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Bonkers Blog October 2013

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21 October (Part 2) - An admirable Crichton?

I asked what I thought was a rhetorical question on Saturday about a Bexley Adult Education College following an accusatory email about its management, and this morning I received an answer of sorts.

The principal is Stuart Crichton who is paid lots of money after the previous principal left huge debts. He was and is the consultant referred to; Google it and you will find he worked for Northgate Kendric Ash and that company first came to Bexley in former Chief Executive Nick Johnson’s time. Check the Bexley payments and find they received millions.

Crichton has no background in running a college but knew the right people at the right time to get appointed. No prizes as to who else tried for the job - no one! But that’s Bexley’s competition rules for you.

Check how much his consultancy firm was paid over the years. Lots again, but you won’t see it in the accounts because he is not an employee. You’ll find him named in committee reports so Ms. O'Neill knows and now you do too. Good luck in finding truthful answers. I am an avid reader.

If nothing else, two emails from people claiming inside knowledge does suggest some malcontents at work. So what does Google say?

Firstly that the college gets reasonably good OFSTED reports and that its principal first worked for Bexley council in 2006 on “street services”. Stuart Crichton “set up a new business with a unique business model that partnered local government. The company was called Kendric Ash … and it was sold for £13 million”.

Someone was very lucky weren’t they? You work for Bexley council on street services and a few years later find yourself running an Adult Education College apparently with no qualifications to do so. It’s a bit like Bexley council appointing a Lewisham based charity to run the Howbury Centre in Slade Green. Another organisation with close links to Bexley council but no proven expertise in the field given preference over local experience.

It may look strictly legal but you don’t have to poke your nose in very far to detect a nasty smell.

Note: The email above has been slightly edited to improve clarity.


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