The BBC’s Panorama programme has revealed that at least 169 schools fell for a scheme which saw some paying up to 10 times the going rate for computers and photocopiers. The rip-offs have also resulted in the resignation of suspension of at least 10 headmasters.
Clydesdale Bank, through which some of the schools signed their financing deals with LTM and DTS, has written off the debts of 27 schools. Those two companies, based in Hertfordshire, have now gone bust with debts of £30m. The schools were left to shoulder debt under the deals that the two firms had arranged.
There is no suggestion that Clydesdale bank had any involvement in selecting the suppliers, but the bank said it was taking a ‘sympathetic view’ of the plight of these schools, and was writing of the debts as a gesture of good will.
The two firms are now subject to a police investigation.