Dorset

Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy in finances warning

Protest at the school
Image caption Plans for the school to join multi-academy trust Aldridge Education have met with protest from parents

A school has been issued with a government warning over its finances, shortly after two of its board members resigned, the BBC has learned.

In March, the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy's (IPACA) accounts revealed it had taken government loans of more than £500,000.

The Department for Education (DfE) said at the time it was "a going concern".

Dorset County Council, the academy's co-sponsor, said it was unaware of the latest development.

Regional Schools Commissioner Rebecca Clark - who IPACA said would comment on behalf of the school - has declined to comment until the financial notice to improve is published on the DfE website.

The DfE has also refused to comment - but the BBC has seen correspondence, issued in August, confirming the warning.

Image caption IPACA moved to former Ministry of Defence building Maritime House at Southwell Business Park in September

IPACA - an independent trust - is also sponsored by the Aldridge Foundation.

From January it is set to join London-based Aldridge Education - a multi-academy trust.

Chairman John Tizard and vice-chairman Matt Longshaw of IPACA board of governors resigned earlier this week over the changes.

Mr Longshaw said he did not believe Aldridge Education had "the best interest of the school at heart".

About 1,000 parents have also signed an online petition against the plans, and about 40 gathered for a protest at the site on Wednesday.

However, Aldridge Education said IPACA governors had voted to join the trust and added all of its schools retained their individual community identities.

The school, which caters for children aged four to 19, opened in 2012 and previously operated across three sites.

It moved to former Ministry of Defence building Maritime House in September.

Governors previously said the delayed move put it under "significant financial pressure" because of the costs involved in working across three sites.

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