Damning report of Barnfield investigation is published

Barnfield College campus in New Bedford Road, Luton

Barnfield College campus in New Bedford Road, Luton


A damning report into the state of Barnfield College has revealed governors were kept in the dark about the parlous state of its finances

When Sir Peter Birkett, founder of the Barnfield Federation, resigned, he was given two lump sums of money, an additional month’s holiday pay and a company car – an Audi Q5 – which was not part of his contractual entitlement.

The report says: “We do not believe that the Board properly and diligently negotiated the former Principal’s final payment on leaving the College, mistakenly allowing an expensive motor vehicle to be transferred to him and, in addition, paid him above that to which he was contractually entitled. This was not proper use of College funds.”

Following allegations made in September last year about “ghost” students against whom funding had been received, a Funding Assurance review was carried out.

As a result of this the College was recommended to reduce their funding claims for 16 to 18 year olds and adults by nearly £1 million because they could not prove enrolment of the students and the required learning hours did not reconcile with attendance registers.

The report also criticised “inadequate business planning” around certain projects such as the Harpenden Hair Academy, which was not sucessfull and cost £450,000 to close.

The report was referred to Hertfordshire Police who today decided it did not warrant a criminal investigation.

Read the report in full here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/285885/Barnfield_-_Summary_Report_for_publication.pdf




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