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Called to account

PUBLISHED: 12:50 09 February 2007 | UPDATED: 19:56 01 June 2010

AUDITORS called into probe the finances of the Queen s School, Wisbech, found a £200,000 black hole which they have laid firmly at the feet of former governors and the former head. It is due to very poor financial management and very poor financial recor

AUDITORS called into probe the finances of the Queen's School, Wisbech, found a £200,000 black hole which they have laid firmly at the feet of former governors and the former head.

"It is due to very poor financial management and very poor financial records - which led to the internal audit report," said a Cambridgeshire County Council spokesman.

"The school and its current interim executive board are working closely and co-operatively with the county council to sort this out."

Malcolm Moss, MP for North-East Cambridgeshire, who visited the school on Friday, said: "The accounts were appalling, and nobody seemed to know where things were."

He added: "Now each department has its own budget, its own management accounts and each month the department heads knows what's left in the pot."

The council spokesman said the deficit refers to the "likely cumulative financial position at Queen's under the previous governance and leadership regime, before the county council dismissed the governing body and the previous head teacher resigned."

Officials are now working on how to repair the financial damage to the school, which equates to about four per cent of the school's annual budget.

"The county council does have a protocol for schools to enable them to set deficit budgets, and recover from them, in exceptional circumstances and broadly speaking when there are issued deemed beyond management control."

A report to county councillors this week said: "Financial records have not been maintained to the required standards."

However, the county council is expected to pick up the deficit when the school officially closes on August 31, and re-opens for the autumn term as an 11-16 foundation school with a new, full-time permanent head, expected to be appointed within the next two months.

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