Academy head Richard Gilliland quit over cash probe

A Lincolnshire academy head resigned as the result of an investigation, it has been revealed.

Richard Gilliland, chief executive of the Priory Federation of Academies, resigned on 30 March, with the Priory saying it was for personal reasons.

But the Department for Education has now said his departure was the result of an investigation into financial management.

The Priory group said it would respond promptly to the inquiry's findings.

The Priory Federation of Academies Trust was formed in September 2008 and is made up of four schools; The Priory Academy LSST, The Priory Witham Academy, The Priory City of Lincoln Academy and The Priory Ruskin Academy.

Mr Gilliland was one of the county's highest paid public servants, earning more than £200,000 a year.

The investigation was carried out by The Education Funding Agency, which is part of the government, but the findings have not been made public.

A Department of Education spokesperson said: "The Education Funding Agency has carried out an investigation into the financial management of the Priory Federation of Academies. It has presented the key findings to the trust.

"As a result of this investigation, the chief executive has resigned. An interim chief executive has been appointed.

"We have asked the trust for a full response to the investigation and for further information on the strength of its financial management systems. We expect this shortly."

A statement from the Priory said day-to-day running of the federation remained unchanged.

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