Wembley

Senior staff arrested over claims of bonus payments totalling more than �1million

Police have pushed back the bail date of seven people arrested in connection with alleged fraud at a Brent school.

The seven were arrested after an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of funds at Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley.

They included the former headteacher, Sir Alan Davies, and former deputy head, Dr Richard Evans, who were arrested on suspicion to defraud in March.

Dr Evans’s wife, Lesley, who worked at the school, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and theft.

A week later the former school bursar, Columbus Udokoro, and former human resources manager, Michelle Bishop, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

In April the former chairman of governors, Dr Indravaden Patel, and the former vice chairman of the board of governors, Martin Day, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

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The Metropolitan Police Fraud Squad began an investigation into allegations associated with the school’s finances last June.

The school hit the headlines in April 2009 after claims that up to �1.6million in bonuses had been paid to senior members of staff.

Sir Alan, who was knighted for services to education, resigned before he was due to face a disciplinary panel, while Dr Evans was dismissed after failing to attend a disciplinary hearing.

Mr Udokoro and Ms Bishop also resigned from their posts.

Labour MP Ed Balls, the schools secretary at the time, went on to sack the governing board and replaced them with an Interim Executive Board which ran its finances.

All seven were bailed until a date in September but police have pushed their bailed to return date back until March.