This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
A Department for Education spokesman said:
The department’s investigation into the Priory Federation revealed serious failings of key individuals in relation to financial management. The Trust has accepted responsibility and the CEO has now left. The department has also referred this matter to the police.
Unfortunately no system of financial audit can guarantee it will prevent all wrongdoing. When concerns were raised, the department carried out a full investigation. When its findings were provided to the Priory, its chief executive left the organisation the same day. The Priory Federation is also taking further action as set out in their response.
The financial accountability systems in place for academies are more rigorous than those for maintained schools. Unlike maintained schools, academies must have their accounts externally audited. But lessons can always be learned and we will consider whether we need to strengthen our systems at federation level.