Barnfield Federation probe: No police action to be taken

Barnfield College A leaked report indicated Barnfield College wrongly claimed nearly £1m

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A schools group being investigated over claims of financial mismanagement has not committed any crimes, police said.

The Hertfordshire-based Barnfield Federation, which runs facilities in Bedfordshire, is being probed by two government departments.

A Skills Funding Agency (SFA) report, seen by the BBC, said there had been improper use of public funds at Barnfield College in Luton.

Hertfordshire Police have decided to take no action in the case.

Officers from the force's economic crime unit said they had reviewed all of the material referred to them and could "confirm that the information does not warrant any criminal investigation".

"The matter has been referred back to the Education Authorities," a statement said.

'Management failures'

The leaked SFA report found Barnfield College wrongly claimed nearly £1m for students it could not account for plus other examples of financial mismanagement.

It said this was due to "significant failures in the management structure".

The Hertfordshire-based federation, which also runs four academies and a free school in Bedfordshire, has been the subject of two other inquiries.

It said it would not comment until the government reports had been published.

The SFA at the Department of Business Innovation and Skills and the Education Funding Agency (EFA) at the Department of Education are expected to publish reports into financial irregularities and governance at Barnfield shortly.

The Further Education Commissioner is also expected to give his recommendations to ministers.

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