Petition launched calling for former headteacher of Wembley school to be stripped off his knighthood
PUBLISHED: 12:06 10 October 2013 | UPDATED: 15:52 11 October 2013
The former headteacher of a secondary school in Wembley faces being stripped off his knighthood after he was given a suspended jail sentence for false accounting.
Sir Alan Davies admitted creating a false paper trail on bonus payments and allowances while he was the head of Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue.
Last week, the 66-year-old, who resigned from his £160,000-a-year post in October 2009, was handed a 12-month sentence, suspended for two years at Southwark Crown Court.
He was cleared of six fraud charges in connection with allegations of a £2.7m bonus payments scam at the school and acquitted of laundering £270,000 which was transferred from a NatWest bank account into a Spanish account in May 2008.
While sentencing Davies, Judge Deborah Taylor said: “Your dishonest behaviour represents a fall from grace. You have failed in your duty as head of the school – in failing to ensure proper, transparent management, and, more importantly, you lied about it and resorted to dishonest fabrication. What sort of message did that send to the children?”
Dr Richard Evans, 55, former deputy head, Dr Indravadan Patel, 73, ex-chair of governors, Columbus Udokoro, 62, former school bursar, Michelle McKenzie, 53, ex-HR manager and Martin Day, 58, former-vice chair of governors, were also found not guilty of conspiracy to defraud Brent Council after the prosecution offered no evidence against them.
Parents and staff at the school want Sir Alan to be stripped of the title awarded to him for services to education in 2000.
Hank Roberts, the geography teacher who blew the whistle on claims of bonus payments, said: “Davies is a disgrace to education and should lose his title for what he has done.
“I think he has got off too lightly.”
Valerie Grosvenor, of North Circular Road, Neasden, has launched an online petition also calling for him to be stripped off his knighthood.
Mrs Grosvenor, whose daughters left the school in 2007 and 2010, said: “It feels like he’s had a slap on the wrist.
“One of the reasons he received a knighthood was for his services to education. I think he has done education a big disservice and he lied.”
Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, is also calling for action.
He told the Times: “This is an individual who held a position of great trust, yet chose to deceive all.
“He has bought shame on the school and our borough, and does not deserve to continue to hold a knighthood.”
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