Mandeville’s £1m debt to be wiped off by government

Headteacher Andy Hencken
Headteacher Andy Hencken

A school which racked up nearly £1million in debt through ‘mismanagement’ will have the balance paid off by the government.

Mandeville School will transform into an academy in January, after Ofsted criticised management and standards.

The school now has a new head and a new outlook, and hopes to achieve Ofsted outstanding status under a new regime.

And the school can have a clean financial slate because the debt will be wiped via a grant to Bucks County Council from the government.

New headteacher Andrew Hencken said: “It is not for me to comment on the failing of the previous management, but it is clear that there have been severe failings.

“Hence the Department For Education’s desire for the school to become a sponsored academy. Since I have been here the school has been monitored by the local authority and there are strict criteria, it’s not just an open cheque book.”

To mark the school’s new start it will get a makeover, with a new school building and music rooms to be launched next year.

Mr Hencken added: “I genuinely believe that this school should be and will be an outstanding school, these children have been written off and that’s not right, they don’t deserve it.”

A spokesman for Bucks County Council said: “Mike Appleyard, the cabinet member for education and skills, agreed in July to endorse that the Mandeville School become a sponsored academy with EMLC as the sponsor, subject to the Secretary of State approving the funding agreement for the school.

“The move to becoming a sponsored academy following a period in special measures is the Department for Education’s preferred option. A school budget deficit at the point of transfer from the local authority to sponsored academy status is settled from the government’s Direct Schools Grant to Buckinghamshire County Council.”