Sixth arrest in Copland Community School fraud probe

Detectives are believed to be questioning former head of governors

A SIXTH person has been arrested in connection with the alleged misappropriation of funds at a secondary school.

Detectives investigating financial irregularities at Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley, arrested a 71-year-old man this morning (Thursday).

The arrested man, who is believed to be Dr IP Patel, the school’s former chair of governors, is being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

Last month, detectives probing bonus payments of up to �1.6million among senior staff at Copland arrested Sir Alan Davies, 64, the school’s former headmaster, and 53-year-old Dr Richards Evans, ex-deputy headmaster, on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

Dr Evans’s 50-year-old wife Lesley who also worked at the school was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and theft.

All three were also later bailed to return to a police station in September.

Most Read

In 2009, Sir Alan, Dr Evans, Mr Odokoro and Ms Bishop, were all suspended from their posts by Brent Council after Hank Roberts, a geography teacher at the school, blew the whistle on the payments by handing over a compelling dossier to Labour MP Ed Balls, the then Schools Secretary.

Dr IP Patel had vehemently defended the payments saying Sir Alan had carried out ‘above and beyond’ what would be the normal duties of any head.

Mr Balls went on to sack the school’s governor’s board, including Dr Patel, and replaced them with an Interim Executive Board (IEB).

Sir Alan, Mr Odokoro and Ms Bishop all resigned from their posts before a disciplinary hearing by the IEB took place.

Dr Evans failed to attend his hearing and was sacked by the IEB in his absence.