Free school principal arrested over fraud allegations

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THE HEAD TEACHER of a Bradford free school has been arrested over more allegations of fraud, police have revealed.

Sajid Raza, the principal at the Kings Science Academy, had been arrested in January following allegations that the school submitted fabricated invoices to claim just over £10,000 of public money from the Department for Education (DfE).

West Yorkshire Police revealed last night that he has answered his bail regarding these matters and has also been arrested in relation to further allegations of fraud. He has been bailed pending further enquiries.

A statement from the police added: “All aspects of the schools finance and governance that relate to these potential offences are being thoroughly investigated.”

Last night, before news of his new arrest broke, a demonstration in support of Mr Raza was held outside the school.

Safina Najeeb said: “The character and ethos of the school is being eroded. Kings is being marketed as a failing school to discredit Mr Raza and his original team, and to prevent him from ever being able to return as head.”

The school’s chairman of governors John Bowers said Mr Raza’s future at the school would be determined by “the completion of the police investigation and an on-going internal review into his conduct”.

Last night shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt highlighted the arrest and events at the school as “a sign of the fundamental failings in David Cameron’s free schools policy”.

It emerged in October last year that a DfE audit investigation alleged the school had submitted fabricated invoices to claim public money. There has been controversy over the Government’s failure to ensure there was a police investigation until after the allegations were leaked.