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Saturday, 23 March 2019 11:10

Lilac Sky: Final Chapter

Written by

Update: Shortly after I wrote this article about the www.trevorbeeson.com website, the site was withdrawn from the internet, together with any links. I retained a download of the key page which was a justification for Mr Beeson's actions, and which prompted this article, which you will find here.

Trevor Beeson, Founder and CEO of the late Lilac Sky enterprises, has published a defence of his actions  called 'Lilac Sky: Final Chapter' on his new website (which does not appear to have a direct feed to the article!). Amongst other matters, the site advertises Mr Beeson's latest company offering his professional services which is not registered with Companies House, so there will be no scrutiny of the accounts (see below).  This unique document is the most original I have seen in my professional career. My article is written primarily to look at some of the issues raised in that defence and elsewhere on the site.

LSSAT Logo

Mr Beeson's four previous companies (one in the name of his partner), have been through a total of five additional name changes between them, two of which had the same name at different times, and have all now been dissolved: one liquidated by a petition from HMRC;  one via voluntary liquidation owing £917,000; one struck off for non-filing of accounts - a situation that appears to have been prevalent in all four companies. Consideration of the three where there there were historic accounts show large outstanding loans to Mr Averre Beeson (which may have been repaid outside the formal records),  and in one case sizeable dividends. In addition there is considerable and confusing 'cross-fertilisation'. Mr Averre-Beeson also founded Lilac Sky Schools Academy Trust (LSSAT) in 2012 which paid 'extortionate'  costs to Lilac Sky companies (as confirmed by the Trust's own Annual Report, see below) before crashing with a net deficit of £1,329,631. 

The Trust's shocking performance has been chronicled extensively in these pages, and is the subject of an ongoing three year investigation by the  Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), partly triggered by the loss of a payment of £537,000 by government which was simply swallowed up before the Trust was closed.   

The Trust's closure was forced in 2016, when government tired of its activities, having provided it with extensive additional funding including £122,414 from the ESFA to stabilise its finances, with one of its nine primary schools in Kent and Sussex, being awarded a grant of an additional £507,546 in financial support.  None of this helped, and the verdict from the Trust's own  August 2016  Annual Report and Financial Statements was that: 'The Lilac Sky Schools Trust is carrying a net deficit of £1,329,631 on these funds because: The Trust incurred extortionate and expensive Founder/ substantive CEO consultancy  costs for 232 days at a net cost of £217,500 along with other high cost support services, central  Trust  staffing  costs that  were far higher than average,  the cost of  settlement  agreements  (contractual  and non-contractual) paid to staff who were immediately appointed as consultants by the company and recharged to the Trust, minimal value for money procedures and a lack of competitive tendering'. Now look back at the justification by Mr Beeson (the Averre comes and goes) of those actions in the light of these facts and those below. Mr Beeson's explanation suggests he is not aware of the condemnation of financial activity produced by the new management of the Trust after he left/was forced out. 

You will find my analysis below of the 'progress' of the four companies at the heart of the Lilac Sky empire. 

My recording of the sins of LSSAT began when it came apparent that  with the open support of KCC it was financially ripping off a troubled school sending it spiralling further downwards. One of the key articles was here, which provided powerful evidence that LSSAT was failing its schools, financially benefitting to a  gross extent, all being championed by KCC and its Head of Education, who accused me of making false allegations, but although when challenged for evidence never replied or withdrew the false accusations. 

I can find nowhere any acknowledgement by KCC or LSSAT of their failures to show due care for the children under their care, who are always the victims of such abuse of power. For those who think the failures are now dead and buried, look at the subsequent fates of some of these schools, such as Knockhall Academy, Martello Primary and  Morehall Primary!  The Lilac Sky Companies appear to have hoovered up money from LSSAT and other sources, so it should be a surprise to learn that they have all financially failed, unless the money has somehow been extracted from them. LSSAT was uniquely identified in the Department for Education Annual Report  for 2016-17 as accounting for nearly half of the cash losses to schools nationally at £537,000. Mr Averre Beeson is quoted in the TES some years ago, as being in favour of 'run for profit' schools. 

I do not propose to reiterate my exposé of the sins of Lilac Sky further as they are covered in great detail elsewhere (follow the links), except to mention the sad story of Virgo Fidelis Preparatory School, a small flourishing private girls primary school which had the misfortune to come into contact with Lilac Sky who bought it out. Needing to get way from the by then toxic Lilac Sky brand, its name and the that of the company were changed to trade on the virtues of Henriette Le Forestier, a Frenchwoman who founded a Catholic movement dedicated to the shelter and education of orphan girls, some way removed from the aims of Lilac Sky! You will find details of the the Employment Tribunal that awarded large sums  to employees of the school after it went bust seven months following its take over by Lilac Sky here.  Presumably as the company had been dissolved, the taxpayer became responsible for their losses.   

 Dates
 Original
Company
 Changes
Dates
 Original
Company
 Dates
3/09
-8/16
LS Schools
Ltd
Changed
Name to
5/14-7/16
LS Outstanding
Educational
Services Ltd 
Changed
Name to 
8/16-
4/17
Henriette Le
Forestiere
Schools Ltd
Voluntary
Liquidation
7/16-
2/17
LS Education

Ltd*

Changed
Name to 
    2/17-5/18
Corporate
A.B. Ltd
 Struck Off
Non-Filing 
Of Accounts

LS is short for Lilac Sky throughout

* but also traded as Education 101 Outstanding Services from 1st September 2016, not a registered company, and whose website has now disappeared. 

Most recent Abbreviated Unaudited Accounts for Lilac Sky Schools Ltd, August 2015 show dividends of £76,500 paid to Mr Averre Beeson (£200,430 in 2014), and the company was owed £150,740 by Mr Averre-Beeeson (£148, 531 in 2014). No subsequent accounts were lodged.  

Liquidators of Henriette Le Forestiere Statement of Affairs to April 2017 shows unpaid creditors totalling £917,000, including back pay for employees.

Most recent Abbreviated Unaudited Accounts  for Lilac Sky Outstanding Services in 2015 show a loan to Mr Averre-Beeson of £180,521.  No subsequent accounts were lodged. 

 Dates
 Original
Company
 Changes
 Dates
 Original
Company
 Changes
5/15-
2/16
Trevor
Averre
Beeson
Ltd
Changed
Name to 
11/17
-2/19
Education 
101 Ltd
Dissolved
 2/16-
2/17
Corporate
Bespoke
Service Ltd
Changed
Name to 
     
 2/17-
4/19
LS
Education
Ltd*
Liquidated
Petition of
HMRC
     

 *Most recent Unaudited Financial Statements August 2016  show an advance to Mr Averre-Beeson of £245,438 sole director, which was more than the total assets at that time, but there is no record of them being repaid.

 Education 101 Ltd, set up in November 2017, and dissolved in February this year never filed accounts, although very active. Its website has now been taken over by the Trevor Beeson site, with much of the same outdated information and news, together with linked email addresses. 

   

Read 1480 times Last modified on Wednesday, 31 July 2019 19:53

1 comment

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 31 July 2019 14:08 posted by Ron

    Peter,

    I cannot find Trevor Beeson’s web site and therefore read the Final Chapter. Do you have a copy of it you can post on these pages or one you can send via email. PETER: Thanks for letting me know. Article updated to include Last Chapter document and covering note.

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