Wakefield City Academies Trust ex-boss allegedly made hundreds of thousands of pounds while school funds dropped

The former CEO of Wakefield City Academies Trust has allegedly made hundreds of thousands of pounds as the school struggled for cash.
The former CEO of Wakefield City Academies Trust has allegedly made hundreds of thousands of pounds as the school struggled for cash.

The former CEO of Wakefield City Academies Trust has allegedly made hundreds of thousands of pounds as the school struggled for cash.

During an investigation by BBC Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire into the Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT), it's been claimed that former-CEO Mike Ramsey also ran a computer company which supplied softwear to the trust's schools.

A programme, being aired on the BBC tonight (Monday) says that same company made over £840,000 during his time with the trust.

Claims by his former staff told the BBC how he was paid £145 an hour for what he claimed were 16 or 17 hour days.

The investigation found that Mr Ramsay and his daughter made nearly £1 million from WCAT, which ran 21 schools before it collapsed.

They said that, despite the trust running a £3 million deficit, Mr Ramsay wanted a huge pay rise.

One former office manager told the programme that, while headteachers' pleas for funds were ignored, Mr Ramsay spent £1,500 on a pen for his dogs at his offices.

She said she was told to keep her boss's financial documents under lock and key and away from the finance team.

The programme said the 21 schools in WCAT lost £2 million between them in reserves.

Mr Ramsay categorically denied the allegations.

He told Inside Out: "I can confirm there was no conflict of interest, all connected party activity was in line with policy and scrutinised internally also by external audit and the ESFA (Educational and Skills Funding Agency) on a number of occasions, all of which is in the public domain."

He told the programme his expenses were submitted in line with policy and scrutinised by the chief financial officer.

Mr Ramsay told Inside Out that WCAT was allowed to expand too quickly without the resources to support the high number of schools needing improvement.

He said: "There were some inspirational people that worked for WCAT within the Central Team and Schools but, sadly, educational support was not enough or at the required level to make a difference."