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Lincoln's scandal-hit Priory Academies to draft new code of conduct for all

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: June 21, 2012

  • The Priory academy building in Cross O'Cliffe Hill, Lincoln

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A controversy-hit group of schools is to redraft its code of conduct in the wake of a financial scandal.

Pupils, parents and staff at the Priory Federation of Academies Trust will be asked to help shape a new 'Priory Way'.

The document is a code of conduct which everyone who attends the school is asked to sign up to.

The trust previously said it was responsible for its schools' "exceptional" behavioural standards and high-flying academic results.

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But now, following the departure of trust former chief executive Richard Gilliland, a questionnaire is being sent to all 4,500 pupils, their parents and school staff.

It will go out on July 2 and will ask which elements of the ethos they would like to see retained, changed or discarded altogether.

Mr Gilliland left the trust after a damning Department for Education report revealed he used school cash to buy sex games, home furnishings and Christmas dinner at a lavish French restaurant.

Since then, Lincolnshire County Council's representative on the trust board, councillor Christine Talbot, left her position and the Echo understands four other trust members have also stepped down.

A further three are expected to tell chairman Terry Coffey that they will not seek to continue their position on the board before the next trustee meeting on Wednesday, July 4.

With the previous resignation of Mr Gilliland, it means that a total of nine board members will have stepped down in the past academic year.

Martin Mammatt, a spokesman for the federation trust, told the Echo that Mr Coffey and interim chief executive Ian Jones were currently in talks with members of the local community to form a new board of trustees this September.

He said: "Trustees intending to step down or not seek re-election next year have until June 25 to notify Mr Coffey.

"The chairman and the interim chief executive are currently holding meetings with a number of people from education, finance and business backgrounds who are interested in joining the board after the handover period.

"The trust's open invitation for others to come forward still stands."

The resignation of trustees forms part of a 25-point action plan laid out by Mr Jones, which also includes the introduction of new committees and tighter controls and oversight on spending.

Mr Coffey and Mr Jones will also meet with Department for Education officials next month to evaluate the new policies of the trust going forward.

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  • Socialism  |  June 22 2012, 12:15AM

    If you think that Lincolnshire's schools should be brought back under democratic local authority control, support the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. http://tinyurl.com/8yh66o6

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  • topmeercat  |  June 21 2012, 7:37PM

    Agree it is a worse scandal that Coffey has not resigned: he was extremely close to gilliland, did not attempt to reign him in, and worst of all tried to cover up the sexual offences of Gilliland's son who he knowingly employed.

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  • M_C_Donald  |  June 21 2012, 12:40PM

    Mr Coffey, the chairman of the trust board, must go as well as he authorised some of the wrong doing without refering it to the board.

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  • MrAWG45  |  June 21 2012, 8:54AM

    Another sticking plaster to try and cover the running sore that is the Priory Federation. How can we rely on the new Code of Conduct when those overseeing it are implicated in the previous mismanagement? While the current Trust is still refusing to share its bounty with the rest of the school children in Lincolnshire, how can we believe that they will do anything other than look after themselves?

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