Sir Greg Martin, executive head of school linked to charity under investigation, announces his retirement

The Charity Commission opened an inquiry into the Durand Education Trust in February

Greg Martin
Greg Martin

Sir Greg Martin, executive headteacher of a school connected to a charity under investigation by the Charity Commission, has announced he is retiring as of September.

His interim successor, the current headteacher Mark McLaughlin, is a trustee of the charity, the Durand Education Trust, into which the commission opened an inquiry in February.

The inquiry was due to look at various concerns: whether trustees had properly carried out their duties; the governance of the charity, including whether conflicts of interest had been identified and/or managed and if any unauthorised private benefit arose from the charity’s activities; and whether there had been mismanagement and/or misconduct by those running the charity.

The Durand Education Trust owns the land and buildings used by the school, which is called the Durand Academy Trust and is in Stockwell, south London. The land is also partly used by a not-for-profit leisure and accommodation business called London Horizons, which returns income to the academy.

The Durand Academy Trust was criticised in March by its government regulator, the Education Funding Agency, for failing to manage conflicts of interest relating to Martin in respect of his former role as a director of the trust and his ongoing role in managing the leisure and accommodation facilities through a contract between DET, London Horizons and Martin’s own company, GMG.

GMG was paid a percentage of the London Horizons turnover, topping up Martin’s £200,000 basic salary as executive headteacher.

In February, the Public Accounts Committee asked Martin about his role in a dating agency of which he had been the director and which had been registered at the same address as the school.

Martin told the committee that the business was dormant and was not being run from the school’s address.

The funding agency also pointed to the potential conflicts of interest cause by McLaughlin being headteacher of DAT, a director of DET and a director of London Horizons.

McLaughlin could not be reached for comment.

A spokesman for the Charity Commission said its inquiry, which was opened in February, was still ongoing but would not provide an update on its progress.

McLaughlin became a director of DET on the same day that Martin stepped down as a director of the trust – 19 September 2014.

David Buckley and Philip Blair, the other two trustees of DET, are also the other two directors of London Horizons.

In March the Education Funding Agency ordered DAT to "immediately take steps" over McLaughlin’s position. It described DAT’s stance that once the Charity Commission’s inquiry had concluded it would ask McLaughlin to either stand down as headteacher or as director of DET/London Horizons as an "unacceptable delay".

Martin will continue to be involved in DAT as a governor.

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