Head arrested in Bradford free school fraud inquiry

The founder and principal of one of the Government's flagship free schools has been arrested by police investigating alleged fraud. A 41-year-old man, believed to be Sajid Raza, was detained at Kings Science Academy in Bradford.

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Free school's headteacher arrested in fraud case

The founder and principal of one of the Government's flagship free schools has been arrested by police investigating an alleged fraud.

David Cameron meeting headteacher Sajid Raza on a visit to Kings Science Academy, Bradford, in 2012. Credit: PA

West Yorkshire Police confirmed a 41-year-old man has been arrested in connection with their investigation into the Kings Science Academy in Bradford, which was visited by the Prime Minister in 2012.

The force has not named the arrested man but he is understood to be Sajid Raza, who set up the school in 2011.

Read: Government 'acted as soon as it received allegations'

He has been questioned in relation to suspected fraud offences at the free school and has now been released on bail, pending further enquiries.

Police are looking into the mismanagement of more than £86,000 of public money at the academy.

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Government 'acted as soon as it received allegations'

The Department for Education has defended its free schools initiative following the arrest of a man in connection with alleged fraud at Kings Science Academy in Bradford, one of its flagship free schools.

A spokesman said the "vast majority" of free schools are performing well and "all free schools are held to rigorous account", adding that the department acted as soon as it received allegations of wrongdoing at the academy.

Read: School had 'serious failings' in financial management

The department acted as soon as it received allegations of wrongdoing at Kings Science Academy.

We formally investigated and referred the case to Action Fraud. This resulted in a police investigation which is ongoing. Separately we are recovering appropriate funds.

All free schools are held to rigorous account. The vast majority are performing well with three-quarters rated good or outstanding. But where there is failure we will not hesitate to intervene.

– Department for Education spokesman

School had 'serious failings' in financial management

Kings Science Academy, where a man was arrested today in connection with alleged fraud at the free school, was last year found to have claimed tens of thousands of pounds in public money which was not used for its intended purposes amid claims of financial irregularities.

David Cameron meeting headteacher Sajid Raza on a visit to Kings Science Academy, Bradford, in 2012. Credit: PA

The flagship free school in Bradford, which was visited by David Cameron in 2012, was found by an Education Funding Agency (EFA) investigation to have "serious failings" in its financial management.

The academy was one of the first free schools to open in September 2011. It was set up by its current principal Sajid Raza and was praised by the prime minister on his visit.

Read: Free School acknowledges 'poor governance'

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Man bailed over fraud investigation at Bradford school

The Kings Science Academy has been under scrutiny for financial practices

The founder and principal of a flagship free school in Bradford has been arrested by police investigating an alleged fraud.

West Yorkshire Police confirmed a 41-year-old man has been arrested in connection with their investigation into the Kings Science Academy in Bradford, which was visited by the Prime Minister in 2012.

The force has not named the arrested man but he is understood to be Sajid Raza, who set up the school in 2011. **He's been questioned in relation to suspected fraud offences at the free school and has now been released on bail, pending further enquiries.

Police are looking into the mismanagement of more than £86,000 of public money there.

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